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Inside this issue
Lexus, Toyota and Subaru Achieve Top Overall Scores in Dealer Survey
Takata Selling Shares in Automakers to Raise Cash
Mitsubishi Heavy to Keep Car Stake Amid Fuel-Testing Crisis
Nissan Spreads Bets on Future Fuel With Ethanol-Run Electric Car
Volkswagen Embarks on Life After Diesel Scandal
Non-BMW Dealers Can Buy Off-Lease Vehicles From BMW Financial
Top Stories
Lexus, Toyota and Subaru Achieve Top Overall Scores in Dealer Survey

Lexus ranked No. 1 overall among automotive brands in a recent survey that measured dealer sentiment of franchise value, automaker policies and automaker field staff. Toyota was second, followed by Subaru, Honda, Porsche, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Kia, Jeep, and Audi.

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Dealer Attitude Survey, which is conducted twice a year, conveys timely dealer sentiment with the goal of encouraging automakers to regularly engage in constructive and beneficial exchanges with their dealers.

Additionally, in conjunction with the survey, NADA hosted more than two dozen meetings between individual automakers, members of NADA’s Industry Relations Committee, and Dealer Council representatives to review the survey findings and discuss successes, concerns, and areas for improvement. Hundreds of individuals – from the CEOs and other top executives of the major manufacturers on down – participated in these discussions and review sessions.

“Facilitating open, honest and productive discussions between auto manufacturers and their franchised dealers is one of the most important functions of NADA,” said NADA President Peter Welch. “Our members rely on the dealer attitude survey to present a comprehensive assessment of dealer sentiment to their manufacturers, and the automakers rely on it as a vital tool for improving their business practices.”

Lexus has retained the top overall spot for the past three years (six survey cycles), and has scored in the top five throughout the last six years.

In addition to measuring overall dealer sentiment, the survey also measured consideration of dealer input on product, product quality concerns, and advertising programs. In the 2016 winter survey, Lexus received the top score for consideration of dealer input, followed by Toyota, Subaru and Honda. Ford and Kia tied for fifth, and Hyundai, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche tied for seventh to round out the Top 10.

Dealer response rates to the survey were also measured, as the willingness of dealers to share their views with their manufacturers is one of the best ways to gauge the desire to grow the OEM-dealer relationship on an ongoing basis. Lexus achieved the No. 1 ranking for survey participation, with 89% of its dealers completing the 2016 winter survey. Mercedes-Benz was second at 85%, followed by Hyundai (81%), Porsche (81%), Toyota (76%), Ford (73%), Audi (73%), Lincoln (68%), and Fiat and Jaguar at 66%.

Welch commended the automakers who scored in the Top 10 for any of the three categories measured.

“Brands that rank in the Top 10 among their peers in the marketplace are clearly doing something right, and they deserve recognition for it,” Welch said.

For more information about the survey and results, click here.

Source: NADA

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Takata Selling Shares in Automakers to Raise Cash

Takata Corp., the embattled airbag maker behind the biggest automotive safety recall, said it’s selling shares it owns in automakers to raise funds as the company faces compensation claims for its defective devices. Takata is selling the stakes with the carmakers’ approval, said Akiko Watanabe, a spokeswoman for the supplier, declining to give more details. The company sold much of its 2.2 million shares in Honda Motor Co., its largest customer, by late April, the Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun reported [Tuesday].
Source: Automotive News

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Mitsubishi Heavy to Keep Car Stake Amid Fuel-Testing Crisis

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, currently the biggest shareholder in Mitsubishi Motors, will hold onto its stake in the automaker that Carlos Ghosn is seeking to turn around following a fuel-economy test scandal. The maker of power plant equipment, aircraft and ships will refrain from selling its holdings in Mitsubishi Motors even as it plans to raise 200 billion yen ($1.9 billion) for other businesses by selling shares and real estate, Masanori Koguchi, chief financial officer at Mitsubishi Heavy, said in an interview in Tokyo on Monday.
Source: Bloomberg

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Nissan Spreads Bets on Future Fuel With Ethanol-Run Electric Car

Nissan Motor Co., maker of the Leaf battery-electric car, said it’s developing a system that will power vehicles with electricity generated from bio-ethanol, as the company spreads its bets on alternative fuels for future transportation. The carmaker plans to introduce the powertrain for fleet sales by 2020, said Hideyuki Sakamoto, executive vice president in charge of development.
Source: Bloomberg

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Volkswagen Embarks on Life After Diesel Scandal

Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Officer Matthias Mueller, who took charge amid the fallout from the emissions-cheating scandal known as Dieselgate, is set to present the manufacturer’s strategy Thursday for the decade ahead. The goal is to pivot from crisis mode and prepare the German auto giant for an era of electric and self-driving cars.
Source: Bloomberg

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Non-BMW Dealers Can Buy Off-Lease Vehicles From BMW Financial

BMW Financial Services has opened its online remarketing channel to all dealers in preparation for an increase in off-lease vehicle volume, the company said [Monday]. The captive’s BMWGroupDirect.com is now accessible to non-BMW franchised dealers as well as independent used-only dealers who have valid AuctionACCESS accounts. AuctionACCESS allows dealers to buy used vehicles online and is accepted at over 250 auctions in North America, according to its website.
Source: Automotive News

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              Quotable
              "Facilitating open, honest and productive discussions between auto manufacturers and their franchised dealers is one of the most important functions of NADA. Our members rely on the dealer attitude survey to present a comprehensive assessment of dealer sentiment to their manufacturers, and the automakers rely on it as a vital tool for improving their business practices."

                  -- NADA President Peter Welch, commenting on the NADA Dealer Attitude Survey, June 14


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