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Inside this issue
GM Prods Dealers to Sell Cars Online
Video: Bill to Help Reduce Auto Emissions Red Tape
Ford: More Flexibility in Manufacturing Lines Means Better Value
Honda Plots U.S. Hybrid Resurgence Starting With Accord
Commentary: NADA Endorses Hiring Our Heroes Program
Japanese Automakers Hope to Make Cars Cool Again
0 to 100: New Dealership Reputation Rating System Launches
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
GM Prods Dealers to Sell Cars Online

General Motors Co. plans to expand a new online shopping tool that allows customers to bypass showrooms when buying new cars. The software, which keeps GM's 4,300 dealers central to the sale of its vehicles, will provide a high-profile test of whether the auto maker can better cater to online-savvy consumers without running afoul of state franchise laws that give dealers exclusive rights to sell most new cars. By the end of this year, GM plans to extend a Web-based application, called Shop-Click-Drive, to its entire dealer network.

The app would let new-car buyers use their computer screen to lock in the price of a new car, get an estimate of the trade-in value of their old car, apply for financing and even arrange a test drive or delivery of their new vehicle. GM dealers aren't required to participate in the project, and GM officials say they have had some dealers turn it down. One potential sticking point is that the auto maker for several years has pressured dealers to undertake costly makeovers of their stores—investments that could be undermined if more shoppers buy online. About 100 other dealers have signed up so far through a pilot launched in January in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Arizona.

"My initial reaction was we have investment in brick and mortar, and they're trying to come up with an idea contrary to that," said Todd DeNooyer, general manager at DeNooyer Chevrolet in Kalamazoo, Mich., which was among the first batch of dealers to test GM's shopping app. But Mr. DeNooyer said he was intrigued by the idea because he is an Amazon.com customer and was curious to see if a similar business model would work for autos. "We're trying to gear it to millennials who want to take it as far as they can online," he said.

GM says the program isn't intended to replace dealers or their showrooms, but rather to give its dealers a way to reach a growing group of customers, many of them young and tech-savvy, who prefer to complete transactions online and skip the showroom ritual. Of the 900 cars sold so far through the Shop-Click-Drive program, only five have been delivered directly to customers. The vast majority of buyers chose to pick up their new purchases at a showroom.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Video: Bill to Help Reduce Auto Emissions Red Tape

For decades, the Clean Air Act has helped to reduce pollution by regulating auto emissions standards. The law also requires car dealers to show customers paperwork proving a car meets those standards. But some dealers, like Bill Reineke of Reineke Family Dealerships, say the paperwork is costing them time and money. "It's a waste of time," said Reineke. That's because, now, all cars are required to have a sticker under the hood that states the same information on the paper. The information can also be found online. Republican Congressman Bob Latta introduced a bill alongside Democratic Rep. Gary Peters (Mich.) to amend the Clean Air Act, and repeal what he calls a "duplicative mandate." The bill already has 75 co-sponsors. Reineke hopes it passes soon.
Source: WTVG-TV (Toledo, Ohio)
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Ford: More Flexibility in Manufacturing Lines Means Better Value

One hundred years after the introduction of the first moving automobile assembly line, Ford Motor Co. plans to make its vehicle manufacturing lines more flexible than ever. The Dearborn automaker's 37 assembly facilities will manufacture an average of four different vehicles each by 2017, Ford said Monday, which will allow it to increase global vehicle production to 8 million. Ford likely will manufacture 6 million vehicles this year and averages about 3¼ models or model variants per assembly facility. “We're accelerating our efforts to standardize production, make factories more flexible and introduce advanced technologies to efficiently build the best vehicles possible at the best value for our customers no matter where they live,” said John Fleming, Ford's executive vice president of global manufacturing, speaking at an event at the automaker's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne. Fleming said Monday that Ford could manufacture as many as six vehicles per assembly factory, but that shuffling parts for six different automobiles into one facility would create some significant complexities.
Source: The Detroit News

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Honda Plots U.S. Hybrid Resurgence Starting With Accord

Honda Motor Co., first to sell hybrids in the U.S., plans a gasoline-electric lineup overhaul starting with an Accord Hybrid it says tops Toyota Motor Corp. and Ford Motor Co. sedans as it seeks relevancy in the segment. The 2014 version of Tokyo-based Honda's flagship sedan goes on sale Oct. 31, with a base price comparable with a V-6 engine version of the Accord, and that's rated as getting 50 miles (80 kilometers) per gallon in city driving. That's just the start, said John Mendel, executive vice president of the U.S. unit. Honda needs better-selling hybrids. Current models, including the Insight hatchback, CR-Z coupe and a version of the Civic, generate a fraction of Prius deliveries. Honda's Insight beat the Toyota hybrid to the U.S. by about six months. Yet the company that led U.S. fuel economy ranking for years stumbled in designing a compelling challenger to Prius.
Source: Bloomberg
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Commentary: NADA Endorses Hiring Our Heroes Program
By David Westcott / NADA Chairman

The men and women of the U.S. armed forces, who bravely served and fought for our country, are facing huge hurdles when trying to find employment after leaving the military. There are 800,000 veterans without jobs, and with more than 1 million service members expected to leave the military over the next five years, we are called to help serve those who have served us. Veterans deserve a fighting chance when they return home. And that starts with finding a job. To join in this effort, the National Automobile Dealers Association has partnered with Hiring Our Heroes to raise awareness of career opportunities available at new-car and -truck dealerships. Hiring Our Heroes, sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, is a nationwide effort to help veterans and their spouses find jobs in communities across America. For more information, visit www.nada.org/hiringourheroes.
Source: NADA Public Affairs
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Japanese Automakers Hope to Make Cars Cool Again

While Toyota President Akio Toyoda is on the cusp of a record year for profit, kids nowadays make him nervous. They're so clueless that boys without cars have the nerve to ask girls out. “In the past, if you wanted to date someone, you couldn't ask her out if you didn’t have a car,” Toyoda, 57, told a packed auditorium of about 900 Meiji University students in Tokyo on Sept. 26. “It's all changed now. Money goes on monthly phone bills. Also, parking’s expensive and it's easy to get around Tokyo on public transport.” Though he's kidding about the dating, the underlying theme is no joke. Among the biggest conundrums facing automakers: how to make cars cool again.
Source: Detroit Free Press
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0 to 100: New Dealership Reputation Rating System Launches

How does your dealership rate? There's a new way to find out, as a new online scoring system for dealership reputation rolled out this week to compare dealers against others within their area. Called Consumer Perception Rating, the new website is located at www.ConsumerPerceptionRating.org or www.myCPRscore.org, and provides dealerships with a CPR Score its creator calls an "unbiased, overall online reputation rating based on how consumers as a whole perceive a dealer's reputation." The service works like a credit score, using key metrics such as reviews and ratings from the industry's most influential review sites to generate an independent, third-party, consolidated, consumer-driven score. Dealerships are given a CPR Score, based on a 100-point scale, which consumers can then compare against the scores of other dealerships in their area.
Source: Auto Remarketing
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Quotable
"When this was first introduced, there was a lot of talk: 'Well, GM is eliminating the dealerships. They want to be Tesla.' To me, this is just another way to close the customer [deal]. It's a selling tool."

   
-- Lenny George, general manager at Berger Chevrolet in Grand Rapids, Mich., whose store was selected to test GM’s new online shopping tool, Shop-Click-Drive, The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 6
NADA Market Beat
Auto Sales Subdued for September
Chairman's Column
NADA Meets with GM Board of Directors
Videos

 
Audi Training Venture with NADA Improves Showroom Experience (NADAFrontPage.com)


 Audi Dealer Gains Edge with NADA University Online (NADAFrontPage.com)


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

More Videos

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

-Oct. 9: Avoid Facility Design and Construction Mistakes

-Oct. 16: What Bankruptcy Can and Cannot Do for Your Dealership

-Oct. 23: Millenials: Driving the Next Car Evolution

-Oct. 30: The Four Service Sheets

-Nov. 6: Buy-Sell Transaction Tips and Tricks

-Nov. 13: U.S. Car Sales – The Year in Review and a Look Ahead

-Nov. 20: DMS Access Concerns (Part II)

 For more information about the webinars, click here.

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

Miami Township Firehouse Education Revitalized with Donation (Cincinnati.com)
 
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