Headlines for Friday, January 24, 2014

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http://www.regonline.com/1308452:

2014 Automotive News Marketing Seminar - Los Angeles

Registration is now open. Book your seat/table today! Read More »

For automakers, a pre-Super Bowl flag on creativity's limits

Ten days before the broadcast of professional football's Super Bowl provides automakers their biggest U.S. advertising day of the year, regulators warned that creativity must have its limits. Read More »

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Blitz of Super Bowl auto ads pits Muppets vs. British villains

From the Muppets to James Franco and British villains, Hollywood will be working hard for the auto industry during the Super Bowl. Automakers are spending as much as $6 million per 30-second spot to grab consumers and promote a bumper crop of new vehicles during the telecast. Read More »

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Renault-Nissan said to plan joint managers for manufacturing, engineering

Renault-Nissan is said to plan the appointment of two new joint managers to oversee engineering and manufacturing. The move is part of a wider plan to boost alliance savings to 4 billion euros ($5.5 billion) annually in 2016. Read More »

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GM eyes Korean job cuts ahead of Chevy withdrawal from Europe, report says

GM may cut up to 1,100 jobs in South Korea as it pulls its Chevrolet brand from Europe and realigns global manufacturing. Read More »

Quick question

Do you expect the dealer reserve to fade away in favor of flat rates? Read More »

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NADA endorses percentage ceiling on dealer reserve

The National Automobile Dealers Association today endorsed a plan under which each auto dealership would establish a percentage ceiling for its dealer reserve -- the money paid to the dealership for its role in arranging car loans for retail customers -- and then, if it dips below that fee level on... Read More »

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DAVE GUILFORD:

For BMW, a Tesla makes a 'nice snowplow'

Ludwig Willisch, CEO of BMW of North America, pooh-poohs the notion that the company's new i series is particularly aimed at Tesla. Read More »

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DAVE VERSICAL:

Despite rosy sales forecast, sharp dealers plan ahead

My colleagues who were here five years ago tell me it was grim. Nothing like the prospect of GM and Chrysler dying to suck the air out of a learn-fest like the NADA convention. Read More »

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Ford signs up SMART dealers

Ford has been signing up dealers at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention for its SMART program, a way for customers to schedule service appointments remotely. Read More »

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Audi sees iPad app as major sales tool

Audi wants young car buyers to feel more comfortable at its dealerships. Executives think there's an app for that. Read More »

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Boler-Davis: GM won't rest on laurels as it launches 28 products

Alicia Boler-Davis, GM's senior vice president of global customer experience and quality, knows this is no time for General Motors to rest on its laurels. Read More »

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Off to school for grade-A workers

One of the biggest challenges facing Victory Automotive Group is the same one facing all auto dealers: attracting and retaining quality employees. Read More »

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TrueCar to unveil Sales Analyzer at convention debut

Online car-shopping service TrueCar, continuing its effort to be dealer friendly, will have a booth on the convention floor for the first time. Read More »

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Why conquest sales will be tough this year

Conquesting customers will be a little tougher this year even though industry sales will rise, a senior industry analyst for JD Power and Associates predicted. Read More »

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BMW boss wants more U.S. inventory

Ludwig Willisch, CEO of BMW of North America, would like to add a big crossover to his lineup one day, but his main concern is getting enough of what BMW already builds. Read More »

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North America car and truck production - 01/27/14

This is data compiled by the Automotive News Data Center and requires a Data Center subscription to access. Read More »

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Mopar tests Express Lane stand-alone oil change shops

Mopar says an ongoing Express Lane experiment -- a quick-stop service operation separate from the dealership -- can show Chrysler Group dealers how to improve service profits and spot promising technicians for jobs at their dealerships. Read More »

Accessories sales boost profits

Sidney Haider, CEO of AddOnAuto, a company that helps dealerships tap into the $32 billion accessories market, will present the 2014 Auto Accessories Sales Trend Report during workshops on accessories sales and marketing at the convention. Read More »

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Could your store rank among best?

Automotive News is searching for the best dealerships to work for in the United States and Canada. For the third year, Automotive News is partnering with Best Companies Group to identify dealerships that have excelled in creating quality workplaces. Read More »

What's happening Saturday

A list of events taking place Saturday, Jan. 25. Read More »

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Q&A: JASON STOICEVICH:

Fiat: More products are coming after 500X

Jason Stoicevich, 34, the new head of the Fiat brand in North America, spent the last few months of 2013 touring the nation and meeting with Fiat dealers. He detailed future product plans and introduced initiatives to make Fiat dealers more profitable. Read More »

Bid on a Harley, help disabled children and wounded veterans

For the third straight year, ADESA will auction off a Harley-Davidson motorcycle during the convention, with the proceeds benefiting the Frank E. McCarthy Memorial Fund of the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation. Read More »

Northwood honors dealers who support education

Northwood University in Midland, Mich., will present 10 Dealer Education Awards at a breakfast Sunday at the Westin New Orleans Canal Place. Read More »

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Dealers grapple with growth

What are the top issues facing dealers as the convention begins? In recent weeks, Automotive News spoke with 24 dealer leaders representing 29 brands. The series of interviews begins on Page 6 and continues in the Sunday and Monday issues of the NADA Daily. Read More »

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BMW: Electric i3 prices to be similar to 3 series

BMW expects the new i3 electric vehicle to be priced in the U.S. similarly to a 3-series compact car, the automaker's top executive for the market said. Read More »

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SAAR to rise to 15.9 million in January, analysts predict

U.S. auto sales are projected to rise slightly this month, and one forecaster says retail deliveries will reach the highest January level in a decade. LMC Automotive today estimated sales would be up 1 percent from January 2013, while Kelley Blue Book predicted a 2 percent gain. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: NADA backs reserve caps

Each retailer would set a percentage ceiling, document deviations; Dodge luring younger buyers; big game, big ad spenders. Read More »

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2015 Cadillac Escalade drops bare-bones model, starts $8,000 higher at $72,690

The redesigned 2015 Cadillac Escalade will start at $72,690, including shipping, a jump of nearly $8,000 from a base 2014 model. Read More »

56 dealers nominated for Time magazine award

Fifty-six auto dealers have been nominated by automotive trade associations for the Time Dealer of the Year award. The nominees were announced by Time magazine and Ally Financial, this year's sponsor. Read More »

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Q&A: ART WRIGHT, ACURA NATIONAL DEALER ADVISORY BOARD:

Acura dealers would like more clout in sedan segments

This looks like an important year for Acura. The brand's venerable TL mid-sized sedan will be replaced with a new model, the TLX, this summer. Read More »

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U.S. labor board recommends dismissal of allegations against VW, UAW in Tenn.

The general counsel office of the National Labor Relations Board has recommended that two allegations brought by some workers at Volkswagen's plant in Tennessee against VW and the UAW be dismissed. The workers have vowed to appeal the recommendation. Read More »

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GM picks Jim DeLuca to replace Tim Lee as manufacturing chief

General Motors has named Jim DeLuca to lead its global manufacturing operations, the latest in a string of executive changes at the automaker and the first major personnel move since Mary Barra took over as CEO. DeLuca, 52, succeeds Tim Lee, 62, who is retiring. Read More »

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LINDSAY CHAPPELL:

Just whose NADA is this?

If you see Michael Bartsch at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in New Orleans this weekend, you will probably find him empty-handed. Read More »

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GM says a third of U.S. dealerships enrolled in online buying program

More than one-third of General Motors' dealerships have enrolled in GM's Shop-Click-Drive online car-buying program, the company said today. Read More »

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Audi plans to narrow sales gap with BMW in 2014, Stadler says

Audi plans this year to further narrow the gap with market leader BMW and keep Mercedes at bay, CEO Rupert Stadler said at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Read More »

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Audi plans to narrow sales gap with BMW in 2014, Stadler says

Audi plans this year to further narrow the gap with market leader BMW and keep Mercedes at bay, CEO Rupert Stadler said at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Read More »

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Renault, Nissan to combine manufacturing, r&d for $4 billion annual savings, report says

Renault and Nissan will combine their manufacturing and r&d functions in a move that will save the alliance more than 400 billion yen ($3.86 billion) a year, a report said. Read More »

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First Shift: Nissan settles over ad stunt

FTC calls Frontier commercial misleading; Nissan R&D chief retiring; Tesla's China assault; Honda dealership goes 'grid-neutral.' Read More »

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GM eyes 1,100 S. Korean job cuts ahead of Chevy's withdrawl in Europe, report says

GM is seeking to cut shifts by half at one of its South Korean factories as it realigns global manufacturing in a move that could affect about 1,100 jobs, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday. Read More »

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VINCE BOND JR.:

Self-driving shuttle shows way to autonomous cars

A French auto robotics company is taking development of autonomous vehicles in a new direction that could lead to public acceptance of the fledgling technology. Read More »

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Kia profit hit as stronger won hurts car exports

Kia posted fourth-quarter profit that missed estimates as a stronger won cut exports. Read More »

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Hyundai Q4 profits gain 15%, but results fall short

Hyundai said fourth-quarter net income climbed 15 percent over the previous year, but forecast sales growth would hit an eight-year low in 2014 as competition intensifies and the stronger won hampers exports. Read More »

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