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March 11, 1994 - Image 31

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-03-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

While part of the decline in
dealership numbers is due to
closings and mergers among
the automakers, such as
Chrysler's buyout of American
Motors in 1989, NADA pro-
jected another 250 dealerships
would close last year, followed
by an annual drop of 150 more
until the turn of the century.
Most of the dealerships
which disappear are indepen-
dent franchises which find it
difficult to compete with the
latest sales trend, automotive
shopping malls. J. Ferron, a se-
nior partner with J.D. Power
& Associates, a respected au-
tomotive market research firm,
said the dealers who will pros-
per until the end of decade are
those offering superior service,
convenience and comparison
shopping.
To that end, dealerships are
monitoring the lead of the
Mauro Auto Mall in Kenosha,
Wis., where potential buyers
can ponder the offerings of 12
different manufacturers under
one roof, or for servicing, pull
into one of 80 service bays.
In addition to providing
complimentary rides to and

from work, service customers
are given pagers which can be
used to contact a specific tech-
nician. The dealers at the mall
also share parts, so customers
find their waiting time cut con-

"The secret to
our success?
That's easy.
Good product,
good service
and
good location."
Marry Feldman

siderably. Other incentives
include children's play areas,
gourmet coffee, changing tables
in the men's room and a photo-
graphic history of a car's
repairs.

According to a study by J.D.
Power, the number of auto
malls grew from 45 in 1980 to
165 in 1992. While dealers
were reluctant at first to band
together, auto malls have
grown in popularity due to low-
er overhead costs. By the year
2005, 350 auto malls will op-
erate around the country.
"What we have in Southfield
(at Telegraph and 12 Mile
Road) is an auto cluster, where
21 manufacturers are repre-
sented," said Tony Jerome, vice
president of the Tamaroff Au-
tomotive Group, which offers
Buick, Dodge, Honda, Isuzu
and Nissan models. "This area
is the most viable volume sell-
ing cluster in the Midwest.
"We're the predecessor to
the auto mall trend. The real
winner here is the consumer,
because he or she can shop in
a very short distance and feel
comfortable with all the corn-
petition. Obviously, if a dealer
is offering superior service to
the customer, he or she should
have no shortage of business,
whether it's in the showroom
or the service center." El

ar l A Busy Place
For People On The Go

M

illions of people have
found their cars are
becoming more than
just transportation.
They also have turned into a
portable office or library.
Need proof? In 1993, a
decade after commercial cellu-
lar phones were introduced in
the United States, there were
13 million customers.
Audio books have grown into

a $1 billion a year industry
since their explosion in the
1980s.
While business was the ma-
jor reason for most of the first
commercial cellular phone pur-
chases, security has come to the
forefront in recent years.
"A lot of customers want a
phone for peace of mind and to
be able to keep in touch with
their families," said Julie Fras-

er, assistant manager of m
ket support for Ameritech C
lular Services in F
Hills.
Most customers who
dio books from Richard S'
tob's Talking I3ooks store in the
West Bloomfield Plaza do so
cause there aren't enough free
hours to sit and read.
"People want to do more
things in less time I've had so
many customers tell me audio
books have opened new worlds
for them," said Mr. Simtob, 24,
president of Talking Books. The
store has been open for five
months and stocks about 3,500
titles.
"Rush Limbaugh's books
have been incredibly popular,
and we're seeing a lot of people
rent personal growth and self-
help tapes," Mr. Simtob said.
"We've had quite a few requests
for tapes which teach Spanish
and even one for Swahili."
Business is so good, said Mr.
Simtob, that he and partner ry-
rone Pereira, both Toronto na-
tives, want to open another
Talking Books outlet this sum-
mer. They hope to franchise the
business before the end of the
year. CI

ISRAEL DIGEST

,Specially mmpiled Theferttsalem Post

—Si EQUALS 2.9660 NIS (shekels) - Close Price 3-2-94 —

Not Enough Programmers

Israel's software industry is
facing a shortage of at least
500 computer programmers,
which threatens the industry's
future growth, according to a
study released by the Manu-
facturers Association.
The software industry cur-
rently employs approximate-
ly 6,500 and is growing at
20-25 percent a year.
The study, which polled 80
software houses, found that

even with the recent influx of
highly trained immigrants
from the former Soviet Union,
the number of programmers
for advanced languages like
C++ still falls short of local
needs.
According to the study,
about 1,000 immigrant pro-
grammers have been absorbed
into the industry during the
past few years.

Housing Starts Are Down

All housing starts in Israel fell
by 25 percent last year as pub-
lic housing starts dropped by
more than 75 percent due to
the government's housing pro-
gram freeze, the Central Bu-
reau of Statistics reported.
By contrast, private hous-
ing starts rose by 25 percent
compared to 1992.
Housing starts totaled

33,630 last year, compared to
44,900 in 1992 and 83,510 at
the peak of the housing boom
in 1991. Public housing starts
plummeted by 94.3 percent be-
tween 1991 and 1993, from
61,730 to 4,760.
Private housing starts
soared to a record high of
28,870 last year, one-third
higher than 1991 figures.

Amcor Team Heads To India

Amcor announced it will send
a team of engineers and pro-
duction technicians to India in
May to begin work on a joint
solar collector factory with In-
dia's Jain Irrigation Systems.
The $3 million factory,
which will be built 400 kilo-
meters west of Bombay, will
be based on Amcor's technol-
ogy and production methods.
Amcor sold the technology to
Jain for $180,000 and will re-

ceive royalties from the sale of
the solar collectors.
The Indians project they
will sell 20,000 solar collectors
during the first year, valued
at $8 million. They said they
expect many sales will be
made to Moslem countries
which do not buy directly from
Israel. Jain has contracted to
purchase solar collectors from
Amcor until the factory is com-
pleted in December.

Production Rises 7 Percent

Industrial production in Israel
rose 7 percent last year after
rising 9 percent in 1992, the
Central Bureau of Statistics
reported.
Industrial labor input,
which is measured in actual
work hours, increased 4 per-
cent last year, raising the
product per work hour to 2.5
percent from 2 percent.

production
Industrial
growth was uneven last year.
After a slow start, there was a
strong recovery from May to
August as productivity shot
up between 14-16 percent an-
nually.
From September to De-
cember, industrial production
growth moderated to 7-8 per-
cent annually.

Economy Is Expanding

Israel's economy has been ex-
panding at an accelerated pace
since 1993's last quarter based
on growing state revenue re-
ceipts, State Revenues Direc-
tor Yoram Gabbai reported.
Seasonally-adjusted tax re-
ceipts reflect a significant ex-
pansion in growth rates
during the final months of last
year and this past January.
The first two months of the
year were characterized by
large increases in imports,

particularly durable imports.
In February, car imports
jumped 26 percent compaked
to the same period last year,
totaling 10,600 cars.
Other durable goods regis-
tered significant import rises
last month: refrigerators shot
up 235 percent, dishwashers
rose by 82 percent, televisions
increased by 41 percent, laun-
dry machines were up 22 per-
cent, and video recorders rose
3 percent.

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