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Inside this issue
Popular New Mexico Car Dealer Dies
Editorial: Sounds Like a Plan: Nissan, Dealers Sidestep Stair-steps
GM Needs to Show Recalls Didn't Hurt Brands
Jackson: We'll Get Our Own Leads
Honing the Hybrids and Diesels
NADA Wins Award for Best Event Mobile App
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Popular New Mexico Car Dealer Dies


New Mexico is mourning the loss of Don Chalmers, a man who'll be remembered as much for his community service as for his highly successful car dealerships. Chalmers died on Sunday. According to a family spokesperson, Chalmers lost a battle to cancer.

Chalmers was originally from Tulsa, Okla., but he made a name for himself in New Mexico. Thousands drive his cars, as he has two Ford dealerships in Rio Rancho and Santa Fe. Chalmers also served on dozens of economic development, education, health care, and community service boards in the Albuquerque area. He spent time as vice president of the board of regents and vice president of the health sciences board of directors for the University of New Mexico, and chairman of the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce.

His passing has prompted messages of admiration: In a statement, University of New Mexico President Robert Frank wrote, "Few people serve with as much heart as Don Chalmers did.... We have lost an irreplaceable friend." Albuquerque mayor Richard Berry said, "Albuquerque has lost a great man who dedicated himself to our community. He will be greatly missed." Gregg Hull, mayor-elect of Rio Rancho, said, "Mr. Chalmers' name became synonymous with Rio Rancho. His contributions to the city, region and state are immense."

Chalmers was 65. The family plans to announce details on funeral services in the next few days.
Source: KOAT-TV (Albuquerque, N.M.)

Editor’s note: Chalmers was elected to the board of the National Automobile Dealers Association in 2006. He was a member of NADA’s Executive Committee and served as chairman of the association's Industry Relations Committee. He was past chairman of NADA’s Government Relations Committee, and was a member of the Dealer Operations Committee.

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Editorial: Sounds Like a Plan: Nissan, Dealers Sidestep Stair-steps

Nissan has made a commendable effort to work with its dealers in setting up an enlightened alternative to stair-step factory incentives. On April 1, the automaker gave its 1,100 U.S. Nissan dealers 12-month sales goals, but it allowed them to plan how to achieve the targets. The dealers choose how to budget their advertising dollars and when to order vehicles to hit the targets.

Like other automakers, Nissan has used stair-step incentives to boost volume and balance internal supplies of individual models. Paying dealers bonuses to hit specific sales targets on short notice indeed helped the automaker increase its U.S. sales in recent years. But Nissan dealers complained that the short-term, all-or-nothing programs didn't give them enough time to plan or to order adequate stock to meet the objectives.

Jose Munoz, chairman of Nissan North America, and his executive team invested nine months working with the dealers to iron out the details of the new plan. He expects the change to make dealers more profitable. He's not being altruistic. He expects that better dealer margins will help the Nissan brand achieve its goal of a 10 percent U.S. market share.

Nissan also wants to increase its share of mind with dealers. That's a tall order, especially with dealers who maintain a portfolio of franchises. The company is breaking with convention. It will take time to fine-tune the program, and both sides will need patience. But the approach has the potential to benefit both parties.
Source: Automotive News

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GM Needs to Show Recalls Didn't Hurt Brands

Auto maker figures good April results for new cars, pickup trucks would show recalls haven't tarnished its brands.

With 10 days left in April, General Motors Co. needs a strong finish in new-car and pickup-truck sales for the month to persuade Wall Street its recall problems aren't keeping customers away from showrooms. "There's nothing we've seen so far to say we're not going to have a good month," the auto maker's North America chief, Alan Batey, said ahead of the Beijing auto show. Wall Street investors are keeping watch on the results, which are due out May 1. GM sold 237,646 vehicles in the U.S. during April 2013. Anything above that amount will show that the auto maker's Cadillac, Buick, Chevrolet and GMC brands have remained untarnished despite the chaos surrounding the recall of 2.6 million of its cars linked to ignition switches.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Editor's note: For more information on the GM recall, go to
www.gmignitionupdate.com or www.safercar.gov.

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Jackson: We'll Get Our Own Leads

AutoNation tools take aim at 3rd-party sites

CEO Mike Jackson put the big Internet shopping sites on notice last week: AutoNation is building Web products that will slash the number of leads the group's 229 stores get from AutoTrader, Cars.com, TrueCar and others. And if the third-party sites keep raising prices, he'll cut them out of the mix even quicker. In making a case to spend $50 million on AutoNation's digital storefront, Jackson laid bare the growing tension between dealers and third-party lead generators.
Source: Automotive News

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Honing the Hybrids and Diesels

BMW has long promoted diesel engines as an important element of its plan to reduce carbon dioxide output. The automaker is still a champion of diesel power, but now it is embracing electric drive, too. “We are taking an ‘all of the above’ approach,” a spokesman, Dave Buchko, said of the company’s advanced powertrains. While eco-minded BMW fans are focused on the sporty and stylish i8 plug-in hybrid, which starts production this spring, BMW is pushing ahead with development of fuel-sipping versions of popular mainstream models. Like many automakers, BMW has come to see the plug-in hybrid as a smart solution to meeting fuel-economy mandates at a reasonable price.
Source: The New York Times

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NADA Wins Award for Best Event Mobile App

a2z, Inc. and its client, NADA, won the 2014 Internet Advertising Competition (IAC) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Internet Advertising. The 2014 NADA/ATD Convention & Expo mobile app solution, powered by a2z's ChirpE technology, was selected as the winner in the Best Event Mobile App category. The NADA convention is the automotive industry event of the year and the world's largest international gathering place for franchised new-vehicle dealers.
Source: a2z, Inc.

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More Articles
 
Quotable

"Albuquerque has lost a great man who dedicated himself to our community. He will be greatly missed."

   
-- Richard Berry, mayor of Albuquerque, commenting on the passing of NADA board member Don Chalmers, KOAT-TV (Albuquerque, N.M.), April 20

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