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Inside this issue
NADA Launches New, Redesigned Website
Buffett Extends a Hand to Dealers -- 'If We Shake Hands, We've Got a Deal'
Fiat Chrysler Faces More Legal Hazards
U.S. Porsche Dealers to Receive More Macans
Maserati Adds Dealers, Awaits Levante
Ford, Toyota Missing Boom in 'City-Size' SUVs
Honda Says It Isn't in Same Business as Fellow Car Maker Nissan
Automakers Charge Ahead with EV Sales
Self-Driving Cars, Luxury Trends on Tap at J.D. Power/NADA Conference
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
NADA Launches New, Redesigned Website

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) just launched its new and more robust website, full of engaging images and enhanced features. The redesigned website is cleaner, easier to navigate, and includes more video and multimedia. “Member dealers can stay current on all news and information wherever they are,” said NADA President Peter Welch. That’s because NADA is one of the few major trade associations to use responsive design, which allows for a more user-friendly experience when viewing the site on handheld devices, such as smart phones and tablets.

The homepage has been graphically enhanced and features a streamlined navigation menu, which includes Advocacy, Convention/Events, Education, Foundation, Used Car Guide and NADART, as well as top stories from the popular NADA Headlines daily e-newsletter and the association’s latest initiatives. The new website also includes a dynamic search feature, which allows users to locate multiple sources and locations of information about a specific subject or keyword. For additional news and information, follow NADA on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Flickr.
Source: NADA

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Buffett Extends a Hand to Dealers -- 'If We Shake Hands, We've Got a Deal'

With the deeper pockets of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. now backing it, the former Van Tuyl Group intends to add dealerships going forward. "In the next couple of years, we're likely to make a number of acquisitions," Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett told the NADA/J.D. Power Automotive Forum [in New York] last week. Buffett then made a pitch of sorts to the room full of dealers and other auto industry representatives: "We always do what we say. If we shake hands, we've got a deal. We've always got the money. We don't renegotiate ever in the last minute like some people do. Manufacturers are likely to approve us. So we will make more deals."
Source: Automotive News

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Fiat Chrysler Faces More Legal Hazards

Jeep verdict could encourage harder lines among victims in other rear-end crashes

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV could face more legal headaches, after several years of work by the auto maker to ease concerns about fiery rear-end Jeep crashes ran headlong into a jury awarding significant damages. The jury verdict, rendered last week and granting $150 million of damages in the March 2012 death of a 4-year-old boy, threw into sharp relief the limits of Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne’s approach to handling millions of older sport-utility vehicles. The Jeeps are equipped with fuel tanks that regulators deemed vulnerable to igniting in rear-end collisions—and those vehicles are the subject of other lawsuits yet to be concluded.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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U.S. Porsche Dealers to Receive More Macans

Porsche dealers coping with frustrated customers eager to buy the sold-out Macan will get some breathing room soon. Porsche is increasing U.S. allocation for the midsize crossover. Extra vehicles are to begin arriving in May. "We do not want to continue to have a situation where we have a waiting list of five to six months," Porsche Cars North America CEO Detlev von Platen said. "This is the reason we have decided to jump on the allocation for the United States and increase this for this year."
Source: Automotive News

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Maserati Adds Dealers, Awaits Levante

Although it is moving more slowly than expected, Maserati plans to increase its U.S. dealership count to 125 as it prepares to launch the Levante full-size crossover. Christian Gobber, CEO of Maserati North America, said the brand has begun adding points from the 100 it had last year, bringing its current count to 107 stores. The Levante is due in U.S. dealerships late in the second quarter of 2016, Gobber said in an interview at the auto show [in New York].
Source: Automotive News

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Ford, Toyota Missing Boom in 'City-Size' SUVs

Buick Encore started the mini-SUV avalanche in the U.S. that's now being joined by the Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, Mazda CX-3, Chevrolet Trax, Fiat 500X, and the Ford … uh, what Ford? Did SUV champ Ford miss the boat? Or does it have something about to pop? And for that matter, where is Toyota, normally willing to battle in any slice of the market? The mini-SUV market — so-called "city 'utes" that are smaller than the likes of Honda CR-V and Ford Escape and fit into tight urban confines — didn't exist in the U.S. a few years ago.
Source: USA Today

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Honda Says It Isn't in Same Business as Fellow Car Maker Nissan

Nissan Motor Co. yet again trounced Japanese rival Honda Motor Co. in U.S. sales last month, outselling them by about 18,800 units. So what’s Honda’s response? “I don’t really give a damn about Nissan,” said John Mendel, Honda’s North American sales chief, said Wednesday at the New York Auto Show. While he’s flattered that Nissan likes to compare itself to Honda, “they don’t do the same business we do,” he said.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Automakers Charge Ahead with EV Sales

Automakers are moving full-speed ahead building electric vehicles to meet government zero emission vehicle mandates despite sagging sales. At the New York International Auto Show, automakers said they were moving forward despite low oil prices. Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz USA unit unveiled a new plug-in GLE 550e with the electric drive train from its S-Class. By 2017, Mercedes-Benz will offer up to 10 EVs and plug-in vehicles. “I don’t know how you can meet the regulations in terms of emissions without electric vehicles. I think it is going to get stricter and stricter — I don’t think it’s going to get looser,” said Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn Thursday at the show. “Zero emission is here to stay.”
Source: The Detroit News

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Self-Driving Cars, Luxury Trends on Tap at J.D. Power/NADA Conference

Within three years, Adam Jonas, managing director at Morgan Stanley, expects a city like San Francisco to authorize self-driving pods to shuttle its citizens around. At some point soon, Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen says Tesla-style over-the-air updates will become a reality for the brand. But at no point in the near future does Warren Buffett, well, you know who he is, expect self-driving cars to become mainstream. The trio were among the more than 20 speakers at the 2015 Automotive Forum, hosted March 31 in New York by the National Auto Dealers Association and J.D. Power and Associates.
Source: Cars.com

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Quotable

"In the next couple of years, we're likely to make a number of acquisitions."

    -- Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett told the NADA/J.D. Power Automotive Forum in New York last week, Automotive News, April 6

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