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Inside this issue
NADA Leaders Talk Facility Upgrades at the Detroit Auto Show
Toyota Set to Regain Worldwide Sales Title
Europe Woes Won't Derail Ford's Momentum, Executives Say
NADA: Used-Vehicle Prices Continue Upward Trend in 2012
Marchionne Wants All of Chrysler
German Auto Makers to Shake Up Luxury Market
As Sales Lag, Nissan Cuts Price on Leaf Electric
FTC Warns Small Businesses: Don't Open Email Falsely Claiming to be From FTC
Obama Tosses Auto Booklets into the Crusher
Sign of Good Times? Car Makers Amp Up Displays at Detroit Auto Show
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
NADA Leaders Talk Facility Upgrades at the Detroit Auto Show

Brick-and-mortar issues are on Bill Underriner's mind as much as shiny new cars and trucks -- even when walking the floor of the Detroit auto show. Underriner, the outgoing chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, was at the show Monday. When I asked him what's a hot topic for dealers this year, he talked dealership design. For example, he is building a new store that will put his service department, rather than the showroom, front and center. Underriner says NADA will release part two of its facility upgrade study at the NADA convention in Orlando next month.
Source: Automotive News

Editor's note: Glenn Mercer, industry analyst, will present the second part of NADA's facility upgrade study during a press conference on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 9 a.m. in room W312B of the Orange County Convention Center during the 2013 NADA Convention and Expo in Orlando, Fla. To register, visit www.nadaconventionandexpo.org.

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Toyota Set to Regain Worldwide Sales Title

Toyota Motor Corp. looks set to reclaim the top global ranking by sales from General Motors Co. With 2012 sales totaling 9.29 million vehicles, GM appears to have fallen behind Toyota, which has forecast global sales of 9.7 million vehicles for 2012. Volkswagen AG closed in on the two longtime rivals, reporting global sales on Saturday of 9.07 million cars and trucks for 2012, a record for the German automaker. Analysts expect the three automakers will be jockeying for the top ranking for years to come.
Source: The Detroit News

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Europe Woes Won't Derail Ford's Momentum, Executives Say

A more profitable lineup and lower costs protect Ford Motor Co from persistent weakness in Europe and increased competition in the U.S. auto market, Ford executives said. Ford doubled its dividend last week based on the financial strength of its first three quarters of 2012. The company will report fourth-quarter results later this month.
Source: Reuters

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NADA: Used-Vehicle Prices Continue Upward Trend in 2012

Used-vehicle prices continued an upward trend in 2012 increasing for the fourth consecutive year, says the NADA Used Car Guide in its latest Guidelines report. As a result of Hurricane Sandy, the average price of vehicles up to eight years old increased by 0.1% in December compared to November, an improvement from the 2 to 2.5% rate of decline typically expected in the month of December. December's strong showing increased used-vehicle prices by 1.2% in 2012, compared to 2011. “Higher trade-in equity on used vehicles will help encourage the release of pent up demand for a growing number of consumers who need to replace an aging vehicle or who are enticed by the large number of exciting new vehicles arriving at dealer showrooms this year,” said Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst for the NADA Used Car Guide. Click here for the January edition of Guidelines.
Source: NADAFrontPage.com

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Marchionne Wants All of Chrysler

Sergio Marchionne says Fiat SpA will end up owning all of Chrysler Group LLC, though he acknowledged that the process may get messy. The Italian automaker already owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler. The rest is owned by an hourly retiree health care trust run by the United Auto Workers — part of the 2009 bailout deal that gave control of the Auburn Hills automaker to Fiat. But Marchionne, who is now CEO of both companies, has long made it clear that he wants the whole thing. Last week, the UAW trust — known as a voluntary employees' beneficiary association, or VEBA — took the first step to taking part of its shares in Chrysler public again. Marchionne said Monday, at the Detroit auto show, that he welcomed the VEBA's decision to "explore" an initial public offering, but stressed that will not change the ultimate outcome. "Eventually, we'll end up having a merged company," he said.
Source: The Detroit News

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German Auto Makers to Shake Up Luxury Market

Germany's luxury car makers, fresh from record 2012 sales, plan to launch new, lower priced models that would draw younger, less affluent U.S. customers away from mass market brands such as Ford Motor Co., Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. On Monday, BMW AG unveiled a new version of its top-selling 3 Series sedan designed to have a starting price about $4,000 less than its current least-expensive $37,000 U.S. 3 Series. A day earlier, Daimler AG showed its coming 4-cyclinder Mercedes-Benz CLA, which executives hinted could start at a price just below $30,000. Audi is working on 2014 release of a four-door version of its new A3 compact expected to cost in the mid- to high $20,000 range in the U.S.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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As Sales Lag, Nissan Cuts Price on Leaf Electric

After disappointing sales last year for its Leaf electric car, Nissan announced on Monday that it was cutting the price of the base model in 2013 by 18 percent, increasing the car's driving range and offering two other trim lines with more features. The new Leaf S, which goes on sale in February, will be built in Tennessee and carry a suggested retail price of $28,800.
Source: The New York Times

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FTC Warns Small Businesses: Don't Open Email Falsely Claiming to be From FTC

The Federal Trade Commission is warning small businesses that an email with a subject line “NOTIFICATION OF CONSUMER COMPLAINT” is not from the FTC. The email falsely states that a complaint has been filed with the agency against their company. The FTC advises recipients not to click on any of the links or attachments with the email. Clicking on the links may install a virus or other spyware on the computer. The FTC's advice: Delete the email. For more information on malicious software (malware), visit www.OnGuardOnline.gov/malware.
Source: FTC

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Obama Tosses Auto Booklets into the Crusher

President Obama has signed legislation doing away with a 1972 law that required auto dealers across the country to have booklets on hand about the crashworthiness of their vehicles. For decades, the federal government has printed and distributed booklets containing crashworthiness information to tens of thousands of dealerships around the country. The law that required the books threatened dealers with $1,000 fines if they didn't make them available when customers requested them. Problem was, hardly anyone ever did. “For all of the years I've been in business, I cannot recall that a customer has ever asked to see the booklet,” said Bill Underriner, a multi-franchise dealer from Montana. “Printing and mailing this booklet has simply been made obsolete by technology.”
Source: The Hill

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Sign of Good Times? Car Makers Amp Up Displays at Detroit Auto Show

The Detroit auto show showed signs this week of the glamour and glitz once cast aside by slumping sales, rising gas prices and bankrupt auto makers just a few years ago. On Monday morning, Mercedes Benz trotted out singer Bruce Hornsby to tinkle the ivory on a Steinway grand piano, singing “The Way It Is” as an way to introduce models of the German auto maker's E Class. A former star of the television show Dawson's Creek drove in a new hybrid version of the car company's luxury line. Cirque du Soleil helped to usher in Inifiniti's latest offering. Bentley toasted its new convertible sedan with flutes of champagne for assembled guests just after noon. It's been a return to good times and strong sales in Detroit as all of the major auto makers put up strobe-lit, techno-music-thumping, smoke-machine-filled stands at this year's North American International Auto Show.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Quotable
"Higher trade-in equity on used vehicles will help encourage the release of pent up demand ..."

   
-- Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst for the NADA Used Car Guide, commenting on used-vehicle prices, NADAFrontPage.com, Jan. 15
 

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 Video: NADA Chairman, Bill Underriner, Speaks to the Automotive Press in Detroit (NADA-TV)

 
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