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Inside this issue
Chrysler Profit Rises 16% to $507 Million
Pension Gains for Ford, GM Free Up Cash for Core Business
Automakers Take on Silicon Valley in Search for Tech Talent
BMW Launches Its First Electric Vehicle, While U.S. EV Sales Double In First Six Months Of 2013
Former Auto Dealer Inspires Family to Support Community through NADA Foundation
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Chrysler Profit Rises 16% to $507 Million

Full-year forecast trimmed

Chrysler Group, riding sales gains in the United States and globally, reported net income of $507 million in the second quarter as strong sales of pickups and SUVs led the automaker to its eighth consecutive quarterly profit. Earnings rose 16 percent from the $436 million posted during the same quarter of 2012, Chrysler said in a statement today. The automaker reduced its forecast for full-year profit. Chrysler's U.S. sales in the quarter were 479,980, up 10 percent over the same period a year ago. The increase outpaced the industry's average rise of 8 percent. Of the automaker's brands, only its namesake Chrysler brand experienced a sales decline in the quarter. Chrysler is expected to record its 40th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains when July sales are reported Thursday.
Source: Automotive News

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Pension Gains for Ford, GM Free Up Cash for Core Business

While drawing car buyers and praise from the likes of Consumer Reports, General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. are getting a grip on pensions that will free up cash to develop future hits. GM and Ford, burdened by some of the largest pension obligations among all U.S. companies, said last week they see significant improvement in their plans because of rising interest rates used to calculate the cost of future payments to retirees. When rates rise, the cost today of those promises declines. So pension shortfalls that were many years in the making can shrink without ever-larger payments by the companies. Over the long term, this should allow more spending on the core business and less on retirees. That in turn creates a brighter outlook for the companies, which are already delivering more competitive cars like the Chevrolet Impala and Ford Fusion, and better-than-estimated profits.
Source: The Detroit News
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Automakers Take on Silicon Valley in Search for Tech Talent

Automakers have embarked on an ambitious drive to hire software "codaholics," an effort that is increasingly pitting Detroit against its technology partners in Silicon Valley. Just ask Raj Nair, who leads global product development for Ford Motor Co. Nair said he lobbied his niece to join the automaker as an engineer. But her passions lay elsewhere. She now works for Microsoft Corp., Ford's partner on its in-car entertainment and communications technology. "The auto industry is so much more high-tech than people realize," Nair said in an interview early this year. "So we're really competing against West Coast industries." Four years after a sweeping industry restructuring that included massive job cuts, Ford and its U.S. rivals need to hire thousands of engineers at a time when software is playing a much more prominent role in vehicle design than even a few years ago.
Source: Reuters
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BMW Launches Its First Electric Vehicle, While U.S. EV Sales Double In First Six Months Of 2013

The positive trend continues for electric vehicles. [Monday], BMW unveiled its first mass-produced electric vehicle, the BMW i3, which is expected to reach U.S. markets in 2014, at a cost just over $41,000 (before incentives or federal tax credit). For customers wanting to tackle the issue of 'range anxiety' – the fear of running out of electric charge – another $4,000 will get you a small gasoline-powered back-up motor. BMW's Chief Executive Norbert Reithofer is quoted in the Wall Street Journal as positioning the firm for the coming decades. In order to comply with current and anticipated regulations, Reithofer indicated “we need about 30% plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles for the year 2025.” The Journal notes that Daimler and General Motor's Cadillac brand are also working on luxury electric vehicles. All of these car companies are positioning themselves with the expectation that the market will be there. Recent news from the U.S. on that front is somewhat encouraging: Sales of EVs for the first half of 2013 reached 41,447 according to autos.aol.com, over twice the rate of sales in 2012. While this represents just over 1% of total U.S. auto sales, the trend is currently moving in the right direction. Thirteen models of plug-ins now populate our roads, and more are coming.
Source: Forbes

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Former Auto Dealer Inspires Family to Support Community through NADA Foundation

Former NADA President Richard Strauss says being involved with the Ambassadors program of the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation teaches his family a valuable lesson about the importance of supporting community organizations that can be passed down to future generations. “Having members of my family associated with the Ambassadors program allows them to experience the great feeling of pride that comes from making a meaningful contribution in our community,” said Strauss, who plans to name his grandson, Christian Strauss, an Ambassador this year. For more information or to become an Ambassador, contact the NADA Foundation at (703) 821-7102 or foundation@nada.org.
Source: NADAFrontPage.com
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Quotable
"When we were in our darkest periods, we took two very big bets. We wanted to be the fuel-economy leader in every segment we participated in, but we had to become the technology leader. Those were very big bets in very dark times when our resources were very finite. Now, Ford has been vindicated."

   
-- Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford, commenting on the automaker becoming a more high-tech company looking to embrace a new era in transportation, USA Today, July 30


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