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Inside this issue
A Super SAAR and Signs of a Stellar Second Half
It's The Year Of The Recall, And It Finds GM Busy
Auto Shops Try to Keep Up with Rising Sales, Recalls
Subaru Struggles to Satisfy Customers
Car Buyers Test-drive Dealers on Social Media
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Top Stories
A Super SAAR and Signs of a Stellar Second Half

Halfway through 2014, automakers are on pace to post full-year sales totaling 16.22 million vehicles, the most since 2006. And they are doing so with record transaction prices, lower incentives and about 4,000 fewer retailers than the last time demand was this high, which means both the factory and the dealer are making considerably more money.
Source: Automotive News

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It's The Year Of The Recall, And It Finds GM Busy

The auto industry is enduring a year of recalls. General Motors alone has recalled more than 25 million vehicles in the U.S. so far in 2014, and other automakers are also picking up the pace of their vehicle recalls.
Source: NPR

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Auto Shops Try to Keep Up with Rising Sales, Recalls

The wave of record-breaking recalls is keeping dealership service shops humming — and some dealers think it will only get busier heading into the fall. Service departments at dealerships across multiple brands are feeling the rush as U.S. auto sales grow and bring in new business, at the same time millions of vehicles have been called back for safety reasons. To accommodate new-car buyers and keep up with demand created by recalls, some dealerships are expanding service hours or staff. Some companies such as Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Co. offer free maintenance such as oil changes and tire rotations for a few years as part of buying or leasing a new vehicle, adding to service work.

New-car dealers in the U.S. employed 262,896 service technicians in 2013, up from 254,200 in 2012, according to a National Automobile Dealers Association study. Sales in the service, parts and body shop at new-car dealers increased 4.8 percent in 2013. Bill Fox is a partner in Fox Dealerships Inc., which includes four dealerships in upstate New York: Honda; Toyota/Subaru; Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram; and Chevrolet. He said he has not had to hire additional people because of the recalls. Fox said he just hasn’t gotten enough ignition switches to expand hours. “If need be, we’d run overtime,” he said.
Source: The Detroit News

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Subaru Struggles to Satisfy Customers

Subaru, flush with record profits and poised for a sixth straight year of record U.S. sales, may be a little too hot for the liking of Yasuyuki Yoshinaga. The brand may have trouble keeping the legions of new customers it has attracted because not all dealers can keep up with recent skyrocketing sales, warns Yoshinaga, president of Fuji Heavy Industries, Subaru's parent company. Getting dealers to invest in new service facilities is his top priority. He sees it paying off for dealers in the form of a targeted 42 percent increase in per-store sales by 2020. At a meeting during the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in January, Subaru of America Inc. gave its dealers details on its "Fixed Operations Expansion," or FOX, program which will provide recommendations and cash to support dealers' investments in lifts, added service bays and other equipment. The amount will vary with the size of the dealership.
Source: Automotive News

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Car Buyers Test-drive Dealers on Social Media

"What's it gonna take for me to get you on this Facebook page today?" Auto dealers ask that question with increasing frequency these days, now that buyers use social media to help in the search for a new ride. Forty-three percent of car buyers said they would use Facebook to search for a local dealership, while 59 percent would "trust" a review from a Facebook friend more than reviews found at other sites, according to the 2013 Automotive Social Media and Reputation Trend Study.
Source: USA Today

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Quotable

"We find that 80-something percent of the people look on the computer before they even set foot on our lot."

   
-- Scott Tolley, sales manager at Burlington Honda in North Carolina, which has reinvented itself to keep up with a rapidly evolving auto market, Detroit Free Press, July 4

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