For optimal viewing through your web browser or PDA, click here.

SPONSORED BY
NADA.org
Wednesday, April 9, 2008 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Home | AdvocacyAffiliates | Convention | Jobs | Programs | Publications | Training | Services
At a Glance...
Top Stories
U.S. Auto Sales Forecast to Fall Below 15M in '08
Study: Auto Market Among Top Online Sales Categories
Downsizing Arrives -- With a Vengeance
Volt Could go to Trend-setters First
GM May Realign Marketing Leadership
Cerberus to Reign Over GMAC
NADA Update
New Poster Required to Recognize Changes to Family and Medical Leave Act
IRS Issues Guidance on Dealership Cost Segregation Studies
2009 Convention Workshop Proposals Now Being Accepted
Lenovo Offers NADA Members Discount on Thinkpad Notebooks
STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About DMS Vendors
Top Stories
U.S. Auto Sales Forecast to Fall Below 15M in '08

U.S. auto sales are likely to contract by more than a million units this year to fewer than 15 million cars and trucks, the lowest level in more than a decade, according to a forecast issued Tuesday by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services. S&P predicts U.S. light vehicle sales will fall to 14.9 million units from 16.1 million last year and 16.5 million in 2006, mainly because of high oil prices and tight credit. At this stage, most automakers are more optimistic, expecting sales to fall in a range between 15 million and 15.5 million cars and trucks for 2008. "It will be almost two years before the U.S. automakers begin to reap the large cash health care savings incorporated in the 2007 labor contract with the United Auto Workers," S&P credit analyst Robert Schulz said. "The next 21 months will be crucial for the domestic automakers as they try to reduce losses and cash use in their North American operations."
Source:  The Detroit News

[back to top]
Study: Auto Market Among Top Online Sales Categories

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Despite widespread retail declines across the American economy, a recent study projects an upswing in online shopping for 2008. This includes the auto industry, which analysts predict to be among the top three Internet sales categories. The State of Retailing Online, a Shop.org study conducted by Forrester Research, anticipates that online retail sales will increase by 17 percent this year to $204 billion. The auto industry is expected to account for $19.3 billion of those sales, which would make it the third-largest online segment behind apparel ($26.6 billion) and computers ($23.9 billion), the report highlighted.
Source:  Auto Remarketing

[back to top]
Downsizing Arrives -- With a Vengeance

DETROIT — The big shift to small cars this year threatens the revenue and profitability prospects of the Detroit 3. The change in buying patterns accelerated in March, while overall sales tanked. The problem for the domestic automakers: They are still way underrepresented in the vehicle segments that are growing. Crossover sales are now almost double those of truck-based SUVs, Ford says. And sales of four-cylinder engines are spiking: Nearly 40 percent of vehicles purchased in March contained four cylinders, overtaking six cylinders and showing the highest monthly share since at least 2002, according to J.D. Power and Associates. It's all evidence of what Ford executives are calling a "seismic" shift in consumer preferences.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

[back to top]
Volt Could go to Trend-setters First

General Motors Corp. executives are discussing launching the Chevrolet Volt first in politically important and trend-setting markets on the coasts when the vehicle makes it to market in late 2010. Vice Chairman Bob Lutz told the Free Press by e-mail Monday that the early plan for distribution of the Chevrolet Volt is to begin with California, followed by Washington, D.C.; Florida; New York and elsewhere on the East Coast. The Volt, introduced as a concept car in Detroit in January 2007, is expected to get 40 miles of range from an overnight plug-in charge, followed by more than 400 miles using a gasoline generator to charge the battery.
Source:  The Detroit Free Press

[back to top]
GM May Realign Marketing Leadership

DETROIT — General Motors North American marketing chief Mark LaNeve may revamp GM's sales, service and marketing to handle key functions through retail channels rather than through a centralized setup. If that happens, it would mean that each of GM's four sales channels will have a sales executive under the brand general manager. The move would leave GM North America with two fewer vice presidents than a year ago. Brent Dewar's position as North America vice president of field sales, service and parts would not be filled. Last May, LaNeve, who is vice president of North America sales, service and marketing, killed the position of vice president of North America marketing and advertising, which Mike Jackson vacated. LaNeve has been performing that function. LaNeve may also appoint an executive to oversee the Cadillac-Hummer-Saab channel.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

[back to top]
Cerberus to Reign Over GMAC

GMAC LLC, the auto and home lender, will probably avoid a ratings cut at its profitable insurance unit by transferring control to an investor group led by Cerberus Capital Management LP. The plan gives all voting rights to the group controlled by Cerberus, which shares ownership of GMAC with General Motors Corp., according to a regulatory filing Tuesday. A.M. Best Co. said the action should ease concerns that caused it to review the insurer's credit and claims-paying ratings for possible downgrade as the U.S. housing slump led to billions of dollars in losses at GMAC's mortgage lender, Residential Capital LLC.
Source:  Bloomberg News

[back to top]
NADA Update
New Poster Required to Recognize Changes to Family and Medical Leave Act

In late January, President Bush signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008 which amended the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA).

Effective immediately, the amendment permits an eligible employee:

  1. Who is the “spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a covered service member” to take up to 26 work weeks of leave to care for a “member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness.”
  2. To take FMLA leave because of “any qualifying exigency (as the Secretary shall, by regulation, determine) arising out of the fact that the spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent of the employee is on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) in the Armed Forces in support of a contingency operation.”

Important:  Dealerships should put on display next to the FMLA poster a new Department of Labor poster informing employees of these changes. The FMLA Poster Insert for Military Family Leave Amendments is available free at http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/posters/fmla.htm.

[back to top]
IRS Issues Guidance on Dealership Cost Segregation Studies

The IRS has issued new technical guidance to its field examiners on dealership cost segregation studies, which many dealerships use to determine the appropriate depreciation period for different components of its facility. The new guidance and a Motor Vehicle Technical Advisor Automotive Alert explaining it are available at www.nada.org/regulations under “Recent Federal Agency Publications.”

[back to top]
2009 Convention Workshop Proposals Now Being Accepted

Proposals are now being accepted for speakers who are interested in presenting a workshop at the 2009 NADA Convention & Exposition in New Orleans January 24-27. To download the proposal, go to www.nada.org/workshops. Please read through the entire application before submitting. Completed proposals should be postmarked by midnight, April 25, 2008.  For more information, contact NADA Management Education at (703) 821-7227 or workshops@nada.org.

[back to top]
Lenovo Offers NADA Members Discount on Thinkpad Notebooks

NADA members can save three ways during the month of April:

  • Instant savings with discounted Web pricing
  • Save even more with your NADA discount
  • Extra savings with eCoupon USXSAVE4SPRING at checkout

To take advantage of these savings, visit www.nada.org/ProductsServices/Technology, click on "PC Purchase Program" (member log-in required), then click on Lenovo, or call 800-426-7235. Enter eCoupon USXSAVE4SPRING at checkout for your cumulative discount. Free ground shipping is offered on all Web orders! Visit the Web site often for special limited-time eCoupons.

[back to top]
STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About DMS Vendors
Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR) has developed new guidelines when dealers are evaluating Dealer Management Systems Dealer Management System vendors. Visit STAR's Dealer Infrastructure Guidelines (DIG) publication.  To learn what issues to consider when choosing a network provider, click here.
[back to top]
Quotable
 
"The next 21 months will be crucial for the domestic automakers as they try to reduce losses and cash use in their North American operations."

   -- S&P credit analyst Robert Schulz, The Detroit News, April 9

The big shift to small cars this year is evidence of what Ford executives are calling a "seismic" shift in consumer preferences.

    -- Automotive News, April 7

Video Reports
 
April is Automotive Career Month. Learn About Careers in the Auto Industry.

 Learn about careers in the auto industry. 

 NADA/USA Today Innovation Award Goes to "Green" Dealership in Vermont.
 NADA Convention Heads to New Orleans in 2009.
 NADA Foundation Contributes to Canine Companions for Independence.
 2008 Convention Highlights

Search Back Issues | Manage your subscription | email us
NADA For more information on NADA, visit www.nada.org or contact NADA, 8400 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102. This email may contain an advertisement of NADA products and services. Any opinions or statements contained herein do not necessarily reflect the views of NADA. Factual errors are the responsibility of the listed publication. If you are a franchised new-car or -truck dealer and would like to become a member of NADA, please visit the Join NADA section of www.nada.org. Questions or comments concerning NADA Headlines content may be directed to media@nada.org.