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DIESEL TO OUTPACE HYBRID GROWTH?

With U.S. regulators looking to revise fuel-economy standards amid concerns for energy security and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the combined annual diesel and hybrid gasoline vehicle sales in the United States will be $2.7 million by 2012, according to a recent press release by Ricardo, a strategic consulting firm for the automotive industry.

WHEN TO PASS ON A BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY

What does is take to be successful in business? According to Larry Mersereau-small business consultant, speaker and author in the field of marketing and promotion-a look at successful people tells you that the ability to spot opportunity in these rapidly changing times is one major key. And it's not enough to just see opportunity, he says. It's not even enough to see it and act on it. It's at least equally important to be able to assess whether the opportunity you're looking at is right for you...before you act on it.

CONSUMERS MAY GIVE UP PERFORMANCE FOR FUEL ECONOMY, SAYS CONSUMER REPORTS

According to a recent Consumer Reports poll, facing soaring gasoline prices, American car buyers definitely want more fuel-efficient vehicles but may not be ready to give up size, range, performance or other amenities to achieve that goal.

WHAT SEMA MEMBERS SAY ARE TOP SELLERS

The following is a short excerpt from the "2007 Trends and Forecasts Quarterly Update-Q1."

THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR CDS?

Frank Homann, Siemens VDO vice president of cockpit modules, "declared the in-vehicle CD player a dead man walking, doomed by a rising tide of portable digital music players, high-tech cell phones and packaging issues" during the SAE International World Congress. According to Ward's Auto, Homann stated that Siemens is working on systems for 2012, which include CD players, but that by 2015 they won't be around.
   

SEMA SCC FOCUS PANEL: ENGLISHTOWN, NEW JERSEY

SEMA staff hosted a Focus Panel at the Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey, in May to learn about consumer behavior. With the NHRA Springnationals and the D1GP both holding events during the same weekend, the venue attracted enthusiasts from the drag racing and drifting crowds and provided an opportunity for consumers and industry professionals to discuss important topics circulating through our industry. From opinions on product development to consumer-manufacturer communication, the event was a valuable learning tool for people on both sides of the isle.

BMW CONFIRMS PRODUCTION OF 3-SERIES-BASED CUV

BMW has recently announced that it will begin production of the long-awaited 3-Series CUV, according to a recent AutoWeek.com article.  It is expected to be labeled as the F3 when it hits dealerships sometime in 2010, BMW says, and will likely target Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 buyers. 


NISSAN CUBE TO OUT-BOX SCION XB?

In the wake of other successful B-segment icons, such as the Scion xB, Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris, Nissan has signaled its plans of transplanting another diminutive Japanese vehicle to the U.S. market—the Cube.
   

FUTURE NEW-VEHICLE SALES FORECASTED

U.S. consumers still love big vehicles, and even though gasoline prices are averaging $3.20 a gallon across the nation, they will probably continue to buy big vehicles, according to a recent article in The Detroit News. However, the article states that the overall U.S. market could drop slightly as some consumers wait until gas prices drop before making a new-vehicle purchase.

TWELVE CUSTOMER PROFILES—HOW KNOWING THESE COULD HELP IMPROVE YOUR SALES

You probably have a good idea of who your existing customers are, their similarities, needs, etc. Future customers, on the other hand, may have unique needs that require a new approach in order to get them to buy your products. In a recent article by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the author maps out 12 different customer profiles. In each of the 12 descriptions below, the author indicates a "customer tip-off"-what a customer might say to you—and a "conversation starter"—the appropriate response recommended by the author.

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