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Inside this issue
U.S. Commerce Chief Praises Resilience of Auto Industry
Akerson Bids GM, Detroit Farewell
Pent-up Demand Just Starting, Expect 17 Million Sales in 2015, Says Citi Analyst
Subaru on Track For 500,000 U.S. Sales By 2016, Says Doll
Count On Them: Death, Taxes and Used Vehicles
Toyota Tops 1 Million in Global Hybrid Sales, But Growth Slows
Ford CEO Mulally Seeks Driver Privacy Laws
Facebook Exec Says Network Has Untapped Potential to Influence Car Shoppers
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
U.S. Commerce Chief Praises Resilience of Auto Industry

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker lauded Detroit's resilient automotive industry and its scores of innovators in a wide-ranging speech Wednesday to the Detroit Economic Club at the North American International Auto Show. Pritzker touched on topics ranging from the importance of manufacturing to the rebounding housing market and need for immigration reform. She said the Motor City plays an important role because of its booming auto business, strong exports and history of product-makers. “The automotive sector and its record over the past few years is resilience defined,” she said. “Out of crisis, a phoenix has arisen. The auto industry's ability to reinvent itself is one of the most remarkable stories I've seen in my 27 years in business.”
Source: The Detroit News
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Akerson Bids GM, Detroit Farewell

Departing CEO most proud of J.D. Power award, company IPO

General Motors Co. newly retired Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson, in his farewell to Detroit, talked about joining GM’s board and moving into the top job. He also reflected on its bankruptcy and subsequent success, how he has worked to streamline the company and on GM’s new CEO Mary Barra, the first woman to lead an automaker. Akerson, 65, answered Automotive News' Editor-in-Chief Keith Crain’s questions in a wide-ranging fireside-chat style interview that lasted about 50 minutes. He said he hopes he can look back at GM in 2025 or 2030 and say he was part of the success. He said he thinks Barra will do “extraordinarily well.”
Source: The Detroit News

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Pent-up Demand Just Starting, Expect 17 Million Sales in 2015, Says Citi Analyst

Auto sales will be stronger than expected this year and next because pent-up demand isn't used up but just starting, says Itay Michaeli, head of auto research for Citi Investment. He sees U.S. light-vehicle sales of 16.4 million this year, at the top end of the range of most forecasters. But his 2015 outlook for 17 million sales is significantly higher than the pack. His reasoning? It's not the age of vehicles on the road that creates new-vehicle demand, but the age of the vehicles being scrapped, he told the Automotive News World Congress. And what he calls the scrapping cycle is about to shift into high gear.
Source: Automotive News
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Subaru on Track For 500,000 U.S. Sales By 2016, Says Doll

Subaru of America sales will likely grow to 500,000 units by 2016 as the brand adds capacity at its only U.S. plant, said company President Tom Doll. Subaru has been one of the fastest growing brands in the United States during the past five years. Sales last year jumped 26 percent to 424,683 vehicles. Speaking at the Automotive News World Congress today, Doll said Subaru will "have to moderate that growth." Subaru will focus on improving its customer service and dealer service capacity, he said.
Source: Automotive News
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Count On Them: Death, Taxes and Used Vehicles

Death and taxes are two things we know we can count on
 
Here's one more: The new cars and trucks on display this week at the Detroit auto show will become used vehicles someday. That's why folks including Larry Dixon, an analyst with NADA Used Car Guide, and Eric Ibara and Alec Gutierrez, analysts with Kelley Blue Book, spent time at the show looking at what's coming down the road. Dixon, Ibara and Gutierrez studied new-vehicle attributes such as exterior styling, engine specs, fuel economy and other factors such as price and sales to rental fleets, they said in interviews. The goal is to get an idea of how the price and consumer demand for the latest cars, pickups and crossovers will hold up once they have thousands of miles and hundreds of hours of seat time on them, and are for sale for the second or third time.
Source: Automotive News
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Toyota Tops 1 Million in Global Hybrid Sales, But Growth Slows

Toyota booked global hybrid vehicle sales above 1 million units for a second time in 2013, but annual sales growth slowed to one of its weakest levels in almost a decade. Global sales of Toyota Motor Corp.'s gasoline-electric cars climbed to 1.279 million vehicles in 2013, the company said in a statement today. That compares with 1.219 million in 2012, the first year the Japanese company sold more than 1 million annually. The additional volume of 60,000 was the smallest increase since 2004, except for 2008 when global sales were flat and 2011 when they fell in the wake of Japan's earthquake and tsunami. The tempering was due to tepid sales in Japan and to a comparison against unusually high hybrid sales the year before. In 2012, Toyota's global hybrid sales nearly doubled.
Source: Automotive News
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Ford CEO Mulally Seeks Driver Privacy Laws

Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally says federal regulators should develop laws protecting the rights of motorists whose cars and trucks record their movements, and other information. “It's really important that we have boundaries and guidelines,” Mulally said from the sidelines of the North American International Auto Show. “I think this area of privacy — and it always has been — (is) the domain of the government.” Yet even as Mulally called for regulation of driver data, Ford and other automakers are pursing new ways to use data for commercial purposes. The Dearborn-based automaker recently received a patent for targeted in-car advertisements, which collect data including GPS coordinates and other variables to decide which ad to broadcast and when it will be broadcast.
Source: The Detroit News
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Facebook Exec Says Network Has Untapped Potential to Influence Car Shoppers

There's an opening for automakers to boost brand consideration on Facebook within the sea of vacation photos and witty status updates. With car shoppers spending more time online scouting their next purchases and less in dealerships, a new comScore study shows automotive marketing campaigns on Facebook can influence people to consider the brands/vehicles being pushed while sapping consideration for competing manufacturers. comScore is a Reston, Va.-based digital analytics company. Kass Dawson, Facebook's head of automotive strategy, highlighted the study during the Automotive News World Congress. Dawson said automakers and dealerships can leverage Facebook to reach the audiences that matter to them on the massive social network, which has 1.19 billion users. Dawson said marketers can target the exact people most likely to respond to their messaging. With digital advertising, Dawson said there is no "prime time" to reach audiences. Prime time, he says, is all the time.
Source: Automotive News
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Quotable

"The automotive sector and its record over the past few years is resilience defined. Out of crisis, a phoenix has arisen. The auto industry's ability to reinvent itself is one of the most remarkable stories I've seen in my 27 years in business."

   --- U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, commenting on Detroit's resilient automotive industry, The Detroit News, Jan. 15

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