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Inside this issue
Toyota Set to Seize Auto Sales Crown as GM Vies for No. 2
Tesla Wins License; Dealers Fight On
Ford Points a Finger at EPA Mileage Test
Opinion: Renault-Nissan Cranks Up Electric Car Output, But Where are the Buyers?
NADA University Issues New Report on Dealership Workforce
Survey Finds Car Shoppers Crave Online Info
7 Acura Dealers Pledge $500K for Boston Children's Hospital
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Toyota Set to Seize Auto Sales Crown as GM Vies for No. 2

Toyota Motor Corp. is poised to take back the title of world's biggest automaker for 2012, as Volkswagen AG fights General Motors Co. for second place heading into the final weeks. The battle among the world's biggest carmakers comes as the industry is headed for a record year.
Source: Bloomberg

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Tesla Wins License; Dealers Fight On

When Tesla Motors Inc. won a dealer license in suburban Boston last week, it was the second blow for Massachusetts dealers who call the electric vehicle maker's retail stores illegal. After months of opposition from local dealers and the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association, municipal officials in Natick, Mass., approved Tesla's Class 1 dealer license on Dec. 10. That followed a court's Nov. 9 denial of a preliminary injunction against Tesla's showroom in the Natick Mall. The association contends that it and the other plaintiffs do have legal standing based on changes to the state's franchise law made in 2002. The Nov. 9 ruling was based on pre-2002 case law, said Robert O'Koniewski, the association's executive vice president. If the judge "sticks to his guns, the next step would be appellate court," O'Koniewski said. O'Koniewski also said the group would explore all options in battling the dealer license issued last week. One option is an appeal to the state Registry of Motor Vehicles, he said.
Source: Automotive News

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Ford Points a Finger at EPA Mileage Test

Ford Motor Co. is trying to turn the tables in a controversy over fuel economy ratings for some of its new hybrids, suggesting the problem is how the government's ratings for such cars are calculated. The company's C-Max hybrid wagon and Fusion hybrid are rated at 47 miles per gallon, using a method developed by the Environmental Protection Agency. But in a road test by Consumer Reports magazine, it reported the C-Max and Fusion were only able to achieve 37 mpg and 39 mpg, respectively. On Friday, a Ford executive said the EPA test may require modifications to more accurately reflect a hybrid's fuel-economy.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Opinion: Renault-Nissan Cranks Up Electric Car Output, But Where are the Buyers?
By Neil Winton

It's depressing when you organize a party and nobody shows up. That must be how the Renault-Nissan alliance feels as its showrooms fill up with electric cars that can't find homes. Most manufacturers hedged their bets a bit as electric cars were hailed as the way to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and consumption of fossil fuel. No matter that in fact electric cars merely transfer the production of CO2 to often coal-fired power stations, cost more than twice as much as regular cars, and have mediocre and unpredictable range.
Source: The Detroit News

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NADA University Issues New Report on Dealership Workforce

Comprehensive report, produced in partnership with Northwood University, analyzes vastly expanded, more timely data on dealer trends

NADA University has unveiled an all-new industry report covering car and truck dealership employee compensation, benefits, retention and turnover, and hours of operation and work schedules. The new report presents an overall analysis of 2012 Dealership Workforce Study results with data for all regions of the U.S. The study, based on 350,000 payroll records submitted by nearly 2,500 dealerships, vastly improves and expands the former NADA biennial Compensation Study in a variety of ways, including: capturing enhanced and more timely data and trends on an annual basis; compiling data nationally, regionally and statewide; simplifying participation through a web-based portal; and offering separate individualized reports to participating dealerships so they can compare their numbers against data aggregated on a regional and national basis, as well as by state/metro area and franchise.

"This is the most comprehensive dealership workforce report ever produced in our industry,” said NADA Chairman Bill Underriner. “We appreciate the dealerships that participated and the invaluable support we received from the state and metro ATAEs. “The level of detail and planned annual updates will prove to be an indispensable resource to help dealers manage their workforce more effectively in a competitive marketplace,” Underriner added. For more information on all of NADA University’s training and educational programs, visit www.NADAUniversity.com or call (800) 557-6232.
Source: NADA University

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Survey Finds Car Shoppers Crave Online Info

Car buyers are doing as much digital driving on auto-buying research websites as they are when it comes to shuttling between dealerships, a new study finds. In a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers, 89% say they visit at least six websites, and a third say they browse more than 20 websites to load up on auto information, says consulting group Accenture.
Source: USA Today

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7 Acura Dealers Pledge $500K for Boston Children's Hospital

Seven Acura dealerships have made a pledge to raise $500,000 over the next two years, to benefit one of the nation's top pediatric medical centers. Announcing the pledge to benefit Boston Children's Hospital on Friday were the New England Acura Dealers. As part of the relationship, a portion of the proceeds from every Acura sold in each of the seven participating dealerships will go toward the hospital. Also, Acura will be recognized as the Official Car at all signature fundraisers benefiting Boston Children's Hospital.
Source: Auto Remarketing

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Quotable
“We have a three-horse race for the rest of our forecast through 2019 ... It's very tight.”

   
-- Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC, commenting on the battle to become the world's largest automaker, Bloomberg, Dec. 16



 


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