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Inside this issue
Ford Posts 7% Drop in Q1 Profit, Still Sees 'Breakthrough Year'
NADA: Used-Vehicle Retail Prices Will Rise More
Register Now for NADA's 'How to Implement One Price Selling' Webinar
Ally to Take Over Mitsubishi's U.S. Lending Arm
FCA Hints at Plan to Boost Profit Margins
Aston Martin Mulls Plant in Alabama to be Near Mercedes
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Ford Posts 7% Drop in Q1 Profit, Still Sees 'Breakthrough Year'

Ford Motor Co., which has forecast a “breakthrough year” for itself after remaking a large swath of its global lineup, said its first-quarter net income fell 6.6 percent to $924 million as the launch of its aluminum-bodied pickup cut production. Ford said the F-150 introduction has gone so well that it is increasing its projections for North American profit margins slightly but that economic conditions in South America have been worse than expected. Revenue in the quarter fell 5.6 percent to $33.9 billion.
Source: Automotive News

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NADA: Used-Vehicle Retail Prices Will Rise More

The average retail price of $18,846 for a used light vehicle sold at a franchised dealership in 2014 was up 4.1 percent from 2013 and 14 percent from 2010, according to NADA Data 2014, the National Automobile Dealers Association's annual report on dealership sales and financial trends. Used-vehicle prices have climbed steadily since about 2011, a byproduct of new-vehicle sales hitting rock bottom during the Great Recession, which in turn tightened the industry's used-vehicle inventory. NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly said that although more off-lease vehicles are coming back into the market this year, pent-up demand from new- and used-vehicle buyers, plus low interest rates, likely will lift average used-vehicle prices again this year -- though probably not as much as last year. 
Source: Automotive News

Editor's note: To download NADA Data 2014, click here.
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Register Now for NADA's 'How to Implement One Price Selling' Webinar

NADA University Online will host the webinar "How to Implement One Price Selling" on Wednesday, April 29 at 1 p.m. ET. The free webinar, presented by The Rikess Group's Mark Rikess, will discuss how implementing a one price sales strategy can help dealerships better recruit sales consultants; develop sales and management compensation plans; be built in to the key steps of the sale; and how to use advanced methods for handling incoming phone calls and internet leads. Click here to register.
Source: NADA University Online
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Ally to Take Over Mitsubishi's U.S. Lending Arm

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is getting out of the U.S. auto lending business.

Mitsubishi, one of the smallest car companies with a captive finance arm in the United States, said [Monday] that it is selling its book of business to Ally Financial Inc., the former lending division of General Motors, which has become one of the nation’s largest auto lenders since being spun off during GM’s bankruptcy. “We are pleased to have a financial partner like Ally that can support us with the products and services that our dealers need,” Don Swearingen, executive vice president of Mitsubishi’s U.S. sales division, said in a statement.
Source: Automotive News
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FCA Hints at Plan to Boost Profit Margins

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will talk about a lot more than just earnings when it reports its first quarter financial results on Wednesday. The automaker said Monday it also plans to update investors on "operational initiatives" in North America as well as "it's view on industry capital optimization" -- but declined to elaborate on what either phrase means. However, it is widely known that the automaker has been under pressure recently to increase its profit margins in North America and is in the middle of considering several plant investments -- making it likely that CEO Sergio Marchionne will talk about how the company plans to make progress on Wednesday.
Source: Detroit Free Press
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Aston Martin Mulls Plant in Alabama to be Near Mercedes

Aston Martin is considering a U.S. factory in Alabama to be near its industrial partner Daimler, the British sports car maker's CEO Andy Palmer told a U.K. car magazine Autocar. Aston has had expressions of interest for a new factory from U.S. states and from countries around the world, including the U.K., Palmer told Autocar. "It is not decided yet but clearly with our arrangement with Daimler it would make sense to look closely at the possible synergies of working close to them in Alabama," he told the magazine. Daimler builds Mercedes SUVs at the Vance, Alabama, factory. Daimler has a 5 percent stake in Aston as part of a deal to supply the UK company with high-performance engines and electronic architectures.
Source: Automotive News
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Quotable

"The first quarter was a good start to a year in which our results will grow progressively stronger as the new products we have been launching start to pay off. We are re-confirming that 2015 will be a breakthrough year for Ford."

    -- Ford CEO Mark Fields, commenting on the automaker's Q1 profit, Automotive News, April 28

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