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Inside this issue
Fiat Chrysler, Nissan Report Big Jan. U.S. Sales Jumps
NADA's Economist: No 17 Million. Here's Why
2015 Dealership Workforce Study Open for Participation
GM Victims' Fund Closes with 51 Deaths -- So Far
White House Seeks to Nearly Triple NHTSA Defect Budget
Ally Financial Names Jeffrey Brown CEO as U.S. Role Ends
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Fiat Chrysler, Nissan Report Big Jan. U.S. Sales Jumps

Fiat Chrysler and Nissan each reported double-digit U.S. sales increases in January, signs that car sales didn't spin out even with a major snowstorm hitting the Northeast. Chrysler said Tuesday that its sales rose 14 percent last month to just over 145,000 vehicles for its best January since 2007. Nissan reported that its sales rose 15 percent to just over 104,000 for the best January in company history. Overall, U.S. sales of new vehicles were expected to jump by double digits in January, continuing the brisk pace of the last half of 2014.
Source: Associated Press

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NADA's Economist: No 17 Million. Here's Why

Steven Szakaly, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association, reiterated his forecast of 16.9 million U.S. light-vehicle sales in 2015 at the NADA convention in San Francisco. Why does his prediction remain below 17 million, in contrast to several more-optimistic analysts? Szakaly cited a few trends. Click here for more.
Source: Automotive News
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2015 Dealership Workforce Study Open for Participation

The fourth annual NADA Dealership Workforce Study (DWS) is now open for participation at www.nadaworkforcestudy.com. Designed to help dealers address their number-one challenge —attracting and keeping the best employees — the DWS collects data on compensation, employee benefits, retention and turnover and work schedules and hours of operation, and reports on these as well as on demographic issues such as the gender and generational gaps in the dealership workforce.

Participation, which involves completing a survey and uploading payroll data, is free and open only to NADA and ATD members. Participants receive two complimentary reports — a customized report comparing their own dealership's data against aggregated data from peers in their region and the nation and an overall analysis of the industry and data for each region of the U.S.

To enroll, go to www.nadaworkforcestudy.com.
Source: NADA Dealership Operations
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GM Victims' Fund Closes with 51 Deaths -- So Far

The number of people killed in General Motors cars with defective ignition switches was raised to 51, as the victim's compensation fund began final evaluations of thousands of claims. Deadline for filing a claim was Saturday, but the fund's deputy administrator, Camille Biro, says, "We still have thousands to go through. We'll likely be working through the end of spring." She says the fund has examined many "horrible accidents, horrible deaths," in its survey of claims. In all, 4,180 claims for compensation were filed. Biro said some were rejected immediately because they involved cars that weren't among those recalled by GM last February and March for faulty ignition switches that could disable airbags in a crash. Others, she said, involved vehicles in which the airbags functioned properly.
Source: USA Today

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White House Seeks to Nearly Triple NHTSA Defect Budget

The White House on Monday proposed to triple the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's defect investigation budget to $31.3 million, as the agency pledged to step up efforts to alert motorists about uncompleted recalls. That's up from $9.7 million in the current budget year and $10.6 million in 2014. Automakers recalled nearly 64 million vehicles in 2014 — more than twice the previous record of 30.8 million that was set in 2004. NHTSA would more than double personnel, and add new equipment and data mining tools.
Source: The Detroit News
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Ally Financial Names Jeffrey Brown CEO as U.S. Role Ends

Ally Financial Inc., the auto lender bailed out by the U.S. government, appointed Jeffrey J. Brown as chief executive officer, succeeding Michael A. Carpenter, who's also leaving the board. Brown, 41, will join the board and work closely with Chairman Franklin "Fritz" Hobbs "on all areas of the business," the Detroit-based company said Monday in a statement. The changes are effective immediately. Carpenter, 67, has refocused the firm on auto lending and reducing expenses after it took a $17.2 billion rescue from the U.S. Treasury Department, which had owned as much as 74 percent of the company. The government sold the last of its stake in December.
Source: Bloomberg

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Quotable

"January auto sales sustained the momentum from last year, thanks to high consumer confidence and low gas prices."

   
-- Fred Diaz, senior vice president, of sales and marketing for Nissan U.S.A., USA Today, Feb. 3

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