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Inside this issue
U.S. Will Not Order GM to Park Unrepaired Cars
FTC Probing Bi-Weekly Payment F&I Products
Toyota Enjoys Extraordinary Financial Year
Membership 'Comes in All Sizes,' Says NADA President
Nissan's Next EVs: More Mainstream, Better Battery
Ford to Buy Back $1.8 Billion in Stock to Reduce Dilution
Ally Boosts Used-Car Loans, Diversifies Business
NADA Foundation Seeks to Increase Charitable Giving through Ambassadors Program
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
U.S. Will Not Order GM to Park Unrepaired Cars

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told Congress he will not demand that General Motors Co. ground millions of unrepaired recalled cars, saying the agency believes they are safe to drive as long as drivers only use the ignition key. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has extensively reviewed GM's testing, including reports, videos and still pictures of tests — which included driving the vehicles over bumpy railroad tracks, potholes and panic stops — to assure the key wouldn't slip into the “accessory” or “off” mode.
Source: The Detroit News

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

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FTC Probing Bi-Weekly Payment F&I Products

The Federal Trade Commission has reportedly issued civil investigative demands to an unknown number of dealers in connection with bi-weekly payment F&I products. While the goal of the FTC inquiries is unclear, NADA’s Legal and Regulatory Affairs department issued today a memorandum to dealers addressing some of the considerations with respect to these products. Click here for the memorandum.
Source: NADA Legal and Regulatory Affairs

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Toyota Enjoys Extraordinary Financial Year

Company had to pay Japanese corporate taxes for first time in years

Lower taxes helped lure Toyota Motor Corp.'s North American headquarters to Texas from California, but the cash-rich company says it welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the public coffers in Japan. So strong were Toyota's financial results in the latest fiscal year, when net income surged by 90% to ¥1.8 trillion ($17.9 billion), that the company had to pay Japanese corporate taxes for the first time since Akio Toyoda took over as president in 2009. Far from complaining, during a news conference Thursday, Mr. Toyoda described the tax bill as a badge of honor. "Being able to pay corporate taxes means we are contributing to society," Mr. Toyoda said. "That makes me very happy."
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Membership 'Comes in All Sizes,' Says NADA President

The National Automobile Dealers Assn. disdained publicly owned dealerships in their formative years. In the 1990s, when the likes of AutoNation (then called Republic Industries) were taking shape and busily acquiring sales points, NADA stood for family values. That meant family dealerships. The association weighed in on the side of family-owned stores or at least privately owned operations. Like automakers at the time, NADA was no fan of chain stores owned by major companies traded on the stock exchange. That's changed, particularly after the once-undesirable “publics” started becoming NADA members about 15 years ago. NADA still represents mom-and-pop dealerships. But it also has found room to accommodate dues-paying big boys. Representing both ends sounds bipolar, but it's not, NADA President Peter Welch tells WardsAuto.
Source: WardsAuto
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Nissan's Next EVs: More Mainstream, Better Battery

New power packs expected by 2017

Nissan Motor Corp. wants its next-generation Leaf electric vehicle to get more mainstream styling and a new battery that greatly increases its range. And Infiniti's delayed electric car will debut with the improved battery by early 2017. Nissan executives shed more light on the automaker's next EVs, saying better range is key to higher sales. Nissan launched the Leaf in December 2010 and has already improved its performance. But engineers are working on a big jump with a revamped battery around 2017.
Source: Automotive News
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Ford to Buy Back $1.8 Billion in Stock to Reduce Dilution

Ford Motor Co. said it will repurchase $1.8 billion of its shares to reduce dilution from recent stock grants to executives and to offset shares that may be issued to holders of convertible debt. The buyback amounts to 116 million shares and will be concluded in 2014, the Dearborn, Michigan-based company said in a statement. Ford in March granted 882,352 in restricted shares, worth $13.8 million, to Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally, who is retiring July 1. The second-largest U.S. automaker, which restored its dividend in 2012 after a five-year hiatus, is rewarding shareholders after issuing stock to its executives for turning around the automaker. Ford has earned $42.3 billion in the last five years after losing $30.1 billion from 2006 through 2008.
Source: Bloomberg
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Ally Boosts Used-Car Loans, Diversifies Business

Ally Financial Inc. is doing more leasing, more used-vehicle loans and more loans to dealerships with brands other than those of General Motors and Chrysler, all in line with a strategy it previously laid out. "We continue to diversify our originations away from GM and Chrysler," CEO Michael Carpenter said during the company's conference call last week discussing first-quarter earnings. He said dealerships with brands other than GM's and Chrysler's accounted for 19 percent of Ally's originations in the first quarter, an increase of 40 percent from the year-earlier period.
Source: Automotive News
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NADA Foundation Seeks to Increase Charitable Giving through Ambassadors Program


NADA Foundation Chairman Bob Mallon (left) recognizes the Ohio, Columbus and Toledo automobile dealer associations for becoming Ambassadors of Distinction last year. Tim Doran, OADA president, accepts the award on behalf of the three Ohio dealer groups.

The Ambassadors program of the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation will provide more than $250,000 in grants to hundreds of local organizations across the country this year. “Our goal is to increase the number of Ambassadors in the program,” said Bob Mallon, chairman of the NADA Foundation.

To become an Ambassador, an individual, association or a company makes a tax-deductible contribution of $10,000 in their name or in recognition of someone living or deceased. They are then eligible to provide a $1,500 grant to an organization of their choice every three years in perpetuity.

Today, there are 670 Ambassadors, which includes 54 state and metro dealer associations. Thirteen of the 54 dealer groups have three or more ambassadorships and are designated Ambassadors of Distinction. They can provide $2,000 grants each year.

“The Ambassador program is a great opportunity for dealers because it is something that lives on in perpetuity,” said Tim Doran, president of the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association, which recently became an Ambassador of Distinction, along with the dealer groups he oversees in Columbus and Toledo. The Idaho Automobile Dealers Association and the Silicon Valley Automobile Dealers Association also became Ambassadors last year.
Source: NADA Foundation

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Quotable

"The primary issues NADA engages in transcend whether you’re family-owned or publicly traded. Issues confronting our industry, whether questionable government regulations or disputes with our manufacturer partners, go beyond ownership structure. Our members come in all sizes."  

   
-- NADA President Peter Welch, commenting on the association's membership, WardsAuto, May 8

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