View Mobile Version | View Web Version

NADA.org
December 30, 2013 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
nada.orgAdvocacyAffiliates | Convention | Jobs | Programs | Publications | Services | Training
Inside this issue
Workers at Auto Dealership Come Face to Face with Obamacare Trade-offs
This Time, 16 Million Sales Forecast Is on Merit
Ford Widens U.S. Sales Lead Over Toyota on Hybrid Models
'Dealer Guy' Takes Hyundai Helm
Google, Apple Forge Auto Ties
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Workers at Auto Dealership Come Face to Face with Obamacare Trade-offs

The 41 employees of Extreme Dodge in Jackson, Mich., are very familiar with trade-ins, but this year they’re learning about trade-offs as they come face to face with the new realities of health care. A few workers say they’re getting a great deal, but most have a severe case of sticker shock. “I feel like I’ve been taken to the cleaners,” said Neal Campbell, a salesman. The news was presented at the company’s annual benefits meeting earlier this month, when employees were told that the health insurance plan that the auto dealership had provided its workers was canceled because it doesn’t comply with the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. Rather than officially sponsor a new policy, the company -- voted one of the 100 best car dealerships to work for in the country last year -- will instead provide its employees with $2,400 apiece to buy their own insurance, or to pocket and pay the new federal penalty if they elect to go without it. That’s a little bit more than the company says it spent on health insurance this year. 

Dealership owner Wesley Lutz said his decision to go in a new direction was driven by the fact that health insurance is “incredibly expensive” and getting more so. He says he needs to be able to control his future costs. “As a business owner, we have to be viable first and then provide services,” he said. Lutz is not required to provide health insurance to workers, but has done so for 35 years. By not sponsoring a company plan, Lutz also enables workers to shop around and see if they do better buying insurance through the health insurance exchanges established by the new law, where some qualify for subsidies, or through buying a new group plan recommended by the company.  
Source: NBC News

[back to top]

This Time, 16 Million Sales Forecast Is on Merit

Experts: Product, not spiffs, will fuel 2014

Sixteen million is back — and it's likely to stick around for quite a while. New U.S. light-vehicle sales are widely expected to surpass 16 million in 2014 for the first time since 2007, the culmination of a long recovery from the disastrous recession. But little else about the auto industry today resembles the last 16 million-unit year, when automakers regularly overproduced and artificially raised demand by throwing blowout sales to get rid of the excess. The Automotive News Data Center estimates that the U.S. auto industry will post light-vehicle sales of 15.6 million units in 2013, which would be an 8 percent gain over 2012. So to reach 16.0 million, sales will need to rise 3 percent in 2014.

NADA has not issued its official 2014 forecast yet, but [Steven Szakaly, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association] said "16-plus" seems a safe bet. He said automakers need to avoid the temptation to push sales even higher by ratcheting up discounts; more flexible contracts between the Detroit 3 and the UAW mean there's no pressure to build more vehicles than the market can support naturally. "We're talking about a sustainable, profitable market above 16 million, which is wonderful. That's what you want," Szakaly said. "You don't want to get into an incentive war which gets you to 17 million and wins you sales but sacrifices profitability."
Source: Automotive News

Related story:


[back to top]

Ford Widens U.S. Sales Lead Over Toyota on Hybrid Models

Ford Motor Co. said U.S. sales for its main brand will surpass 2.4 million vehicles this year, as record demand for its Fusion sedan and hybrid models helps extend a lead over Toyota Motor Corp. namesake line. The Ford marque entered December ahead of Toyota by 388,825 cars and light trucks, heading for its fourth straight year as the top-selling U.S. auto brand. In 2012’s full-year tally, the margin was 322,521. The brand title reflects Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally’s strategy that the second-largest U.S. automaker would flourish by narrowing its focus. He sold off the Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin and Volvo luxury lines, shuttered Mercury and pushed the namesake brand to complement its strengths in pickups and sport-utility vehicles with more competitive cars. “We are not overly reliant on any one segment,” John Felice, the Dearborn, Michigan-based company’s vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, said in a statement today. “With 16 launches next year, we’re looking to keep our sales momentum going.”
Source: Bloomberg

[back to top]

'Dealer Guy' Takes Hyundai Helm

Zuchowski succeeds Krafcik amid slowing U.S. sales momentum

It's a new era at Hyundai Motor America. Last week's appointment of Dave Zuchowski as CEO puts the Korean brand's U.S. arm in the hands of a 33-year auto industry veteran with deep experience on the retail side of the business, at a time in which sales growth is slowing. Zuchowski, who came to Hyundai as U.S. sales chief in 2007, was previously vice president of sales and field operations at Mazda North American Operations. He began his career in 1980 at Ford Motor Co., where he held numerous executive positions in regional management, product marketing, merchandising and field operations at the Ford and Lincoln-Mercury divisions. Zuchowski, 55, succeeds John Krafcik, 52, an engineering and product-development specialist and big thinker who steered the Hyundai brand to record U.S. sales and market share over his five-year tenure as CEO. Zuchowski begins the new post Jan. 1.

Scott Fink, chairman of Hyundai's dealer council and owner of three Hyundai dealerships in Florida, says Hyundai dealers were "thrilled" to hear of Zuchowski's promotion. Dealers have been generally pleased with Hyundai's consistent approach to incentive spending, which has helped their profit margins, and its hands-off approach to implementing facility improvements. "He is a dealer guy," Fink said in an interview last week. "He understands the business, he can talk to the dealers, he can talk to the Koreans. He's a brilliant guy."
Source: Automotive News

[back to top]

Google, Apple Forge Auto Ties

Consumer Electronics Show to Spotlight In-Car Digital Race

Technology giants Google Inc. and Apple Inc. are about to expand their battle for digital supremacy to a new front: the automobile. Next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Google and German auto maker Audi AG plan to announce that they are working together to develop in-car entertainment and information systems that are based on Google's Android software, people familiar with the matter said. They also plan to disclose collaborative efforts with other automotive and tech companies, including chip maker Nvidia Corp., to establish Android as an important technology for future vehicles. The aim is to allow drivers and passengers to access music, navigation, apps and services that are similar to those widely available now on Android-powered smartphones.
Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

[back to top]

More Articles
 
Quotable
"The car is becoming the ultimate mobile device. Apple and Google see that and are trying to line up allies to bring their technology into the vehicle."

   
-- Thilo Koslowski, an analyst at the research firm Gartner Inc., who specializes in advanced in-car electronics, The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 29
NADA Market Beat
November SAAR Highest Since May 2007
Chairman's Column
Countdown to the 2014 NADA Convention & Expo
Videos

  NADA Chairman Speaks to Detroit Auto Press (NADA-TV)
NADA Foundation News
Ambassador Spotlight: Richard Kull Promoted Charitable Giving through the NADA Foundation
Search Back Issues | Unsubscribe | Subscribe | Manage your subscription | email us
NADA For more information on NADA, visit www.nada.org or contact NADA, 8400 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102. This email may contain an advertisement of NADA products and services. Any opinions or statements contained herein do not necessarily reflect the views of NADA. Factual errors are the responsibility of the listed publication. If you are a franchised new-car or -truck dealer and would like to become a member of NADA, please visit the Join NADA section of www.nada.org. Questions or comments concerning NADA Headlines content may be directed to publicaffairs@nada.org .