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VW execs confirm U.S. sales goal but soften on deadline

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015

After two years of declining U.S. sales for Volkswagen, brand executives meeting with dealers at the NADA convention reaffirmed the company's goal of selling 800,000 vehicles a year in the U.S. But they said hitting the target by 2018 is less important than improving dealership profitability in the short term....
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Mitsubishi promises U.S. marketing support

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015

Mitsubishi pledges full marketing support for the stream of new models scheduled to begin coming to showrooms this summer. The automaker told dealers last week at their make meeting during the NADA convention that marketing activity will begin stirring in April at the New York auto show....
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BMW will keep improving buyer satisfaction

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015

BMW's top North American executive is asking the brand's dealers to continue improving their customers' dealership experience in 2015. "We can go further," said Ludwig Willisch, CEO of BMW of North America, referring to progress made in 2014....
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Subaru execs want to increase U.S. throughput, not dealer total

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015

Subaru of America won't add dealers because it wants throughput per dealer to grow to 1,000 units annually. That's one of the most important messages delivered during the make meeting in San Francisco, dealers said....
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Acura: Redesigns and leasing to lift volume

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015

Acura dealers should prepare for an uptick in U.S. sales and service orders this year, executives told dealers at the NADA convention. Dealers expect to benefit from redesigns of the ILX entry-level sedan and RDX compact crossover, as well as a restructuring of Acura's leasing program to compete with German luxury automakers....
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M-B pushes dealers to lift customer experience

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015

Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon says the brand plans to prod dealers to improve sales processes even though Mercedes scored the top luxury-brand ranking on J.D. Power and Associates' Sales Satisfaction Index Study last year. "We're pushing hard, and we're not about to stop," Cannon said after the make meeting last week at the NADA convention....
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U.S. Porsche execs eager to get more Macans to dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015

Porsche is working to get more Macan midsize crossovers to U.S. dealers in 2015. Wait times for Macan buyers have been six months or more since it went on sale last May. U.S. dealers are looking forward to getting more Macans this year and getting them into the hands of buyers more quickly....
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Volvo dealers will get product details in March

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015

Volvo will detail the seven new products it will launch through 2017 at a March dealer meeting in Vail, Colo., dealers were told at their make meeting. The newest vehicle, the redesigned XC90 crossover, will go on sale in the second quarter....
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Mazda's message: Service is profit key

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015

Mazda executives conveyed a simple message to the Japanese brand's dealers last week at the NADA convention: We need to work on fundamentals. Mazda executives told dealers during the brand's make meeting that they expect an 11 percent jump in U.S. sales this year....
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Mini optimistic for a sales rebound in 2015

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015

Executives of Mini of the Americas told its U.S. dealers that sales should return to at least 2013 levels this year after a delayed launch of the Cooper Hardtop knocked Mini sales down 16 percent for 2014. In 2013, the brand sold 66,502 vehicles in the United States. The nation's 122 Mini dealers are expecting a redesigned Clubman and convertible this year....
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Kia restructures as No. 2 sales exec departs

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015

Kia has restructured its U.S. sales organization by splitting the country into two regions instead of four, with Percy Vaughn leading the Eastern region and Phil Kelley leading the Western region, the Korean automaker told dealers at the NADA convention. That shuffle, combined with the departure of Kia's No. 2 U.S. sales executive, marks the second major shake-up in the course of a year....
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Honda: New trucks will boost sales

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015

Honda Division expects to beat last year's 1 percent U.S. sales increase as it breathes new life into its truck lineup in 2015. The brand is introducing several new and restyled models this year, prompting executives to call 2015 "the year of Honda."...
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Nissan wants to grow brand, customer satisfaction

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015

Nissan will push its dealers toward better customer satisfaction results this year, continuing their gains from 2013 and 2014. The automaker will launch the Quality Growth Plan to improve Nissan's standing in customer sales experiences in J.D. Power's Sales Satisfaction Index from the current level of "average," the automaker told dealers at their make meeting....
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'Off script,' Caddy boss clears the air

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015

Last month, Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen said he has never had a bad make meeting at an NADA convention. His streak remains intact, by many accounts, despite ample dealer unease and some anger heading into the Jan. 24 gathering in San Francisco....
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Toyota: 3 brands' 2015 U.S. sales to top 2.4 million

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015

Toyota Motor Sales expects to top 2.4 million in U.S. sales this year with several new and freshened models across its Toyota, Lexus and Scion divisions, up from just under that mark last year, executives said. Some of that extra volume will come when the redesigned 2016 Tacoma pickup reaches showrooms during the fourth quarter....
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FCA US: Retail sales to rise 10%

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015

FCA US is targeting 10 percent growth in its U.S. retail sales for 2015 as new vehicles arrive in segments in which the automaker has no offerings. The Jeep Renegade, Ram ProMaster City and Fiat 500X, all assembled in Europe, are due in showrooms in volume in the first half of the year....
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Audi bullish about another record year

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015

Despite few major vehicle launches coming up, Audi of America CEO Scott Keogh says the brand will post record U.S. sales for the sixth-straight year in 2015. The gains will be fueled by greater availability of the hot-selling Q5 and Q3 crossovers....
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DAVE GUILFORD

BLOG: Volvo and the 'sweet hereafter'

12:59 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 30, 2015

Excruciatingly long product lead times have always challenged automakers, who have to figure out what will sell four or five years hence. But they’re tough on dealers, too, who face lengthy product droughts while hearing -- literally for years -- about the really sweet stuff that’s on the way....
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Soros is ready to move on auto dealerships

3:40 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 26, 2015

Wall Street powerhouse Soros Fund Management is ready to move on a deal to acquire auto dealerships, a representative of the fund said at a private dinner Saturday in San Francisco, according to two sources who attended the event. Soros is prepared to invest as much as $1 billion on dealerships, one of the sources said....
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Porsche works to deliver more Macans to U.S. dealerships

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 26, 2015

Porsche is working to increase supplies of the new Macan midsize crossover to US dealers in 2015. Wait times for Macan buyers have been six months or more since it went on sale last May....
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Mitsubishi Galant

Mitsubishi, Renault-Nissan midsize sedan project stalls

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 25, 2015

A plan for the Renault-Nissan Alliance to supply Mitsubishi dealers with a midsize sedan has stalled, according to a senior U.S. Mitsubishi executive. The high-level joint venture between the alliance and Mitsubishi Motors was announced in late 2013, and has been a bright hope for Mitsubishi's U.S. dealers who are hungry for new product....
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RICHARD JOHNSON

BLOG: A new Gold Rush sweeps over California

12:45 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 25, 2015

Like Warren Buffett and George Soros, so-called hybrid buyers -- private equity funds and super-wealthy families and combinations of the two -- are on the hunt for dealership deals. This new category of dealership buyer could turn out to be as transformational as the six public groups that rolled up a significant part of the industry almost 20 years ago....
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KRISHNAN ANANTHARAMAN

BLOG: Spending billions but coming up short on the trust scale

9:00 am U.S. ET | Jan. 25, 2015

To really make customers more comfortable while buying a new car, dealers should take a close look at every step of the transaction process they put a consumer through, and figure out where trust is leaking out....
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AMY WILSON

BLOG: How to get a deal done

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 25, 2015

One of the reasons it might be a great time to sell your dealership? Some of the private equity groups scouting auto retail are so eager to put their investors' money to work, they'll overpay, says Tim York, managing partner of accounting firm Dixon Hughes Goodman....
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GM eager to squeeze more out of BDCs

11:00 am U.S. ET | Jan. 25, 2015

GM is using the Year of the Recall to reinforce the importance of operating a business development center, on both the sales and service sides of the dealership....
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