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Inside this issue
Tesla Takes on Texas Auto Franchise Laws
Probe of U.S. Electric-Car Loans Pledged By Republican Issa
Ford, Honda, Toyota Make Case For Lower Tax Rates, More Consistent Regulations
W.Va. Legislature Passes Stricter Seat Belt Bill; Heads to Governor For Signature
Toyota, Other Japanese Automakers Recall 3.4 Million Vehicles Over Airbag
All in the Families: Ford and Fiat Buck Trends, Remain Family Owned
NADA University Now Accepting Workshop Proposals for the 2014 NADA Convention
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Tesla Takes on Texas Auto Franchise Laws

Bills that would create an exception for American-owned manufacturers who exclusively make electric vehicles have been filed in the Texas House…. The bills are being opposed by the Texas Automobile Dealers Association, the state trade association for franchised new car and truck dealers. Bill Wolters, the association’s president, said that, while Tesla is a niche player, the bills could open the door to larger manufacturers coming into Texas and attempting to sell directly to customers. That ultimately would hurt consumers, he said, because franchise dealers compete with each other to keep prices down and they serve customers in rural communities. “This really boils down to the consumer,” Wolters said. “What happens if someone like Tesla, who is a very small organization and always will be a very small niche player, but if they change the franchise laws, it allows every other manufacturer to come in and do what Tesla is going to — compete with our family-owned businesses.”
Source: Austin American-Statesman

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Probe of U.S. Electric-Car Loans Pledged By Republican Issa

A U.S. House panel chairman said he'll accelerate a probe into the Energy Department's loans for alternative-fuel vehicles after Fisker Automotive Inc. dismissed most of its workers and hired bankruptcy lawyers. U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who leads the Government Reform and Oversight Committee, said Tuesday he wants to examine whether Fisker should have received a loan, and whether the company's difficulties caused the government to slow awards to other companies that might have been better able to produce cars. Fisker "is a design company, not a manufacturing company," Issa said in an interview. "It was destined to fail from the beginning. The greater concern is, does this affect more viable companies, whether they received loans or not."
Source: Bloomberg

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Ford, Honda, Toyota Make Case For Lower Tax Rates, More Consistent Regulations

Officials with Ford, Honda and Toyota, as well as with some key suppliers, told a congressional subcommittee [Wednesday] that lower tax rates, more consistent regulations and a better-trained workforce would help ensure a strong auto manufacturing sector into the future. The hearing, convened by the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, saw the three competitors largely in agreement in terms of the need for government not to pass along burdensome regulations and to set tax rates and incentives in a consistent manner.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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W.Va. Legislature Passes Stricter Seat Belt Bill; Heads to Governor For Signature

West Virginia police will soon be able to pull drivers over for not wearing a seat belt, after the state Senate passed a stricter seat belt law. Seat belt use is already mandatory. But the new law makes it a primary offense, meaning a driver would not have to be stopped for another violation first. The bill passed the Senate on a 24-10 vote Wednesday after contentious debate in the House and narrow passage two weeks ago. The fine for failing to wear a seat belt would be $25, with no court costs or points on a driver's license. The state police and other supporters say the bill will increase seat belt use and save lives.
Source: Associated Press

Editor's note: NADA applauds the efforts of the West Virginia Automobile and Truck Dealers Association on their effort to advance this legislation to help keep drivers safe.

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Toyota, Other Japanese Automakers Recall 3.4 Million Vehicles Over Airbag

Japanese automakers including Toyota, Nissan and Honda are recalling about 3.4 million vehicles worldwide due to defective airbags supplied by Takata Corp. Toyota is recalling about 1.73 million vehicles produced between November 2000 and March 2004, including 580,000 vehicles in North America and 490,000 vehicles in Europe. Honda is recalling about 1.14 million vehicles, while Nissan said it may call back 480,000 vehicles. Mazda said it recalled 45,463 units.
Source: Reuters

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All in the Families: Ford and Fiat Buck Trends, Remain Family Owned

For many on Wall Street, family-run corporations are anachronisms that stand in the way of maximizing shareholder value. But two of the largest automakers in the world — Ford Motor Co. and Fiat SpA, which also owns a controlling stake in Chrysler Group LLC — remain firmly in the hands of the descendents of the men who founded them more than a century ago. And the chairmen of both companies say that is a good thing for workers and shareholders alike. Though Ford's stock is publicly traded, the Ford family retains controlling interest in the company through their exclusive ownership of its super-voting Class B shares. Fiat also is publicly traded but still controlled by the Agnelli family, albeit through a different mechanism. Last month, The Detroit News conducted exclusive interviews with the chairmen of both automakers: Bill Ford Jr., the great-grandson of Henry Ford, and John Elkann, the great-great-grandson of Fiat founder Giovanni Agnelli. Both of their companies have weathered some of the worst storms in their storied histories over the past decade, and both men say it is their families' continued control that helped each survive their recent near-death experiences.
Source: The Detroit News

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2014 NADA Convention
NADA University Now Accepting Workshop Proposals for the 2014 NADA Convention

NADA University is now accepting proposals for workshops on car and truck industry topics for the 2014 NADA convention, which will be held Jan. 24-27 in New Orleans. Each workshop proposal should include a title, synopsis, learning objectives, presentation format and a 60-second video clip. For detailed instructions or to begin the submission process, click here. The deadline to submit a workshop proposal is 5 p.m. EDT, Friday, May 11. The selections panel will meet in June to select the workshops they determine will be of the most interest to the membership. Those who submitted proposals will be notified by July 22 whether they were selected. 

Those interested in submitting a workshop proposal are encouraged to participate in the webinar “Tips for Submitting a Great Workshop Proposal” at 2 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, April 17. This informative webinar will walk attendees through the submission process, highlight what the selections panel considers when choosing workshops, share examples of quality video submissions and answer questions. To register, click here.
Source: NADA University

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More Articles
 
Quotable
"It provides stability. People know I'm not going anywhere. They know I'm accountable, and they know that if we hit a difficult patch, that I'm not going to take a golden parachute and disappear."

   
-- Bill Ford Jr., chairman of Ford, commenting on how remaining a family owned business has helped the automaker survive, The Detroit News, April 11
Videos

 Video: Relief Efforts Continue Months After Hurricane Sandy (NADA-TV) 

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Chairman's Column
Consumer Protection Agency Reportedly Targets Dealer-Assisted Financing
NADA University
MarketINSIGHT Webinars

(All webinars begin at 1 p.m. EDT, unless noted otherwise. Click webinar title to register.)

- April 17: Do You Know Today’s Customer?

- April 17: Tips for Submitting a Great Workshop Proposal (2 p.m.)

- April 24: Success in a Changing Loyalty Landscape

- May 1: Prospect Your Way to Greatness

- May 8: Facilities Study Results You Need to Know

- May 15: Twenty-two Minutes to Driving Traffic!

- May 22: Multiply & Conquer With Multichannel Marketing

- May 29: Create a Task-Based Accounting Office
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