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Inside this issue
Auto Sales Look Good for 2013, Unless We Drive Off the 'Cliff'
Toyota's Legal Woes Aren't Over
Ex-Audi Designer Becomes First Foreign President of Kia Motors
Why Ford Is Adding Thousands of New U.S. Manufacturing Jobs
Chevrolet May Deep-Six 'Chevy Runs Deep' Slogan
Analysts: Used-Car Prices Will Soften
5 New Year's Resolutions for the Auto Companies (And Car Buyers)
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Auto Sales Look Good for 2013, Unless We Drive Off the 'Cliff'

It’s been a disappointing holiday season for many retailers, but U.S. car dealers have been busily ringing up sales as the year wraps up. If preliminary numbers for December hold up, 2012 could prove to be the industry’s best year since the long recession and painfully weak recovery began. And 2013 is shaping up to be even better – unless auto sales fall off the fiscal cliff. “The U.S. light-vehicle sales market continues to be a bright spot in the tremulous global environment,” said Jeff Schuster, LMC’s senior vice president of forecasting. “The only major roadblock ahead for the U.S. market is the fiscal cliff. Assuming that hurdle is cleared, 2013 is one step closer to a stable and sustainable growth rate for autos, with volume above the 15 million unit mark.”
Source: NBC News


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Toyota's Legal Woes Aren't Over

Automaker still faces many big claims after $1B-plus settlement

Toyota Motor Corp. has settled a big portion of the lawsuits filed in the U.S. against the company but still faces many product-liability cases that could expose it to big verdicts, legal experts say. The automaker said Wednesday that it agreed to pay out more than $1 billion to settle claims from owners who said the value of their vehicles fell because of widespread recalls sparked by reports of unintended acceleration. But Toyota still faces another category of lawsuits claiming that defects in the vehicles caused injury or death.
Source: The Detroit News


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Ex-Audi Designer Becomes First Foreign President of Kia Motors

Peter Schreyer, known for his design contributions to the iconic Audi TT, became the first foreign president of Kia Motors Corp. as the South Korean carmaker enters the next phase of its branding transformation. Schreyer, who joined Kia from Volkswagen AG in 2006 and was subsequently linked to the rise of the Hyundai Motor Co. affiliate, was promoted from chief design officer and executive vice president on Friday. The promotion is a clear sign of Kia and Hyundai Motor's ambition to outdo German rivals Volkswagen and BMW in design -- a key part of a strategy that has helped the South Korean duo ramp up sales and gain market share even during the global economic downturn in 2009.
Source: Reuters

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Why Ford Is Adding Thousands of New U.S. Manufacturing Jobs

Ford part of in-sourcing trend helping middle class America

Ford Motor Co. has a pretty nice holiday gift for the U.S. economy and job market: The company plans to invest $6.2 billion to expand its U.S. manufacturing base, a move that will help it save 3,240 existing jobs and add another 12,000 positions by 2015. Ford's move is part of a growing trend of manufacturing companies "in-sourcing" jobs and production to the U.S. back from lower-cost wage countries like Mexico and China. Higher quality workers, plus the elimination of cumbersome and costly shipping and energy costs from abroad is making U.S. shores more attractive.
Source: AOL Autos

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Chevrolet May Deep-Six 'Chevy Runs Deep' Slogan

Automaker and ad agency evaluating campaign

For now, Chevy still runs deep. But the fate of the marketing slogan Chevrolet debuted in 2010 will be decided in the first quarter of 2013, said Chris Perry, marketing vice president for Chevrolet. The automaker and its advertising agency, Commonwealth, are actively evaluating the campaign and considering alternatives as General Motors globalizes its core brand. "We have not made a decision yet," Perry said. "What does a global campaign look like and how do we execute it? Is it one line around the globe or is it different taglines? That's what we're looking at right now."
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Analysts: Used-Car Prices Will Soften

More vehicles expected back in market in 2013

Used-vehicle prices in the first quarter are predicted to range from "strong" to down 1 to 2 percent from the year-earlier quarter. That's the consensus of analysts, who also predict that about 240,000 to 400,000 more off-lease vehicles will re-enter the market in 2013 than in 2012. Leasing began to bounce back in December 2009 and gained momentum in 2010, so the market is just starting to see off-lease vehicles show up in the used-car market now. With many of those being 36-month leases, NADA Used Car Guide expects at least 240,000 more off-lease vehicles to return to the market in 2013 than in 2012. Larry Dixon, an analyst at NADA Guide, says he expects prices to be "mildly softer" next year but does not expect to see significant deterioration in used-vehicle prices, either. "Market fundamentals are simply too favorable" for prices to fall significantly, says Dixon, whose data indicate that used-vehicles prices in the first quarter will be down 1 to 1.5 percent compared with the first quarter of 2012.
Source: Automotive News

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5 New Year's Resolutions for the Auto Companies (And Car Buyers)

It’s that time when we think about things we’d like to accomplish in the year ahead. The idea of a clean slate is tantalizing, and so is the thought that car companies can improve the way they deal with consumers. While cars can be objects of desire, they also can frustrate their owners. It also can be frustrating watching car companies repeat the behavior that causes customers to blow their tops. Likewise, automakers can get impatient with people who don’t use their products in the way that they hope. Here are five New Year’s resolutions for the auto industry — including one they have for us....
Source: Forbes.com

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Quotable
"I clearly hope we get some bipartisan effort to avoid the fiscal cliff. It's vitally important for the economy that we work this out."

    -- Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford, Jr., NBC News, Dec. 28



 


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