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Inside this issue
GM Down 14% Shows Barra Challenges From Recalls to China
GM Must Send 'Park It Now' Alert to Recalled-Car Owners, Plaintiffs Tell U.S. Judge
Toyota Reports Strong Sales Despite DOJ Settlement
Honda, Toyota Plan to Launch Fuel Cell Vehicles in 2015
NADA-ATD Offers Week-Long Service Department Seminar
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
GM Down 14% Shows Barra Challenges From Recalls to China

Less than three months into her tenure as General Motors Co. chief executive officer, Mary Barra has more than recalls to worry about. GM shares have dropped almost 14 percent since Barra took the helm Jan. 15 while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index has risen. Microsoft Corp., which also named a new CEO around the same time, has climbed about 13 percent. Within weeks of taking the helm, Barra, 52, began recalling 1.6 million small cars with faulty ignition switches tied to 12 deaths. Her challenges also include stemming losses in Europe, navigating currency fluctuations in South America, buffering Volkswagen AG's advances in China, and managing a slow start to 2014 sales in the U.S. where a bitterly cold winter hamstrung retail activity. While GM has been looking to benefit from last year's introduction of 18 new or refreshed vehicles in the U.S., deliveries of the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup fell 15 percent in the first two months of this year, compared with a year earlier. Cadillac, one of the market's top-performing brands last year with a 22 percent increase, has seen sales slide 7.9 percent through February this year. In Europe, GM wants to break even by mid-decade after losing more than $18 billion in the region since 1999. The Detroit-based automaker is pulling its Chevrolet brand from the region to better position its Opel line against Volkswagen. The U.S. company is also closing its assembly plant in Bochum, Germany, the first auto factory to be shuttered in the country since World War II. The barrage of bad news is a reversal for Barra.
Source: Bloomberg
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GM Must Send 'Park It Now' Alert to Recalled-Car Owners, Plaintiffs Tell U.S. Judge

Plaintiffs in a lawsuit against General Motors Co. asked a federal judge in Texas to force the automaker to send a “park it now” warning to car owners not to drive recalled models until faulty ignitions are fixed. Charles and Grace Silvas, who sued GM this month in a proposed class action for as much as $10 billion for the lost value of 1.6 million cars it recalled, filed the request two days ago with U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos in Corpus Christi. Courts can issue such orders if they are needed to prevent people from being harmed, they said in a filing. GM has said it identified 12 deaths linked to vehicles with defective switches made in the mid-2000s, including some Chevrolet Cobalts and HHRs as well as Opel, Pontiac and Saturn models. The carmaker faces a criminal probe and an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Source: Bloomberg

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Toyota Reports Strong Sales Despite DOJ Settlement

Toyota Motor Corp.'s record-breaking $1.2 billion criminal penalty announced Wednesday as part of a settlement of the investigation into whether the automaker misled federal regulators and the public may not be having a big impact on the company's sales. The Japanese automaker said sales in the U.S. last weekend amounted to its best non-holiday sales weekend of the year. Toyota sold nearly 20,000 cars, up 12 percent compared to the same weekend last year. And it topped the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend in January. Toyota said overall retail sales are 4 percent above the same period last year. Midwest and northeast sales are up 5 percent combined.
Source: The Detroit News

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Honda, Toyota Plan to Launch Fuel Cell Vehicles in 2015

Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. plan to launch fuel cell vehicles in the consumer market in 2015, with each producing about 1,000 units a year, the Nikkei newspaper reported. The automakers now offer fuel cell cars on lease, with users centering on municipalities and businesses, the daily said. Honda is developing a sedan that it plans to roll out as early as November 2015, which will be able to travel about 310 miles on a single charge -- twice the range of an electric vehicle, the Nikkei reported. Honda intends to churn out 5,000 units over five years, selling them in Japan, the United States and Europe, the daily said. Toyota, the global leader in hybrid vehicles, intends to release a sedan in Japan, the United States and Europe in 2015, the Nikkei said, adding that by 2020, the automaker aims to lift annual output to tens of thousands of units.
Source: Reuters
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NADA-ATD Offers Week-Long Service Department Seminar

Service departments can be one of the keys to sourcing quality used vehicles as potential trade-ins come in and out of the shop doors every day. But it's also an extremely vital revenue stream for any dealer. Are you maximizing productivity and profitability in this branch of the dealership? With this in mind, NADA-ATD Academy will be holding a week-long advanced service seminar focused on strategies, processes and best practices designed to maximize productivity and profitability of dealership service departments. Led by leading industry trainer and fixed ops expert Robert Atwood, this interactive seminar will be held April 21 through April 25 at the NADA headquarters in McLean, Va. To register for the seminar, go to NADA Service Seminar, or for more information, call (703) 821-7216 or email academy@nada.org.
Source: Auto Remarketing
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Quotable

"Traffic at dealerships is picking up nationwide, which will benefit industry sales in March."

      --- Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager, commenting on strong sales for the automaker despite its recent $1.2 billion criminal penalty, The Detroit News, March 25    

  

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