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Inside this issue
Toyota Seeks More Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars for USA
Nissan Planning for Post-EV-Incentives World
GM Ignition Death Toll Hits 50
Mitsubishi, Renault Scrap Tie-Up to Make Cars for U.S. Market
How VW Veered Off Target
Dealers Hiring More Millennials, But Struggling to Retain Them
4,500 Coats Delivered to the Needy in Manhattan by Auto Dealers for New York Cares
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Toyota Seeks More Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars for USA

Toyota's hydrogen fuel-cell car hasn't even gone on sale yet, but executives say they are already ordering more. Since the car, to be called the Mirai, made its debut late last year, Toyota has received about 16,000 "hand raisers" in the USA — expressions of interest in obtaining one. The cars will be leases for $499 a month. As a result, Senior Vice President Bob Carter told reporters at a breakfast here for the National Automobile Dealers Association that he senses enough interest to ask Toyota in Japan, where Mirai will be made, to send "substantially more" cars. Getting more may not be easy: The model is also proving to be popular in Japan.
Source: USA Today
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Nissan Planning for Post-EV-Incentives World

Nissan has been the most successful retailer of electric vehicles in the U.S., with its Leaf model racking up 77,322 total deliveries since the car went on sale in late 2010, WardsAuto data shows. But that success has come at a price. U.S. federal rebates of up to $7,500, which have spurred a small but devoted slice of Americans to buy an EV, likely are to go away first for Nissan. That's because the rebates disappear when a manufacturer hits 200,000 cumulative EV sales. Although Nissan still has time before it reaches that milestone, the automaker nevertheless is thinking about selling an EV in a post-incentives world.
Source: WardsAuto
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GM Ignition Death Toll Hits 50

General Motors Co.'s ignition compensation fund said Monday it has approved one more death claim, bringing to 50 the total of fatalities attributed to the faulty switches. GM compensation adviser Kenneth Feinberg also approved as approved 50 death claims, one more than the previous week, along with three new injury claims, bringing that total to 75. Of that injury total, seven are for very serious injuries and 68 are for minor injuries.
Source: The Detroit News
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Mitsubishi, Renault Scrap Tie-Up to Make Cars for U.S. Market

Partnership nixed after feasibility study showed too few mutual benefits

Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. are scrapping a plan to cooperate on producing and selling sedans, a blow to the French auto maker's plans to exploit its spare capacity and to the Japanese manufacturer's hopes of expanding its product range in the U.S. The move, confirmed by a Mitsubishi spokesperson, is a setback for the broad cooperation plan Renault, its alliance partner Nissan Motor Co. , and Mitsubishi struck in 2013 to reduce typically steep development costs. “We were conducting a feasibility study hoping for a win-win situation. But it wasn't feasible,” said Tetsuji Inoue, a spokesman for Mitsubishi Motors. Costs and currency-related issues weighed on the plan, Mr. Inoue said.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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How VW Veered Off Target

Once doable, U.S. sales goal seems out of reach

Volkswagen's ambitious U.S. sales goals, now drifting out of reach, once looked so tantalizingly close. Back in 2007, the automaker vowed to crank up U.S. sales of its VW brand to 800,000 vehicles a year by 2018. It was a dizzying sum, requiring more than a tripling of its volume at that time. Many in the industry scoffed. But with steady precision, VW got the skeptics to take a second look. It launched a lower-priced, Mexico-made Jetta and built a plant in Chattanooga that began churning out a new Passat that better fit American tastes and budgets. VW sales doubled between 2009 and 2012, to nearly 440,000, lifting hopes that 800,000 was doable. "It was amazing," said Wade Walker, owner of a VW store near Montpelier, Vt., recalling those heady days. "It was a magic mix. The dealers were excited. Customers were flocking to the vehicles." Today, the magic is gone.
Source: Automotive News
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Dealers Hiring More Millennials, But Struggling to Retain Them

Millennials are moving into showroom sales positions in greater numbers, according to an annual survey by the National Automobile Dealers Association, but dealers still have work to do if they want to build on the trend, says the study's author. On hand [in San Francisco] for the 2015 NADA Convention & Exposition, Bob Carter, senior vice president-operations for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., implores dealers to put more Millennials to work in their showrooms, because that age group is expected to account for 40% of all new-vehicle buyers in 2020. Millennial customers will relate better to Millennial sales staff, Carter believes. But he says dealers need to change working hours and move away from commission-based compensation plans to make jobs more appealing to this age group. “To attract Millennials, you can't expect to work them 16-hour days,” he says.
Source: WardsAuto
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4,500 Coats Delivered to the Needy in Manhattan by Auto Dealers for New York Cares


New car dealers deliver more than 4,500 coats to support New York Cares 2014 Winter Coat Drive. (L to R) Brian Miller, owner of Manhattan Motorcars; New York Cares executive director Gary Bagley and Bob Vail, chairman of GNYADA with a truck full of coats.

More than 60 dealers belonging to the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association (GNYADA) collected and delivered 4,500 coats to New York Cares, NYC's largest volunteer management organization, in support of its 2014 Winter Coat Drive. The coats were dropped off at the New York Cares collection center in Manhattan. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer presided over the drop-off, along with Mark Schienberg, president of GNYADA; Bob Vail, chairman GNYADA; Gary Bagley, executive director New York Cares; and Brian Miller owner of Manhattan Motorcars.
Source: GNYADA
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Quotable

"The glass-half-full view is the industry is beginning to attract more Millennials."

   
-- Ted Kraybill, president of ESiTrends, commenting on the NADA Dealerships Workforce Study findings that dealers are hiring more Millennials, WardsAuto, Jan. 26

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