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August 2, 2016 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
NADA Economist: Vehicle Sales Remain Strong in 2016
NADA Video: Don Wassel Retires After 53-Year Career in Auto Sales
Volkswagen Files for U.S. Class Action Suit to Be Dismissed
Study Deems Ride-Hailing a Nonthreat to U.S. Auto Industry
BMW Pledges to Defend Luxury-Car Market Lead Against Mercedes
GM Sells Its 100,000th Chevrolet Volt
Register for the NADA Convention by Sept. 9 and Save $100
Top Stories
NADA Economist: Vehicle Sales Remain Strong in 2016

Despite some economic and political uncertainty ahead with the upcoming elections, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) is holding steady its sales forecast of 17.7 million new cars and light trucks for 2016.

“We’ve had six straight years of steadily rising sales, which has been a fantastic period of growth, and vehicles per household have returned to the same level prior to the Great Recession,” said NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., on Tuesday. “But most pent up demand has been satisfied. For 2017, we expect new-vehicle sales to reach 17.1 million units.”

Szakaly added that rising employment and leasing remain big positives that will continue to grow and drive sales, as well as low gasoline and diesel prices, which allow consumers to spend more on vehicles, and continue the trend of higher light truck sales compared to cars. “For 2016, light trucks will account for about 59 percent of the new-vehicle sales market and cars will account for 41 percent,” he said. “Leases are increasing, which now accounts for more than 34 percent of the market.

”Interest rates on auto loans are expected to rise modestly by about 50 basis points, Szakaly added, but “consumers will not feel the pinch of rising interest rates because automakers will roll out additional financial incentives,” he said.

Szakaly highlighted several trends that could slow down new-vehicle sales growth in the coming years. “The aging vehicle fleet discourages long-term vehicle sales; average loans terms for new vehicles have risen to 68 months; and new-vehicle transaction prices are continuing to rise, up about 3 percent this year, while wages remain stagnant.”

Szakaly added that the greatest growth ahead will likely come millennials and new household formations. “Until millennials come of age with higher wages, get married and have children, the auto industry will experience stagnant growth periods.”
Source: NADA

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NADA Video: Don Wassel Retires After 53-Year Career in Auto Sales

NADA is producing a video series of “Dealer Stories” to commemorate NADA 100.

After working more than five decades in auto retailing, Don Wassel has some words of advice for anyone considering a career selling cars. “Whatever goals you have in life can be accomplished by working at a new-car dealership,” said Wassel, who recently retired from Smail Auto Group in Greensburg, Pa. “I was able to purchase my first home with five acres in the country, raise four daughters and pay their way through four-year college programs.”



With no previous auto sales experience, Wassel was hired in May 1963 by Clarence “Bud” Smail, Jr., who is a former member of the National Automobile Dealers Association’s (NADA) board of directors. “I’m thankful for the opportunity Bud gave me in 1963 to join his organization,” added Wassel, who was among the first 20 employees hired at the dealership. “He challenged me to succeed.”

Over the next several decades the dealership expanded and acquired more franchises. Wassel remained a loyal employee, building a clientele list of customers from generations of families and climbing the ranks in various sales positions.

After 53 years working in auto retailing, Wassel retired on June 1, 2016. As a retirement gift, the Smail family purchased a vintage 1984 Ford F-150 with 1,900 miles in top condition from a Ford dealer in Louisville, Ky. It’s the same make and model he once owned. The pickup truck was presented to Wassel at his retirement party at Smail Ford Lincoln in Greensburg on June 1.

“Don has been an integral part of our success over the years. Many of his customers have become his friends. He knows how to take care of his customers and they have taken care of him,” said Jim Smail, president of Smail Auto Group. “Don’s career path highlights the types of rewarding and well-paying employment opportunities available at new-car dealerships for those who are dedicated and driven to succeed.”

The late Clarence “Bud” Smail, Sr., the father of brothers Jim and Clarence, started out in the retail-auto business in 1938 and became a dealer in 1956. Today, the Smail Auto Group is a fourth-generation family-run business, which includes 10 franchises in Greensburg with 440 employees. More than 25 percent of the dealership staff have been employed for 10 years or longer. Click here to view the video.
Source: NADA


Editor’s note: NADA is producing a video series of “Dealer Stories” to commemorate NADA 100. NADA, founded in 1917, will kick off yearlong events celebrating its 100-year anniversary at the 2017 NADA Convention and Expo in New Orleans in January.


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Volkswagen Files for U.S. Class Action Suit to Be Dismissed

Volkswagen said on Tuesday it had submitted a motion to dismiss a multi-district litigation case filed with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Volkswagen wants to dismiss the Consolidated Securities Class Action Complaint, filed by the Arkansas State Highway Employees’ Retirement System, VW said. The case fails to prove that former Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn and current VW brand chief Herbert Diess were directly involved in the preparation of "allegedly misleading statements," VW said.
Source: Reuters

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Study Deems Ride-Hailing a Nonthreat to U.S. Auto Industry

Ride-hailing could transform worldwide transportation, but don’t expect major disruptions in the U.S., concludes a report by the Center for Automotive Research. It won’t change habits across the nation, and it won’t result in too many lost sales, the report says. Millennials and some baby boomers in U.S. cities are proving to be early adopters for services such as car-sharing, ride-hailing and even bike-sharing, CAR says. But Americans in less densely populated suburbs and rural areas will continue to rely on traditional car ownership.
Source: Automotive News

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BMW Pledges to Defend Luxury-Car Market Lead Against Mercedes

BMW AG pledged to defend its lead in the world’s luxury-car market in 2016 after being usurped by Mercedes-Benz in the first half, highlighting the challenge it will face in keeping both sales and margins up without a blockbuster new model. “We intend to stay the leader on sales across our brands BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce this year,” Chief Financial Officer Friedrich Eichiner said on an earnings conference call with reporters Tuesday.
Source: Bloomberg

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GM Sells Its 100,000th Chevrolet Volt

General Motors Co. said Monday it sold its 100,000th Chevrolet Volt, about six years after it attempted to revolutionize the industry with its extended-range plug-in hybrid. The Detroit automaker created a new segment when it debuted the Volt in 2010, and executives had grand aspirations to sell 60,000 a year. But consumer interest in electric vehicles never lived up to expectations; the Volt’s best sales year was in 2012 when about 23,500 were sold.
Source: The Detroit News

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Register for the NADA Convention by Sept. 9 and Save $100

The discounted registration rate for NADA members and managers includes admission to NADA 100 Carnival.

Online registration and hotel selection for the 2017 NADA Convention and Expo in New Orleans is now open. NADA members and their managers who register by September 9 will receive a $100 discount.



NADA, founded in 1917, will kick off yearlong events commemorating its 100-year anniversary with NADA 100 Carnival in New Orleans. The exclusive event for NADA members, international affiliates and guests will be held at Mardi Gras World on Thursday, January 26. The Carnival will feature cuisine from top New Orleans restaurants, as well as musical entertainment from Foreigner, Cowboy Mouth and jazz favorites. The NADA member and manager registration fee includes admission to the NADA 100 Carnival.

Convention speakers include comedian Jim Gaffigan, NADA Chairman Jeff Carlson, inspirational speaker Amy Purdy and NADA Vice Chairman Mark Scarpelli. A fifth speaker will be announced in the coming weeks. The four-day NADA Convention, which runs from January 26 to 29, includes dealer franchise meetings, workshops, an exhibitor showcase and numerous networking events. Click here to register.
Source: NADA

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Past Articles

     
    Quotable

    "We've had six straight years of steadily rising sales, which has been a fantastic period of growth, and vehicles per household have returned to the same level prior to the Great Recession. But most pent up demand has been satisfied."

        -- NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly, in remarks today at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., August 2



    "Whatever goals you have in life can be accomplished by working at a new-car dealership."

       
    -- Don Wassel, who retired from Smail Auto Group in Greensburg, Pa., after working 53 years in sales, NADA Video "Dealer Stories," August 2

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