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Inside this issue
Nissan Tries to Stay Out of the Way of Its Dealers
California's 'Green' Rebates Come Under Attack
Buffett Says Hes in the Car Business for the Long-Haul
Used Supply To Reach Pre-Recession Levels in 2017
Hot Cars at the New York International Auto Show
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Top Stories
Nissan Tries to Stay Out of the Way of Its Dealers

Nissan is trying to stay out of the way of its 1,100 U.S. dealers when it comes to retailing vehicles, an executive for the automaker says.... “We’ve learned to work with them and get the hell out of the way to let them do their jobs,” says Fred Diaz, senior vice president-sales and marketing for Nissan’s U.S. unit. “They know what they’re doing.” Nissan once rated last in an annual by-brand dealer satisfaction ranking by the National Automobile Dealers Assn. “We didn’t like being there,” Diaz says. It’s now in the middle of the pack, which still isn’t good enough, he adds.

He largely credits the improvement to Nissan committing to meet frequently with its national dealer council at different locations around the country. “We’re the only brand in U.S. to meet monthly with its dealer council,” Diaz says. “Everything that’s not working, we talk about at those meetings.” Likewise, ever new Nissan retailing initiative makes the agenda of such meetings, he [said] at the J.D. Power/NADA Automotive Forum held in conjunction with the New York International Auto Show.
Source: WardsAuto

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California's 'Green' Rebates Come Under Attack

California's incentives to purchase electric vehicles are under attack, as data shows most of the money goes to consumers who earn twice the national average yet collect cash rebates on Tesla Motors Inc.'s luxury models. "It's hard for the average Californian to understand why someone buying a $100,000 car should get a rebate," said California state Senator Ted Gaines, a Republican who has proposed eliminating rebates on cars that cost more than $40,000. "That's the same question I posed to myself, and it was hard to justify." With almost a fifth of California payments applied to Tesla vehicles priced higher than $71,000, the state's regulators also are drafting rules to ration incentives based on income.

Source: Bloomberg

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Buffett Says Hes in the Car Business for the Long-Haul

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is looking to expand his newly acquired auto retailer, saying he’s in the car business for the long-haul. Prices for dealerships have risen amid a boom in U.S. auto sales, but that doesn’t faze Mr. Buffett. “I don’t buy based on this year’s earnings or next year’s earnings,” said Mr. Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s chairman, speaking at the NADA/J.D. Power Automotive Forum in New York. Mr. Buffett closed on an all-cash deal earlier this month to acquire the Van Tuyl Group, the nation’s fifth-largest dealership chain with 81 stores in 10 states. Mr. Buffett said completing the deal had challenges, including winning approval from car manufacturers. He noted that he has long harbored an interest in the auto business, dating back to when he started reading the trade publication Automotive News as a teenager.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Used Supply To Reach Pre-Recession Levels in 2017

In less than two years, the auto industry might look a lot like the business we knew before the Great Recession. That’s according to executive analyst for NADA Used Car Guide Jonathan Banks, who predicts late-model used vehicle supply will reach pre-recession levels in 2017. Banks reported this assertion on Monday, right in time for the NADA and J.D. Power Automotive Forum on Tuesday, hosted by the New York International Auto Show. "A burgeoning off-lease supply of used vehicles will drive late-model (5 years old or newer) volume up 8 percent this year. While late-model supply will reach pre-recession levels in 2017, overall supply won't reach this point until a few years later,” said Banks. “Off-lease supply will be dominated by compact cars and utilities, along with mid-size cars and utilities, which is a pre-recession trend reversal.”
Source: Auto Remarketing


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Hot Cars at the New York International Auto Show

The New York International Auto Show opens [today] with a mix of mainstream sedans and glitzier models from automakers across the globe. There are a handful of new midsize cars and compact cars, including the Malibu from Chevrolet, the Optima from Kia, Scion's first-ever sedan and a sporty new concept Civic from Honda that may be the highlight of the show for everyday car buyers. Lovers of luxury and performance won't be disappointed. Among the introductions are an updated Lexus RX SUV, a big Cadillac, the return of the Lincoln Continental, and the 570S, a high-performance sports car from Formula One racing company McLaren priced under $200,000.
Source: The Associated Press

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More Articles
 
Quotable

"Dealers hated our stair-step program, so we fixed it. The replacement allows them to better plan their orders. We don't spike their objectives from month to month. I'd be lying if I said it was perfect, but it’s better than it was."

    -- Fred Diaz, senior vice president-sales and marketing for Nissan’s U.S. unit, in remarks at the NADA / J.D. Power Automotive Forum in New York, WardsAuto, April 1

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