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Inside this issue
Register Now for NADA's Fair Credit Compliance Program Webinar
How the CFPB Seeks to Shape the Message
Barra's Message to Congress: 'I Am Deeply Sorry'
GM Recalls 1.5 Million More Vehicles
Reality Check: US Auto Sales Thaw in March, Dealers Say
Chrysler to Remain a U.S. Legal Entity
U.S. to Require Rear Cameras in All Vehicles By 2018
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
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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How the CFPB Seeks to Shape the Message

When Harry Douglas Lane was called upon to speak at a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau forum last year, he appeared to be just another person in the crowd. A former auto dealer turned fierce consumer advocate, Lane had been outspoken on his nationally syndicated radio show (he goes by "Harry Douglas" on the radio) in pushing for more rules to rein in indirect auto lenders, the subject of the forum. But unbeknownst to the rest of the audience and the press covering the event, the CFPB had personally invited Lane to attend — and funded his trip at his request. "They paid my way up there. I flew in the night before, they put me in the Club Quarters, they paid for the whole nine yards," Lane said in an interview. "They wanted me to be there" ....
Source: American Banker
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Barra's Message to Congress: 'I Am Deeply Sorry'

NHTSA chief to say regulators did everything they could

General Motors CEO Mary Barra will tell lawmakers investigating the botched handling of an ignition-switch defect that she is “deeply sorry” for the error and promises to be fully transparent once the company discovers what went wrong, according to prepared testimony released today. “I cannot tell you why it took years for a safety defect to be announced in that program, but I can tell you that we will find out,” Barra says in prepared remarks to a U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee oversight panel that will hear testimony Tuesday on the unfolding ignition switch crisis. “When we have answers, we will be fully transparent with you, with our regulators and with our customers.” Barra's remarks contain little new additional information on GM's handling of the switch defect, which prompted a recall of small cars in February, aside from saying that GM has asked Delphi to add a third production line for replacement switches.
Source: Automotive News

Editor's note: To view Barra's prepared remarks, click here. To watch the live Congressional hearing beginning at 2 p.m. ET, click here.

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GM Recalls 1.5 Million More Vehicles

Capitol Hill is gearing up for a showdown Tuesday that will pit General Motors Co. against federal regulators about who is to blame for car defects now linked to 13 crash deaths. Separately, GM on Monday recalled another 1.5 million vehicles world-wide to fix steering system problems and more than doubled to $750 million its estimate of the hit to first-quarter results from recalls that now cover 6.3 million cars and trucks. That includes the 2.6 million vehicles linked to the ignition defect that will be at the center of congressional hearings Tuesday and Wednesday.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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Reality Check: US Auto Sales Thaw in March, Dealers Say

Improved weather and generous buying incentives sent consumers back into many U.S. auto showrooms in March, following chilly car sales in January and February, but sales of General Motors brands may have suffered from the automaker's large-scale recall, according to auto dealers around the country. Dealers said sales of most major brands bounced back some in March from inhospitable winter weather earlier in the year, but not by runaway numbers. General Motors, the top-selling automaker in the U.S., may see softening business after recalling some 2.6 million vehicles worldwide for faulty ignition switches, they said. Also in March, dealers said auto manufacturers' lavish incentives, from zero-percent financing to multi-thousand-dollar rebates, spurred trade-ins. Recession-delayed purchases continued to roll out, and dealers expect that to continue. But some suspect that their sales increase this year may not quite match that of 2013, as the industry's recovery settles into a more sustainable growth path. "We got through a tough time," said Tammy Darvish, vice president of Darcars, a multi-brand constellation of 25 dealerships in Maryland, Northern Virginia and Jacksonville, Florida.
 
"This tough time was due to snow, not financial crisis, so this is something we can bounce back from," said Darvish, whose stores sell Detroit's Ford, Chrysler Group and General Motors brands, as well as Toyota, Lexus, Scion, Nissan, Kia, Volkswagen and Volvo imports. Still, she told MNI her new-vehicle unit sales will only just edge out year-ago numbers and certainly won't fully offset the hit her dealerships took in January and February from the unseasonably brutal winter. And she expects her growth rate this year to moderate compared to last.
Source: MNI

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Chrysler to Remain a U.S. Legal Entity

Merged Fiat Chrysler board meetings 'preferably in the U.K.,' Marchionne says

Chrysler Group LLC will remain a United States legal entity also after the completion of the Fiat Chrysler merger later this year, Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said. Chrysler's company name and legal form most likely will change, but how that will happen is a minor detail “not worth being discussed,” Marchionne told reporters on the sidelines of the Fiat annual general meeting. Marchionne added that the timing of Fiat SpA's extraordinary shareholders meeting to approve the new company name Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the primary stock listing in New York is still unclear. “We first need to get a clearing from the SEC on the filing documents and then we can call the Fiat shareholder meeting (here in Italy),” he said. Marchionne added that he hopes to get Fiat shareholder approval by the summer and have the new company operative and listed in New York by the end of the year.
Source: Automotive News

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U.S. to Require Rear Cameras in All Vehicles By 2018

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Monday finalized long-delayed rules that will require automakers to install back-up cameras in all vehicles by May 2018. The new rules set rear visibility standards that automakers will initially be able to meet only by installing cameras. At the same time, major automakers said Monday they are petitioning the Obama administration to let them end the use of side view mirrors if they install cameras that could perform the same task — a move that could improve fuel efficiency. Since it was first proposed, the cost of hardware has come down as more cameras have been added to certain models. Honda Motor Co. and Subaru Motor Co. both announced they are making the cameras standard in all vehicles, and they will be standard on the 2015 Ford Focus, due out later this year. The regulation was initially supposed to be final by September 2014 and cost the auto industry $1.9 billion to $2.7 billion annually. Under the new rules, the annual costs in 2018 will be between $546 million and $924 million, while the benefits will be between $265 million to $595 million. NHTSA predicts 59 to 73 percent of all vehicles purchased in 2018 would have had the cameras anyway.
Source: The Detroit News
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Quotable

"We still have great things working in our favor - incentives, interest rates, availability of credit and inventory. And we continue to see an increase in online traffic, so we know customers are out there."

      --- Tammy Darvish, vice president of Darcars, which operates 25 dealerships in Maryland, Northern Virginia and Jacksonville, Florida, commenting on stronger March auto sales, MNI, March 31   

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-- April 2: NADA’s Fair Credit Compliance Program

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