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Inside this issue
U.S. Cars' Best January Since 06 Counters World Slowdown
Plug-In Electric Car Sales In Jan: Winter Slump Sets In
Ford Adding 1,550 Jobs, Bumping Pay for Some Employees
Ahead of Redesign, Honda Sells Pilot at Furious Pace
Jaguar Land Rover Execs Met Georgia Governor to Discuss U.S. Plant, Report Says
NADA Presents Awards to Convention Exhibitors
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
U.S. Cars' Best January Since 06 Counters World Slowdown

With Russia struggling, China’s growth slowing and Brazil contracting, global automakers are counting on the U.S., where January sales were the most in nine years. To start the year, sales at General Motors Co. jumped 18 percent while Ford Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. all beat analysts’ estimates as cheaper gasoline and falling unemployment boosted consumer confidence. The U.S. has job growth to drive sales along with lenders willing to loan at low rates to finance cars. Cheaper fuel has also rekindled Americans’ affinity for profitable pickups and sport utility vehicles. 
Source: Bloomberg

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Plug-In Electric Car Sales In Jan: Winter Slump Sets In

Last year's U.S. sales of plug-in electric cars were the highest on record, but now the traditional winter sales slump is likely to set in. Electric car sales usually dip during the coldest months, and last January was the lowest sales month of the year ... The Nissan Leaf saw 1,070 sales last month, slightly down on last year's 1,252--but considerably higher than the 650 in January 2013. Still, given that the Leaf's best month (August 2014) saw 3,126 sales, Leaf winter numbers are obviously down. “We saw a significant increase in demand in December from customers looking to take advantage of Federal and state incentives at the end of the tax year," noted Brendan Jones, Nissan's director of electric vehicle sales and infrastructure. That, he suggested, pulled some January sales ahead into December 2014--which logged a healthy total of 3,102. The Chevy Volt, meanwhile, saw January deliveries of a mere 542, against 918 in 2014 and 1,140 in 2013. Again, that looks like some seasonal slump.
Source: Green Car Reports
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Ford Adding 1,550 Jobs, Bumping Pay for Some Employees

Ford is adding 1,550 jobs at four plants to meet demand for the new 2015 F-150 pickup, and the influx of new entry-level workers will bump up the wages of as many as 500 lower-paid employees already on the automaker’s payroll. The reason for all the hiring and pay bumps: Demand is high for the 2015 F-150, which is still ramping up to full production. Some customers are waiting months for their orders to be filled. “It is important to get as many of the new vehicles on the road as possible,” said Michael Robinet, managing director of IHS Automotive Consulting. “Ford needs to pull out all the stops. The vehicles at the beginning of the cycle are the most profitable. They have customers waiting for them and are highly contented.”
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Ahead of Redesign, Honda Sells Pilot at Furious Pace

Once upon a time, U.S. shoppers flocking from cars to trucks would have been bad news for the small-car specialist Honda. But not anymore. American Honda Motor Co. delivered a strong 12 percent sales increase in January, with most of the growth coming from crossovers such as the Honda Pilot. Though the midsize crossover is at the end of its product cycle, its sales surged 98 percent to 12,315 units -- giving testimony to the red-hot nature of the truck market. Honda plans to unveil the next-generation Pilot at next week’s Chicago Auto Show.
Source: Automotive News
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Jaguar Land Rover Execs Met Georgia Governor to Discuss U.S. Plant, Report Says

Jaguar Land Rover executives met Georgia Governor Nathan Deal last month to discuss opening a factory in his state, a U.S. newspaper reported. Merry Hunter Hipp, a spokeswoman for the governor, said that Deal "made prospect calls" while on an economic development trip to England, where he also visited Pinewood Studios, which has a facility near Atlanta. She declined to comment on the reported meeting with Jaguar Land Rover. "We do not discuss the calls due to the sensitive nature of these ongoing business communications," Hipp said in an email. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the meeting, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the matter.
Source: Bloomberg
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NADA Presents Awards to Convention Exhibitors

NADA announces future convention dates

The National Automobile Dealers Association presented five “Best in Show” awards last week to companies that exhibited at the 2015 NADA and American Truck Dealers Convention and Expo in San Francisco.

Here are the 2015 “Best in Show” winners:

    -- Pandora: Best Linear Booth (100 to 400 square feet)
    -- DealerSocket Equity Mining: Best Small Island Booth (400 to 1,000 square feet)
    -- vAuto, Inc: Best Medium Island Booth (1,000 to 2,000 square feet)
    -- Dealertrack Technologies: Best Large Island Booth (2,000 square feet and above)
    -- CDK Global: ATD “Best in Show” award.

The awards recognize companies for excellence in design and construction, including the use of innovative materials and creativity in color, lighting and attractions. The exhibits were also evaluated on branding, company imagery and messaging. 

Future convention dates:

    -- 2016:  Thursday, March 31, to Sunday, April 3 (Las Vegas)
    -- 2017:  Thursday, Jan. 26, to Sunday, Jan. 29 (New Orleans)
    -- 2018:  Thursday, March 22, to Sunday, March 25 (Las Vegas)
Source: NADA Public Affairs
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Quotable

"Consumers feel good because more people are working, the U.S. economy is expanding and fuel prices are low."

   
-- Kurt McNeil, GM sales chief, commenting on January auto sales, The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 3

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