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Inside this issue
Ford, Chrysler Each Announce Large Recalls
Big 3 Still Trail Japanese in Supplier Relationships
Nissan Profit Rises as Sales Outpace Industry
In a Big Launch Year, Ford Execs Take Wheel
Mazda's Dealership Design about to Evolve
North Carolina Auto Dealers Announce Drive For Troops Program
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Top Stories
Ford, Chrysler Each Announce Large Recalls

Ford and Chrysler both issued recalls Friday, adding to the growing list of vehicles in need of repairs coming from automakers this year.

Ford recalled more than 750,000 Escapes and C-Max vehicles in North America for two separate issues. One is a software problem that delays the deployment of side airbags when the vehicle rolls over. That affects about 692,500 Ford Escapes from model years 2013 and 2014, as well as about 65,000 C-Max crossover vehicles from the same model years. All of those Escapes, plus about another 60,000, are also being recalled for a second issue related to malfunctioning door handles. Owners can take their vehicles to the dealer who will reprogram the software and inspect door handles, fixing them if necessary.

Chrysler Group recalled 780,000 minivans Friday in which switches for third-row power windows can overheat. The problem can happen if the window switch, located on the driver's door, is exposed to moisture. The recall affects some 2010-2014 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans. Owners will be contacted directly about when their minivans can be fixed. In the interim, a dealer can disconnect the switches that open and close the third-row power windows.
Source: CNNMoney

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Big 3 Still Trail Japanese in Supplier Relationships

Detroit automakers continue to trail their Japanese competitors in supplier relationships — and with whom suppliers most want to do business with, according to a new survey released today. While Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Co. have made strides in improving interactions with suppliers, their progress falls behind advancements made by Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., according to the 2014 North American Automotive-Tier 1 Supplier Working Relations Index study.
Source: The Detroit News

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Nissan Profit Rises as Sales Outpace Industry

Nissan’s quarterly profit edged up nearly 5% as sales grew around the world and a favorable exchange rate helped earnings. Nissan Motor Co. reported Monday that January-March profit totaled 114.9 billion yen ($1.1 billion), up from 109.7 billion yen the year before. Quarterly sales rose more than 20% to 3.2 trillion yen ($31 billion). Nissan said its sales growth was outpacing the industry. The Japanese automaker is expecting continued growth for the current fiscal year that began April 1, according to CEO Carlos Ghosn.
Source: The Associated Press

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In a Big Launch Year, Ford Execs Take Wheel

As Ford Motor Co. prepares to bring out 16 vehicles in North America this year, a handful of the company's most senior executives have changed the formula in an effort to assure trouble-free launches. Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas, said the top bosses are getting together earlier and more often in an attempt to root out problems that might otherwise languish without high-level intervention.
Source: Automotive News

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Mazda's Dealership Design about to Evolve

Mazda will roll out a new dealership design program to retailers in July. The new look, dubbed Retail Evolution, will ditch the orange and green industrial chic of its decade-old Retail Revolution design in favor of a more modern aesthetic. Ron Stettner, vice president of U.S. sales for Mazda North American Operations, described the new look as more sophisticated and modern and more in line with the premium-for-mainstream ambitions of newer vehicles such as the redesigned Mazda3 compact, CX-5 crossover and Mazda6 mid-sized sedan.
Source: Automotive News

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North Carolina Auto Dealers Announce Drive For Troops Program

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, new-car and -truck dealers in North Carolina will donate a portion of their sales from new cars or service to Drive For Troops, a program sponsored by the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation.

“North Carolina has one of the largest military populations in the United States,” said NCADA Charitable Foundation Chair Cyndie Mynatt. “From hardships on families of active duty military to veterans suffering from PTSD and physical disabilities, or those requiring assistance to transition into civilian life, these folks need our help.”

All proceeds from the program will be donated to charities that support North Carolina’s military, veterans and their families. Beneficiaries include Hiring Our Heroes, The Fisher House, The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, Operation Homefront and The Patriot Foundation.

“We are excited that our dealership will participate in the Drive For Troops program this summer,” said Don Price of Lafayette Ford in Fayetteville, N.C. “The military is a very big part of the Fayetteville area and other communities throughout the state. We understand the importance of giving back to the heroes who fought for the freedoms that we enjoy today.”

In 2010‐2011, the association flew more than 800 World War II veterans to Washington, DC, to visit the memorials. In 2004, more than $250,000 was raised for Support our Troops. For more information, call (800) 264-6223.
Source: NCADA

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Quotable

"I think you're going to see a heightened level of sensitivity across all automakers on this issue."

   
-- Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne in comments last week at a company conference about the large number of vehicle recalls this year, CNNMoney, May 9

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