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Friday, April 18, 2008 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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At a Glance...
Top Stories
Justice Urges Court to Set Emissions Ruling Aside
Industry Fears Cross-border Sales Under State CO2 Rules
GM Hangs on to its Share of Market
Nardelli: Chrysler Won't See '08 Profit
Gasoline to Remain the Dominant Fuel, Experts Say
Walkout at GM Stops Production of Popular Models
NADA Update
NADA Headed to New Orleans
Openings Remain for May Dealer Academy Classes
Lenovo Offers NADA Members Discount on Thinkpad Notebooks
STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About DMS Vendors
Top Stories
Justice Urges Court to Set Emissions Ruling Aside

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration, in support of the auto industry, has urged a federal appeals court to set aside a ruling by a federal judge that said states have the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. The Justice Department, in a friend-of-the-court brief filed late Wednesday, said the ruling in Vermont should be dismissed because the case was dependent upon California receiving a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. The government argued that federal law pre-empts state rules in the regulation of fuel economy standards, and Vermont's rules were contingent upon EPA granting California the exemption. Because the EPA rejected the California waiver in December, the lawyers wrote, Vermont "lacks authority to implement its proposed regulations."
Source: Associated Press

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Industry Fears Cross-border Sales Under State CO2 Rules

WASHINGTON -- Maryland has adopted California-style greenhouse gas emissions rules for vehicles. Nearby Virginia, West Virginia and Delaware have not. If states get the right to enforce such rules, and Maryland motorists can’t get the vehicles they want as a result, they will shop at dealerships in neighboring states, industry leaders warn. The threat of cross-border sales is one reason national dealership associations are teaming with automakers on a new campaign to block state-by-state rules. Together the groups represent nearly all automakers and dealers. They seek to block legislation in Congress that would overturn the Bush administration’s denial of authority to states to enforce their own greenhouse gas rules.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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GM Hangs on to its Share of Market

But Chrysler and Ford see first-quarter retail sales fall
Despite the tough American economy, General Motors Corp. has started the year off right -- holding its share of the retail market in the first three months with a stable of strong new products such as the Chevy Malibu, Buick Enclave and Cadillac CTS. GM captured 21.6 percent of retail sales in the U.S. market during the January-March period ... Crosstown rivals Chrysler LLC and Ford Motor Co., meanwhile, performed poorly. Chrysler lost 1.5 percentage points of share, ending with 9.8 percent. Ford dropped a little more than a half percentage point to 13.9 percent. Those are substantial declines when one considers that every percentage point of annual market share is about the equivalent of one assembly plant's full production for the year. Retail sales are those made directly to consumers, and they exclude fleet sales to rental car companies, businesses and governments, which are typically sold at a discount. Japanese automakers, led by Honda Motor Co. and followed by Toyota Motor Corp. -- both of which dominate lists of the nation's most fuel-efficient vehicles -- picked up the 2.3 percentage points of retail market that Detroit lost and then some.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Nardelli: Chrysler Won't See '08 Profit

CEO says automaker continues to meet investors' expectations despite economic hits.
DETROIT -- Chrysler LLC will not be profitable in 2008, but continued to meet its investors' expectations through the first quarter of this year, said Chairman and CEO Robert Nardelli Thursday night, after a speech to the SAE World Congress. The automaker has not put a time frame on when it would return to profitability. In his speech, Nardelli called on engineers to deliver new innovations to the automotive industry and said Chrysler staffers are focused on reinventing vehicle interiors. Today's engineers now must take on everything from developing bio-fuels and electric cars, to designing cars for growing numbers of elderly drivers and making cars capable of adapting a teenager's latest technology. Chrysler's new cockpit team will be responsible for improving the area around the driver and integrating new infotainment systems -- including Chrysler's plans to make the cars rolling Internet hotspots. Nardelli, whose first job was as a manufacturing engineer, talked to the crowd of about 1,300 about several engineering advances he was a part of during 25 years at General Electric Corp., including the development of the GE90 jet engine fan blade, compact fluorescent light bulbs and reduced-emission locomotive engines.
Source: The Detroit News

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Gasoline to Remain the Dominant Fuel, Experts Say

DETROIT -- We’ll stick with gasoline. That was the conclusion of a panel of experts discussing alternative fuels at the SAE World Congress on Wednesday. Panelists said that gasoline will continue to dominate until the industry begins mass production of fuel cells and other electrically powered vehicles. The panel spent most of its time discussing ethanol. Panelists said another alternative fuel, compressed natural gas, was best used as a niche fuel for urban transit buses, rather than passenger vehicles. Mark Maher, executive director of vehicle powertrain engineering at General Motors, said the nation would see “meaningful quantities” of ethanol from non-food sources in the next five to 10 years. GM recently entered a partnership with Coskata Inc., a producer of non-food, or cellulosic ethanol.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Walkout at GM Stops Production of Popular Models

Union workers struck a General Motors plant in Delta Township, Mich., Thursday that makes some of GM's most successful and important vehicles, and were preparing to strike today at a plant in Warren that makes transmissions for most GM models, including the award-winning Chevrolet Malibu. An ongoing strike at parts supplier American Axle, meantime, has shut 10 GM factories and had what the automaker calls "partial impact" on 18 others. The GM walkout by United Auto Workers Local 602 halted production of the Buick Enclave, Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia crossover-utility vehicles. Enclave is the best-selling Buick. Acadia is the second-best-selling GMC, after the Sierra full-size pickup. Together, strikes at Delta Township and Warren over local contract issues could severely cut into GM's profits by interrupting its flow of strong-selling models at a time industry sales are tumbling.
Source: Associated Press

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NADA Update
NADA Headed to New Orleans

New Orleans is now the eighth fastest growing metropolitan area in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. To show support for the rebirth of New Orleans, the NADA Convention & Exposition is headed back to the Big Easy for its 92nd annual event which runs Jan. 24-27, 2009.

"The theme for our New Orleans convention is 'Voice of the Dealer® ... Committed to Community.' What better way to show that commitment than for us to be there in full strength at one of NADA's favorite convention cities," said Annette Sykora, 2008 NADA Chairman. NADA has held its convention in New Orleans every few years for the past 30 years.

Registration and exhibit sales for the 2009 NADA Convention will open this summer. In the meantime, check out what the city has to offer or watch a video report about NADA's return to the Big Easy.

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Openings Remain for May Dealer Academy Classes

A few seats remain open for the Dealer Candidate Academy (DCA) for successors and the General Dealership Management (GDM) classes, which are scheduled to start next month at the NADA Dealer Academy.

The DCA class begins on May 5, and the GDM class begins on May 19. All classes will take place at NADA headquarters in McLean, Va.

The Dealer Academy program comprises six one-week class sessions - one week every other month - with each session focusing on a different area of dealership operations. The initial session focuses on financial management, the next two on fixed operations (parts and service), the following two on variable operations (new and used), and the final session on overall dealership management.

For more information or to enroll, call (800) 252-6232, #5, or (703) 821-7216 (in Canada).

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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.

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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.
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Quotable
 
The environment won’t benefit, and "the one who gets hurt is my guy." 

    -- Peter Kitzmiller, president of the 350-member Maryland Automobile Dealers Association, says cross-border auto sales will hurt Maryland's economy and force consumers to shop at dealerships in neighboring states with no real reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions, Automotive News, April 17


"Customers are only going to buy what makes sense for their budget. We have to make it cost-effective so there is market demand to buy E85."
   

    -- Meg Novacek, director of powertrain systems engineering at Chrysler LLC. The current nationwide average price of regular gasoline is about $3.40 a gallon. E85 is selling for about $2.79 a gallon. But if you factor in the fuel’s lower energy content — and the resulting decrease in a vehicle’s miles per gallon — the price is $3.67 a gallon, AAA reports, Automotive News, April 17


Engineers from across the industry are responsible for the industry's best innovations, and the task before auto engineers today is greater than simply making cars more fuel efficient.

   
-- Chrysler LLC Chairman and CEO Robert Nardelli speaking at the SAE World Congress, The Detroit News, April 18
Video Reports
 
Students Learn About Automotive Careers at the DC Auto Show. 

 Students learn about automotive careers. 

 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

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