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Inside this issue
Opinion: Auto Dealers Say Google's Imperial Approach is Risky
Car Casualties Weigh on Region
Meeting 2025 Fuel Standards Called Possible
Honda Overhauls Hybrid Strategy to Boost U.S. Sales
Suzuki Dealers Get a Voice in Bankruptcy Court
October U.S. Fuel Economy Up 5%
2012 Los Angeles Auto Show Preview
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Opinion: Auto Dealers Say Google's Imperial Approach is Risky
By David Barkholz

Auto dealers are losing patience with the often imperial ways of Google and beginning to look elsewhere for online vehicle shoppers. Dealers create Google+ Local pages for free and then can channel customer reviews to the site. But Google ultimately has the power to determine those that stay based on Google's secret algorithm to determine authenticity and relevance.
Source: Automotive News

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Car Casualties Weigh on Region

Storm May Have Damaged as Many as 250,000 Vehicles; Parking Rules Return, Including for Wrecks

The immobilizing impact of Sandy has largely receded for millions of mass-transit riders across the region, leaving a miserable minority: motorists with ruined cars. All told, up to a quarter-million vehicles across the East Coast may have been damaged by Sandy, said the National Automobile Dealers Association. Many flooded cars still line streets in hard-hit areas nearly three weeks later. For car dealers, the storm is expected to bring a sales boost. "We have heard from dealers in the area that there is a growing need for people to replace damaged cars," said David Hyatt, spokesman for the national dealers' trade group. "There has been an uptick in interest in new vehicles."
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Editor's note: NADA is encouraging dealers who are looking for ways to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy to contribute to the Emergency Relief Fund of the National Automobile Dealers Association Charitable Foundation. The fund provides assistance to dealership employees affected by natural disasters. Click here to donate or apply for assistance.

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Meeting 2025 Fuel Standards Called Possible

But buyers must accept smaller cars

Meeting the government's aggressive fuel economy standards by 2025 will require a combination of technologies that exist today, assuming they continue to evolve, engineering experts at supplier Ricardo say. But much of it will depend on consumers. They must migrate to smaller vehicles in greater numbers, says the team at Ricardo, who analyzed current and future fuel-savings technologies Friday at the Van Buren Township research center.
Source: Detroit Free Press

Related Story:

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Honda Overhauls Hybrid Strategy to Boost U.S. Sales

Ito's plan focuses on 3 new systems, variants of existing nameplates

Honda Motor Co. has yet to have a hybrid hit in the United States, despite success in Japan. In the United States, the Insight and CR-Z have struggled, while the gasoline-electric Civic has gained only modest traction. Honda even temporarily discontinued its Accord Hybrid after 2008 because of dismal sales. But Honda is making another run at the segment. This time, President Takanobu Ito says he is serious about challenging Toyota's Prius lineup.
Source: Automotive News

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Suzuki Dealers Get a Voice in Bankruptcy Court

Some of Suzuki's largest dealers and its advertising agency have joined forces on a committee of unsecured creditors in American Suzuki's Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. The dealers include James Morrell, chairman of Suzuki's U.S. dealer council and owner of Advantage Suzuki in Albany, N.Y.; Scott Pitman, Suzuki's largest U.S. auto dealer and owner of Suzuki of Wichita in Wichita, Kan.; and three other dealers. Also on the committee is the attorney for Gary Linam, the former Alabama Suzuki dealer who has accused American Suzuki of ordering dealers to report false vehicle sales. The committee's job is to maximize the recovery of unsecured claims, which in Suzuki's case may include the claims of many of its dealers. The committee can also advise the court on how a debtor's reorganization plan will affect unsecured creditors.
Source: Automotive News

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October U.S. Fuel Economy Up 5%

The average fuel economy of light vehicles sold in the U.S. rose 5% over year-ago in October, the latest WardsAuto Fuel Economy Index reports, and 13.9% above the base index score set in fourth-quarter 2007. The combined fuel economy for all LV sales in the month was 23.8 mpg, slightly better than the overall year-to-date rating of 23.7 mpg, and a 1.1 mpg improvement [from 2011].
Source: WardsAuto

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2012 Los Angeles Auto Show Preview

This year's L.A. show won't quite be the green-car showcase it's been in years past. It's almost a catch-up event for carmakers scrambling to get out the remaining 2013 new models--while teasing the 2014 new cars, crossovers, and trucks just around the corner.
Source: The Car Connection

Editor's note: The 2012 Western Automotive Conference, an all-new event hosted by NADA and J.D. Power and Associates, will be held on Nov. 27, the eve of Media Days at the LA Auto Show. The half-day conference will be packed with valuable information focusing on the critical issues and solutions impacting current and future automotive operations. To register, click here.

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Quotable
"They are making significant progress at a glacial pace."

   
--  Mark Kuhn, manager of Ricardo Strategic Consulting, commenting on automakers' plans to meet the 2025 fuel economy standards, Detroit Free Press, Nov. 17

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