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February 10, 2014 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Inside this issue
U.S. Auto Sector Employment Hits 5-Year-High
Vicious Circle: Saving Money By Skipping Training is No Bargain
Commentary: NADA Members Share Ideas About Training, Internet Marketing, Sales and Leadership
UAW, Auto Industry Hold Breath on VW Vote
Chase Halts Car Loans to 11% of Its Stores
New Jersey's James Appleton Elected ATAE Chairman
Chrysler Pays UAW Trust $5 Billion to Close Bankruptcy Chapter
Toyota to End Car Manufacturing in Australia
Highlights From the Chicago Auto Show
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
U.S. Auto Sector Employment Hits 5-Year-High

The U.S. auto sector added 3,400 jobs in January — and now employs more people than it did in September 2008 —as rising sales have boosted employment across the industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday employment at automakers and parts companies rose to 846,400 last month — up nearly 47,000 jobs over the last year. Auto dealers added 42,000 jobs over the last year to 1.16 million.
Source: The Detroit News
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Vicious Circle: Saving Money By Skipping Training is No Bargain

Chances are those new auto dealership sales hires won't be around long enough to need training. But failing to train them is one reason they won't be around. "The problem in auto retailing is that dealers are reluctant to spend money on training because they know so many of the new recruits will be gone in 90 days," says Ted Kraybill, principal of the automotive consulting and research firm ESI Trends. "They don't want to waste the money. And so the new employee doesn't get the training. And so he is not productive and the dealership suffers." A vicious circle has emerged from Kraybill's ongoing study of auto dealership operations on behalf of the National Automobile Dealers Association. His results are being published annually as the NADA Dealership Workforce Study Industry Report.

At the heart of Kraybill's research is employee retention. The study's confidential review of 19,000 dealership payroll and sales productivity records from across the country reveals that barely a third of new sales hires remain on the job long enough to reach their expected potential for selling -- which Kraybill says requires three years of experience. And of that two-thirds who leave too soon, 75 percent are gone within the first year, he reports. If salespeople leave before they've had a chance to fulfill their potential, the dealership suffers, Kraybill says. "A dealer who has 60 percent turnover in sales," he says, "is leaving a lot of money on the table."
Source: Automotive News
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Commentary: NADA Members Share Ideas About Training, Internet Marketing, Sales and Leadership
By Blair Qualey, Driving

New Orleans is a wonderful and resilient city and was a fitting place for the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) to hold its annual convention late last month. The occasion marked the 10th time NADA has held the event in the Big Easy. Outgoing NADA chairman David Westcott put it best when he compared the auto industry and the Louisiana city for their ability to come back strong from a crisis. The billions of dollars that have been invested in New Orleans has helped it bounce back from Hurricane Katrina, just as investments in the North American auto industry have been key to its recovery from the 2008-09 recession. The benefits of the investments in both were on display at the 2014 NADA Convention & Expo, which was appropriately themed “Accelerate.” “(It is) something the auto industry and New Orleans have in common with both rebuilding our roads to recovery,” Westcott wrote in his welcome address to NADA delegates.

NADA was a great opportunity for people across the automotive sector to share their ideas on how to drive the industry forward. The annual conference brings together more than 20,000 new car dealers and industry leaders and retailers to learn about leadership, hiring and training, legal issues, sales, and Internet marketing tactics. NADA provided a great mix of dealers, technology, product and customers, all of which together are helping the auto business transform and evolve, noted Dealer.com chief executive officer Rick Gibbs. “The energy this year was absolutely amazing,” he said in a video blog from the event. “Dealers were talking about bringing all of these products together and having a single, unified solution.” Next year's NADA will be held a little closer to home, in San Francisco. Until then, if this year's convention was any indication, dealers and consumers can expect another year of innovative features when hunting for a new or used car or truck.
Source: Postmedia Network, Canada

Editor's note: Blair Qualey is president and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of British Columbia. Driving is the automotive section for all of Postmedia Network's newspapers and newspaper websites, including Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, The Gazette (Montreal), Leader-Post (Regina), National Post, Ottawa Citizen, The Province (Vancouver), The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon), Vancouver Sun and The Windsor Star.
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UAW, Auto Industry Hold Breath on VW Vote

Balloting this week will determine if Chattanooga plant unionizes

The future of the United Auto Workers union and a large swath of the U.S. auto industry may be decided this week when workers at the three-year-old Volkswagen AG plant here vote on whether they want union representation. For a time, Donna Allmon, a quality inspector on the assembly line, was open to the idea of a union, and looked positively on the UAW's practice of giving preferences based on workers' seniority. But then she took into account the UAW's history of confrontations with the Detroit auto makers and its role in the long decline that culminated in the bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler. "Anything they have been involved with has had problems," she said Saturday, leaving a meeting hosted by a group of antiunion workers where she picked up a blue "NO UAW" T-shirt and stack of leaflets to pass out to co-workers. "We are a great company. I just don't feel we need this." If the UAW prevails in the vote, it would be a rejuvenating victory for an organization whose membership rolls and influence have declined steadily for 30 years as GM, Chrysler and Ford Motor Co. struggled and downsized. It would also signal new hope for unionizing other foreign-owned plants in the South, where antiunion sentiment runs deep.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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Chase Halts Car Loans to 11% of Its Stores

Chase Auto Finance is cutting car-loan availability to about 1,800 dealerships so it can focus on its higher-volume stores. TD Auto Finance has hinted that it also will stop doing business with some of its dealerships. Chase's nearly 11 percent cut in store count brings its total to about 14,000, the company said. Since the recession, Chase's auto loan portfolio has undergone huge growth as U.S. light-vehicle sales have increased, said Bruce Jackson, head of retail lending for Chase Auto Finance. The financial-services giant underwrote auto loans totaling $26 billion in 2013, up 12 percent from $23.3 billion in 2012. But auto loan growth at Chase is expected to fall to about 4 percent in 2014, about the projected rate of increase for industrywide auto sales this year, Jackson said. Consequently, Chase wants to be more responsive to dealerships that bring the lion's share of the company's business, he said. The 1,800 dealerships being culled brought less than 5 percent of Chase's annual car loan volume, Jackson said. Chase ... is aligning with dealers "to get them what they need."
Source: Automotive News
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New Jersey's James Appleton Elected ATAE Chairman


The Automotive Trade Association Executives, which represents 115 state and metro new-car and -truck dealer groups in the U.S. and Canada, has elected James B. Appleton as chairman for 2014. “There has never been a moment in time when the ATAE role was more respected or more supported than it is today,” said Appleton, president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, who was elected ATAE chairman at the group’s annual meeting last month during the NADA Convention & Expo in New Orleans. The ATAEs work together to respond to industry, legislative and regulatory challenges faced by new-car and -truck dealers. “I’m really looking forward to working with [2014 NADA Chairman] Forrest McConnell, who has made it clear that he plans to continue and grow the ATAE role in NADA’s affairs,” said Appleton. “Last year, [2013 NADA Chairman] Dave Westcott and the NADA board worked hard to make certain that ATAE input was a part of every important decision.”
Source: NADAFrontPage.com

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Chrysler Pays UAW Trust $5 Billion to Close Bankruptcy Chapter

Chrysler Group LLC, the American carmaker owned by Fiat SpA, will pay $5 billion to a United Auto Workers trust, completing the final payments that the carmaker owed as a result of its bankruptcy. Chrysler today closed a bond sale to reimburse the UAW health-care trust for a note it provided five years ago as part of the automaker's financial rescue, the U.S. manufacturer said in a statement. “Fiat and Chrysler together have satisfied all the monetary commitments that were made to Chrysler in 2009,” Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said in the statement. “None remain outstanding.” Fiat last month bought the 41.5 percent Chrysler stake held by the trust, which was created to pay medical bills for union retirees, to gain full control of the U.S. business. The combination creates the world's seventh-largest auto manufacturer.
Source: Bloomberg

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Toyota to End Car Manufacturing in Australia

Toyota said Monday it will stop making cars in Australia by the end of 2017, spelling a final blow to auto manufacturing in the country, where car companies say high production costs and tough competition have made the business unviable. Toyota's announcement, which will result in the loss of around 2,500 jobs, was widely anticipated, coming just two months after General Motors Co. said it would end production in Australia by 2017. Ford Motor Co. announced in May that it would cease Australian production in 2016.
Source: The Associated Press

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Highlights From the Chicago Auto Show

With the Detroit auto show already growing smaller in the rearview mirror, the next big show of the 2014 season is underway in Chicago. The noticeably confident Detroit automakers may have received most of the attention at the show in their hometown, but this week, on the other side of Lake Michigan, the spotlight was on foreign manufacturers. Click here for highlights from the Chicago Auto Show.
Source: The New York Times
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More Articles
 
Quotable
"The energy this year was absolutely amazing."  

   
-- Dealer.com CEO Rick Gibbs, commenting on the 2014 NADA Convention and Expo in New Orleans, Postmedia Network, Feb. 7
NADA Market Beat
Light-vehicle Sales Drop in January
Chairman's Column
New-Car Dealers Face Both Challenges and Opportunities Ahead
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NADA Foundation News
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NADA and Ally Donate $50,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank in New Orleans

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