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Inside this issue
Gov. Jeb Bush Slams CFPB's 'Unelected Bureaucrats' Over Dealer-Assisted Financing Regulations
National Auto Dealers Association Convention Sweeps into SF with Industry on a Roll
Outgoing NADA Chief Does It His Way in Farewell Speech
Time Honors Andy Crews as 2015 Dealer of the Year
NADA Predicts 16.9 Million Vehicles Will Be Sold in '15
GM: Get Succession Plans Set
Nissan Targets Improvements in Dealer Experience
Mazda Targets 11% U.S. Sales Bump in 2015
MTV: Millennials Are Driving More
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Gov. Jeb Bush Slams CFPB's 'Unelected Bureaucrats' Over Dealer-Assisted Financing Regulations

 

In a major policy address at NADA convention, former Florida governor outlines ways to get government out of the way of business to create fair and free opportunity for every American.

The fate of the country rests on moving government out of the way of business so “the promise of fair and free opportunity returns to America,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told a capacity crowd on Friday at the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention & Expo. And while the audience of nearly 4,000 attendees responded favorably to Bush’s remarks, his discussion about recent legislation regarding the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) brought the most exuberant applause.

“Another great example sadly of this are the CFPB rules on dealer financing,” he said. “They went forward with the rule without notice, without a public hearing, not knowing whether it would work. The worst part is that unelected bureaucrats have more power than Congress in this particular case, [and Congress is] trying to repeal the rules--and I hope you continue to stay involved." Bush also cited NADA research that shows regulations add $3.2 billion in costs that the auto industry must pass on to buyers. The total equates to about $2,400 per dealership, per employee, per year, he said.

“Those costs to comply, those costs of regulation, could have gone for higher pay to allow people more disposable income or they could have gone to create more jobs,” he said. Bush spoke about reforming health care, revamping immigration, improving education and the pace and uneven results of the nation’s economic recovery.

“I have sensed Americans are frustrated,” he said. “All the polling shows it as well. We are in the fifth year of recovery … but 60 percent of Americans believe we are in a recession. They are not dumb. It’s because they are in a recession.” Although a small portion of Americans are on the “up” economic escalator and portfolios are strong, the majority of Americans have weak paychecks that have led them to withdraw from building families, communities and careers, he said.

“Far from spreading opportunity, our government gets in the way each and every day. Another law, another tax, another fee or another regulation. It all stands in the way of a new business, a new invention, a new job but, most important, rising income for American families,” Bush said. “The great stories that were told here today of successful dealerships, it’s harder to do that today, to do exactly what you all have done to achieve earned success. I know you know what I mean, because your industry has to deal with this.” Speaking to the standing-room crowd, Bush stressed that he considers leadership in Washington severely lacking and called for the next president to change that course. Yet because of what he said are legal considerations, he did not discuss his presidential aspirations. In remarks after his speech, he playfully said, “I am seriously considering the possibility of running.”

Other crowd-pleasing remarks included Bush’s support of fracking and following Arizona’s example of requiring high school students to pass a civics-education test similar to those taken by immigrants seeking citizenship. “We are on the verge of this becoming the greatest time to be alive in this country,” Bush said. "Leadership can solve some big, complex problems" that hold the country back."
Source: NADA Public Affairs
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National Auto Dealers Association Convention Sweeps into SF with Industry on a Roll

The auto sales business appears to be on cruise control. As dealers nationwide make their way to San Francisco for the annual National Automobile Dealers Association convention, they are not leaving much behind at their respective businesses. "I have little or no inventory," Rod Paddor, a 30-year industry veteran, told CNBC this week. Paddor, who owns a Subaru dealership in Skokie, Ill., added that "as soon as we get new models, they're gone. People are ready to buy right now." Many outsiders point to low gas prices as the reason for strong auto sales last year, but those in the industry know that was not the only driving factor. Nationwide, auto dealers have benefited from more consumer demand as the U.S. economy continues to improve.

NADA reports that in November 2014 there were 1.3 million light-vehicle sales, up 4.5 percent from the prior November. And year-to-date light-vehicle sales in November 2014 amounted to 14.9 million, up 5.3 percent from a year ago. Some of this cheer may be brought to town by the thousands of auto dealers who are attending the NADA convention at the Moscone Center, which started Thursday and runs through Sunday.
Source: The San Francisco Examiner
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Outgoing NADA Chief Does It His Way in Farewell Speech

 

Forrest McConnell III played it differently during his inauguration speech last year as the incoming 2014 National Automobile Dealers Association chairman. He was forceful and animated then. And in a convention first, a generous use of videos on jumbo screens helps punctuate his 2014 address. McConnell also breaks precedent in another way for his farewell speech as the outgoing chairman during this year’s convention [in San Francisco]. Traditionally, the chairman’s departing address is issues-oriented. But McConnell largely skips over that and assumes the role of a motivational speaker. “He wanted it to be an inspirational speech,” an NADA official tells WardsAuto. “As chairman, he’s done things differently all year long, and he’s going out that way.”
Source: WardsAuto
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Time Honors Andy Crews as 2015 Dealer of the Year

 

Andy Crews is the 2015 Time Dealer of the Year. Crews, 44, received the award here Friday. He is CEO of AutoFair Automotive Group in Manchester, N.H. Fifty-five auto dealers were nominated, and Crews was chosen from four finalists. The program honors new-vehicle dealers for exceptional performance in their dealerships and distinguished community service. It is presented by Time magazine, in partnership with Ally Financial and in cooperation with NADA.
Source: Automotive News
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NADA Predicts 16.9 Million Vehicles Will Be Sold in '15

The chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association said Friday that low gas prices and demand for trucks and crossovers will lead to the sale of 16.9 million vehicles in the United States this year. That would be an increase from the 16.5 million sold in 2014. Steven Szakaly, NADA’s chief economist, said an improving housing market, low gas prices and increased job growth are leading to a surge in demand for SUVs and trucks. “At the end of the day, consumers like the utility and comfort that larger vehicles provide,” he said in a statement on the second day of the NADA convention. “Lower gasoline prices accelerate that shift.” Szakaly predicts that of U.S. sales this year, 44 percent will be cars and 56 percent will be light trucks and SUVs.
Source: The Detroit News

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GM: Get Succession Plans Set

General Motors has directed its field organizations to ask every GM dealer this year if he or she has a succession plan. And if not, the company is advising, set up one. It's a "best practice" from other parts of the world, said Eric Peterson, vice president of diversity dealer relations. Peterson said the idea came from Alan Batey, GM's North America president, who has held many executive positions in Europe and Asia with GM's international operations since 1979. Batey said it is normal for manufacturers to have such conversations with dealers in those countries. "Our goal is to sit down with every dealer and say, 'What are you doing? Where are you going? What are your plans from a succession standpoint?'" Peterson told Automotive News while discussing how GM is retaining minority dealers and growing their numbers.
Source: Automotive News
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Nissan Targets Improvements in Dealer Experience

Nissan will roll out a nationwide program this spring intended to boost its middle-of-the-road customer satisfaction scores on dealership experience. The undertaking -- known internally as the Quality Growth Program -- is a bonus program that rewards dealers for meeting various targets aimed at improving performance on customer satisfaction. Nissan and its 1,100 U.S. stores have made big strides in the past two years to improve how customers feel about their dealership and service shop experiences. But it has not improved enough to suit the brand’s North American chairman, Jose Munoz.
Source: Automotive News
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Mazda Targets 11% U.S. Sales Bump in 2015

Dealer incentive program to be retooled

Mazda expects an 11 percent jump in U.S. sales this year, aided by the launch of the new CX-3 small crossover and redesigned MX-5 Miata roadster, Mazda executives told dealers Friday at the 2015 NADA convention [in San Francisco]. The company is also embarking on an overhaul of its dealer incentive program that will take effect July 1, said Dale Walker, owner of Walker’s Renton Mazda in Renton, Wash., and the new chairman of Mazda’s national dealer council. Exact details of the new incentive plan not yet been decided, Walker said, but the company and dealers have certain changes in mind, such as rewarding dealers who operate standalone Mazda dealerships rather than twinning it with another brand.
Source" Automotive News
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MTV: Millennials Are Driving More

Music videos were so 1990s. Today, MTV wants to study automotive trends. The TV channel, a division of Viacom, said Friday at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention that 75 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 34 — commonly known as millennials — would rather give up social media for a day than forgo their car. About 72 percent agree they would rather give up texting for a week than their car. It's part of a study called "Millennials Have Drive," the first of two car studies Viacom will release this year. "The insights gleaned from this first auto study show a generation that emphasizes car ownership and the critical role it plays in their day-to-day lives," said Berj Kazanjian, senior vice president, ad sales research, for MTV. "Millennials, like other generations, see car ownership as a way to establish independence, but millennials also see car ownership as a way to craft their unique adult identity."
Source: The Detroit News

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Quotable

"The automotive retail industry is back, and it is roaring. Literally everything is sold out at this year's convention -- the exhibition space, the hotels, everything. It's going to be a great show."

   
-- Jonathan Collegio, NADA's vice president of public affairs, commenting on the 2015 NADA Convention & Expo, The San Francisco Examiner, Jan. 23

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