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February 17, 2016 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
Daimler Keeps Zetsche in Driverís Seat Until 2019
As Deaths Rise, So Do Chances of Total Takata Air Bag Recall
Bob Lutz: GM Knew VW's Vehicles Couldn't Pass California Emissions Tests
Todayís Kids Like Toyota, So Who Needs Scion?
Dealerships That Participate in Workforce Study by April 29 Will Receive Two Complimentary Reports
Top Stories
Daimler Keeps Zetsche in Driverís Seat Until 2019

German auto maker’s CEO has been in the job since 2006

Daimler AG agreed to extend Dieter Zetsche’s contract as the luxury auto and truck maker’s chief executive to the end of 2019, giving Mr. Zetsche three more years in a job he has held since 2006. “With the contract extension we are securing the continuity at the top needed for sustainable success,” Manfred Bischoff, the chairman of the German automotive group’s supervisory board, said on Tuesday. Mr. Zetsche, 62, will also remain head of Mercedes-Benz Cars unit. His contract had been due to expire at the end of this year. He joined Daimler’s management board in 1998, and became CEO in 2006.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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As Deaths Rise, So Do Chances of Total Takata Air Bag Recall

As the Takata air bag saga drags on, concerns are growing that tens of millions of U.S. drivers with cars that haven't been recalled could be at risk of death or injury from the potentially defective devices. Federal safety regulators last month confirmed that a South Carolina man's death in December was caused by a driver's air bag inflator that wasn't under recall. It was the ninth Takata-related fatality in the U.S. In a Feb. 10 letter to Mark Rosekind, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., urged the agency to recall all Takata inflators in U.S. cars. He said the agency's current approach of issuing recalls piecemeal, "appears to be confusing many consumers" who wonder if their cars have an unsafe air bag that hasn't been recalled. Since 2008, 14 automakers have recalled 24 million vehicles to replace the inflators, which can rupture in a crash, shooting metal shards at the driver and passengers. Experts say there could be as many as 50 million Takata air bag inflators in cars that have yet to be called back for repairs.
Source: Associated Press

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Bob Lutz: GM Knew VW's Vehicles Couldn't Pass California Emissions Tests

Volkswagen’s success in the U.S. with its diesel vehicles that were able to clear regulatory hurdles in California confounded other automakers including General Motors, Mazda and Honda, all of whom were interested in getting into the diesel car business in America. When Bob Lutz was vice chairman at General Motors, and in charge of product development from 2001 to 2009, he wanted to push GM more into diesel, including diesel passenger cars. “Our people told me that they had studied the Volkswagen products and that they could not get the hardware to perform the same way to satisfy California’s emissions standards,” said Lutz on WJR-AM during an interview with Jason Vines, who was substituting for regular host Frank Beckman. “And I asked if their people were just smarter than ours?” Lutz said GM engineers tested the VW vehicles, and broke them down, and said they could not figure out how they were meeting the California emission standards.
Source: Forbes

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Todayís Kids Like Toyota, So Who Needs Scion?

Toyota has made itself more appealing to youth, and today’s young car buyers have developed a taste for the brand that kids once soured on. That’s essentially how Bill Fay, general manager of Toyota Sales U.S.A., explains why Scion is going away, 13 years after its creation as Toyota’s youth brand. “Ten years ago, kids didn’t necessarily want to buy Toyotas as much as we wanted them to,” he says at the Chicago Auto Show. Back then, Toyota product planners looked at buyer demographics and worried vehicles such as the Camry midsize sedan might become Toyota’s version of “my father’s Oldsmobile.” So the Japanese automaker launched Scion to appeal more to young buyers. Scion stores were dealerships within Toyota dealerships, and product at first consisted of two vehicles, the subcompact xA and the boxy xB. Scion hit its peak in 2006, selling 173,034 units in the U.S. Annual volume since then typically has run below 60,000 units.
Source: WardsAuto

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Dealerships That Participate in Workforce Study by April 29 Will Receive Two Complimentary Reports

NADA and ATD member dealerships that participate in the NADA/ATD Dealership Workforce Study by completing a questionnaire and submitting payroll records will receive two complimentary reports.

Automotive Retail: National & Regional Trends in Compensation, Benefits & Retention is the industry’s top resource for helping dealers meet their No. 1 challenge of attracting and retaining productive employees. It contains clear analysis of the light-vehicle and commercial-truck industry. The report includes national and regional data for 60 car and truck dealership positions. In addition to data on pay, benefits and turnover, the report details the impact of work schedules, gender gap and generational challenges facing dealerships today. Participants will also receive a complimentary individualized comparative report for each participating dealership.

To enroll in the 2016 Dealership Workforce Study, which is open through April 29, visit www.nadaworkforcestudy.com and enter your Member (Company) ID. For questions, email WorkforceStudy@nada.org or call 800.557.6232.
Source: NADA Dealership Operations

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Quotable
"They were the two top top-selling sedans. This is a core part of our business, and although there is clearly a shift to light trucks and sport utilities, there’s still going to be a big market for sedans. They’re important to us and our dealers."

   --- Bill Fay, general manager of Toyota Sales U.S.A., on the value of the automaker's Camry and Corolla sedans in the U.S., WardsAuto, Feb. 16


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