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Inside this issue
Auto Dealers See Sturdy Profits, Hire 1 Million Employees
GM Revamps Legal Department, Retains Outside Firm for Review
America’s Favorite Vehicle: The SUV Finally Claims the Crown
Fiat Draws Takeover Interest from VW, Report Says
GM Can't Beat VW Globally, Despite Strong China, U.S.
Baltimore Dealer Helps in Fight Against Muscular Dystrophy
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Auto Dealers See Sturdy Profits, Hire 1 Million Employees

Auto sales have seen a strong rise of late amidst a rebounding U.S. economy. Information from various sources show that auto dealership profits and auto dealership employment are up. Employment at U.S. franchised new-car dealerships topped 1 million people last year after falling during the recession in 2009. America's new-car dealers employed 1,008,800 people in 2013, up 3.4 percent from the previous year, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association in NADA Data 2014, a report on dealership sales and financial trends. In contrast to fast food establishments, auto dealerships typically offer health care and other employment benefits to their staff. The franchisee association reports that new-car dealerships employed an average of 57 people and had an average payroll of $3 million in 2013. That is up 3 percent.
Source: Blue MauMau
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GM Revamps Legal Department, Retains Outside Firm for Review

General Motors Co. has hired an outside law firm to conduct a review of GM's litigation practices and revised its handling of civil lawsuits to require all serious civil cases of injuries or deaths to be reviewed by the company's general counsel and engineering staff, the company's top lawyer will tell the Senate. GM General Counsel Michael Millikin will tell a Senate Commerce subcommittee on Thursday that the company has taken swift action to respond to the ignition switch crisis. GM admitted to delaying a recall of 2.6 million Cobalt, Ion and other cars for years linked to 13 deaths and 54 crashes. The outside firm is conducting a “zero based review,” Millikin's testimony says. GM officials described that approach as meaning the review is starting from scratch.
Source: The Detroit News

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America’s Favorite Vehicle: The SUV Finally Claims the Crown

It's official: SUVs of all kinds have passed four-door sedans to be the best-selling type of vehicle in the U.S. market, according to a new analysis of retail vehicle registrations released today by market research firm IHS Inc. Sport utility vehicles – including those built on pickup truck chassis and “crossover utility vehicles” that are tall-riding variants of conventional cars – accounted for 36.5% of retail vehicle registrations in the U.S. during the first five months of this year, up 1.6 percentage points from the same period a year ago, and more than 5 percentage points ahead of 2009, according to figures from IHS's Polk subsidiary. The retail market share of four-door sedans slipped to 35.4% during the first five months of 2014 from 36.6% during the same period a year earlier.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Fiat Draws Takeover Interest from VW, Report Says

Fiat and its controlling shareholder say no talks have been held

Volkswagen AG has approached rival Fiat S.p.A. about a possible merger, Germany's Manager Magazin reported on its website on Thursday, citing unnamed company sources. VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech, who is a member of the family that controls the German carmaker, has held various talks with associates and members of the Agnelli family, which controls Fiat, Manager Magazin reported. VW declined to comment. Fiat has not held any discussions with Volkswagen about a potential merger, a Fiat spokesman said in a statement. And Exor, the holding company which controls Fiat with a 30 percent stake, has held no merger talks with VW, an Exor spokesman told Reuters. According to the report, the Agnelli family would focus on Fiat's Ferrari sports-car unit and withdraw almost completely from the auto business, while the Chrysler Group could help VW's struggles in the U.S.
Source: Automotive News

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GM Can't Beat VW Globally, Despite Strong China, U.S.

General Motors said [Wednesday] it sold 4.92 million vehicles worldwide the first half of 2014, up 1.4% from a year earlier, as China and North America boomed and outweighed slumps nearly everywhere else. The tally wasn't enough to keep GM ahead of Volkswagen Group, which has vowed to sell more vehicles globally than any other. VW reported July 11 that its worldwide tally for the first half was 4.97 million, up 5.9%, despite a drop-off in the U.S. Toyota Motor, frequently the sales champ worldwide, says it expects to report global sales at the end of this month.
Source: USA Today
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Baltimore Dealer Helps in Fight Against Muscular Dystrophy

Jerry's Auto Group in Maryland is joining forces with the local Muscular Dystrophy Association Chapter next week for an inaugural golf classic to help those living with the condition. Scheduled for Monday at Hayfields Country Club in the Hunt Valley area of Baltimore County, Md., the golf event will include the dealership group along with its vendors, clients and business contacts. It has a 9 a.m. ET tee time. “The two entities decided to partner in a common cause for the welfare of those who have been affected by this disease. With 43 types of muscle disease known as muscular dystrophy, awareness of these diseases rose sharply in the late '60s thanks in part to the efforts of the MDA,” a statement from the associated indicated.
Source: Auto Remarkeing
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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 strong auto sales and increased hiring at franchised dealerships, Blue MauMau, July 17

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