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Inside this issue
Deluge of Recalls Dings Auto Customer Satisfaction as Lexus Earns ACSI's Top Spot
Fiat Chrysler Outlines Vehicle Strategy to Dealers
Register Now for NADA's 'Drive Profits Using LEDs to Light Your Dealership' Webinar
NADA University Online: Updated FMLA Driven Guide
Ford Plans to Build Ranger at Michigan Assembly
Connected Car Fail? Consumers Are Ignoring Much Auto Technology
Toyota Said to Move Toward China Plant Restart After Blasts
Verizon is Turning Any Car into a Connected Car with Hum
Top Stories
Deluge of Recalls Dings Auto Customer Satisfaction as Lexus Earns ACSI's Top Spot

Higher prices for new vehicles also took a toll, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

A record year of recalls took a heavy toll on customer satisfaction with the auto industry, according to a new study. The American Customer Satisfaction Index reported Tuesday that its gauge for car-buyer satisfaction fell to 79 on a 100-point scale in 2015 from 82 last year. The 3.7% drop was fueled by concerns over the massive increase in recalls throughout the auto industry since early 2014.
Source: Detroit Free Press
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Fiat Chrysler Outlines Vehicle Strategy to Dealers

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV Chief Sergio Marchionne laid out plans for future U.S. products for 7,000 dealers attending a meeting in Las Vegas on Tuesday, presenting a blueprint that included a new plug-in minivan, an updated Dodge Charger and new Jeep SUVs, according to people in attendance. Mr. Marchionne has made headlines with recent calls for industry consolidation and has been criticized by some competitors and analysts for having a relatively dry product pipeline. The executive, who took control of Chrysler after its 2009 bankruptcy, has ambitious plans for the Fiat Chrysler group following several years of rapid growth in the U.S.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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Register Now for NADA's 'Drive Profits Using LEDs to Light Your Dealership' Webinar

NADA University Online will host the webinar "Drive Profits Using LEDs to Light Your Dealership" today, Aug. 26 at 1 p.m. ET. The free webinar, presented by Andrew Lindstrom from Cree LED Lighting, will discuss how to reduce the cost of lighting at dealerships with the LED solution. Lindstrom will discuss how to market dealerships in a whole new light and select the best LED technology for the most successful ROI for the business. Click here to register.
Source: NADA University Online
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NADA University Online: Updated FMLA Driven Guide

A Dealer Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act has been updated in light of the June 26, 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Spouses now qualify for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if their marriage was legal at the time and place of its celebration. The FMLA applies to almost all U.S. dealerships. To access the revised guide, sign in to www.nadauniversity.com and search for L33. This guide is for the use of dealers, department managers and human resources staff. All Driven guides are complimentary to NADA/ATD members.
Source: NADA University Online
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Ford Plans to Build Ranger at Michigan Assembly

Ford Motor Co. wants to resurrect its once-popular Ranger truck in North America and build the midsize pickup at the Michigan Assembly Plant, according to sources with knowledge of Ford’s plans. The Dearborn automaker has entered contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers with plans to bring the Ranger to the plant in Wayne in 2018, said the sources, who couldn’t speak publicly because of the sensitive nature of the talks. They said the final decision is up for discussion in the talks now underway, and must be agreed to with the union and then Ford’s board of directors. The Ranger — which would replace the Focus and C-Max after production of those cars likely heads to Mexico — represents the kind of potentially high-profit, high-volume vehicle the union desires and likely would demand before members would ratify any contract proposal.
Source: The Detroit News
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Connected Car Fail? Consumers Are Ignoring Much Auto Technology

Drivers are shunning much of the technology automakers are stuffing in cars. It amounts to a waste of billions of dollars in investment that’s ultimately paid for by consumers, according to automotive research firm J.D. Power. In its 2015 Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience Report – a study of how new car owners use their vehicles within the first 90 days after a purchase – J.D. power found that at least 20% never used 16 of the 33 technology features measured.
Source: The Los Angeles Times
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Toyota Said to Move Toward China Plant Restart After Blasts

Toyota Motor Corp. is beginning trial production of cars at the China plants that were shut after explosions in the city of Tianjin, the first step in reopening the facilities following a two-week closure, people familiar with the matter said. Workers have returned to the plants and Toyota is preparing to resume output on a trial basis before making a decision this week on whether to resume full production, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing private plans. Production has been shut down at Tianjin FAW Toyota Motor Co., the Japanese carmaker’s local affiliate, since the Aug. 12 blasts at a chemical storage site in the northern Chinese port city.
Source: Bloomberg
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Verizon is Turning Any Car into a Connected Car with Hum

Car makers are building all sorts of connectivity into their cars. And for older cars, a number of startups like Automatic, Zubie and Mojio have emerged with gadgets that let people turn their plain old dumb cars into a connected car. Now Verizon is jumping into the game with Hum. A direct-to-consumer product, Hum is designed for drivers to be able install themselves in older cars. Hum consists of two pieces of hardware: a cellular modem that users plug into the diagnostics port and a Bluetooth-connected speaker that’s placed on the visor.
Source: Forbes
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Quotable
"Consumers are looking for innovative ways to bring their digital lives into their vehicles and their vehicles into their digital lives."

   -- Klaus-Peter Martin, a GM spokesman, commenting on new technology features in cars, The Los Angeles Times, Aug. 26

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