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January 29, 2013 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Inside this issue
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to Step Down
The Motor City Is Back in the Money
Auto Show Attendance Highest in Nine Years
GM Showers Kansas City With One of Its Largest Factory Investments Ever
Subaru Will Expand Ind. Plant, Add New Model in 2016
Porsche: Dealer Profits, Sales Per Store on the Rise
Automakers Build Buzz For Super Bowl Ads
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to Step Down

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who raised awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, said he is stepping down from his post, marking the latest exit from President Barack Obama's cabinet. LaHood, a Republican, brought a bipartisan element to the Democratic president's team. He announced his departure today on the agency's Web site. "I plan to stay on until my successor is confirmed to ensure a smooth transition for the Department and all the important work we still have to do," LaHood said in a statement.
Source: Automotive News

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The Motor City Is Back in the Money

Auto firms expect to report billions of dollars in 2012 profits, as well as dividends, profit-sharing

Three years after the city was wracked by bankruptcies, the Motor City is rolling in money. In the weeks ahead, the Detroit Three auto makers are all preparing to report billions of dollars in profits for 2012. Combined with 2011, when Ford Motor Co. earned $20.2 billion and General Motors Co. earned $9.2 billion, the past 24 months will represent two of the strongest consecutive years for the companies in decades. The rebound is extending beyond the companies themselves. Ford recently doubled its dividend to 40 cents a year, giving shareholders a larger cut of the spoils. The company is also likely to give union workers profit-sharing checks of more than $8,000 for 2012, based on its strong results in North America. Similarly, GM will send union workers checks of about $7,000. Both companies have also hired thousands of new workers and committed to add even more. "This is what recovery looks like. This is what all the sacrifices were about three years ago," says Rebecca Lindland, a senior analyst with IHS Automotive. "It's a completely different industry in Detroit."
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Auto Show Attendance Highest in Nine Years

Large crowds wrapped up the North American International Auto Show Sunday, with attendance hitting levels not seen in nine years. Nearly 103,900 people attended the show Sunday, beating last year's same-day total by more than 2,500. Overall, total ticket attendance was 795,416. Detroit Auto Show Chairman Jim Seavitt said this year's tally was the highest since 2004 when 808,833 attended.
Source: The Detroit News

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GM Showers Kansas City With One of Its Largest Factory Investments Ever

General Motors says it will spend $600 million to upgrade its Fairfax assembly plant near Kansas City, adding new systems and equipment that will make it one of the cleanest and most efficient automotive factories in the world. Among the improvements is a new 450,000 square-foot state-of the-art paint shop that will consume dramatically less energy and water, resulting in an estimated 50 percent reduction in energy use per vehicle, GM said. It will also introduce new processes for getting paint into cavities where corrosion can begin and new tub ovens that use less natural gas and electricity. GM will also install new metal stamping equipment in Fairfax that will enhance quality and reduce waste through greater accuracy.
Source: Forbes

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Subaru Will Expand Ind. Plant, Add New Model in 2016

Subaru will expand production capacity at its Indiana plant rather than build a new factory and will start making a new model there in 2016, the company said. At a press conference to unveil the plans, Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, president of Subaru-maker Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., also said Subaru expects U.S. sales to climb 9 percent to 365,000 units in 2013. "We'll be selling 1,000 cars every day," he said. The company expects its global sales to rise 6 percent to 750,000. Yoshinaga said the company will finalize details of the capacity expansion by March 31. The company is considering how to boost output at its Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. factory in Lafayette, its only overseas assembly plant.
Source: Automotive News

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Porsche: Dealer Profits, Sales Per Store on the Rise

With more new products coming, sales per dealership at U.S. Porsche stores should jump 30 percent during the next three years, says Michael Bartsch, COO of Porsche Cars North America. It's part of Porsche's plan to boost sales and profitability for its dealership base. Porsche forecasts that its U.S. sales will be 50,000 by 2018, up 43 percent from 35,043 in 2012 -- but executives say they don't need to add stores to achieve the growth.
Source: Automotive News

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Automakers Build Buzz For Super Bowl Ads

Marketing budgets have rebounded

Imagine spending about $8 million in 60 seconds. That's what at least seven automakers are preparing to do during Super Bowl XLVII, a sign that automotive marketing budgets have rebounded as competition for sales heats up. Teaser commercials featuring reggae singers, supermodels and TV stars have been released in recent weeks to build hype for Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Volkswagen and others. Conspicuously absent from the pre-game hype is Chrysler.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Quotable
"This was a true celebration of the automobile and a demonstration of the strength and resiliency of the auto business. The Detroit show is a true reflection of a strong, vibrant and more confident industry."

   
-- Jim Seavitt, Detroit Auto Show chairman, commenting on attendance levels not seen in nine years, The Detroit News, Jan. 27
 

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