NADA Headlines - 08/23/2013 (Plain Text Version)
A senior team from NADA, responding to an invitation from General Motors Company, met with the automaker’s full 14-member board of directors and management staff in Detroit on Aug. 19. The meeting marked the first time that NADA was invited to address the board of directors of an auto manufacturer. NADA was represented by David Westcott, chairman; Peter Welch, president; and Mark Scarpelli, director/GM line representative.
Welch explained NADA’s purpose and role as the voice of the dealer and urged that the industry should work more closely together in the future. Westcott, a Buick-GMC dealer in Burlington, N.C., briefed the board on several pressing industry and dealer issues, which included recent actions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the impact of greenhouse gas and fuel economy rules on vehicle affordability, intellectual property and data security, facility improvement programs and stair-step incentives.
“GM’s board was very receptive to hear our issues,” Westcott said. “It was a great opportunity to meet with GM and further our relationship to work together on common goals.” Scarpelli shared some of his experiences as a Chevrolet dealer and delivered a recap of NADA’s most recent GM Dealer Attitude Survey. Following the presentations, NADA’s representatives fielded questions from several board members.
Reinhard Fischer: NADA University brings 'value and credibility' to Audi’s training programs
Audi of America wants to improve the customer experience in dealer showrooms across the country, says Reinhard Fischer, director of strategy. To achieve this goal, Audi last year subscribed to NADA University’s online premium training package on behalf of its network of 279 dealerships. “Elevating the quality and level” of corporate and dealership employees are priorities for Audi, which extended the training partnership with NADA last month. “Giving our field people access to the wonderful classes from NADA University but also our complete dealer body ... has created a lot of excitement and it’s working,” said Fischer on AutoFocus with David Hyatt, an NADA-TV interview program. “And that’s why we’re continuing to invest in this partnership.”
Fiat and Chrysler are getting closer to announcing a final deal to produce Jeep SUVs in China in a joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group, according to reports in the Chinese news media. Fiat and Chrysler said in January that they had reached a “framework agreement” with Guangzhou to build the SUVs in China. According to the Chinese Business News, the two parties will sign an agreement in the coming months. A final agreement is crucial for Chrysler because the automaker wants to produce Jeeps in what has become the world's largest automotive market. It would give Jeep its first overseas production as Fiat and Chrysler work to give the brand a larger global presence.
Ford disclosed that it has enjoyed the fastest retail-sales growth of any auto brand in the United States among the highly sought Millennials demographic over the last four years. The brand posted an 80-percent increase in sales among shoppers ages 18 through 34 in the first half of this year compared with the first half of 2009, according to R.L. Polk registration data cited by the company, while the industry overall increased by only 35 percent.
They slim down for new campaign featuring Lady Gaga theme
One of the nation's most recognizable advertising icons, the Kia hamsters, are back -- and they've become gym rats. Over four years, hip-hop hamsters in their baggy clothes caught on as pitchmen for the Kia Soul crossover. They were known for their dance moves, pack mentality and laid-back, cruising attitude. Now they are being brought back with a whole new bent in an ad campaign to introduce the redone 2014 version of the Soul. Just as the car has grown up and been more refined, the same goes for the mascots. In the first ad for their reintroduction, the hamster are seeing pumping iron and then reemerging Entourage style at a movie premiere, buff, coiffed and stylin' in tuxedos.