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Money

Auto sales up, bankruptcy filings down

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U.S. auto sales are on the rise, with GM posting a 49 percent increase, Toyota up 42 percent, Nissan up 32 percent, and Hyundai gaining 28 percent increase in sales.  Tom Krisher at AP reports:

The companies said Tuesday that consumers snapped up both cars and trucks, buoyed by a gradually improving economy, and the U. S. automakers pointed to strong sales of new models. But the sales gains, especially for GM, were juiced by sweeter financing and lease deals. While analysts weren’t ready to declare a price war—and GM denied starting one — they noted an increase in the deals that customers were offered. The auto industry website TrueCar.com estimated that automakers raised incentives by 5 percent from January to February, to an average of $2,708 per vehicle. Chrysler, Ford, Nissan and Toyota all sweetened deals by more than 6 percent for the month, the site said.

Networking
Tom Tobin at the Democrat and Chronicle has a profile of the Business Peer 2 Peer networking organization in Rochester.  The group meets to improve management skills, according to Pamela Bauer, the consultant who runs the group:

Bauer, who hands out homework assignments at the end of each session, wants the group to explore the "lizard brain" aspect of business life — meaning those rudimentary, fight-or-flight sort of instincts that govern human beings in every setting, including business. "We all have it," Bauer said. "Fear of rejection. Fear of failure." One of the good things about the group, said Terry Bauer, Pam's husband and owner of Beale Street Café in Rochester, is the willingness of members to challenge each other. "What I've learned here definitely has been valuable in dealing with my employees," he said.

Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy filings increased in February, reports Sara Murray at the Wall Street Journal's Real Time Economics blog.  Filings climbed by 11 percent between January in February.

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