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Inside this issue
NADA and J.D. Power to Host AutoConference LA on Nov. 17
Register Now for NADA's 'Marketing to Millennials - You're Doing it Wrong' Webinar
Judge Approves FCA SUV Stalling Settlement
Volvo Expects Substantial Profit Boost in 2015
Demand Fuels Bigger Plans for Dodge’s Hellcat
High-Tech Cars Bring Detroit, Silicon Valley Face to Face
5 Reasons Dealerships Better Than Independent Repair Shops
Top Stories
NADA and J.D. Power to Host AutoConference LA on Nov. 17



Registration is now open and includes a $100 discount through September 1


Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., and Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America, are the featured industry keynote speakers at the 2015 AutoConference LA, formerly the Western Automotive Conference. The half-day conference, which is hosted by J.D. Power and the National Automobile Dealers Association, begins at 12 p.m. PST on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, at the JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE.

Now in its fourth year, this year’s conference also includes an economic overview of the industry by Steven Szakaly, NADA chief economist; and John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive operations for J. D. Power, will provide an automotive outlook with a focus on the California/Los Angeles market.

Alexi Venneri, CEO of Digital Air Strike, will highlight the growing impact of social media on car buying; AutoNation’s Marc Cannon and Famous Rhodes will discuss the dealership group’s online car buying website, AutoNation Express; and Steve Lind, president of Kelley Blue Book, and dealer Mike Sullivan, president of LAcarGUY Family of Dealerships, will participate in a panel session on consumer expectations in online retailing.

Other speakers include Bill Fox, NADA chairman; Bob Smith, executive director of the Greater Los Angeles Automobile Dealers Association; Finbarr O’Neill, J.D. Power president; and Peter Welch, NADA president.

The conference precedes press days at the Los Angeles Auto Show and for the first time will be held in conjunction with the Connected Car Expo. Registration is now open and includes a $100 discount through Sept. 1, 2015. For more information or to register, visit www.autoconferencela.com.
Source: NADA

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Register Now for NADA's 'Marketing to Millennials - You're Doing it Wrong' Webinar

NADA University Online will host the webinar "Marketing to Millennials - You're Doing it Wrong" today, Aug. 19 at 1 p.m. ET. The free webinar, presented by Erik Radle from the Miller Ad Agency, will discuss how to effectively market to next generation buyers with creative media strategies. Attendees will gain an understanding of "mirror messaging," "declarative" and "quizzical" voice strategies to attract new customers and ultimately increase their bottom line. Click here to register.
Source: NADA University Online
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Judge Approves FCA SUV Stalling Settlement

A federal judge granted preliminary approval for a settlement with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV over a class-action lawsuit for stalling problems in more than 500,000 recalled Dodge Durangos and Jeep Grand Cherokees. The settlement agreement that was unveiled in June and preliminarily approved late Monday by U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson in California covers 526,000 U.S. owners of 2011-13 Durangos and Grand Cherokees. Documents in the suit disclose Fiat Chrysler agreed to recall more than 460,000 SUVs worldwide in late February as part of a settlement of the lawsuit.
Source: The Detroit News
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Volvo Expects Substantial Profit Boost in 2015

The chief executive officer of Swedish car maker Volvo Car Corp. said he sees a "substantial increase in profits" for the full year 2015 as volume, favorable currency movements and increased sales of higher margin cars help lift the company's profitability. The company, owned by China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Wednesday said operating profit for the six months to June 30 jumped more than 70% to 1.7 billion Swedish kronor ($195 million) compared with 968 million kronor a year earlier, due to a stronger dollar, higher sales of more profitable models such as the XC60 and a slight increase in volumes. Revenue rose 12% to 67 billion kronor. Volvo, which is targeting 500,000 unit sales this year, up from 466,000 last year, said it sold almost half of that amount during the first six months of this year as growth in Europe offset a drop in the company's biggest market, China.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Demand Fuels Bigger Plans for Dodge’s Hellcat

Dodge wasn’t prepared for the popularity of its new 707-horsepower SRT Hellcat models. All 2015 model-year cars already are spoken for, and dealers this week began ordering the 2016 models. But even if it’s hard for enthusiasts to buy the current Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcats — named after their supercharged Hemi engine — the high-performance muscle cars have people talking about the brand. They are buying Dodge and Hellcat merchandise. And they’re attending Dodge events across the country, including an estimated 40,200 people at Woodward Dream Cruise events. “It’s an absolute milestone of Dodge history,” Dodge and SRT President and CEO Tim Kuniskis said recently in his Auburn Hills office. “It’s the ’71 Hemi all over again.”
Source: The Detroit News
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High-Tech Cars Bring Detroit, Silicon Valley Face to Face

The office has all the trappings of a high-tech startup. There's a giant beanbag in the foyer and erasable, white board walls for brainstorming. Someone's pet dog lounges happily on the sunny balcony. Welcome to the Palo Alto home of the Ford Motor Co., six miles from the headquarters of Google. Meanwhile, in a squat, industrial building in suburban Detroit, a short drive from Ford's headquarters, workers are busy building a small fleet of driverless cars. The company behind them? Google. The convergence of cars and computers is blurring the traditional geographical boundaries of both industries. Silicon Valley is dotted with research labs opened by automakers and suppliers, who are racing to develop high-tech infotainment systems and autonomous cars.
Source: Associated Press
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5 Reasons Dealerships Better Than Independent Repair Shops

For many dealerships, getting customers to return to your service lanes is easier said than done. Those independent repair facilities have a tendency to steal customers, who often cite convenience and price as major selling points. Fortunately for dealers, there are ways to better ensure customers will choose your service lane for upcoming maintenance or future repairs. When customers drive off the lot in their new vehicle, dealerships often do a lot of work to prevent defection and ensure people will return for vehicle servicing. The service department is a major dealership profit center. Often, the service relationship starts off strong, but as time goes on and warranties expire, customer loyalty dwindles.

Within the first two years of vehicle ownership, 45% of customers remain loyal to their dealership’s service department, according to a DMEAutomotive study. After three to six years of ownership, only 31% return to the dealership for core services and after seven or more years, only 13% of customers return. So what’s a dealership to do? Can your service department really compete with independently owned service centers? Of course. It’s all about demonstrating to customers what advantages there are to using your dealership service lane.
Source: WardsAuto
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Quotable
"It's an absolute milestone of Dodge history."

    -- Dodge and SRT President and CEO Tim Kuniskis, commenting on the high demand for the Hellcat, The Detroit News, Aug. 18

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