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Inside this issue
NADA Seeks Allies to Oppose FTC Survey
GM's Batey Puts Faith in Numbers
GM SUV Owners Offered Debit Cards for Overstated MPG
Zuchowski to Dealers: Get with the Times
Mitsubishi’s Reversal of Fortune
Honda Rethinks Henry Ford's Assembly Line
Top Stories
NADA Seeks Allies to Oppose FTC Survey

Group says consumer poll is unnecessary and deeply flawed

The National Automobile Dealers Association is lining up allies for a fight with the Federal Trade Commission over a proposed survey of consumers regarding their experiences trading in, buying and financing vehicles at dealerships. NADA Vice Chairman Mark Scarpelli told credit union managers at a conference [in San Diego] last week sponsored by CU Direct, "We look forward to working with your regulatory team" on the proposed FTC survey. NADA has joined with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Consumer Bankers Association in opposition to the survey, said Paul Metrey, NADA's vice president of legal and regulatory affairs.
Source: Automotive News

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GM's Batey Puts Faith in Numbers

Profit margins take the edge off share losses

Chat with General Motors North America President Alan Batey, and you'd hardly suspect that GM gave back 0.7 percentage point of U.S. market share this year through April, the worst performance of any major automaker. That's because the ebullient Briton sees plenty of other numbers he likes. GM's retail sales have risen for 12 straight months, the result of organic demand for the redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Malibu and other new entries, Batey says. Inventory has been running in the 70-day range, GM's trimmest levels in years.
Source: Automotive News

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GM SUV Owners Offered Debit Cards for Overstated MPG

General Motors Co. said Friday it is launching a compensation program for about 135,000 retail customers who could receive an average of $450 to $900 because the company overstated fuel economy by 1 to 2 miles per gallon on certain 2016 SUVs. Customers who bought a 2016 Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave or GMC Acadia with incorrect fuel economy window stickers will be able to select a debit card or a 48-month/60,000-mile protection plan. The plan is on top of the automaker’s bumper-to-bumper 36-month/36,000 warranty and includes additional features. The protection plan would begin after the factory warranty expires. Those leasing a vehicle will be offered the debit card, GM said.
Source: The Detroit News

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Zuchowski to Dealers: Get with the Times

Hyundai boss says rise of millennials will demand changes

After years of steady and healthy growth throughout the auto industry, dark clouds are gathering on the horizon. Rapidly changing demographics, new buying habits, ride-sharing and electrification will soon put the hurt on profits and volume for manufacturers and dealerships alike. The way Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski sees it, this is not a matter of if but of when. So he's sounding a call to his dealers that their way of doing business must change -- fast.
Source: Automotive News

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Mitsubishi’s Reversal of Fortune

President who took office with optimism resigns amid scandal

When Tetsuro Aikawa became president of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. just two years ago, his ascension was heralded as a return to growth and independence for the troubled automaker. Mitsubishi had just bounced back to record net income, and Aikawa was the first president in more than a decade to have spent his entire career at the carmaker. For almost 15 years, Mitsubishi's controlling shareholders had installed top bosses of their choosing. But Aikawa's tenure has abruptly ended with a resignation and just the opposite results.
Source: Automotive News

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Honda Rethinks Henry Ford's Assembly Line

New approach has 4-member worker teams moving along with the vehicles

When Henry Ford pioneered the assembly line more than a century ago, a key innovation was dividing the work of building a Model T into one or two tasks per worker. His reasoning? Assemblers could work faster if they didn't have to keep track of multiple tasks and the correct order of installation. Training workers to install one or two parts was faster and easier than training them to build entire sections of a car. It made it easier for Ford to recruit and train a work force. Now Honda Motor Co. is challenging those time-tested assumptions as it reinvents mass production for its own signature nameplate, the Civic.
Source: Automotive News

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          Quotable
          "My challenge to dealers has been: "You are the original American entrepreneur. You were the innovator; you took the risk. All these other people patterned themselves after you. Don't let them take your turf.'"

              -- Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski, on the rapidly changing demographics and new buying habits dealers face, Automotive News, May 23

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