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Automaker Will Have One Mirai To Show, One To Go (Test-Drive)

Toyota will open a special showroom in Tokyo for the hydrogen-powered Mirai fuel-cell vehicle.

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A Subaru dealer in California is being sued by Subaru of America in US District Court, for allegedly falsifying 224 customer satisfaction surveys last year. The scheme wasn't hard to discover because all of the questionnaires were submitted from the IP address of a showroom owned by the same business.

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Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen outlines a new plan for the automaker's 700 mixed-brand dealers to create new "boutique" showrooms with better trained staff and holograms.

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Every industry develops its own slang – mastering it brings people together as part of a group and makes communication harder for outsiders to understand. Given the less-than-sterling reputation that car salesmen have among many consumers, it should be no surprise that they also have their own insider jargon. Much of the lingo is now finally coming to light in one place thanks to an Ohio lawyer specializing in 'lemon law' cases who keeps a dictionary of the terms on his website.

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With the new Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans out on the market, and the new Levante crossover and Alfieri coupe on their way, Maserati is making serious headway towards revitalizing its lineup. Now all it needs in order to reach its ambitious sales targets is to expand the network of dealers where they're to be sold. And according to Maserati chief Harald Wester in speaking to Automotive News at the Paris Motor Show, that's exactly what it has in store.

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In the near future, almost no matter where you're at in the world – whether in Mexico or France – you may not be able to tell an immediate difference between Hyundai dealers. The Korean brand plans to remove some of the diversity from its showrooms in favor of a unified design everywhere outside of the US by about 2020.

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Nissan thinks it has found a better way to sell cars, and it involves stripping showrooms of everything but the cars and sales team. The brand calls the experiment the Nissan New Retail Concept, and it might get tested in the US in a few years.

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If you want the best experience possible when buying a new car, then you'd better head down to your local Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti, or Lexus showroom. According a mystery shopper study conducted by the Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index, those three luxury brands ranked highest among the 33 makes surveyed. The highest scoring mainstream brands included GMC, Hyundai, Kia, and Ford.

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As of November 9, 2012 Eterniti Motors, makers of the Artemis (nee Hemera), has a home in Park Royal, London. The company produces its "super SUV" at a facility in London and has opened the 10,000-square-foot atelier, design studio and showroom nearby. Revealed on the night was the production version of the Artemis, the Cayenne-based high-rider brawned up with a 4.8-liter V8 making 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque.

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A modern Rolls-Royce is big. Really big. The standard-wheelbase Phantom is closer to an full-size SUV in size than it is to an ordinary sedan. And the extended-wheelbase model is an astonishing 20 feet long. Hence, Rolls-Royce needs some big showrooms, and the one you see above is its biggest yet in all of North America.

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Where would you expect to find the largest BMW dealership in the world? At BMW headquarters in Munich? Somewhere in Texas, perhaps, where everything is bigger? Or maybe in California, a state that represents one of the automaker's largest markets? If you're shouting, "No! It's in Abu Dhabi!," you're (A) good at reading headlines and (B) correct.

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According to The San Francisco Chronicle, the very last domestic dealership in the greater San Francisco area closed its doors a little over 10 days ago. Previously, San Francisco Ford, Lincoln, Mercury was the only dealership selling new products with an American badge on the grille in all of the 47.6 square miles of the city (the Chrysler-Jeep dealer shown above went bust in 2008). Ford took over operations at that dealer almost three years ago after the original owners walked away. After talk

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2010 was a good year for Ford. The Blue Oval outsold long-time rival Chevrolet by 160,000 units, but that's not the only area where Ford managed a lead over the Bowtie. Ward's Automotive reports that the Dearborn automaker ended the year with 47 more U.S. dealerships than its cross-town nemesis. The General lost 372 dealers during 2010, compared to just 61 for Ford.

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One needn't be an Autoblog regular to be aware of the fact that the car industry has taken quite a drubbing over the past few years. The slump in our nation's economy has slaughtered sales, leading automakers to shutter thousands of dealerships nationwide. Chrysler Group LLC slashed 789 franchises in June of this year. General Motors has said it will cut 2,400 retail locations of its own by next fall.

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In 2006, Ford began to shrink its dealership network in order to more efficiently align its distribution network. Three years later, it appears that the hardest hit are the company's stand-alone Lincoln-Mercury dealerships. While there were 619 Lincoln-Mercury dealerships nationwide just a few years ago, the number had dwindled down to just 357 at the beginning of 2009.

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On top of the 1,124 General Motors dealers that will be closed next year, the ailing automaker is reportedly going to announce another round of dealer closings on Monday when its bankruptcy declaration is expected. According to two Automotive News sources, 450 dealers will not see their dealer franchises renewed. For his part, Mark LaNeve, GM's VP of North American sales, said the number would be "less than half that."

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Ford's dealer development program works to help people become dealer principles who might not otherwise have the chance. The 64 members of the program, most of them black or Hispanic, are set up with stores by Ford and then buy out Ford's interest in the dealership with revenues. To give them a boost and, presumably, free up Ford money, Automotive News is reporting that Ford is offering dealers in the program an offer they'll have a hard time refusing: complete ownership of their stores for $1.

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Click above for our John Cooper Works MINI and Clubman high-res gallery

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It's not a new topic in the automotive industry -- women influence and even directly account for around 80 percent of automotive buying decisions, yet dealers still reportedly look over the woman's shoulders for a husband or father. Despite the industry's best efforts to recruit women salespeople to increase the odds of good communication, almost half of the auto dealerships in the country have no women on staff, and women only make up 8 percent of the sales force, according to the NADA. Dealers

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