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New-vehicle sales poised for double-digit gains in 2011: NADA

February 3, 2011
By Ray Scarpelli Sr., Chicago Metro NADA Director
U.S. new-car and light-truck sales are headed for double-digit percentage gains in 2011, the NADA's chief economist predicts.
"With wider credit availability, the auto industry should see new-vehicle sales jump nearly 12 percent this year, helping dealers come back strong from what has been a difficult economy," said Paul Taylor. "Auto sales are playing a key role in leading the economic recovery."
The average age of cars and trucks on the road today exceeds 10 years old, Taylor said Americans will need to replace their aging vehicles. That nugget, combined with low financing rates, means sales could reach 12.9 million new cars and trucks in 2011, Taylor said. Last year's new-vehicle sales total was 11.55 million light vehicles.
In other NADA news . . .
NADA UCG: Used-Vehicle Market Ends Year Strong
The used-vehicle market ended the year strong, likely recording another record-breaking price performance on the heels of big increases in 2008 and 2009, according to a report from the NADA Used Car Guide.
"December's auction prices showed continued strength on a year-over-year basis, with pickups, SUVs and vans up 10 percent," said Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst. This trend "dramatically exceeded our expectations," Banks said, with the increases driven by strong vehicle demand that superseded the high unemployment rate and relatively cautious consumer confidence witnessed in December.
Rising gas prices also have not had a big impact on used-vehicle values, Banks said. However, more expensive gas could spell trouble for already heightened pricing on used trucks and SUVs.
"Our analysis indicates that there is some sensitivity when prices eclipse the $3 mark, and if analysts' expectations are accurate, gas prices will continue to rise," Banks said. "If this occurs, expect to see NADA values on fuel sensitive segments fluctuate with expected changes in demand."
NADA Charitable Foundation funds canine companion for 9-year-old boy
Thanks to a donation from the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation, life got a little easier for Ean Williams, 9. Ean, who has several disabilities that make daily tasks difficult to complete, was paired in January with a skilled companion dog named Kobe, at the NADA headquarters in McLean, Va.
The union was made possible by a $10,000 grant from the Frank E. McCarthy Memorial Fund to Canine Companions for Independence, which provides highly trained service dogs to assist children and adults with physical disabilities.
"Ean's disabilities are very complicated and very rare," said Nancy Williams, Ean's mother. "Kobe helps Ean in the morning to get his brace and his shoes. [Ean] needs assistance with dressing, so Kobe's there to bring things to him." Williams said Kobe helps her son to the bus, making sure that he's safe crossing the street. Kobe also opens handicap doors by pressing the button. "And then after school," she said, "just in terms of daily living, [Kobe] really bridges the gap socially with children who are not disabled and brings them a little bit closer to Ean," Williams said.
Frank McCarthy served as the  NADA chief operating officer for more than three decades. The NADA charitable foundation established the fund to honor McCarthy after his death in 2001.
NADA University Offers More Free Online Courses from Partners
NADA and ATD members can take advantage of more free training at In the Sales, Leasing and Finance category, NADA U Partner Ron Reahard offers "Great VSA Closes ($3,000 Discount Close)," Grant Cardone offers "Time Closes," and Alan Ram offers "Phone Ups that Show Up." In the service category, NADA U Partner Don Reed offers "How to Achieve 100% Service Absorption," while Jeff Cowan offers "The Four Points Walk Around." All these NADA U Partners plus Jeff Sacks and Jared Hamilton are presenters for the 2011 NADA Convention workshop program.
Dealer Academy accepting applications for 2011 classes
The NADA Dealer Academy is accepting enrollments for a class in General Dealership Management (GDM) to be held Feb. 14-18, and for a Dealer Candidate Academy (DCA) class to be held Feb. 21-25. Individual Academy classes (e.g., Financial, Parts, Service and Variable Parts 1 & 2) are also open to department managers, who may attend a week of classes even if they don't have a student in the Academy program. For an application, call (800) 557-6232 ext. 2, or e-mail
Dealer 'Pain Points' continue to resolve dealer issues
NADA University's "Dealer Pain Points" program is proving extremely popular with dealers. Each "pain point" addresses and resolves a particular issue, concern, or dealer compliance obligation in short video segments with NADA U experts. Because of its popularity, it will continue as a prominent regular feature.