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Inside this issue
Opinion: Tesla Should Stop Fighting State Franchise Laws
World Vehicle Sales Climb for 11th Consecutive Month in February
Register Now for NADA's Fair Credit Compliance Program Webinar
Ford to Pump $500 Million into Ohio Engine Plant
Obama Says U.S.-EU Trade Talks are Moving Forward
Opel Will Build Buicks in Germany for U.S.
GM Has Doubled Number of Customer Service Advisers for Recall Tied to Deaths
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Opinion: Tesla Should Stop Fighting State Franchise Laws
By Wayne Frediani, executive director of the Nevada Franchised Auto Dealers Association

Tesla has been out to turn the car marketing world on its head by attempting in various states to do away with the franchised dealership system and change forever the way people purchase vehicles in the U.S. Tesla is a small “player” in national vehicle retail sales, with under 25,000 sales globally in 2013. If Elon Musk wants to compete in the retail sales market, then abide by state franchise laws including Nevada's and award franchises to dealers, just like Lexus did in launching its brand. The traditional dealership business model of automakers contracting with franchised dealers to sell and service their vehicles exists for one simple reason. It's the most efficient and cost-effective way to do so. Manufacturer attempts to retail their product has been a huge failure. Tesla will learn quickly that growing its sales volume through franchised dealerships will save Tesla significant capital by awarding franchise agreements to dealers to retail their innovative vehicle.
Source: Reno Gazette-Journal (Nevada)
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World Vehicle Sales Climb for 11th Consecutive Month in February

Global vehicle sales rose 6.0% in February, with every region reporting gains over year-ago. However, deliveries totaled only 6.5 million units in the month, marking the lowest volume for the world since February 2013's 6.1 million tally. The Asia-Pacific region posted the largest year-over-year growth in February, surging 9.4% to 3.0 million units, accounting for 46.1% of the world market. Europe witnessed solid gains as well in February, with sales up 4.5% over year-ago levels. With 1.3 million units sold, the region claimed 20.4% of global sales in the month.

Sales in North America remained relatively flat in February, up only 0.1% over year-ago to 1.4 million units. U.S. deliveries rebounded slightly in February after January's disappointing downturn due to severe weather across the nation. Although weather continued to put a damper on sales in February, the country was able to post an increase of 0.1% over year-ago with 1.2 million units sold. Sales in Canada continued to climb in February, up 2.4%, while Mexico deliveries dipped 1.2%. This was the first year-over-year decline for the country since September. In February, North America held a 21.6% share of worldwide sales, second behind the Asia-Pacific region.
Source: WardsAuto
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Register Now for NADA's Fair Credit Compliance Program Webinar

NADA Chief Regulatory Counsel Paul Metrey will conduct a NADA webinar on the optional NADA Fair Credit Compliance Program that NADA, AIADA, and NAMAD recently released to their members. The webinar will provide a general overview of the purpose and scope of the NADA program as well as general and specific instructions for developing the program. The first part of the webinar will focus on the information the dealer principal or general manager needs to know and the second part will provide the information needed for the senior dealership employee who will actually develop, implement, and maintain the program. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, April 2 at 1 p.m. ET. Click here to register.
Source: NADA University Online

Editor's note: To download the NADA Fair Credit Compliance Policy & Program, go to www.nada.org/faircredit.
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Ford to Pump $500 Million into Ohio Engine Plant

Upgrade of Lima, Ohio, plant to help produce engines for F-150 trucks, adding 300 jobs

Ford Motor Co. on Friday said it would invest $500 million to upgrade its engine plant in Lima, Ohio, to produce new engines for F-150 trucks in the company's 2015 model year. The auto maker said the move would add 300 jobs to the plant, which already employs more than 900 people. Ford said it is responding to demand for pickups with V6 engines. The upgrade at the Lima plant is to support production of its new 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine for V6 models. The facility already produces 3.5-liter and 3.7-liter Duratec V6 engines for several vehicles, including the Ford Edge and Explorer, as well as some utility vehicles and sedans.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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Obama Says U.S.-EU Trade Talks are Moving Forward

U.S. President Barack Obama said his administration is moving forward with talks on establishing a trade pact between the United States and the European Union. Automakers are lobbying hard for the pact to end import tariffs and adopt standard safety and environmental regulations. Obama said the the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) was one of the issues he discussed on Thursday during his visit with Italian Prime Minster Matteo Renzi. EU-U.S. auto-related trade currently accounts for some 10 percent of total trade between the two regions, ACEA, the European automakers lobby group, said. The top priority of automakers on both sides of the Atlantic is to achieve regulatory convergence of existing U.S. and EU vehicle safety standards.
Source: Automotive News
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Opel Will Build Buicks in Germany for U.S.

General Motors' Opel unit said it will build a Buick model for the United States at its plant in Ruesselsheim, Germany. Opel said production would begin in the second half of the decade without naming the model. Opel currently produces the Insignia mid-sized sedan, which shares the same underpinnings as the Buick Regal, at the Ruesselsheim factory near Frankfurt. Opel also said it will stop exporting vehicles to China in January 2015.
Source: Automotive News

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GM Has Doubled Number of Customer Service Advisers for Recall Tied to Deaths

General Motors Co. said Thursday that it doubled the number of specially trained advisers taking calls from customers about its recall of 1.62 million vehicles tied to 12 deaths. The company, in a blog posting from Alicia Boler-Davis, GM's senior vice president of global quality and customer experience, said calls to its Warren customer engagement center have more than doubled during peak times since the ignition switch recall was announced last month. “Up to 100 dedicated, specially trained advisers have been available to quickly assist customers with questions on this issue alone, bringing down the average wait time to less than a minute,” Boler-Davis wrote. She said the moves, plus outreach on social media and technology specialists at dealerships, are reflections of the company's “new customer-centric focus.”
Source: The Detroit News
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Quotable

"The traditional dealership business model of automakers contracting with franchised dealers to sell and service their vehicles exists for one simple reason. It's the most efficient and cost-effective way to do so."

      --- Wayne Frediani, executive director of the Nevada Franchised Auto Dealers Association, Reno Gazette-Journal, March 26    

  

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