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Inside this issue
Automakers Add More Capacity at U.S. Operations
Ford Can Expand Output Without New Factories in North America
6 Small Cars Ace Industry Group's Tough New Crash Test
Mercedes Narrows Sales Gap With BMW, Audi on Compact Cars
Automakers, Analysts Disagree on When Europe's Sales Will Finally Rebound
The U.S. is Hitting its Ethanol Limit. So the EPA May Relax its Biofuels Rules
NADA and Ally Survey Dealers on Charitable Involvement
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Automakers Add More Capacity at U.S. Operations

Automakers, enjoying the best U.S. sales since 2007, this week disclosed plans to spend $434 million to boost their capacity to make vehicles and engines. Chrysler Group LLC said it will add capacity and almost 300 jobs at a Michigan engine plant. Ford Motor Co. said it's looking to squeeze more vehicles out of every North American factory. Honda Motor Co. said today it will invest $215 million in Ohio, including about $180 million at an engine plant, the automaker said in a statement. The carmakers are responding to increased sales, including a 14 percent July jump in U.S. car and light-truck deliveries to 1.3 million, according to the Automotive News Data Center. The annualized industry sales rate, adjusted for seasonal trends, was 15.8 million, accelerating from 14.2 million a year earlier. The July results keep the U.S. on track for its best year since 16.1 million vehicles were sold in 2007.
Source: Automotive News
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Ford Can Expand Output Without New Factories in North America

Ford Motor Co. has boosted its North American vehicle making capacity by 600,000 vehicles during the past 15 months, and can keep expanding output without building a new factory, its North American manufacturing chief said on Wednesday. "There is a misconception that we are bumped up against our max capacity and…will have to build another plant," Ford Vice President of North America Manufacturing James Tetreault said on the sidelines of an annual automotive conference. "There is always ways of increasing production by analyzing constraints and breaking those constraints whether they are in our plants or our suppliers." By cutting new deals with the United Auto Workers to change traditional work patterns and adding shifts, the company has over the past 15 months hired 8,000 people, put on seven assembly shifts which has added 600,000 units of capacity. Ford's flexible approach to staffing and sourcing highlight an intensifying trend by auto makers operating plants in the U.S. to hold the line on expanding factory capacity after they were all forced to close plants and cut workers during the 2008-2009 recession. Most companies, due in large part to union concessions, are wringing more production from their current operations.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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6 Small Cars Ace Industry Group's Tough New Crash Test

6 other models in field fail to garner top ratings from IIHS

Half of the dozen small cars tested under tougher new frontal crash tests by an industry group failed. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said it was awarding its “Top Safety Pick +” award to the six models that did pass the new overlap frontal crash test introduced last year, which replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or an object like a tree or a utility pole. In the test, 25 percent of a vehicle's front end on the driver's side strikes a five-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 miles per hour. Small cars are the second-best-selling segment of cars behind midsize vehicles. As a group, small cars fared worse than midsize cars in the same test but better overall than small SUVs, the IIHS said. The two-door and four-door models of the 2013 Honda Civic are the only small cars to earn the top rating of good in the test. The 2013 model-year Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and 2014 model-year Scion tC earned acceptable ratings, which also qualifies them for the “Top Safety Pick +” honor.
Source: The Detroit News

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Mercedes Narrows Sales Gap With BMW, Audi on Compact Cars

Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz division narrowed the gap with luxury-car market leaders Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and Volkswagen AG's Audi in July as deliveries of the revamped E-Class model and compact vehicles surged. Sales of Mercedes-brand cars and sport-utility vehicles jumped 20 percent from a year earlier to 116,790 units. The growth outpaced increases of 14 percent for BMW-badged models and 9.8 percent at Audi. Daimler is pushing new models to return Mercedes to its rank as the top-selling luxury-car producer by 2020 while countering a contraction in Europe's auto market that's in its sixth year.
Source: Bloomberg

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Automakers, Analysts Disagree on When Europe's Sales Will Finally Rebound

Automakers and analysts disagree on when European passenger car sales will finally rebound from a six-year slump. Ford Motor Co. and Daimler see signs that the bottom will be reached this year. “We're not predicting any upturn yet, but there are certainly some good indications,” Ford of Europe CEO Stephen Odell said last month. “Our prediction would be that we're at or close to the trough.” Daimler said falling demand “seems to have bottomed out in western Europe.” The second half likely will bring gradual improvement, the company said during its second-half results presentation last month. Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is not as optimistic. The European car market will be stable at best in 2014 and 2015, he said, adding: “More realistically, we may see another decrease -- maybe not as violent or as deep as the ones we have seen for the last years." Rising unemployment will continue to sap consumer demand, Ghosn said. “I am preparing Renault for several years of market stability – at best,” he said.
Source: Automotive News
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The U.S. is Hitting its Ethanol Limit. So the EPA May Relax its Biofuels Rules

When it comes to ethanol, the United States appears to have reached its limit — at least for the time being. Back in 2007, Congress passed a law that would essentially require the nation to use more and more ethanol and other biofuels each year. But for reasons of chemistry and economics, those targets are becoming increasingly difficult to fulfill. That helps explain why, on Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency took the rather unusual step of announcing that it would look into ways to adjust those targets in the years ahead.
Source: The Washington Post
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NADA and Ally Survey Dealers on Charitable Involvement

Ally Financial and NADA have launched a quick, six-question survey that will measure the charitable contributions of new-car dealers across the country. For every survey completed, Ally and NADA will each make a $1 donation to Ways to Work, a nonprofit financial empowerment loan program that helps working families move beyond poverty through access to financial education and reliable transportation. Dealers will be notified by email with instructions to complete the survey. All results will remain anonymous. Ally, for the third consecutive year, is the sponsor of the TIME Dealer of the Year award, a national program that recognizes the industry's most successful new-car dealers who also demonstrate a longstanding commitment to community service. Heading into its 45th year, the program is co-produced by NADA. It's one of the auto industry's most prestigious awards for new-car dealers. Nominees for the 2014 award will be announced in October, with the winner announced at the NADA Convention & Expo in New Orleans on Jan. 25.
Source: Ally Financial/NADA

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Quotable
"Flat is the new up. The good news is that the decline will stop but the bad news is that it will not get better anytime soon."

   
-- Stefano Aversa, co-president of AlixPartners, commenting on when Europe's auto sales will rebound, Automotive News, Aug. 8
NADA Market Beat
July Sales Down From June, But Beat July 2012
Chairman's Column
'Accelerate' Your Business at the NADA Convention in New Orleans
Videos

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


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 NADA Foundation Helps Tornado Victims (NADAFrontPage.com)

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

- Aug. 21: Redefine the Aftermarket Customer Experience

- Aug. 28: Profit Paradigm: Stop the Big Squeeze

 For more information about the webinars, click here.

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

NADA 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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