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Inside this issue
NADA Issues Call for 2017 Convention Workshop Proposals
Takata Said to Seek Backer to Help Pay for Airbag Recalls
Volkswagen’s Board to Discuss Giving Up Bonuses
Mercedes Sales Climb Twice as Fast as BMW in First Quarter
Hot on the Lot: Leasing a Used Car
How Recent Subprime Trends Might Impact Availability
Porsche Macans Grounded at Ports Get CARB Approval, Head to Dealerships
Dodge Cuts Prices for Struggling Dart Compact Car
Top Stories
NADA Issues Call for 2017 Convention Workshop Proposals

The deadline to submit a workshop proposal is May 16, 2016.

The workshops are one of the main attractions at the annual NADA Convention and Expo. Nearly 16,200 participants, which included new-car dealers, dealership managers and industry professionals, attended the workshop sessions at the past convention in Las Vegas. Workshop proposals for the 2017 NADA convention, which will be held in New Orleans, can be submitted online until 5 p.m. EDT on May 16, 2016. For detailed instructions on how to submit a workshop proposal, click here.

For potential workshop presenters who want to sharpen their proposals, NADA will be hosting a webinar, “Tips for Submitting a Great Workshop Proposal,” at 1 p.m. EDT on April 20, 2016. Click here to register.
Source: NADA Dealership Operations

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Takata Said to Seek Backer to Help Pay for Airbag Recalls

Embattled airbag maker Takata Corp. has begun looking for a financial backer amid a global recall of its potentially lethal airbags, and plans to draw up a list of candidates by August, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters. A third-party panel of financial and legal advisers formed by Takata earlier this year is approaching companies, including those in the automotive industry, seeking financial aid, the people said. It's not clear how much funding Takata is looking for, or how any aid would be structured.
Source: Reuters

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Volkswagen’s Board to Discuss Giving Up Bonuses

German car maker’s executives face pressure from workers, investors and customers following emissions scandal

Volkswagen AG ’s executive board is expected Tuesday to discuss voluntarily giving up a portion of management’s bonuses for 2015 amid growing pressure from shareholders and labor leaders. The company’s top executives are being urged to make a strong show of solidarity with workers, investors and customers in light of the huge costs from the emissions-cheating scandal, according to two people familiar with the situation. “The bonus issue is on the agenda for the board meeting,” one of the people said.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Mercedes Sales Climb Twice as Fast as BMW in First Quarter

Mercedes-Benz boosted sales twice as fast as BMW in the first quarter, moving closer to clinching the lead in the world’s luxury-car market for the first time in a decade. The Daimler AG unit’s deliveries soared 13 percent to 483,487 vehicles in the three months through March, compared with a 6 percent increase to 478,743 cars for BMW AG’s namesake brand. Sales of compact cars such as the A-Class hatchback increased 26 percent to more than 150,000, Mercedes said. Volkswagen AG’s Audi ranked third at 455,750 vehicles sold, a gain of 4 percent from a year earlier.
Source: Bloomberg


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Hot on the Lot: Leasing a Used Car

As inventories of preowned vehicles rise, dealers look to buyers who don’t qualify

Aspiring Lexus owners may have a hard time refusing Brendan Harrington’s latest offer: Get a lightly used version of one of the hottest luxury SUVs in America for as little as $370 a month. The terms—offered by Mr. Harrington’s Longo Lexus dealership near Los Angeles—come as part of a lease deal on a three-year-old RX 350 with 35,700 miles on the odometer. Spanning 36 months and 45,000 miles of use, the lease requires little money up front and is potentially hundreds of dollars less than a comparatively equipped new model sold at similar terms. Inventories of used cars in good condition are soaring in the U.S., and finance companies and dealers are scrambling to offer leases as a way to make payments affordable for people who don’t qualify for cheap deals on new cars or those looking to save cash.

New-car sales gained steam in recent years, creating a glut of used vehicles. Those inventories are problematic for auto makers hoping to maintain a record sales pace on fresh sheet metal and remain profitable in the process. Sales of used cars rose 7% in the first quarter, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association, but wholesale pricing fell during each of those months verus 2015, Manheim Consulting data shows.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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How Recent Subprime Trends Might Impact Availability

The volume of auto-financing discussion — especially in the subprime space — Cox Automotive chief economist Tom Webb entertained at recent industry events and his quarterly conference call prompted him to ask a question. Recent analyst reports from Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service highlighted deterioration in performance in the subprime auto ABS market, prompting several of the investment analysts who join Webb’s quarterly call to inquire about whether financing availability, particularly in the subprime space, is about to be reduced. “The subprime area certainly has gotten a lot of notice as of late. And I’m actually beginning to question myself in that am I missing something? I think the cycle has longer to run simply because for the most part we’re in a low-interest rate environment so there’s a search for yield and auto loans provide that yield with very low risk actually,” said Webb, who hosted the call last week on the heels of being in Las Vegas for conferences orchestrated by the American Financial Services Association and the National Automobile Dealers Association.
Source: Auto Remarketing

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Porsche Macans Grounded at Ports Get CARB Approval, Head to Dealerships

A delay in certification had kept Porsche from selling the Macan, its hottest nameplate, in 13 states subject to CARB certification. It also meant that an undisclosed number of 2017 Macans that had already shipped were grounded at U.S. ports for several weeks while awaiting final clearances from CARB. A Porsche spokesman confirmed late Monday that CARB certification was granted earlier in the day and that Macans began shipping from the ports to dealership. He didn’t have an estimate for how long it would take to get the backlog of vehicles out to dealerships.
Source: Automotive News

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Dodge Cuts Prices for Struggling Dart Compact Car

FCA eliminates two Dodge Dart models to simplify the lineup

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said it is "repositioning " its Dodge Dart and is cutting the price by $1,100 or more for the three remaining variations it will sell as it tries to boost sales of the struggling compact car. The Dart has been a disappointing car for FCA ever since it was launched in 2012. At the time, FCA hoped the Dart would become a credible competitor to other compact cars such as the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. The car is a little larger than many of its direct competitors and was under-powered when it was launched.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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          “We are repositioning the Dart lineup to better align production and dealer inventory with consumer demand and preference. The simplification of Dart models ... makes it easier for dealers to order and stock vehicles that customers are looking for.”

             ---  Tim Kuniskis, FCA's head of passenger car brands, commenting on the Dodge Dart's recent price cut, Detroit Free Press, April 11

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