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August 17, 2015 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
More Stringent Auto Recalls for 2015 are ‘New Normal’
FCA Takes Guesswork Out of Dealers' Weighty Decisions
Toyota to Embrace Online Car Shopping
Alert: Be Aware of E-mail Solicitations from ‘NADA Dealer Marketing’
Luxury Car Makers Look to U.S. as China Teeters
Dodge Sales Sink Even as Hellcat Popularity Soars
Fiat Chrysler Partners with New ‘Star Wars’ Movie
Top Stories
More Stringent Auto Recalls for 2015 are ‘New Normal’

If 2014 was the year of the auto recall, 2015 isn’t going to be any slouch. U.S. automakers and other vehicle manufacturers overseen by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration already have recalled more than 32.4 million vehicles in nearly 500 campaigns through early August, according to a Detroit News analysis of government data and automaker reports. That’s still far fewer than the 63.95 million vehicles recalled in 2014 in 803 campaigns. But it’s already topped the previous record of 30.8 million vehicles recalled in all of 2004. Several automakers are on pace for a record-setting number of recalls. And the total number of campaigns this year could come close to last year.
Source: The Detroit News
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FCA Takes Guesswork Out of Dealers' Weighty Decisions

Dealers can crunch service op numbers

Fiat Chrysler on Monday will introduce an online analyzer that enables dealers to forecast potential returns from expanding their service operations. FCA US believes its roughly 2,600 Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Fiat dealerships need to add 5,000 service technicians, 1,200 service advisers and about 6,000 service bays by 2018 to keep up with growing consumer demand. The reason: Growing sales and hundreds fewer dealerships than before bankruptcy -- along with millions of recalled vehicles to fix -- can mean long waits for service and potentially unsatisfied customers at FCA US dealerships. The analyzer uses a dealership's existing service numbers, along with registration data that map active and inactive customers within a geographic region, to paint a picture of the dealership's service operation.
Source: Automotive News
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Toyota to Embrace Online Car Shopping

Taking a cue from Scion program

An online car-buying program that targets Scion's young customer base is barely off the ground. But executives are already preparing to roll out a similar system "as soon as possible" for the Toyota brand. That's according to Bill Fay, general manager of Toyota Division, which encompasses both brands. Fay told Automotive News this month at a press launch here for the 2016 Tacoma that Toyota brand aims to roll out its own version of Scion's voluntary Pure Process Plus online transaction program in six to 12 months. The Scion and Toyota initiatives are part of a broader move by automakers, dealers and third parties to simplify car buying through online and mobile tools. Toyota dealers who opt in to the yet-unnamed program will have flexibility in how they implement it in their stores, the company said. Fay said Toyota will use what it's learning from Pure Process Plus to shape the Toyota program, including the information technology and finance and insurance sides of the operation. The goal, he said, is to reduce the time a customer spends in the physical dealership to about an hour.
Source: Automotive News
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Alert: Be Aware of E-mail Solicitations from ‘NADA Dealer Marketing’

Some dealers have reported receiving e-mails from “NADA Dealer Marketing.”  NADA did not send these e-mails. They may have been sent by a company called Dealer Marketing Solutions. NADA has no business relationship with Dealer Marketing Solutions. If you have any questions whether an e-mail from NADA is genuine, contact NADA at 800.252.6232.
Source: NADA Legal Affairs
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Luxury Car Makers Look to U.S. as China Teeters

The goal in the car business is to follow the money, and cashing in lately has meant chasing the the high end of the market -- luxury cars -- especially in emerging markets like China. But the dip in China's stock market is causing automakers to reevaluate, pinning their hopes again on the U.S. and a recovering Europe, markets that before seemed so humdrum to them. The pursuit of wealthy Americans brought a bevy of automakers here to one of California's wealthiest enclaves over the weekend for a week of car events culminating Sunday with the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
Source: USA Today
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Dodge Sales Sink Even as Hellcat Popularity Soars

The head of Fiat Chrysler's Dodge brand, argues that the brand is performing much better than its declining U.S. sales figures suggest. Dodge's sales have dropped nearly 16% to so far this year in the U.S. to 294,791 cars and SUVs compared with more than 350,000 during the first seven months of 2014. But CEO Tim Kuniskis points out that the brand lost one of its nameplates -- the Avenger -- and said sales of the Grand Caravan minivan have slid because inventory declined when the automaker shut down its Windsor Assembly plant for more than three months to prepare for the next minivan. The sales decline also reflects the brand's transition from a car, truck and SUV brand to a brand with a smaller lineup that relies heavily on its muscle and performance cars for sales.
Source: USA Today
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Fiat Chrysler Partners with New ‘Star Wars’ Movie

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is taking its movie partnerships to "a galaxy far, far away.” Lucasfilm on Thursday announced it is collaborating with the automaker’s North American-based operations for the launch of “an expansive, historic promotional campaign” for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” — the newest film in the “Star Wars” franchise. Six other brands have partnered with the studio as well.
Source: The Detroit News
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Quotable
"Conditions in the U.S. are as good as they get. I've never seen a period where I can't see a cloud on the horizon."

    -- Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation, commenting on a strong U.S. economy, USA Today, Aug. 16

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