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Inside this issue
Audi's Keogh Praises Tesla 'Cool' While Questioning Sales Model
NADA Convention Ranked as One of the Most Innovative Meetings for 2013
Price Gap Riles GM Dealers
Overdue Cherokees Are On Their Way at Last
After Running Hot, Market for Used Cars Is Cooling
Gen Y Drivers Crave Car Tech, But Can't Afford It
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Audi's Keogh Praises Tesla 'Cool' While Questioning Sales Model

Audi AG views electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc. as a luxury-brand competitor while questioning its choice to skip dealers and sell directly to consumers, Audi's top executive in the Americas said. Any automaker that can sell vehicles for more than $100,000 is a competitor in the luxury market, Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America, said Friday. “What the industry as a whole can learn from them is continue to push innovation, continue to have the challenger spirit,” Keogh said. Audi, Volkswagen AG's luxury unit, expects to sell more than 150,000 vehicles in the U.S. this year, setting a record for sales in the country that's its third-largest market, Keogh said.
Source: Bloomberg
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NADA Convention Ranked as One of the Most Innovative Meetings for 2013

BizBash, an industry magazine and online resource for event planners, listed the past NADA Convention & Expo as one of the most innovative meetings for 2013—ranking 10th out of 15 conferences held by corporations and trade associations this year in North America. BizBash says the strategy and design of conferences and conventions continues to evolve as hosts embrace new models for engagement to create an experience that provides value for attendees by addressing their needs and interests.

Zumba, makeovers, pinball and health screenings were interspersed with products and technology for the nation's new-car and -truck dealers on the floor of the NADA convention in Orlando this past February. The activities were part of a new strategy to get the 21,000 attendees to spend time at the event and to visit the entire 313,000-square-foot space. NADA convention planners created the lifestyle zones, dubbed “Cypress Isles,” in quadrants of the floor to create flow. An oxygen bar, chair massages and makeovers provided by Neiman Marcus drew the largest crowds, including conference attendees and spouses. “Our attendees appreciate the mental break,” said Melissa Wolpert, director of convention services and operations for the association. “And we've found some exhibitors like to be near those areas, so it is a good selling point.”
Source: BizBash/NADA

Editor's note: For more information or to register for the 2014 NADA Convention & Expo in New Orleans, which runs Jan. 24-27, visit www.nadaconvention.org.
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Price Gap Riles GM Dealers

New pickups must go up against heavily discounted rivals

General Motors' game plan for the most important vehicle launch since its 2009 bankruptcy amounted to producing a knockout next-generation pickup that would command top dollar. Critical acclaim for the redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra suggests that GM nailed the first part of that strategy. But as the new trucks hit the heart of their launch cycle, the pricing part appears to be running up against cold market realities. Many Chevy and GMC dealers say sales of the 2014 pickups have been disappointing since the June launch, stymied by stiff price competition from heavily discounted Fords and Rams. W. Carroll Smith, president of Monument Chevrolet in Pasadena, Texas, says his supply of Silverado crew cabs hit 170 days, up from the normal 110, amid a dearth of buyers. "We all know that it's a great truck," Smith says. "But [GM's] position is that the vehicle stands on its own and it doesn't need a bigger rebate. That's not what the market is telling us."
Source: Automotive News
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Overdue Cherokees Are On Their Way at Last

Car haulers loaded with 2014 Jeep Cherokees stick out on the flat farmland like elephants on the savannah -- lumbering behemoths easy to spot, even from miles away. In ones and twos they rumble the 15 miles west from Chrysler Group's massive Toledo, Ohio, assembly complex toward a former supplier-owned automotive testing center. The Cherokees were due in dealerships almost two months ago but have been held while Chrysler developed and installed new software to smooth out the way the engine, nine-speed transmission and innovative disconnecting drivetrain interact. To make sure the powertrain is working right, the automaker has been test driving each Cherokee before it is released for delivery. The process has been cumbersome, but after many weeks of delay, sources said Jeep expects to begin delivering Cherokees over the next 10 days. That's good news for dealers.
Source: Automotive News
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After Running Hot, Market for Used Cars Is Cooling

It was 9:30 on a recent Tuesday morning at Manheim Riverside, a wholesale auto auction, and more than a thousand used-car dealers were mulling in the desert heat. The bidders had gathered on the perimeters of Manheim's 10 lanes of cars, watching the vehicles cycle through 10 different auction blocks, at no longer than 45 seconds a pop. Over a collective din that drowns out the auctioneers, the dealers wink, nod or, for the less stealthy, raise a hand to indicate their bid. The wholesale auction is just one of the hundreds across the country that set the pace — and the price — for most Americans who buy used cars. Often viewed as an afterthought, the used car market is far larger than the one for new vehicles, with more than double the sales, and automakers pay close attention to the ebb and flow of its prices. And those prices are about to decline from some unusually high levels, analysts say. The average price of a used car surged 10 percent, to $16,474 in 2010 from $14,976 in 2009, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association. In the first seven months of this year, the average price has climbed 2 percent, to $17,926, over the same period last year. “It's always hard to find a good, clean used car, and it will always be that way,” said David W. Westcott, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association and president of Westcott Automotive, a Buick and GMC dealership in Burlington, N.C. “But is it better now than it was three or four years ago? Absolutely.”
Source: The New York Times
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Gen Y Drivers Crave Car Tech, But Can't Afford It

They have luxury-car tastes

So-called millennials are not only the most technologically savvy age group, but also the most willing to pay extra for advanced features in cars. Still, their budgets are limited while generally such features are still associated with luxury vehicles. That's according to a study released by research company GfK and the Consumer Electronics Association on "The Future of Automotive Technology." According to the study, three-quarters of people in Generations Y (ages 25-34) and Z (18-24) rank among the "most tech-interested" segments of car buyers. Both those generations were significantly above average — 70 percent of Gen Y and 61 percent of Gen Z — in reporting to be "especially interested" in car tech. "These two groups also indexed well above-average in their willingness to pay extra for a variety of advanced car technologies, including visual warning of nearby emergency vehicle activity, seats that automatically go to driver's preferred position, and spill-proof car devices," according to a news release. Meanwhile, Generation X (ages 35-44) showed average willingness to pay for new tech, while baby boomers (45-64) showed the least.
Source: Cars.com
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More Articles
 
Quotable
"My view of dealers is crystal clear because I have personally seen the leverageable advantage of a dealer." 

--- Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America, commenting on the value auto dealers, Bloomberg, Oct. 18

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Videos

  NADA Chairman Speaks to Detroit Auto Press (NADA-TV)
NADA Webinars
(All webinars begin at 1 p.m. ET. Click webinar title to register.) 

- 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.

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