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Inside this issue
Dealership Consolidation is Coming -- But How Fast and How Much?
GM Extends 'Speak Up' Safety Message to Dealers
Mileage March on Schedule, EPA Says
Fiat Chrysler Opens Trading on NYSE
Ford Hiring 850 Workers to Help Build Aluminum F-150 Pickup
Demand Skyrockets for Collision-Avoidance Sensors
While You Wait for Service, Make Yourself at Home
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Dealership Consolidation is Coming -- But How Fast and How Much?

Dealership consolidation is expected to accelerate as Warren Buffett's entry into automotive retailing attracts more buyers, observers said. But don't expect massive change anytime soon. It will be a decadelong process, Steven Szakaly, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association, predicted. About 4 percent of U.S. dealerships are held by publicly traded companies, NADA Chairman Forrest McConnell said, leaving 96 percent up for grabs in the buy-sell arena. Szakaly said consolidation of stores provides economies-of-scale advantages that can ease regulatory compliance and improve back-office operations such as human resources and financing. But despite those advantages, he said, even the largest public dealership groups seem to find it "very, very difficult to get above 300 dealerships."
Source: Automotive News

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GM Extends 'Speak Up' Safety Message to Dealers

Company prepares online training for dealership workers

General Motors' heightened focus on safety in the wake of its recall crisis is spilling over to its 4,300 dealerships. In a Sept. 30 memo, GM North America President Alan Batey asked dealers to reinforce to their staffs "a sense of safety ownership and responsibility," and told dealers to encourage staffers to "speak up" if they spot a potential problem. "We must ensure all GM dealers and their staffs understand their role in GM's workplace and product safety strategy," Batey wrote in the memo.
Source: Automotive News

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Mileage March on Schedule, EPA Says

Don't read too much into the slowdown in fuel economy gains, regulators say. The pace should quicken again with the spread of more potent gas-saving technologies. The industrywide average hit a record 24.1 mpg in the 2013 model year, up 0.5 mpg but rising less than the 1.2 mpg increase the previous year, according to the EPA's annual Fuel Economy Trends report issued last week. The agency forecasts just a 0.1 mpg gain for 2014 models, based on preliminary data. The report's figures are intended to show real-world mileage and are adjusted down from those used for compliance with federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards.
Source: Automotive News

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Fiat Chrysler Opens Trading on NYSE

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV debuted on Wall Street on Monday with the roar of a red La Ferrari in the background. It was an affair complete with Italian-style kisses on the cheek exchanged between FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne and Fiat chairman and family member John Elkann. The newly formed Italian-American company — incorporated in the Netherlands, with its headquarters outside London — began its new listing on the New York Stock Exchange on Columbus Day. It trades under the symbol “FCAU.” Expansion of trading from Italy to the United States will give the automaker improved access to capital markets.
Source: The Detroit News

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Ford Hiring 850 Workers to Help Build Aluminum F-150 Pickup

Ford Motor Co., on a hiring spree in advance of next year's labor contract negotiations, said it's adding 850 workers at its manufacturing site near Detroit to help make the new aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup. “These new jobs will help meet anticipated customer demand,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, said in an announcement at the plant, also known as the Rouge, where Henry Ford built a sprawling industrial complex almost a century ago. “Combining salaried and hourly positions, Ford has hired more than 23,000 employees since 2011.”
Source: Bloomberg

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Demand Skyrockets for Collision-Avoidance Sensors

Fully autonomous cars may be a decade away, but the sensors they'll need for collision avoidance -- radar, cameras, ultrasound and lidar -- have become a big business already. Global sales of anti-crash sensors will total $9.90 billion in 2020 -- up from $3.94 billion this year, predicts IHS Automotive, a research firm based in suburban Detroit. Radar and cameras will account for the lion's share of that revenue, followed by ultrasound and lidar, according to the IHS forecast.
Source: Automotive News
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While You Wait for Service, Make Yourself at Home

Large, elaborate and packed with people -- that's what dealerships' service department waiting rooms are becoming, said Forrest McConnell, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, last week. "More people are waiting," he said, because dealers are doing more express services, such as oil changes and tire rotations. For quick jobs, customers tend to wait. "So everybody's making their waiting rooms bigger," McConnell said. "We always think of the facilities and think about it from the sales end, right? But a lot of that is you come in and wait." Some brands already are making that change, modeling their waiting rooms on upscale coffee bars. But that just means, McConnell said, "People's expectations of the waiting room have increased by a tremendous amount."
Source: Automotive News
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Quotable

"Chrysler has come home."

    --
Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler, told reporters in the New York Stock Exchange boardroom, seven years after it was last traded publicly as part of Daimler, The Detroit News, Oct. 13

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