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Inside this issue
Last Chance to Register for Free Webinar: OSHA's New Hazcom Rule: What You Need to Know
FTC Stops Foreign Operation That Scammed Small Businesses and Nonprofits Into Paying Millions of Dollars for Bogus Online Directory
Honda, Detroit 3 Set Pace as March Sales Advance 3%
BMW's March Advance Trims Mercedes Lead in U.S. Luxury Race
MKZ May Lift Lincoln After March Sales Dive
Millennials Poised to Redefine the Auto Market
GM Expands [European] Auto Financing Reach with Ally Purchase
Beyond All-Wheel Drive, All-Wheel Steering
Chevy Silverado, Impala Become Ballpark Ornaments
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Last Chance to Register for Free Webinar: OSHA's New Hazcom Rule: What You Need to Know

Revisions to the Hazard Communication (HazCom) Rule require dealerships to train service, parts and body shop employees on new hazard classifications, new hazard labels and new safety data sheets by Dec. 1, 2013. Geared to dealers and their fixed operations managers, the MarketINSIGHT webinar, “OSHA's New HazCom Rule: What You Need to Know,” will review the basics of HazCom compliance with a focus on the new 2012 mandates. The webinar will be presented today at 1 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, April 3, by Doug Greenhaus from NADA's Regulatory Affairs Department. The HazCom rule, designed to protect employees against workplace chemicals, has covered dealerships since 1998 and has been a high enforcement priority. The webinar is free but requires registration. Click here to register.
Source: NADA University

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FTC Stops Foreign Operation That Scammed Small Businesses and Nonprofits Into Paying Millions of Dollars for Bogus Online Directory

At the Federal Trade Commission’s request, a federal judge has temporarily halted a Slovakia-based operation, Construct Data Publishers (also known as Fair Guide), for allegedly tricking small businesses and non-profits into collectively paying millions of dollars to be listed in an online directory they had no interest in being listed, nor understood they would be charged. The FTC is seeking to permanently halt the alleged scam and require the defendants to refund the fees. According to the FTC, the defendants send mailings to retailers, associations and others who attend trade shows [including attendees of the NADA and ATD conventions]. The mailings mention a specific trade show or exhibition and are designed to appear as though they are merely asking the recipient to update and check the accuracy of information for the “exhibitors directory” for the named trade show or exhibition. As alleged in the FTC’s complaint, the mailings include a form stating that the recipient’s basic information has been listed in the directory for free, and instructing them to confirm its accuracy or make corrections on the form. DO NOT SIGN OR RETURN THE FORM. The small print at the bottom obligates businesses to pay $1,717 or other large sums to Fair Guide.
Source: FTC/NADA Legal Affairs

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Honda, Detroit 3 Set Pace as March Sales Advance 3%

SAAR tops 15 million for 5th straight month; Trucks, crossovers big gainers

U.S. light-vehicle sales -- led by strong pickup and crossover demand at Detroit's automakers -- rose 3 percent to 1.45 million units last month, slightly below forecasts but a positive signal the spring selling season is off to a solid start. It was the industry's best month since 1.48 million light vehicles were sold in August 2007. The seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate, a broad sign of the U.S. market's overall health, rose to 15.25 million. Though it was at the low end of analysts' expectations, it was still the fifth consecutive month the SAAR has topped 15 million -- the longest such stretch in five years. Paul Taylor, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association, said that a late-month blast of wintry weather in some parts of the country may have curbed showroom traffic. "New car sales will continue to pace growth in the U.S. economy during the first half of the year, as consumers absorb the payroll and income tax increases and continue to spend more this year," Taylor said.
Source: Automotive News

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BMW's March Advance Trims Mercedes Lead in U.S. Luxury Race

BMW AG reported a 13 percent U.S. sales increase in March, cutting into the luxury-auto lead of Mercedes-Benz as both brands set records for the month. Sales for the BMW brand rose 27,078, helped by gains for the X3 and X5 SUVs, the German automaker said today in a statement. Mercedes posted a 6.5 percent advance from a year earlier to 24,646, the company said. The March results trimmed Mercedes's 2013 lead to 4,285 cars and SUVs as the two German automakers vie for the annual sales crown BMW has held for the past two years.
Source: Bloomberg

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MKZ May Lift Lincoln After March Sales Dive

Supply of hot-selling model gets to dealers after months of delay

Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln luxury brand may have finally hit bottom. The automaker said Tuesday that inventory of its all-new MKZ sedan is nearing launch levels, nearly four months after cars were originally slated to hit dealer lots. Lincoln sales fell nearly 23 percent in March to 6,825, and sales of the MKZ were down nearly 20 percent. Ford President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs said last month that Lincoln was no longer transporting MKZs from an assembly plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, to Flat Rock for additional quality inspections; Ford had also previously predicted inventory of the MKZ would be at launch levels by early April. The car had been expected at many dealers in December. For some dealers, new shipments of the MKZ came last month during typically one of the best sales months of the year, and the new sedans spent little time on lots. Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service, said Tuesday in a conference call that the MKZ is spending about 14 days on dealer lots before selling; the MKZ hybrid is on lots for about eight days.
Source: The Detroit News

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Millennials Poised to Redefine the Auto Market

For most automakers, baby boomers are the proverbial 800-pound gorilla that still drives the industry, the biggest buying group in terms of raw vehicle sales and, in particular, the generation spending the most for each of the cars they buy. But manufacturers are preparing for the arrival of a new group that could soon not only outnumber the boomers but also demand some big changes in the type and size of vehicles the industry produces. Generation Y, also known as the millennials, offer both tantalizing opportunities and major challenges, according to executives at this year's New York International Auto Show.
Source: MSNBC

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GM Expands [European] Auto Financing Reach with Ally Purchase

General Motors Co. subsidiary General Motors Financial Co. Inc. said Tuesday that it has closed on most of Ally Financial Inc.'s auto finance and services business in Europe and Latin America. Detroit-based Ally, a leading new car lender, said Tuesday it had received about $2.6 billion from the sale. The acquisition, announced in November, includes operations in Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. It greatly expands GM Financial's capabilities and is expected to boost sales for GM. GM Financial will offer retail and lease financing and dealer loans, among other services.
Source: The Detroit News

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Beyond All-Wheel Drive, All-Wheel Steering

The notion of making vehicles turn better by steering all four of their wheels has inspired engineers for decades. The United States Army experimented with all-wheel-steering jeeps during World War II, and the benefits to maneuverability of rear-steering have long been known to firefighters assigned to hook-and-ladder trucks. As demonstrated by its new flagship sedan, the Acura RLX, Honda Motor is taking its luxury division down the same well-traveled path. But the company is adding some new gloss to an old idea. The 2014 RLX, on display in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center when the New York auto show opened to the public on Friday, incorporates a feature that Acura calls Precision All-Wheel Steer. The system is intended to improve the handling of the front-drive RLX by adding steering capability to the rear wheels.
Source: The New York Times

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Chevy Silverado, Impala Become Ballpark Ornaments

Chevrolet said it will display its new 2014 Silverado pickup truck and Impala full-size sedan at Comerica Park when the American League Champion Detroit Tigers play their home opener on Friday against the New York Yankees. Cranes hoisted the vehicles onto high platforms at the ballpark, where Chevrolet has been the Tigers' automotive sponsor since 2010. The sponsorship gives the car maker's vehicles more exposure to consumers at the games and those watching on television. Chevrolet has long said its brand is an American tradition similar to baseball — and hot dogs and apple pie.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Quotable
"The industry is being fueled by cars, credit and confidence."

   
-- Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations at Toyota Motor Sales, commenting on strong auto sales in March, Automotive News, April 2
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