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Inside this issue
Carmakers Studying Why Drivers Ignore Recalls
NHTSA Chief to Meet with GM, Ford CEOs in Detroit
Automotive News TV: Bracing for an Interest Rate Hike
Register Today's 'How to Implement One Price Selling' Webinar
VW Q1 Profit Rises 17% as Cost Cuts at Core Brand Offset Weaker Porsche, Audi Earnings
Ally Pushes to Make Up for Lost GM Lease Business
Chevy Focuses Social Media on Millennials and Smaller Models
Fiat Chrysler to Discuss New 'Operational Initiatives'
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Carmakers Studying Why Drivers Ignore Recalls

A top lobby group for automakers will poll drivers to learn why many vehicle owners ignore auto recall notices, alerting them to safety issues. The Washington, D.C.-based Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said Monday it is contracting with Republican pollster Bill McInturff to research the factors that motivate drivers to take their cars in for repairs after recalls. The average completion rate of recalls is currently 75 percent. The survey comes as the industry faces a probe by federal regulators on their efforts.
Source: The Hill 

Editor's note: In response to the Auto Alliance's announcement to launch this major research initiative, NADA President Peter Welch, issued the following statement: "NADA is a strong supporter of data-driven efforts to improve recall completion rates, and the Auto Alliance continues to be a leader in using consumer data to identify the most effective, most efficient and most consumer-friendly ways to increase recall repair rates. The Alliance's new initiative should provide important insights, and we hope policymakers closely examine the results in order to make fully informed decisions about such an important policy matter."

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NHTSA Chief to Meet with GM, Ford CEOs in Detroit

The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will meet with the CEOs of General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. on Thursday during a trip to the Detroit area to discuss recalls. NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind also will meet with senior Fiat Chrysler executives in Auburn Hills, but CEO Sergio Marchionne is in Europe and is not available. Rosekind said this is his first trip to Detroit to establish connections and see safety advances. He vows more trips.
Source: The Detroit News

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Automotive News TV: Bracing for an Interest Rate Hike

Change is coming, says AutoNews Now host Tom Worobec. “Interest rates in the United States are low and they have been for some time,” he added. "In fact, the Federal Reserve’s benchmark rate has been near zero since the financial crisis of 2008." The Fed’s rate-setting committee met yesterday and will meet again today. Steven Szakaly, chief economist of the National Automobile Dealers Association, doesn’t expect to see a rate hike until autumn. “Interest rates will rise later this year, so we’ll see a move by the Fed this fall,” Szakaly told Automotive News TV at a meeting with editors and reporters in Detroit on Tuesday. Szakaly added that dealerships will need to prepare for the rising rates. Click here for the full interview.
Source: Automotive News TV

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Register Today's 'How to Implement One Price Selling' Webinar

NADA University Online will host the webinar "How to Implement One Price Selling" today, 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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VW Q1 Profit Rises 17% as Cost Cuts at Core Brand Offset Weaker Porsche, Audi Earnings

Volkswagen Group’s first-quarter operating profit rose 17 percent, helped by cost cuts at the VW brand, a weaker euro and a profit at Spanish unit Seat. The group's Audi and Porsche brands saw margins shrink on higher investments. The results provided the automaker with some respite after the unexpected resignation of longtime Chairman Ferdinand Piech on April 25. Quarterly earnings before interest and taxes increased to 3.3 billion euros ($3.6 billion) from 2.9 billion euros a year earlier, VW said in a statement. Operating profit improved to 6.3 percent of revenue from 6 percent. VW stuck to a full-year target range of 5.5 percent to 6.5 percent.
Source: Automotive News
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Ally Pushes to Make Up for Lost GM Lease Business

Ally Financial is responding to GM pulling its subsidized lease business by getting more aggressive in near-prime and subprime loans, and by courting dealers harder than ever, especially non-GM and non-Chrysler dealers. “In leases we booked about $1.1 billion for GM in the quarter. You should expect that basically to be zero going forwards. We’re basically done there,” Ally CEO Jeffrey Brown said during the company quarterly earnings conference call. For the quarter, Ally reported U.S. consumer lease originations of $1.6 billion for all brands, down from $2.7 billion a year ago. Total U.S. consumer originations for Ally, loans and leases combined, were $9.8 billion for the first quarter, up 7 percent from a year ago.
Source: Automotive News
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Chevy Focuses Social Media on Millennials and Smaller Models

Chevrolet has targeted an arsenal of social media tools to build awareness and sales of its Spark, Sonic, Trax and Cruze models.

Millennials, that enigmatic mass of Americans born after 1980, now outnumber their baby boomer parents and grandparents and automakers are trying to stir their car buying passions through their primary communications source -- social media. Chevrolet, for example, has targeted an arsenal of social media tools to build awareness and sales of its Spark, Sonic, Trax and Cruze models. "This generation now accounts for one-fourth of all new vehicle sales, and they didn't grow up with many Chevrolets in their driveway," said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet marketing director for cars and crossovers. But by using Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr, Snapchat and other emerging platforms, Chevy is finding new ways to reach them and the celebrities, cultural figures or even friends who might influence them in favorable ways about the bowtie brand.
Source: Detroit Free Press
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Fiat Chrysler to Discuss New 'Operational Initiatives'

First-quarter financial results are not expected to be the main point of discussion when Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV releases its earnings on Wednesday. Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne and other executives are expected to field questions regarding potential mergers, industry consolidation and low profit margins, among other things. Those discussions are in addition to executives reviewing the financial results as well as “operational initiatives” in North America and the company’s “view on industry capital optimization,” according to a revised announcement about first-quarter earnings from Fiat Chrysler on Monday.
Source: The Detroit News

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Quotable

"This generation now accounts for one-fourth of all new vehicle sales and they didn't grow up with many Chevrolets in their driveway."

    -- Steve Majoros, Chevrolet marketing director for cars and crossovers, commenting on the automaker using social media to reach millennials, Detroit Free Press, April 28

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