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Inside this issue
Chrysler's May Sales Soar 16.7%; GM Sales Jump 12.6%; Ford Up 3%
Critical Week Expected in GM Recall Investigation
NLRB Finds Employee's Profane and Insubordinate Conduct Shielded by Protected Activity
A Flurry of Activity in Aluminum
Outgoing UAW Chief King: Keep Focus on Foreign Automakers
Kia Plans First Assembly Plant in Mexico, Report Says
Ad Exec Tells How to Get Most From Social Media
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Chrysler's May Sales Soar 16.7%; GM Sales Jump 12.6%; Ford Up 3%

Detroit automakers on Tuesday each posted May sales increases that beat analyst expectations, with Chrysler Group LLC's 16.7 percent sales gain leading the way. General Motors Co. sales rose 12.6 percent and Ford Motor Co. sales rose 3 percent, as consumers took advantage of Memorial Day sales and five shopping weekends in the month.
Source: The Detroit News
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Critical Week Expected in GM Recall Investigation

General Motors' monthly board of directors meeting comes at a pivotal time. After three months of questioning executives, engineers and other GM insiders, former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas is expected to deliver the results of his independent investigation to the automaker's CEO and board as early as this week. Though it's unclear whether the findings of the report will be discussed at the board's meeting, which takes place Monday, sources within the company said that once CEO Mary Barra gets the final report, she is likely to release the findings quickly. At the heart of the investigation are these questions: Who at General Motors knew about the faulty ignition switch, and when did they know it? And why didn't the automaker move faster to recall the switches in 1.3 million cars built between 2004 and 2008?
Source: CNBC

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

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NLRB Finds Employee's Profane and Insubordinate Conduct Shielded by Protected Activity

On remand from the Ninth Circuit, the National Labor Relations Board in Plaza Auto Center, Inc., 360 NLRB No. 117 (2014), again found 2-1 that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act by firing an employee for an outburst during which the employee used profanity and personally attacked the owner of the business. Specifically, after complaining to the office manager about the employer’s compensation practices, the owner called the employee into a meeting and told the employee that he was “talking a lot of negative stuff” and asking too many questions. Click here for the full article.
Source: Labor Relations Today (McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP)

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A Flurry of Activity in Aluminum

Industry preps for soaring demand

The auto industry's love affair with weight-saving aluminum is just warming up. In the pipeline is a growing list of vehicles with all-aluminum bodies or with more aluminum body panels, such as doors, roofs and trunks. The rush to aluminum is chock-full of complexities. Aluminum is more expensive than steel. Manufacturing plants need to master how to bond and rivet aluminum parts. Body shop repair technicians need expensive training to work on aluminum. And the industry has many competing ways to boost fuel economy. But for now, aluminum is hot.
Source: Automotive News

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Outgoing UAW Chief King: Keep Focus on Foreign Automakers

Outgoing United Auto Workers President Bob King told the union's 36th Constitutional Convention that the union must organize foreign automakers to ensure that auto jobs remain well-paid. “The single most important investment to make for our current members ... is to be able to organize their direct competition,” King told about 1,100 delegates Monday on the first day of the union's four-day gathering at Cobo Center. He said the union was forced to accept two-tier wages — with significantly lower pay for new workers — because foreign automakers use lower-paid and temporary workers, which puts pressure on Detroit automakers to demand similar low wages.
Source: The Detroit News
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Kia Plans First Assembly Plant in Mexico, Report Says

Kia Motors Corp. plans to break ground soon on a new plant in Mexico, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, a further sign that the company and its affiliate, Hyundai Motor Co., are easing an unofficial moratorium on capacity growth. The plant, to be built in Monterrey, will have a capacity of 300,000 vehicles and initially produce two small cars, one of the sources told Reuters. The facility would help meet demand in the United States, where Kia's lone plant runs at full speed.
Source: Reuters
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Ad Exec Tells How to Get Most From Social Media

Dealers must make the most of all social-media options without necessarily being on every social-media website, says ad agency executive Amy Fulford. “We've evolved from thinking social media is used only by the Millennial generation to realizing it's where adults 25 to 54 are, and it's very important for dealers to reach those eyeballs,” says the vice president and director-social media at Agency 720, a Detroit agency that serves Chevrolet's local marketing associations. She recommends bypassing hundreds of social media sites and instead focus on Facebook and Twitter. “Do those two, and do them very well,” Fulford says. “Some people try to be everything to everyone across all sites, but if you don't do it right, it's better to not do it at all.”
Source: WardsAuto
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Quotable

"The momentum we generated in April carried into May, with all four brands performing well in a growing economy and 17 vehicle lines posting double-digit retail sales increases or better."

 --- Kurt McNeil, GM’s U.S. vice president of sales operations, commenting on the automaker's strong sales in May, The Detroit News, June 3

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