NADA Headlines - 10/24/2013 (Plain Text Version)
National recognition at NADA convention for community service and industry accomplishments
The nominations for the 2014 TIME Dealer of the Year award were announced today. A select group of 57 dealer nominees from across the country will be honored at the 97th annual NADA Convention & Expo in New Orleans on Saturday, Jan. 25. The announcement of this year's nominees was made by Jed Hartman, group publisher of Time Inc. News and Business, and Tim Russi, president of Auto Finance for Ally Financial. In its third year as exclusive sponsor, Ally will recognize dealer nominees and their community efforts by contributing $1,000 to each nominee’s charity of choice. Nominees will also be recognized on the recently launched website, AllyDealerHeroes.com, which highlights the philanthropic contributions and achievements of auto dealers across the U.S. The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry's most prestigious and highly coveted honors.
Net falls on one-time charges
Powered by its North American region and expanding Asia Pacific business unit, Ford Motor Co. posted a record third-quarter pre-tax profit of $2.6 billion, up $426 million from a year earlier. Net income dropped $359 million to $1.3 billion due to special pre-tax charges of $498 million, the automaker said today. Those included a $250 million charge for employee separations, mostly in Europe, that are part of the restructuring there and $145 million connected with the company's U.S. voluntary retirement lump sum buyout program. Revenue rose 12 percent to $36 billion.
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General Motors' ability to reverse years of losses in Europe is coming down to products, not partners. The company appears to be gaining confidence that it doesn't need the help of France's PSA Peugeot Citroen or any other partner to stem more than $18 billion in European losses over the past 13 years. Underpinning that confidence is an ongoing initiative to overhaul and consolidate GM's global vehicle platforms, according to GM executives and U.S. suppliers familiar with the company's plans. That program, the suppliers said, will enable GM to develop and build most future Opel products on its own.
A new study blames high teenage unemployment and the rising costs of driving for the decline in younger people getting driver licenses — not texting, cellphones and lack of interest. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Highway Loss Data Institute reviewed insurance data on insured teenage drivers and found the drop in teen driving coincided with the recent economic slowdown. At the same time, the cost of driving is rising: Auto insurer AAA says the average cost to drive 10,000 miles in a year jumped from 62 cents a mile in 2006 to 77 cents last year. “It looks like teens just can't afford to drive,” said Matt Moore, vice president of the insurance industry-funded group. “Paying for their own cars, gas and insurance is hard if they can't find a job. At the same time, kids who count on Mom and Dad to help them also may be out of luck if their parents have been affected by the recession.” The study showed states with higher teen unemployment rates had fewer insured young drivers, Moore said.
Cars are hardly simple. They are among the most complex mass-produced machines on the planet. But when they are done right, they can be perceived as simple to use -- and none more so than those from Toyota in the U.S., according to a report being released today. Toyota is the top automaker on a list of "simple" brands, according to the branding firm Siegel+Gale, released a survey based on 10,000 consumers in seven countries that ranks brands based by their perception of simplicity. The theory is that the simpler the brand, the more comfortable consumers feel with it and the more valuable it is. And automakers make an appearance, coming in 17th out of 25th as an industry.
White and black remain the top two color choices among North American automobile consumers, but the popularity of some brightly colored vehicles continues to tick upward, according to an annual study released Tuesday by Troy-based PPG Industries, the leading supplier of automotive paints. Nearly three-quarters of all new vehicles that PPG supplied during the 2013 model year were neutral colors — either white, black, gray or silver. Red and blue both rose by 1 percentage point over 2012, while natural/bronze and green remain well behind the pack.