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Inside this issue
U.S. Dealerships Boosted Employment Over 1 Million in 2013, NADA Report Says
GM Chief Returns to Capitol Hill to Provide Update on Internal Probe
Bi-Weekly Payment Providers Respond to NADA Memo
IRS Issues Guidance on Tax Treatment of Manufacturer Imaging Payments
Hyundai Focuses on Passion and Loyalty for its 2014 World Cup Campaign
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
U.S. Dealerships Boosted Employment Over 1 Million in 2013, NADA Report Says

U.S. dealerships employed more than 1 million people in 2013, the first time the industry has topped that threshold since 2008, early in the recession. The 2013 total of 1,008,800 marked a 3 percent gain from 2012, the National Automobile Dealers Association reports in NADA Data 2014, the group's annual report on dealership sales and financial trends released today. The average dealership employed 57 people in 2013, up from 55 in 2012, and had an annual payroll of $3 million, up 3 percent. Total payroll for all dealerships was $53.7 billion last year. NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly forecasts continued growth for the industry in 2014. “The economic recovery is continuing, and we expect a stronger housing market, improving job prospects and continued low interest rates for auto loans to boost sales this year,” Szakaly said in a statement. Szakaly is forecasting total light-vehicle sales of 16.4 million in 2014, up from 15.6 million in 2013.
Source: Automotive News
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GM Chief Returns to Capitol Hill to Provide Update on Internal Probe

General Motors Co. Chief Executive Mary Barra returned to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to brief Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) and other lawmakers in private on the auto maker's efforts to answer their questions about delays in recalling cars with defective ignition switches. Separately, GM took another step in its effort to speed future responses to safety defects, assigning a senior lawyer to work directly with its newly-appointed vehicle safety czar. At the same time, GM said general counsel Michael Millikin, who turns 66 years old in August, will stay on at the company. Ms. Barra's trip to Capitol Hill came as former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas wraps up an investigation for GM on why it took nearly a decade to recall 2.6 million vehicles equipped with faulty 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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Bi-Weekly Payment Providers Respond to NADA Memo

NADA's Legal and Regulatory Affairs department distributed a memo on May 8, 2014, notifying dealers of FTC inquiries into bi-weekly payment plan F&I products, and cautioning dealers to fully and adequately disclose those and all F&I products they sell. Click here for the letter from members of the bi-weekly payment industry in response to NADA's memo.
Source: Bi-weekly Payment Companies

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IRS Issues Guidance on Tax Treatment of Manufacturer Imaging Payments

The Internal Revenue Service has released guidance addressing the tax treatment of payments that dealerships receive from manufacturers pursuant to facility image programs with three different sets of features. In the guidance, the IRS Office of Chief Counsel concludes that the manufacturer payments under each of the three programs must be included in the dealership’s gross income. Dealers who receive manufacturer facility image program payments should consult with their tax advisor concerning this guidance.
Source: IRS

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Hyundai Focuses on Passion and Loyalty for its 2014 World Cup Campaign

A country that experiences a baby boom after a big win. A fan so obsessed with not getting World Cup match results he puts blinders up all day long. A dad who paints his face with his daughter's makeup to cheer for his home country. Only the World Cup can inspire such passion, according to Hyundai, official auto partner of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Rather than focus on athletic endorsers, the automaker will focus on the passion of fans in a planned World Cup marketing blitz starting in June. The theme: "#Because Futbol."
Source: Advertising Age
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Quotable

"The economic recovery is continuing, and we expect a stronger housing market, improving job prospects and continued low interest rates for auto loans to boost sales this year."  

    -- NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly, commenting on continued growth for the auto industry in 2014, Automotive News, May 22

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