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Inside this issue
NADA Defends In-Dealership Financing
Used Car Prices Will Fall in 2014, NADA Economists Say
Chrysler Dealers Upbeat About Purchase By Fiat
Ford Offers 20% Discount on Necessities to Fix Aluminum F-150
New Process Speeds Up GM Reaction to Customer Complaints
Audi Says iPads Will Be Used Throughout Dealership
Ally and TIME Announce 2014 TIME Dealer of the Year
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
NADA Defends In-Dealership Financing

Despite an auto sales turnaround over the past year, new-car dealers still face major industry and regulatory challenges, said David Westcott, the outgoing chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association. “Last year, we faced a new threat to dealer-assisted financing and our business model,” said Westcott, in remarks [Saturday] at the 2014 NADA Convention & Expo in New Orleans. “In dealership financing has been enormously successful in increasing access to auto credit, and reducing the cost for millions of Americans. Consumers overwhelmingly choose dealer-assisted financing because it's convenient and affordable.” Last March, however, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued “guidance” to indirect auto lenders alleging that the industry has engaged in unintentional, statistical discrimination against protected minority classes. “Now let me be clear: our industry strongly opposes any form of discrimination in any aspect of our business. Discrimination is just wrong and illegal,” added Westcott, a Buick-GMC dealer in Burlington, N.C. “If a federal agency is making allegations that discrimination exists in our industry, it should have to explain itself, and it needs to be transparent with the public.”
Source: NADAFrontPage.com

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Used Car Prices Will Fall in 2014, NADA Economists Say

Used cars should get cheaper in 2014 after five years of consistently rising prices, National Automobile Dealers Association economists said [Saturday]. But analysts from the NADA Used Car Guide insisted this is not a sign of a bursting bubble. The average price of a used car rose by 18 percent from 2007 to 2013 as cash-strapped consumers opted to buy used cars rather than new ones. Used car prices are now roughly 10 percent higher than the average price of the past couple decades. Some analysts have examined that trend and predicted a "correction" -- a collapse in used-car prices, bringing them closer to the historical average. ALG, the residual values specialist, predicted in late 2012 that used-car prices would fall 8 to 10 percent over the next few years. "When you look at [the graph], it's frightening," says Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst for NADA's used car guide. But he insists the reality is not that scary. [Saturday] at the NADA convention in New Orleans, Banks predicted that the price of used cars up to eight years of age will fall by 0.5 to 1 percent in 2014, with the drop being driven by a wave of off-lease cars that were leased a few years ago as the recession ended and financing became more available. But Banks said the market remains in a solid position.
Source: Automotive News

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Chrysler Dealers Upbeat About Purchase By Fiat

Chrysler dealers from around the U.S. seem revved up by the purchase of the U.S. carmaker by Italy's Fiat SpA. They were attending the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in New Orleans on Saturday — four days after Fiat announced that it had bought the last big chunk of Chrysler stock to make the U.S. company a wholly owned subsidiary. “I think it's well deserved,” said Pamela Burger of Carl Burger Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram World in the San Diego suburb of La Mesa, Calif. “They picked us up out of bankruptcy when we couldn't even be bought, and have grown us over five years. … They helped us grow instead of stripping us of money and assets.”
Source: The Detroit News
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Ford Offers 20% Discount on Necessities to Fix Aluminum F-150

Ford is offering dealerships with body shops a 20 percent discount on the $30,000 to $50,000 in special equipment and training needed to repair the 2015 aluminum pickup. Dealers can get a maximum of $10,000 off if they buy the gear before Oct. 31, said Paul Massie, Ford collision marketing manager. Ford is offering dealers the rebate so "they can be aluminum-capable before the vehicle launches," Massie said. Ford has said the 2015 F-150 will launch in the fourth quarter this year. Ford is showing the pickup to dealers at the convention after unveiling it to much fanfare two weeks ago at the Detroit auto show.
Source: Automotive News

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New Process Speeds Up GM Reaction to Customer Complaints

General Motors' experiment with combining customer satisfaction and product quality under a single umbrella is making it possible to address customer complaints faster, said the woman overseeing the effort. In the past it could take months to address a problem with the infotainment system, said Alicia Boler-Davis, GM's head of global customer experience and quality. Much of the infotainment system is software now and a fix should be possible in a week, she said Friday at the J.D. Power auto conference in conjunction with the National Automobile Dealers Association annual convention in New Orleans this weekend.
Source: Detroit Free Press
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Audi Says iPads Will Be Used Throughout Dealership

Audi executives told dealers at today's make meeting that the Apple iPads that are rolling into showrooms will soon make their way to the parts and service departments. Audi says 80 percent of its U.S. dealers have placed orders for Audi-subsidized iPads. Stores that already have iPads will be able to use Audi's software without buying new ones. Mark Del Rosso, COO at Audi of America, told Automotive News after the meeting that the iPads will allow a salesperson to quickly show a customer color and wheel options, or explain how adaptive cruise control works. But this is just the beginning, Del Rosso says. Parts and service are next. "The network has responded beyond our wildest dreams," Del Rosso said. "They see the value in it." Michelle Primm, dealer principal at Cascade Auto Group in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, said all the Audi dealers she has spoken with are getting ready to deploy iPads in their showrooms. She said the brand has taken a well-thought-out approach to make sure the iPad rollout succeeds. "They're not the first one to do it, but they did it right," Primm said.
Source: Automotive News
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Ally and TIME Announce 2014 TIME Dealer of the Year

Ally Financial and TIME are pleased to announce that Jeff Teague of Teague Ford Lincoln in El Dorado, Ark. has been selected as the 2014 TIME Dealer of the Year. Teague was selected from an elite group of 56 U.S. dealers who were recognized at the 97th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in New Orleans, La. Tim Russi, president of Auto Finance for Ally, and Moritz Loew, vice president of sales for TIME, announced the winner and finalists during the opening session of the convention. "This award recognizes the best of the nation's dealers, not only for their business successes, but for their extraordinary commitment in giving back to their local communities," said Tim Russi, president of Auto Finance for Ally Financial. "Ally has had the privilege of supporting numerous dealer charitable causes in connection with the TIME Dealer of the Year program, and we are honored to congratulate and recognize 2014 winner Jeff Teague and the finalists for their continued efforts in building better communities."
Source: Ally Financial
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Quotable
"In dealership financing has been enormously successful in increasing access to auto credit, and reducing the cost for millions of Americans. Consumers overwhelmingly choose dealer-assisted financing because it’s convenient and affordable."  

   
-- NADA Chairman David Westcott, in remarks at the NADA Convention and Expo, NADAFrontPage.com, Jan. 25

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