Inside the Industry

Goodbye Mr. Goodwrench, hello Certified Service

(February 3, 2011) GRAND BLANC, Mich. — Goodwrench, the symbol of General Motors dealership service, has officially been retired.

Mr. Goodwrench took to the national airwaves in 1977 as a way to market General Motors franchised dealers' service departments, replacing a patchwork of separate GM-divisional offerings. At the time, GM marketed vehicles in the U.S. under the Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Cadillac and GMC brands.

Ford recalls 281,000 F-150 pickups for door handle problem

(February 3, 2011) DETROIT — Ford is recalling nearly 281,000 F-150 pickup trucks in the United States because of a potential problem with the door handles not working properly, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported today.

Hyundai to begin touting its monthly fuel-economy numbers

(February 3, 2011) Hyundai is one of the most fuel-efficient car companies selling vehicles in the U.S. And apparently they want to get the word out.

So this week Hyundai began revealing overall fuel economy for its cars and light trucks based on monthly sales as regulators prepare to set tougher rules for automakers. Models sold by Hyundai in January got an average of 34.7 miles per gallon based on U.S. Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, guidelines.

BMW M-series sales rise 14.2 percent to 16,967 cars in 2010

(February 3, 2011) MUNICH —  BMW M GmbH — builder of the performance M-series vehicles — concluded 2010 with a significant boost in sales.

In a year marked by far-reaching changes in the model portfolio, the number of BMW M car sales rose by 14.2 percent to 16,967 units.

Nissan delivers materials for Miami Habitat in new NV vehicles

(February 2, 2011) MIAMI — Nissan North America announced today that it is donating $35,000 worth of building materials to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami. The materials, which will be used to build affordable homes for low income families, were delivered to the Habitat warehouse in the new 2012 Nissan NV commercial van as part of the vehicle’s national media preview.

German luxury automakers get early jump on Lexus

(February 2, 2011) Mercedes and BMW got a faster U.S. sales start on the new year with their Mercedes-Benz and BMW brands than Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus, which has been the annual leader among luxury brands for 11 years, Bloomberg News reports.

Mercedes' January U.S. sales rose 11 percent from a year ago to 16,398 and BMW reported a 21 percent gain to 15,905, while Lexus said Tuesday sales declined 17 percent to 12,860.

Subaru continues where it left off in 2010

(February 2, 2011) CHERRY HILL, N.J. (PRNewswire) — There appears to be no let up in Subaru's surging 2010 sales. On the back of record-breaking year, Subaru on Tuesday reported record January sales of 18,858, up 21 percent versus January 2010.

Ford off to best start ever in India

(February 2, 2011) NEW DELHI, India — Ford India has started the New Year with its best monthly sales performance ever, with 10,026 units sold in the first month of 2011 a more than four-fold increase, against 2,453 units sold over the same period last year. By reaching the 10,000-unit monthly sales milestone, Ford has surpassed its previous monthly record of 9,478, set in March 2010.

Production begins on Chevrolet Camaro convertible

(February 2, 2011) OSHAWA, Ontario — Rick Hendrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Tuesday visited the Oshawa Assembly Plant to mark the start of regular production for the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible, which will arrive at U.S. dealerships beginning in this month.

U.S. January sales up 17 percent

(February 2, 2011) The automotive industry recovery continued in January with sales up 17 percent over January 2010.

The U.S. Big Three were all up — General Motors by 22 percent, Ford by 9 percent and Chrysler by 23 percent.