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Inside this issue
NADA Leader Won't Duck a Factory Fight
NADA Predicts Auto Sales in '13 to Jump to 15.4 Million
Luxury, Performance Drive Buzz at Detroit Show
GM's New Corvette Begins Brand Update
Lincoln Bids for Younger Crossover Buyers With MKC
Dried Out and Title-Scrubbed, Flooded Cars Lure the Unwary
Acceleration, Not Speed, Behind BMW Diesel Launch in U.S.
Hunting for Designers
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
NADA Leader Won't Duck a Factory Fight

Welch hailed for tough stance in Calif.

Dealers praised Peter Welch's selection last week as president of the National Automobile Dealers Association, citing his willingness to stand up to automakers. As head of the California New Car Dealers Association, Welch went toe to toe with Chrysler Group in 2011 over a factory-owned store in Los Angeles. Welch, 59, a lawyer and head of the California association since 2003, will start at NADA on Feb. 1, a week before the 16,000-member group's annual conference in Orlando, Fla. In a brief interview, he said he feels comfortable becoming the top lobbyist for dealers nationwide. Laws and regulations that start in California often spread to the rest of the country, he said, one day after NADA's board of directors approved his hiring at a meeting in Dallas.
Source: Automotive News

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NADA Predicts Auto Sales in '13 to Jump to 15.4 Million

The National Automobile Dealers Association predicts U.S. auto sales will grow by 1 million vehicles in 2013. U.S. auto sales climbed by 13 percent to 14.4 million in 2012. NADA thinks more than 15.4 million vehicles will be sold this year. Many automakers are forecasting around 15 million vehicle sales for 2013. Toyota Motor Corp. is predicting 14.7 million, but the automaker said this week it may revise its estimate upwards next month depending on sales trends.
Source: The Detroit News

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Luxury, Performance Drive Buzz at Detroit Show

This year's Detroit auto show has a decidedly "green" theme. Green as in the color of money, that is. An aura of luxury pervades many of the show's new models as automakers from Europe, Asia and the Motor City itself strive to bring more affluent consumers into showrooms. Whether one seeks a sedan, coupe or crossover, pricy new choices are not in short supply. A familiar companion to luxury is performance.
Source: Reuters

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GM's New Corvette Begins Brand Update

Redesigned 'Stingray' will tie more closely to core brand

General Motors Co. on Sunday took the wraps off a seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette sports car that the company hopes will become the poster child for a 2013 product blitz designed to buff GM's top-selling Chevrolet line. The 2014 Corvette will carry the "Stingray" name for the first time since the 1970s—harking back to a classic generation of the car that inspired many of today's target customers—Baby Boomers in their 50s, when they were in their teens. The entry level 2014 Corvette will have a 450-horsepower, V-8, a 0-60 time below four seconds, and will use lightweight materials, including carbon fiber in the roof and aluminum in the frame, to deliver better fuel economy than the departing model's 25 miles per gallon in highway driving.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Lincoln Bids for Younger Crossover Buyers With MKC

The Lincoln MKC Concept makes its world debut at the Detroit show Monday, the second vehicle in a new generation of Lincolns aimed at young upscale customers. Lincoln hasn't said when the production version will arrive, but it could be in showrooms as early as a year from now. The MKC Concept is Lincoln's vision for its entry in a small segment that's rapidly growing in importance: compact luxury crossovers. The segment grew 60 percent in 2012 and tripled in size over the last four years, Lincoln says. The growth has been led by vehicles such as the BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Range Rover Evoque.
Source: Automotive News

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Dried Out and Title-Scrubbed, Flooded Cars Lure the Unwary

At the far end of an enormous hangar, used cars rolled up one by one to the auction block. They had been buffed to a shine, but some carried telltale signs of damage. Puckered leather seats, a hint of mildew, headlights beaded with condensation. Just over two months ago, they had filled with seawater during Hurricane Sandy. The Insurance Crime Bureau said over 230,000 cars were damaged by the hurricane, predominantly by the ocean water that surged into seaside communities, filling engines and interiors with sand and corrosive saline. In most states, cars destroyed by flooding are required to have their titles marked, or branded, to indicate that fact. But clearing that scarlet letter can be as easy as re-registering for a title in another state that does not require the flood brand carry-over, a process known as “title washing." These shortcomings have provoked certain groups to warn about a deluge of unsafe cars hitting the market in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, including the National Automobile Dealers Association, which represents car dealers; and companies that sell reports on vehicle histories, like CarFax.
Source: The New York Times

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Acceleration, Not Speed, Behind BMW Diesel Launch in U.S.

BMW has a message for the incorrigible speed freaks looking for a more politically correct set of wheels in this era of energy efficiency: switch to a diesel. The German luxury carmaker is rolling out a new range of sporty new diesel sedans in the United States this year to complement its sole diesel offering - the X5 xDrive 35d sport utility vehicle - and believes the hitherto unloved powertrain will find greater acceptance in an age of downsized engines.
Source: Reuters

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Hunting for Designers

Like most of his generation, Mark West, chairman of the transportation department at the College for Creative Studies [in Detroit], grew up turning wrenches and tinkering with cars alongside his father in the family garage. But his 10-year-old son would rather play video games than play with tools. Although enrollment at the nation's top automotive design colleges, such as CCS, remains steady, automakers say they are having a difficult time finding students who love cars and have a passion for design. That's forcing design schools to find new ways to train students to become the hands-on car designers automakers want.
Source: Automotive News

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Quotable
"Pent up demand, affordable auto loans and enticing new vehicle designs add up to a solid sales year that will outperform the overall U.S. economy."

   
-- Paul Taylor, NADA chief economist, forecasting 2013 autosales, The Detroit News, Jan. 11
 

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