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Inside this issue
POLITICO: Warren Gets It Wrong on Autos
Automakers Rev Up Research in the Bay Area
Ford Credit Sees Highest Q1 Dealer Share in 14 Years
Toyota Picks 8 Stores to Sell Mirai Hydrogen Car
Lithia Reaches Out to Women in Step Toward Industry Evolution
Bloomington Hyundai in Minnesota Nets $46,000 for Alzheimer's Cause
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
POLITICO: Warren Gets It Wrong on Autos

The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler writes: “Sen. Warren has long objected to Congress’s decision to exempt automobile dealers from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau…. [W]e did become curious about a statistic that Warren has frequently cited – that ‘auto dealer markups cost consumers $26 billion a year.’ … Yet even if the $26 billion number were credible – which it is not – Warren incorrectly characterizes it.” Click here for the full article.
Source: POLITICO’s Morning Money
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Automakers Rev Up Research in the Bay Area

In the future, your car will anticipate your every need, from where you're heading to what you'd like to listen to along the way — and, of course, drive itself. That's the vision automakers are test-driving in Silicon Valley, which has emerged as ground zero in the race to re-imagine the automobile. Car companies ranging from General Motors to Mercedes-Benz have set up shop in the nation's hotbed of technology and innovation for a dose of inspiration — and a little wheeling and dealing — as they hash out how their vehicles will connect to the Internet, interact with users and drive autonomously. And with Apple and Google increasingly eyeing the road, they're shifting their efforts into overdrive.
Source: Detroit Free Press
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Ford Credit Sees Highest Q1 Dealer Share in 14 Years

Ford Motor Credit Co. increased its share of U.S. retail loan and lease volume for Ford and Lincoln dealers to 45 percent in the first quarter. That was up from 44 percent a year earlier and the highest first quarter in 14 years. The first-quarter share also was the second-highest share for Ford Credit since the third quarter of 2014, when share was 53 percent, the company said last week during a conference call. The captive finance company’s share typically peaks for the year in the third quarter, tied to model-year changeover, incentives on outgoing models and greater spending on marketing and advertising.
Source: Automotive News
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Toyota Picks 8 Stores to Sell Mirai Hydrogen Car

Toyota Motor Corp., seeking a smooth debut this fall for its Mirai hydrogen car, said it will initially sell the car through just eight dealerships in California. Four of the chosen dealerships are in the Bay Area: San Francisco Toyota, Roseville Toyota, Stevens Creek Toyota and Toyota of Sunnyvale. The other four are near Los Angeles: Longo Toyota, Toyota Santa Monica, Toyota of Orange and Tustin Toyota. Rather than having the dealers stock the Mirai, Toyota will have customers request one online and complete the deal at the dealership of their choice. Toyota plans to sell about 3,000 Mirais by the end of 2017. In a statement, Toyota said the eight dealerships were chosen partly based on their expertise in selling high-tech cars such as electric vehicles and hybrids. Moreover, all of them are close to hydrogen fueling stations.
Source: Automotive News

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Lithia Reaches Out to Women in Step Toward Industry Evolution

Lithia Motors Inc. has taken a step in the right direction. On May 11-14, the dealership group hosts its first Lithia Women’s Leadership Week. The company has invited 70 of its female managers to the conference at its Medford, Ore., headquarters. “The primary motivation is to offer an enrichment opportunity to the women we already have,” said Tom Dobry, Lithia’s vice president of marketing. Lithia has about 10,000 employees; a quarter of them are women. At the leadership level, there are two female assistant vice presidents and five female directors. But Lithia, like many dealership groups, wants to hire more women across the company. It also wants those in its midlevel management jobs to advance, Dobry said.
Source: Automotive News
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Bloomington Hyundai in Minnesota Nets $46,000 for Alzheimer's Cause

The thrill of hockey memories met with some spirited jabs on the ice as former NHL players joined auto dealership employees in Minnesota for a game that netted more than $46,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association of Minnesota and North Dakota. “It’s personal to me as my father passed away from a complication with Alzheimer’s,” said Luther Bloomington Hyundai General Manager Lenny Checheris, who organized the event. “It is a horrible disease that will affect millions in the coming years as the baby boomers age.” Brad Maxwell, president of the Minnesota NHL Alumni Association, helped gather a sizable group of hockey vets. He played for the Minnesota North Stars from 1977 to 1987. For the benefit game, teams were split evenly with amateurs from the Luther Automotive Group.
Source: Luther Automotive Group
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Quotable

"We think that half the work’s done. Half the work is developing the vehicle. The other half -- and that’s what you’re seeing us do -- is invest in the infrastructure."

    -- Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations at Toyota's U.S. division, commenting on the automaker's new Mirai hydrogen car and the limited number of hydrogen fueling stations throughout the U.S., Automotive News, May 6

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