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Inside this issue
Dealers Shop Less, Sell More at Auctions
House Panel Seeks to Cut Auto Retooling Loans
Toyota Finishes $90 Million Global Training Center for Mechanics
Retirees Help Smooth GM Vehicle Launches
A Black Box for Car Crashes
Aston Martin's Birthday Party Draws Thousands
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Dealers Shop Less, Sell More at Auctions

Taking in trade-ins, shipping out 'junk'

Franchised dealers relied less on auctions for used vehicles in 2012 than they had in more than a dozen years, data from the National Automobile Dealers Association show. On the other hand, those same dealers last year sold at auctions the biggest share of their used vehicles in more than a decade. The shifts in auction use came as wholesale and retail used-vehicle prices hovered slightly below the peaks reached in spring 2011. The average franchised dealership bought just 24 percent of its used inventory at an auto auction in 2012, down from 28 percent in 2011 and the lowest level since 22 percent in 1998, according to the annual NADA Data report released this month. Conversely, trade-ins -- on new- and used-vehicle purchases combined -- provided 61 percent of dealers' used-vehicle inventory in 2012, up from 57 percent in 2011 and the highest level since 62 percent in 1999.
Source: Automotive News
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House Panel Seeks to Cut Auto Retooling Loans

The Republican-led House Appropriations Committee said Monday it plans to cut the remaining funds in the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program, in part to pay for more wildfire fighting. The Energy Department has awarded less than $9 billion of the $25 billion that was approved by Congress in 2008 for auto plant retooling to create fuel-efficient cars. A $24.3 billion spending bill to be voted on Tuesday by an appropriations committee panel includes $1.5 billion in emergency funding for wildfire suppression. “Simply put, this bill makes very difficult choices in an extremely tough budget environment,” said Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, who heads the Interior subcommittee. The auto loan program has struggled. The Energy Department hasn't awarded any new loans in more than two years amid controversy over government loans to green energy firms following the collapse of solar panel startup Solyndra LLC.
Source: The Detroit News
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Toyota Finishes $90 Million Global Training Center for Mechanics

Toyota Motor Corp. [Monday] marked the completion of a $90 million training center in Japan aimed at boosting the skills of Toyota mechanics at dealerships around the world. The Tajimi Service Center will train about 2,600 mechanics per year at first, and 4,800 a year eventually, the automaker said. The center is part of Toyota's efforts to avoid costly recalls such as those in 2009-10, when the company recalled millions of vehicles. The center, in Tajimi City, includes a test course that simulates 13 driving conditions, including bumpy roads, cobblestones and wet surfaces. In addition to training dealership aftersales service staff, the center will perform r&d in repair and maintenance technology, the company said.
Source: Automotive News

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Retirees Help Smooth GM Vehicle Launches

They work with suppliers to prevent problems that might delay showroom arrivals

General Motors Co., in the midst of launching 20 new or significantly refreshed vehicles in the U.S. this year, is turning to some former white-collar employees to help it meet the challenge. Among the most important new vehicles are the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. Those big money-makers, last redesigned as 2007 models, are just hitting dealerships. GM North America President Mark Reuss said the launch is going smoothly, in part because the Detroit automaker has hired back retirees to work with suppliers. “With the trucks, we hired a lot of our retirees that were experts in these areas of the car and sat them in these suppliers so... they can help impart what's going to happen to the supplier when we start (full production),” Reuss said in an interview.
Source: The Detroit News
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A Black Box for Car Crashes

When Timothy P. Murray crashed his government-issued Ford Crown Victoria in 2011, he was fortunate, as car accidents go. Mr. Murray, then the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, was not seriously hurt, and he told the police he was wearing a seat belt and was not speeding. But a different story soon emerged. Mr. Murray was driving over 100 miles an hour and was not wearing a seat belt, according to the computer in his car that tracks certain actions. He was given a $555 ticket; he later said he had fallen asleep. The case put Mr. Murray at the center of a growing debate over a little-known but increasingly important piece of equipment buried deep inside a car: the event data recorder, more commonly known as the black box. About 96 percent of all new vehicles sold in the United States have the boxes, and in September 2014, if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has its way, all will have them.
Source: The New York Times
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Aston Martin's Birthday Party Draws Thousands

There was, of course, James Bond's car on display in Kensington Gardens

If you're a Londoner, there's nothing like a stroll through the Kensington Gardens on one of those rare, perfect summer days -- especially when you can take in an eyeful of historic Aston Martins. Such was the case Sunday as Aston celebrated its 100th birthday with a look at all its top models over the years. Aston says thousands turned out to see over 500 cars. Not bad when you consider that Aston has made only 65,000 cars in its entire history -- or about as many F-Series pickups that Ford has been selling in a single month. The event was staged by the Aston Martin Owners Club, which says it was the single largest gathering of the brand's cars in history. It also paid tribute, of course, to the brand's 50-year association as the car of choice of James Bond, Agent 007.
Source: USA Today
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Quotable
"We must raise the level of our repair and maintenance skills, serve the customer from the customer's viewpoint, and communicate thoroughly so that we can provide service directly to the customer faster and more accurately."

    --  Toyota President Akio Toyoda in a statement on the completion of a $90 million training center in Japan to boost the skills of Toyota mechanics at dealerships around the world, Automotive News, July 22



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NADA Webinars
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- July 24: Accessory/Service Drive Warranty Sales Success

- July 31: Master the Modern Internet “Phone-Up”

- Aug. 7: Buyers' & Sellers' Perspectives on the Market

 For more information about the webinars, click here.

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