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January 15, 2016 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
NADA Dealership Workforce Study Now Open for Participation
U.S. Proposes Spending $4 Billion to Encourage Driverless Cars
FCA Calls Dealer Charges of False U.S. Sales Reports 'Baseless'
Nissanís Munoz Eyes Another Sales Record in 2016
Ford Said to Plan $1 Billion Plant in Boost to Mexico Auto Boom
GM Plans to Export Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid From China to U.S.
VW Trails Rivals as Europe Sales Rise 16% in December
Top Stories
NADA Dealership Workforce Study Now Open for Participation

With a retail workforce topping 1 million employees and the auto industry poised for sales growth, new-car dealerships now more than ever need to focus on hiring and keeping talented employees. To help dealerships stay competitive, the NADA Dealership Workforce Study provides the industry’s only authoritative analysis of employee compensation, retention and turnover, employee benefits, work schedules and demographics. Dealerships that complete a questionnaire and submit their payroll data will receive two complimentary reports—including comparisons of their dealerships to their peers nationally, regionally and by state as well as by brand. The participation period is open now through April 29. The study will close promptly so that NADA can provide dealers the information they need to adjust pay plans and benefit packages. To begin the process, visit www.nadaworkforcestudy.com. If you have any questions, send an email to WorkforceStudy@nada.org or call 800.557.6232.
Source: NADA Dealership Operations
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U.S. Proposes Spending $4 Billion to Encourage Driverless Cars

Obama administration aims to remove hurdles to making autonomous cars more widespread

The Obama administration is proposing to spend nearly $4 billion in a decade to accelerate the acceptance of driverless cars on U.S. roads and curb traffic fatalities and travel delays. The proposal, which would require congressional approval, aims to have federal regulators work with auto makers and others to craft policies and rules for vehicles that can move without a driver at the wheel. It also would set up pilot programs for testing “connected vehicles” that talk to one another to avoid crashes under the $3.9 billion budget proposal. It isn’t clear whether or when any new regulations might be adopted.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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FCA Calls Dealer Charges of False U.S. Sales Reports 'Baseless'

'Disgruntled dealers' haven't substantiated claims, company charges

FCA fired back late Thursday at what it called underperforming and “disgruntled dealers” who have accused the company of falsely reporting U.S. sales in a federal racketeering suit. The automaker, in a sharply worded statement, accused the two dealers of failing to substantiate and provide evidence supporting the claims -- even before the suit was filed. Napleton Automotive Group of Westmont, Ill., alleges, among other claims, that FCA conspired with certain dealers to inflate the automaker’s monthly U.S. sales results. In some cases, the suit claims, FCA offered dealers money to falsify sales reports. The suit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago on behalf of Napleton Automotive Group’s Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram store in Arlington Heights, Ill., and Northlake Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in Lake Park, Fla.
Source: Automotive News

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Nissanís Munoz Eyes Another Sales Record in 2016

More capacity earmarked for North America and a strong new-product lineup are two big reasons for optimism heading into the new year. Another record year is on tap for Nissan North America, Chairman Jose Munoz predicts. Speaking at the North American International Auto Show after unveiling the bulked-up Titan Warrior concept pickup this week, Munoz says he expects the U.S. market to gain slightly this year to 17.5 million-17.7 million units, while the Nissan brand should exceed 2015’s all-time high of 1.35 million. In 2015, U.S. automakers sold 17,386,331 light vehicles, according to WardsAuto data.
Source: WardsAuto

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Ford Said to Plan $1 Billion Plant in Boost to Mexico Auto Boom

Ford Motor Co. is planning to spend about $1 billion on a new factory in Mexico less than a year after committing $2.5 billion to the country, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. The U.S. automaker will announce the plant by the end of March and seeks to build it about 260 miles north of Mexico City in the state of San Luis Potosi, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to speak on the record because the plans aren’t public. Ford said in April that it would invest $2.5 billion to expand an existing factory and build a new transmission facility. The latest Ford plant will build on a rush of investments in Mexico as global automakers take advantage of the nation’s lower labor costs, network of trade agreements and proximity to the U.S., its biggest export market.
Source: Bloomberg
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GM Plans to Export Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid From China to U.S.

General Motors plans to export the plug-in hybrid version of its Cadillac CT6 luxury sedan from China to the U.S. when the car goes on sale this year. The plug-in hybrid version will be built only in a plant in China, which is one of two factories assembling the CT6, said Uwe Ellinghaus, Cadillac’s chief marketing officer. The plug-in hybrid sedan will be the second car that General Motors will import to the U.S. from China; the other is the Buick Envision, which made its North American premiere on Sunday before the Detroit auto show. The decision to import two high-end models from China shows that GM increasingly views its factories there as capable of building vehicles with good enough quality to sell in the United States.
Source: Bloomberg
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VW Trails Rivals as Europe Sales Rise 16% in December

New-car sales in Europe rose 16 percent to 1.16 million in December in the 28th consecutive month of growth -- with Ford Motor, Renault, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen among the best performers. Sales at the Volkswagen brand trailed the market rebound, hitting the company's market share. Full-year industrywide registrations in the EU and EFTA markets rose 9.2 percent to a six-year high of 14.2 million vehicles last year, according to data released by industry association ACEA.
Source: Automotive News
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" ... Nissan is very confident of having another record year."

   
-- Nissan North America, Chairman Jose Munoz, on 2016 U.S. sales expectations, WardsAuto, Jan. 14

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