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Inside this issue
Auto Makers Posted Strong U.S. May Sales
Report: Fiat Chrysler Changes Product Plans
It's Not Too Late! Register for NADA's 'Resolving the High Cost of Disengagement' Webinar
Takata to Reduce Use of Ammonium Nitrate in Air Bags
Former GM CEO Wagoner to Answer Recall Questions
NADA Foundation's Ambassadors' Program Tops $2.5 Million in Grants
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Auto Makers Posted Strong U.S. May Sales

Industry demand runs at 17.8 million annualized pace

Cheap financing and a spate of Memorial Day promotions led to another strong month for U.S. auto sales in May, running at an annualized pace to achieve the highest volume since 2001. Several top car makers logged better-than-expected results for the month, propelled by demand for sport-utility vehicles and trucks that remains robust despite rising gasoline prices. Luxury-car buyers also are driving sales gains using low-price leases and low-interest auto loans that extend several years to trade up to pricier vehicles. May’s seasonally adjusted annual sales rate, or SAAR, was 17.8 million vehicles, the highest recorded since July 2005, according to researcher Autodata Corp. Absolute sales growth was up a modest 1.6% over last year because there was one less selling day than in May 2014.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Report: Fiat Chrysler Changes Product Plans

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV in the past year has reportedly delayed the redesign or release of at least a dozen current or new vehicles in North America. Reuters, citing suppliers familiar with the company’s plans, on Tuesday reported Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is “shuffling product plans even as he seeks a partner for his company” and delaying some projects by a year or more, while focusing resources on updating its most profitable vehicles. Marchionne and other executives laid out a five-year business plan in May 2014 that included scheduled refreshes and redesigns for each of the automaker’s brands to help grow net profit five-fold and increase sales 60 percent by 2018.
Source: The Detroit News
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It's Not Too Late! Register for NADA's 'Resolving the High Cost of Disengagement' Webinar

NADA University Online will host the webinar "Resolving the High Cost of Disengagement" today, June 3 at 1 p.m. ET. The free webinar, presented by Dr. Nicole Lipkin from Equilibria Leadership Consulting, will help attendees gain insight into the profitability of engagement and the high costs of disengagement. Lipkin will discuss ways to improve employee performance and customer retention. Participants will learn the top two avoidable causes of employee disengagement in dealerships and how to mitigate against these issues. Click here to register.
Source: NADA University Online
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Takata to Reduce Use of Ammonium Nitrate in Air Bags

Embattled air bag manufacturer Takata Corp. told Congress it will reduce the use of controversial air bag inflator propellant ammonium nitrate, as it faced harsh criticism for not moving faster to make fixes. Takata Vice President Kevin Kennedy told a House committee Tuesday that the Japanese manufacturer will continue to use ammonium nitrate in its inflators — even as its competitors use other propellants — but said he expected that the company’s use of the compound will decline as it shifts to another chemical.
Source: The Detroit News
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Former GM CEO Wagoner to Answer Recall Questions

Former General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner, who led the automaker before its 2009 bankruptcy and was fired by the Obama administration, will be deposed by lawyers suing the Detroit automaker over the company's delayed ignition switch recall of 2.6 million vehicles linked to more than 100 deaths. Wagoner is scheduled to be questioned Sept. 2. Bob Hilliard, a Texas attorney who is one of three lead attorneys for class-action personal injury and death lawsuits against GM, said Tuesday he is seeking to land depositions of Wagoner's successors as CEO: Fritz Henderson, Ed Whitacre and Dan Akerson. They were on the job when the U.S. government owned a significant share of the automaker. Hilliard said he wants to get "every CEO who was there during the active coverup." GM has repeatedly denied any coverup, attributing the delayed recalls to a culture of incompetence and neglect.
Source: The Detroit News

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NADA Foundation's Ambassadors' Program Tops $2.5 Million in Grants


Dale Willey (right), past NADA chairman and an NADA Foundation trustee, presents a $2,000 Ambassadors’ grant to Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center in Lawrence, Kan. Since 2001, Willey and his family have provided $33,000 in Ambassadors’ grants to organizations in his home state of Kansas.

Since 1994, the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation’s Ambassadors’ program has provided 1,550 grants totaling more than $2.5 million to local organizations across the country.

Today, there are 719 Ambassadors in the program, which includes 347 Ambassadors of Distinction. Donors with three or more ambassadorships are designated Ambassadors of Distinction. This year, 194 Ambassadors (including 95 Ambassadors of Distinction), are eligible to present $337,000 in grants.

Grants are allocated to support specific causes, which have included hospitals, agencies providing emergency medical services, private schools, funding scholarships to other civic organizations.

Individual dealers and family members, dealer associations and companies are eligible to become Ambassadors. For more information about program, contact the NADA Foundation at (703) 821-7102 or foundation@nada.org.
Source: NADA Foundation

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Quotable
"We're putting plans in place to make sure our dealers are best equipped to get the right mix of vehicles into customers’ hands during the popular summer selling months."

   
-- Bob Pradzinski, vice-president of national sales at Hyundai Motor America, commenting on strong sales in May, Automotive News, June 2

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