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Inside this issue
Hyundai Motor Strike Cost $39 Million in Lost Production
Buick Borrows From Opel as GM CEO Seeks Global Savings
Subaru Bets Its Car Shortage Will Pass
GM Women's Retail Network Forms 20 Group
Wireless Phone Charging Next Big Thing For Cars
That 'Jetsons' Car May Not Be Far Off
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Hyundai Motor Strike Cost $39 Million in Lost Production

Union members at Hyundai Motor Co. staged a partial strike today that cost the automaker 43.5 billion won ($39 million) in lost output, with plans for another work stoppage tomorrow before resuming wage negotiations. The four-hour walkout by the Seoul-based company's 45,000 union members resulted in lost production of 2,106 vehicles, according to an e-mail from South Korea's largest automaker. The union said [Monday] it will hold another partial strike tomorrow before resuming talks with the management on Aug. 22. The strikes take place as the weaker yen gives Japanese automakers an edge in cutting prices or offering better incentives. Stalled wage talks at Hyundai Motor last year led to the costliest walkout in its history, before management agreed to reduce working hours with two shorter day shifts. The workers have gone on strike in 22 of the past 26 years.
Source: Bloomberg
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Buick Borrows From Opel as GM CEO Seeks Global Savings

Mustafa Yildirim from the Bavarian city of Fuerth overcame his concerns about bulky, gas-guzzling sport-utility vehicles after he came upon the Opel Mokka. “It was love at first sight,” said Yildirim, a 45-year-old caterer. “The Mokka has a beautiful exterior design. It's not as big as the BMW X5 or Audi Q5, and thus optimal for the city.” The small SUV, sold in Europe as an Opel and in China and the U.S. as the Buick Encore, represents what General Motors Co. Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson is pushing GM to do more of with the two brands. By working together, they can hold down costs and carve out a profitable niche between upscale Cadillac and mass-market Chevrolet, the company's global brands.
Source: Bloomberg
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Subaru Bets Its Car Shortage Will Pass

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the Japanese maker of Subaru-branded Outbacks and Foresters, has a problem any auto maker would love to have. Subaru-brand sales in the U.S. are up 27% in the first seven months of 2013, more than three times the market overall. The niche auto maker is on track for a sixth-straight year of sales gains, a period that includes the 2009 financial crisis that bankrupted two of Detroit's Big Three. But the sales boom has taken Subaru by surprise, and the company faces shortages of its newest models. That is forcing Japan's smallest car maker to ask some thorny questions about how much risk it can stomach if it wants to expand. Subaru plans to increase its Japanese production capacity by 15% by the end of August compared with 2012. Subaru also is investing about $400 million to increase output at its U.S. factory in Lafayette, Ind., by 76% to 300,000 vehicles by 2016.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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GM Women's Retail Network Forms 20 Group

A new 20 group for women who own General Motors dealerships met last week during the GM Women's Retail Network conference in Detroit. The 20 group, formed in May, is sponsored by GM and facilitated by the National Automobile Dealers Association, said Celeste Briggs, director of the retail network. Like those in other 20 groups, its members focus on financial statements and exchanging ideas. But the women-only group allows members to focus on issues facing female entrepreneurs and provides networking opportunities, Briggs said. "In addition to looking at the statements, it's those operational issues they may have being second-generation [dealers] sometimes," Briggs said. "How do you step into that leadership role? How do you assume the leadership role? They are learning from each other." GM formed the network in 2001 to nurture, retain and add to the ranks of profitable female dealers.
Source: Automotive News
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Wireless Phone Charging Next Big Thing For Cars

Wireless smartphone charging in your car may soon be as common as touchscreens and voice-activated technology. Powermat Technologies Ltd. will offer wireless smartphone charging on some 2014 General Motors Co. vehicles, Ran Poliakine, CEO of the Israeli-based firm, said in an interview with Bloomberg News. GM is an investor in Powermat — it has a $5 million stake — and the automaker joins a handful of other automakers racing to add the technology inside vehicles. To charge a smartphone in today's vehicles, a consumer must use a cord to draw energy from either a USB port or by a phone charger. But for those future vehicles equipped with a Powermat electromagnetic charging mat, a consumer needs only to place their cellphone on the surface to charge.
Source: The Detroit News
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That 'Jetsons' Car May Not Be Far Off

Tennessee's AutoXLR8R project is harnessing entrepreneurs to build up the state's automotive-industry ventures

Google's self-driving car and Elon Musk's electric Tesla might get the most headlines, but a new program in rural Tennessee is proving there can be automotive industry innovators anywhere. Tucked in the middle of the state, in a town called Spring Hill and a plant once occupied by now-defunct Saturn, is a new start-up accelerator called AutoXLR8R. All summer long, 10 teams of entrepreneurs have been at work building businesses around technologies that improve vehicular safety, emissions or energy-efficiency. One eliminates the need to plug in an electric vehicle. Another helps make it possible for the average person to ride in a self-driving car.
Source: USA Today
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Quotable
"There is nothing hotter in the U.S., or even the world, than automotive. It's what got us out of the recession." 

   
-- Tom Brewer, president of the Tennessee Automotive Manufacturers Association, commenting on the impact of the automotive industry on the economic turnaround, USA Today, Aug. 18
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