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Uptick in Used Car Prices a Temporary Trend

Strong new car sales means increase in trade-ins.

by on Feb.17, 2015

Used car prices are expected to fall in 2015 as the new car sales volumes increase.

Used car prices are expected to fall again in 2015, but in spite of that expectation, they’re rising … just in time for tax refund season.

Analysts from NADA Used Car Guide forecasted used vehicle prices to continually rise by 1-1.5% in February, potentially topping out at a 2.5% increase in March.

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“The price bump in the used vehicle market is created by several factors, but one of them has to do with recently filed consumer tax returns,” said Jonathan Banks, NADA Used Car Guide’s executive analyst. (more…)

Dealers Reject Fed Plan Single Interest Rate for Car Buyers

NADA’s McConnell says idea will raise costs to consumers.

by on Oct.08, 2014

NADA Chairman Forrest McConnell claims a plan to charge car buyers the same interest rate will raise prices.

A proposal to mandate a single interest rate auto lenders can charge car buyers to ensure minorities weren’t discriminated against would only cause all buyers to pay more for a car, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association.

In a speech at an Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit, Forrest McConnell, president of McConnell Honda Acura in Montgomery, Alabama, and chairman of NADA, said the recommendation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to require auto dealers to use a standard interest rate for all financed purchases denies buyers “their right” to a discounted interest rate.

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“The government is trying to take away a customer’s right to get a discount,” he said. “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CFPB, is working on statistical anomalies.” (more…)

Dealers Playing Critical Role in Recall Crisis – But Franchise System Under Increasing Fire

Tesla gets a loophole in NY.

by on Jun.19, 2014

Dealers have been investing billions for upgrades demanded by automakers like BMW in recent years.

The surge in recalls this year by General Motors and other automakers has underscored the vital role that franchise dealers play in the automobile industry – or so says the powerful dealer trade association – but there are a growing number of challenges to the century-old franchise system.

Dealers are facing a flood of work as recalls accelerate to a record pace – GM alone announcing service actions covering nearly 18 million vehicles sold in the U.S. so far this year. But other makers, including Toyota, Ford, Honda and Chrysler, have announced, or are facing the prospect of, millions more recalls in the months ahead.

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Handling those repairs is one reason why a new study commissioned by the National Automobile Dealers Association, the trade association tasked with protecting the position of franchised dealers, argues that the century-old system is the most reliable and efficient way to deal with the nation’s auto buyers and owners.

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GM’s Desire to Make Buying Cars Online Easier May Anger Dealers

Attempts to circumvent showrooms put dealer body on edge.

by on Oct.31, 2013

GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson wants to make it easier to buy new cars on the Internet.

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson may have inadvertently woken up the automaker’s dealer base when he said the company wanted to make it easier to buy a vehicle online.

“We want people to start buying cars over the Internet,” said Akerson during the company’s third-quarter earnings conference call.

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Perhaps in an attempt to placate dealers before they rallied the troops against the idea, he added that the automaker had no plans to “bypass our dealers” while doing it. (more…)

Despite Settlement on Capitol Hill, US Auto Sales Likely Hit Hard, Says NADA Chairman

Westcott defends franchise system despite increasing attacks.

by on Oct.17, 2013

After a burst of demand over Labor Day, car sales have suddenly slowed.

Even though Democrats and Republicans have agreed to end their debate over the deficit – for now — new car sales could drop sharply this month, in part due to the impact of the government shutdown and concerns about a possible default, according to the chairman of the National Auto Dealers Association.

David Westcott, NADA’s current chairman, said he wasn’t ready to dispute the forecast by John Krafcik, president of Hyundai Motor America, who said he believed sales could fall by as much as 10%.  General Motors and Ford also have expressed concern about the potential impact of the shutdown both on September sales, and on consumer confidence over all.

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Westcott was in Detroit to meet with members of the Automotive Press Association where he discussed not only the impact of Washington’s political crisis but also about the growing challenges to the nation’s century-old dealer franchise system.  It has been facing sharp attack on a number of fronts, including a concerted effort by automotive newcomer Tesla Motors which wants to sell cars through its own, factory-owned retail network.

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Dealers Happiest with Hyundai, Subaru and Lexus

Happy dealers can deliver better sales.

by on Jan.30, 2012

Dealers converge on Las Vegas, this week, for the annual NADA convention.

As many as 10,000 U.S. car dealers will descend on Las Vegas later this week for the National Automobile Dealers Association convention, an annual binge of partying and, in many cases, griping about the problems they have with their manufacturers.

It’s not unusual to hear some angry words emerge from the closed door sessions that make up much of the more serious work at the yearly gathering.  But other “make meetings,” as they’re known in the trade, can be veritable love fests.  Indeed, a new study by the NADA released ahead of the 2012 convention reveals which brands have the best relationship with their retailers.

Insight!

Hyundai , yet again, tops the list in the Dealer Attitude Survey, the third year in a row for the fast-growing Korean carmaker.  It’s followed by Subaru, which set its own sales record in 2011, Lexus, Kia and Mercedes-Benz, in that order.

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EPA, DOT Aim for 54.5 mpg by 2025

How will automakers meet these new rules?

by on Nov.17, 2011

Automakers could build more electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf to offset gas-powered vehicles. New fuel economy rules for the 2017-25 model years introduced Tuesday are projected to save nearly $6,600 worth of fuel per vehicle, offset by an extra $2,000 per car in new technology to improve fuel economy.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Transportation unveiled their joint proposal that increases fuel efficiency requirements to 54.5 mpg if all reductions were made through fuel economy improvements.

The improvements would save consumers an estimated average of up to $6,600 in fuel costs over the lifetime of a 2025 vehicle for a net lifetime savings of up to $4,400 after factoring in related increases in vehicle cost. Overall, the net benefit to society from this rule would total more than $420 billion over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in from 2017-25, the government said.

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“Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of executive actions the Obama Administration is taking to strengthen the economy and move the country forward because we can’t wait for Congressional Republicans to act,” according to the release.

But the National Automotive Dealers Association said that the new standard could end up hurting the environment.

So what will these new vehicles be like and what technologies will automakers use to reach these goals? Here are some predictions:

Dealers Ready to Go to War Over Mandatory Showroom Upgrades

“Where’s the payoff?” asks head of national dealer group.

by on Oct.20, 2011

Cadillac is one of many makers who have laid out detailed showroom redesigns dealers are expected to implement.

When Ford Motor Co. officials began pulling together plans to revive the long-struggling Lincoln brand one of the first moves was to advise dealers they’d need to redesign their showrooms – again.  And Lincoln isn’t unique, from high-line brands like Mercedes-Benz to mainstream marques such as Chevrolet, automakers regularly roll out expansive – and expensive programs intended to reflect brand values with dealer redesigns that can run millions of dollars for even a small, rural showroom.

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Now, however, dealers may be ready to tell manufacturers that without a clear payoff they can take their blueprints and shove ‘em.  The National Automobile Dealers Association, the nation’s largest automotive franchise group, has commissioned a study designed to see whether such projects really pay off or are nothing more than an extension of brand ego.

“We need to get down to rhyme and reason, legitimate facts and figures,” said NADA Chairman Steven Wade, himself a Utah mega-dealer who has been asking for answers every time automakers have demanded he upgrade his various showrooms.

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Ford Ups Production, More Increases to Follow

Maker adds incentives to get dealers pushing Sync system.

by on Feb.07, 2011

Ford dealers are running out of the new Explorer.

With its share growing, even as the U.S. automotive market shows stronger signs of recovery, Ford Motor Co. says it will upping production for the rest of the quarter – and is anticipating further increases later in the year.

The Detroit maker says it is struggling to meet demand for some of its newest models, notably the Ford Explorer, the completely-redesigned sport-utility vehicle that was voted North American Truck of the Year, last month, by a jury of 49 U.S. and Canadian automotive journalists.

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Ford says it will now roll out 13% more vehicles than it had originally projected, during the first quarter of 2011, for a total of 555,000 cars, trucks and crossovers.

“We are running flat out right now,” Ken Czubay, Ford’s head of sales, service and marketing, told reporters following a meeting with the company’s retailers, at the annual convention of the National Automobile Dealers Association.

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Reference to “Shyster” Loans “Inappropriate,” Concedes Marchionne

CEO suggests full Chrysler/Fiat merger possible, with U.S. HQ.

by on Feb.07, 2011

Marchionne regrets his "shyster" comment - but lets stand another suggesting the joint Chrysler/Fiat could base itself in the U.S.

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has expressed his “regret” at a remark he termed “inappropriate” referring to the loans the automaker got from the U.S. and Canadian governments following its 2009 bankruptcy.

Following a weekend meeting with Chrysler retailers at the annual conference of the National Automobile Dealers Association, Marchionne said, “I want to pay back the shyster loans” as soon as possible, a term normally associated with usurious lenders.

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It would be one of the steps that needs be taken before any merger between Chrysler and Fiat, something the Canadian-educated executive hinted he is considering.  Marchionne also left open the possibility that a consolidated Chrysler/Fiat might headquarter out of the U.S.  Such a move, he hinted, might follow their operational consolidation.

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