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Inside this issue
Editorial: The Auto Market's New Normal
GM Shifts Executives Amid International Push
Jump-Starting Electric Vehicle Sales with Workplace Charging Stations
New Trend in Used Cars: Loans Stretch to 7 Years
Automania Strikes Boomers Supplanting Kids as Buyers
Editorial: Auto Dealer's Generosity Revives Students' Dreams
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Editorial: The Auto Market's New Normal

Sales are back to pre-recession levels, and so are customer needs -Washington should take note

U.S. auto sales have roared into the summer on pace to sell 16 million units for the year, a welcome return to normal, pre-Great Recession sales volumes after a harrowing few years that included two Detroit bankruptcies, a tsunami that stymied Japanese auto production, and a 30 percent rise in gasoline prices. The industry's rebound offers a chance to assess what has changed about the auto market since 2007 — and what has not. Indeed, the new normal looks a lot like the old normal. The return to normalcy is a vindication of Washington's intervention in the U.S. auto industry, helping to stabilize a sector that is responsible for 3 million American jobs and whose collapse could have pushed the economy deeper into recession. But it is also a cautionary tale of government overreach as millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on a green auto revolution that lacked a market. Today, despite industry turmoil, the major players are still intact with only Chrysler sold to another manufacturer (Fiat). And despite massive Washington incentives to push America's market towards a greener, more European product mix, gasoline-powered sedans and trucks still make up nearly 97 percent of new vehicle purchases. The new market looks like the old market, and is a reminder to automakers, their unions and Washington policymakers that the consumer still decides the direction of the industry.
Source: The Detroit News
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GM Shifts Executives Amid International Push

Auto maker puts particular focus on China

General Motors Co. shuffled its executive ranks again, placing its crucial China division under its own chairman while appointing the former chief executive of Swedish auto maker Volvo Cars to oversee the auto maker's remaining international operations. Stefan Jacoby, 55, on Monday joins as executive vice president of the auto maker's consolidated international operations, overseeing Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East. Tim Lee, 62, who had been president of the company's international operations, will become chairman of GM China. The position would allow a single executive to focus on GM's China operations, which include 12 joint ventures and 55,000 employees. Mr. Jacoby and Mr. Lee will report directly to Chief Executive Dan Akerson, the company said. However, the auto maker's financial results in China will continue to be reported under overall international operations, it added. GM's International Operations is the company's second largest profit source after North America. The move is a strategic strike by GM to bolster the auto maker's management firepower in China as the country grows in importance as the world's biggest automotive market.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Jump-Starting Electric Vehicle Sales with Workplace Charging Stations

Electric vehicle enthusiasts aim to boost the viability of the EV industry by encouraging employers to add charging stations

Electric cars will probably remain a tiny niche of the auto industry until drivers see a serious expansion of charging stations. But you can't just put one on every corner next to the gas station. The cars can take hours to fully charge, which would create a big parking problem, among other issues. Even if consumers bought electric cars in droves tomorrow, the infrastructure to keep them rolling would look much different. Charging starts at home, with a charging station that can cost drivers $500 to $2,000. But the real key to extending the cars' range, and easing consumer fears of running out of power and getting stranded on the road, may well be getting large workplaces to add chargers — allowing EV-driving employees to double their commuting distance or to run more errands.
Source: The Los Angeles Times

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New Trend in Used Cars: Loans Stretch to 7 Years

Used-car loans are getting longer, with the average used-car buyer taking out a 60-month loan in the first quarter, data from Experian Automotive show. Loans of 61 to 84 months made up nearly half of used-vehicle loans in the first quarter, Experian says. Lengthening of used-car loan terms "has been significant," says Tom Webb, chief economist for Manheim Consulting in Atlanta. Used-car loans of 61 to 72 months rose 6 percent in the first quarter from the year-earlier level, while those of 73 to 84 months jumped 23 percent. Loans with terms of 60 months or fewer declined.
Source: Automotive News

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Automania Strikes Boomers Supplanting Kids as Buyers

Last year, Dave Rodham bought two Ford Mustangs -- a red one because it looked cool and then a white one with a big V-8 engine because it sounded cool. For Rodham, 63 and retired, those were his 50th and 51st cars. “I have to have a new car every year-and-a-half to two years,” said Rodham, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, who said he pays cash for his cars. “After I retired 10 years ago, I didn't have anything else to do, so I went out and bought new cars.” For generations, car buying declined as consumers entered their golden years. Now, boomers are refusing to follow their parents' lead and go quietly into the car buying night. The 55-to-64-year-old age group, the oldest of the boomers, has become the cohort most likely to buy a new car, according to a new study by the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute. Graying boomers replaced the 35-to-44 year old age group, who were most likely to buy four years ago. The findings show there are plenty of miles left in boomers' automotive passions and pocketbooks. They also suggest the billions the auto industry spends to try to woo the elusive Generation Y, the children of the boomers, would generate a higher return on investment if targeted at older drivers.
Source: Bloomberg
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Editorial: Auto Dealer's Generosity Revives Students' Dreams

From time to time all of us obsess about the bad events or bad people we know — or that we know exist. Then something happens that makes us realize for every “bad” in the world there must be 100 “goods.” This past week we had some choice words to say about Nicholas Sturghill, the Houston filmmaker who has not lived up to a promise made by one of his representatives to pay for a college education for graduates of West Rusk High School. The scholarships were supposed to be made to East Texas Baptist University; a boon for students accepted and for the university. But the money was not forthcoming and, as questions mounted, Sturghill could not even be bothered to clear up the mess. It finally came to a head as a deadline loomed for tuition payments, with students caught in the middle. By the time the truth became clear, it was too late for most to shift to another university for the fall semester. It was a bleak moment. But just like that, bleak turned brighter in large part because of the actions of Fenton Motor Co., the Tyler-based auto dealer that does business in Longview. The company gave $100,000 toward the students' education.
Source: Longview News-Journal (Longview, Texas)
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Quotable
"For people who grew up and lived in the 20th century, the car was freedom, it was status, it was an extension of you, a visible expression of you and your personality. A 20-year-old doesn't see the car the same way." 

   
-- John Wolkonowicz, a Boston-based automotive historian and a former Ford Motor Co. product planner, discussing why automaker's should target baby boomers vs. millenials, Bloomberg, Aug. 5
Chairman's Column
NADA Welcomes Congressional Calls for Transparency on CFPB Auto Lending Guidance
Videos

 
What's Driving Auto Sales? (NADAFrontPage.com)


 Audi Scores High with Dealers (NADAFrontPage.com)


 NADA Foundation Helps Tornado Victims (NADAFrontPage.com)

More Videos

NADA Webinars
(All webinars begin at 1 p.m. ET. Click webinar title to register.) 

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

 For more information about the webinars, click here.

NADA Foundation News
Richard Strauss Inspires Family to Support Community through NADA Foundation(NADAFrontPage.com)

National Auto Dealers Foundation Makes Gift to Families First Health Center (Seacoastonline.com, Portsmouth, N.H.)

Peconic Bay Medical Center School of Radiology Receives Ambassador Grant (Riverheadlocal.com, Riverhead, N.Y.)

 
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