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Inside this issue
Video: NADA Executive Analyst Jonathan Banks Predicts Strong Auto Sales in 2013
April Sales to Match Q1 Pace, Almost
Colorado Auto Dealers Find Support in Legislature
Clean Diesels Finally Catching On
GM Changes CEO Pay Mix, Says He May Retire Within 3 Years
In Two-Way Charging, Electric Cars Begin to Earn Money From the Grid
Detroit Electric Sports Car, Geely Link Detailed at Shanghai
Audi Stars at 'Iron Man 3' Premiere
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Video: NADA Executive Analyst Jonathan Banks Predicts Strong Auto Sales in 2013

NADA Guides Executive Analyst, Jonathan Banks, predicts strong new and used auto sales for the rest of 2013. In a video interview on AutoFocus with David Hyatt, Banks reviews first-quarter results and discusses the positive impact the recovering economy is having on sales of cars and trucks. Click here for the full interview.
Source: NADAFrontPage.com

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April Sales to Match Q1 Pace, Almost

April U.S. light-vehicle sales could equate to the market's lowest seasonally adjusted annual rate since October, according to a WardsAuto forecast. U.S. auto makers are expected to sell 1.31 million cars and light trucks in the month, equivalent to a 52,205-unit daily rate (over 25 selling days) and 6.1% improvement from year-ago (24 days). While the resulting 15.1 million SAAR would be just a hair below the first quarter's 15.2 million, it also would mark the second consecutive month-to-month decline and the first time the SAAR has fallen below 15.2 million since surging to 15.5 million in November. Economic tea leaves come in a mixed bag this month.
Source: WardsAuto

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Colorado Auto Dealers Find Support in Legislature

Colorado legislators once again are siding with local car dealers over national auto makers. At a hearing late Wednesday, every member of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve a bill that requires all automobile manufacturer franchise agreements to conform to current franchise law rather than to meet the legal requirements when the contract was signed, despite officials from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM) calling the measure an “extraordinary” and “shocking” shift of the balance of power. The newest effort marks the fourth time in the past five years that the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) has brought a bill to the Legislature to give dealers more power in their negotiations with the national and international companies that supply them their products. The efforts — all successful — have included bills to bar manufacturers from requiring major dealership upgrades more than once every seven years and to require that auto makers that closed dealerships due to bankruptcy to give those dealers first right of refusal if they reopen a franchise in the area. The right-of-refusal bill resulted in a lawsuit against the state.
Source: Denver Business Journal

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Clean Diesels Finally Catching On

Every time we've driven a new diesel car lately, we've been amazed at how indistinguishable they have become from conventional gas cars. No clatter. No smoke. No rattling engine noise. Now it appears consumers are catching on: Registrations of diesel-powered passenger vehicles increased by 24.3% in the U.S. from 2010 through 2012, says an advocacy group, the Diesel Technology Forum. The increase is not as much as for hybrids, at 33%, but far more than overall registrations of all vehicles at 2.7%, the group says, basing its information on data from compilers R.L. Polk and Company. "Clean diesel and hybrid cars are showing consistent and impressive growth patterns in the U.S.," said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the forum, in a statement. Don't get to worked up, however. Although the increase is impressive, only 796,794 new vehicles were sold in the last year, 2012, they still only comprise about 3% of vehicle sales.
Source: USA Today

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GM Changes CEO Pay Mix, Says He May Retire Within 3 Years

General Motors Co. Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson's compensation mix was changed in 2012 to accommodate the possibility he may retire before his long-term restricted stock vests in three years, the company said. “We certainly wouldn't speculate on what he will actually do -- that's up to him,” Tom Henderson, a GM spokesman, said in a telephone interview. Akerson's compensation, which is subject to government review because of GM's 2009 U.S. bailout, increased 44 percent to $11.1 million last year, the Detroit-based automaker said in a regulatory filing.
Source: Bloomberg

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In Two-Way Charging, Electric Cars Begin to Earn Money From the Grid

Finally, payback for the plug-in. A line of Mini Coopers, each attached to the regional power grid by a thick cable plugged in where a gasoline filler pipe used to be, no longer just draws energy. The power now flows two ways between the cars and the electric grid, as the cars inject and suck power in tiny jolts, and get paid for it. This nascent form of electric car commerce will be announced on Friday by the University of Delaware, the regional grid operator and an electric company. They have developed a system to collect payments for work (balancing supply and demand moment to moment) that is normally the domain of power plants. The possibilities of using electric cars for other purposes are being realized around the globe.
Source: The New York Times

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Detroit Electric Sports Car, Geely Link Detailed at Shanghai

Detroit Electric car company, having revived a dusty, discontinued marque, showed off its Lotus-based hot rod at Shanghai, claiming it will go 155 mph flat out, and zip from standstill to 100 kilometers per hour (62 mpg) in just 3.7 seconds. The company also announced in Shanghai that it is partnering with Geely Automobile Group on an electric sedan for the Chinese market. The Geeley Emgrand EC7-EV is to go on sale in China next year, using what Detroit Electric describes as its "twin-speed, high-torque gearbox." Besides selling its own brands of vehicles, Geely owns Volvo.
Source: USA Today

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Audi Stars at 'Iron Man 3' Premiere

Audi gets a few bit parts in the latest installment of the Iron Man franchise coming to theaters, but at the Hollywood premiere Wednesday night, you would have thought that the brand had a starring role. Iron Man 3 star Robert Downey Jr. made an entrance with his wife in a blazing-red 2014 Audi R8 V10 Spyder. As if that wasn't enough, the sports car was escorted down Hollywood Boulevard by a cadre of cops on bicycles. He was later joined on the red carpet by co-star Gwyneth Paltrow. After the movie was screened at a pair of theaters facing each other across the boulevard, guests emerged to see more than 30 chauffeur-driven Audis arrayed across the blacktop in front of the theaters. In the movie, virtually all the cars were Audis, but they are never shown much.
Source: USA Today

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Quotable
"Clean diesel and hybrid cars are showing consistent and impressive growth patterns in the U.S."

   
-- Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, commenting on the increase of diesel and hybrid cars in the U.S., USA Today, April 26
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