Henry Ford famously wrote that a customer of his could have a car painted any color that he wanted, so long as it was black.

Turns out, a lot of people would be just fine with that -- although Ford might have done even better with silver.

A report from paint manufacturer DuPont (DD, Fortune 500) released December 7 indicates that silver and black are locked in a tight battle for car-color supremecy.

A full 26% of cars globally are painted silver, followed closely by black with 24%, the study shows.

At its November 2, 2010 board meeting, the National Auto Body Council (NABC) voted to establish an inter-industry initiative to explore and address the needs of the growing number of non-English-speaking employees within the collision industry.

The goal of the initiative is to facilitate equal access to industry training, services and products for non-English speakers, supporting NABC’s core mission of enhancing the image of the industry. Under the auspices of NABC, the inter-industry will develop strategies to enhance the working experience and quality of work product of non-English speakers.

Practicality dictates that one non-English speaking population be the initial focus of the inter-industry effort. Because the Spanish-speaking community was identified as the largest and fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, NABC will start there.

Thursday, 02 December 2010 19:32

GM, Ford sales on the rise, Toyota declines

General Motors, fresh off its initial public offering, and Ford Motor both posted solid November vehicle sales December 1, while rival Toyota's sales slipped.

GM sales were up 11% year over year, while Ford came through with a nearly 20% rise. Toyota's sales eased 3.2%.

The overall numbers are an encouraging sign that the recovery is taking hold, and consumers are once again confident enough to purchase big ticket items, said Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends at TrueCar.com.

When comparison is limited to the four brands GM (GM) still sells -- Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac -- sales rose 21% over last year. The 11% figure includes sales for discontinued brands such as Saturn and Pontiac.

The federal judge in Santa Ana, Calif., who is presiding over the class action lawsuits against Toyota has made a final decision regarding the automaker’s call to have the case involving claims of vehicle-value erosion due to unintended acceleration dismissed. According to a statement from plantiffs’ attorneys, U.S. District Judge James Selna decided to stick with the temporary ruling he made Nov. 19, thus denying Toyota’s request to dismiss the suit. In other words, the temporary dismissal has been made final.

“We are very pleased with Judge Selna’s ruling, and look forward to moving forward with a case that is very important to tens of millions of Toyota owners,” stated Steve Berman, who is serves as the co-lead council for the plaintiffs in the economic-loss class action suit and is the managing partner of the Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP law firm.

Airbrush artist, Mickey Harris showed off his most recent art flourishes on a 2011 Camaro at the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association (SEMA) show this year. The American Pride Camaro car was commissioned by GM in the summer of 2010 and was a top secret project for the artist.

General Motors enjoyed the most substantial initial public offering the country has seen this year, generating at least $16 billion in its much anticipated IPO that launched the morning of Nov. 18.

GM chief executive officer Dan Akerson rang the opening bell of the NYSE, which, in this case, was accompanied by the sound of a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS engine revving and tires squealing.

GM stock began selling, and eventually the IPO would reach one of one the highest levels in history.

“General Motors returns to the NYSE as a company with a great global brand and heritage, and a renewed focus on innovation, quality and the customer,” stated Duncan Niederauer, CEO of NYSE Euronext.     “We welcome GM to the NYSE, and we are committed to providing the highest levels of market quality and service to the company’s leadership team, employees and shareholders.”

The IPO began selling on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Nov. 18, as well.