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Inside this issue
Robust Auto Industry Sales Predicted For U.S.
New York Auto Show Aims To Turbocharge Rising Car Sales
Ford CEO Mulally Says He's Concerned About Japanese Yen
Market Remains Tepid, But Many New EVs Are on the Way
Hannibal Inspires GM's Girsky to Slash at Opel's Culture
Chrysler is California's Fastest-Growing Automaker For Second Year
A Secret-Agent Premiere for a New Range Rover
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Robust Auto Industry Sales Predicted For U.S.

Finbar O'Neill, president of J.D. Power and Associates, painted a picture of a U.S. automotive industry that is healthy and getting stronger, while the global outlook is bright except for Europe. In the U.S., new vehicles sales have already rebounded by more than 10% annually since 2010, O'Neill said at the 2013 Automotive Forum in New York City. This year, U.S. industry sales of new cars and trucks should exceed 15.3 million, up from 14.4 million in 2012, O'Neill said at the forum, held in advance of the New York International Show. By 2015, O'Neill said, sales of new cars and trucks should exceed 16.4 million.
Source: Detroit Free Press

Related Story:

Editor's note: The 2013 Automotive Forum, presented by NADA and J.D. Power and Associates, is being held in New York today. The full-day forum, hosted by the New York International Auto Show, brings together leaders from manufacturing, retailing and the media to discuss the future of the auto industry. Follow #2013AFNY on Twitter for live coverage throughout the day.

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New York Auto Show Aims To Turbocharge Rising Car Sales

General Motors jumping the gun on this week's New York Auto Show, by releasing photos of an the all-new 2014 Buick LaCrosse. The vehicle will be shown publicly for the first time at a Tuesday lunch in New York. It's one of several new cars that will be unveiled by General Motors in New York, including an updated Chevy Camaro, and an all new version of the Cadillac CTS. Car companies have been timing the introductions to try not to get lost in an onslaught of new products this year. “We're looking at just about a fifty percent increase in vehicle introductions this year, as compared to last year,” says Jeff Schuster, an analyst with LMC Automotive. “So, we're well above where we've been at.” Schuster says the New York Auto Show comes as car and truck sales have been stronger than expected to start the year. March appears to be shaping up to be another solid sales month.
Source: WWJ Detroit

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Ford CEO Mulally Says He's Concerned About Japanese Yen

Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally said he's concerned about the depreciation of the yen that's bolstering the competitiveness of Japanese carmakers. “The most important thing that most countries around the world believe in is letting the markets determine the currency,” Mulally said from Bangkok in reference to the Japanese currency, during an interview on Bloomberg TV's First Up with Susan Li. “That's just so important to all of us in the international trading system." The yen has fallen about 15 percent since mid-November, when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, then running for office, began a campaign to talk down the value of Japan's currency to revive the nation's export-led economy. That's bolstered shares of Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co.
Source: Bloomberg

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Market Remains Tepid, But Many New EVs Are on the Way

Are sales of electric-drive vehicles disappointing? No doubt. Has the buzz faded? Undeniably. So are electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids dead? Not really. Despite the gloom, electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are very much alive in the product plans of major automakers. Automakers will launch a wave of electric-drive vehicles over the next three years. Because of the industry's long lead times, these vehicles -- conceived in the heady days of EV enthusiasm several years ago -- will roll out into a market that seems to have gone ice cold. No one is predicting high volumes. But marketers still have to try to make inroads into the mainstream with high-priced electric-drive vehicles. It's probably the toughest marketing assignment in the industry right now.
Source: Automotive News

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Hannibal Inspires GM's Girsky to Slash at Opel's Culture

As General Motors Co. Vice Chairman Steve Girsky took a new assignment last year to stem more than a decade of losses in Europe, a colleague gave him a Latin phrase that translates as “I shall either find a way or make one." It's supposedly a quote from Hannibal in response to his men telling him it was impossible to cross the Alps with elephants, Girsky said last week in an interview, as he pulled up the Latin writing on his iPad Mini. While GM is the leader in China and the U.S., the world's two biggest markets, Europe remains spectacularly challenging. GM's goal of ending deficits there by mid-decade is just about as daunting as Hannibal's trip. Its European operations have lost $18 billion since 1999, including $1.8 billion last year, and the market continues to fall for a sixth consecutive year. More than just losses, Girsky, 50, said he is fighting a culture within Opel that sees itself as an entity totally separate from GM even after more than eight decades of control. From the start, Girsky said, he wanted to uncover what needed to be changed and made about 40 trips to Europe in the past year.
Source: Bloomberg

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Chrysler is California's Fastest-Growing Automaker For Second Year

Chrysler Group LLC was the fastest-growing automaker in California for the second year running, the company announced Monday. And its Fiat brand was the fastest-growing brand in the battleground state, with retail sales up 254 percent in 2012 over 2011. Overall, Chrysler's retail sales increased by 50 percent in the Golden State in 2012, while total industry sales increased by only 26 percent. Chrysler's registrations in California totaled 77,266 last year.
Source: The Detroit News

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A Secret-Agent Premiere for a New Range Rover

A conventional news conference would hardly suffice for the debut of the 2014 Range Rover Sport, Land Rover executives thought, so on March 26, the night before the New York auto show opens for two days of press previews, the new S.U.V. is to be revealed in a Hollywood-caliber video. The video's story line seems straightforward enough: a red Range Rover Sport is packed into a shipping container, which ultimately arrives in New York for the hero to take delivery. A frenetic crosstown dash amazingly leads to the vehicle's destination, the official unveiling in Midtown. The video will be broadcast on the Internet, and the live press event in Manhattan is expected to include an appearance by Daniel Craig, the reigning Agent 007 of the James Bond film franchise. The choice of location was no flight of a director's fancy, given that New York is the world's biggest market for the Range Rover Sport, according to the company.
Source: The New York Times

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Quotable
"North America has definitely turned around in a tremendous way in vehicle sales, and it just seems to get stronger and stronger."

   
-- Mark Schienberg, general manager of the New York Auto Show, commenting on rising auto sales, WWJ Detroit, March 25
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