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

SPONSORED BY
 
NADA.org
Thursday, May 15, 2008 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Home | AdvocacyAffiliates | Convention | Jobs | Programs | Publications | Training | Services
At a Glance...
Top Stories
Senate to Take up California Emissions Bill Next Week
Opinion: Automotive Armageddon
Car Dealers Set 'Green' Blueprints
Nerdy, Fuel-stingy Cars Are Hot Wheels
Prius Sailing Off Dealers' Lots
Ghosn Hedges Bets on Emissions
Ford Recalls 650,000 F-150s, Lincoln Trucks for Brake Hose
Lamborghini Revs Up Pre-Owned Program
Chattanooga: VW plant Could Make Porsche, Audi Vehicles
NADA Update
Director Nominations Mailed to NADA Members
Looking for a Competitive Edge? Check Out NADA's Used-Vehicle Seminar
Save Up to 35 Percent on ThinkPad Notebooks Through May 19
Top Stories
Senate to Take up California Emissions Bill Next Week

WASHINGTON -- The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee plans to take up a bill next week that would grant California and 16 other states the power to impose their own vehicle emissions standards. The bill, before the committee chaired by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) would reverse a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency that denied California and the other states the right to mandate a 30 percent cut in vehicle emissions by 2016. In December, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson rejected the states' request for a waiver to impose the stricter standards under the Clean Air Act. He cited the fact that Congress had passed a new energy bill that requires a 40 percent increase in fuel efficiency standards to 35 mpg by 2020. In January, Boxer and 17 colleagues, including Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and both Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill to reverse the EPA decision. Sen. John McCain ... has also endorsed California's emissions program, but hasn't signed on to the Boxer bill.
Source:  The Detroit News

[Editor's Note: The multi-state approach to increasing fuel economy standards in the bill compromises vehicle safety and directly threatens the mix of vehicles which dealers can offer their customers.  Each state that follows California would have to calculate its own fuel economy averages to limit CO2 emissions which would result in more than a dozen states with a dozen different fuel economy and emissions requirements.  Senators must be reminded that the single, national fuel economy standard set by Congress last year will achieve substantial greenhouse gas reductions while maintaining consumer choice and enhancing vehicle safety.  Dealers are strongly urged to contact their Senators to tell them to oppose S. 2555.  The Senate switchboard can be reached at: (202) 224-3121.  For more information, please visit: www.nada.org/cafe.]

Opinion: Automotive Armageddon

The next U.S. president could obliterate the auto industry as we know it
NEW YORK -- As the presidential primary season draws to a close, it is worthwhile to contemplate this: It is unusual for a single individual to hold the fate of an entire industry in his hand - but that will be the case for the next president of the United States. He or she will have the power to enact unbearably strict fuel economy standards on the cars and trucks sold in half the country. By so doing, he could render vast swaths of the current car and truck lineup obsolete and doom their manufacturers to the scrapyard. To enact the tough standards that it wanted, California needed a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency, which sets auto emission rules on a national basis. The EPA has granted such waivers in the past; indeed, California had never been denied one. This time, however, the EPA said no: California would have to follow along with the rest of the country. The EPA ruled that, unlike smog and diesel fumes, climate change is a global problem, not a state one, and therefore needs a national solution. Like everything else in politics, the EPA ruling isn't final. Lawsuits are flying from various interested parties in an effort to get it overturned. What frightens the auto industry is the question of whether the administration that takes office in January, 2009 will get the EPA to reverse course. All three presidential candidates have said that they side with California and would order the EPA to extend a waiver. What happens after the inauguration is anybody's guess. But the betting in Detroit is that Democrats Obama and Clinton are the most likely to stick to their guns if elected.
Source: Fortune

Car Dealers Set 'Green' Blueprints

Toyota and GM Push Eco-Friendly Showrooms To Attract Customers
By 2011, Toyota Motor Corp. expects to have 100 "green" dealerships like the family-owned LaFontaine operation [The Detroit News, May 14] ... Toyota has already drawn up a prototype store design that dealers can follow to automatically gain environmentally friendly certifications. On Thursday, Toyota will announce an effort under which the company will help about a dozen dealers build new, highly energy-efficient facilities. ...other auto dealers and makers are thinking the same way. At General Motors Corp., Bill Hepburn, an executive responsible for dealer relations, said he is talking to almost all of GM's U.S. dealers about environmentally friendly makeovers. GM has been adding green vehicles to its lineup and has cut energy use of its own plants and buildings. Dealers, Mr. Hepburn said, are "the sort of third step in a three-legged stool." The drive is aimed at saving money, appealing to increasingly energy-conscious consumers and deflecting the criticism environmentalists often aim at the automakers. Some car companies are also seeking so-called LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, designations from the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council, which recognizes buildings that are environmentally friendly in their construction, design and operation. Pat Lobb Toyota in McKinney, Texas, one of the first LEED-certified dealerships, has kicked off advertising touting the green virtues of the dealership...
Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

Nerdy, Fuel-stingy Cars Are Hot Wheels

Some of the nerdiest-looking cars in recent automotive history are making a comeback, at least in resale value, as a growing number of value-driven drivers put gas thriftiness ahead of image. Early-1990s econoboxes such as Ford Festiva, Hyundai Excel and Geo Metro ... have seen their used car prices climb from giveaway levels as low as $1,100 a few months ago to upward of $6,000 today... As AAA pegged gas prices Wednesday at a record $3.758 a gallon nationwide, some of those old tin cans get gas mileage equal to today's best and pricey hybrids. Festiva, Excel and the others get mid-30s mpg or better on the highway. Enviable gas mileage was made possible by smaller engines: The Metro had three cylinders. The cars were also lighter than today's models, sometimes lacking air bags and other safety features that add weight. Experts advise taking the safety trade-off into consideration. "What is your life worth for that extra 10 miles per gallon?" asks Jon Linkov, managing editor for autos for Consumer Reports.
Source:  USA Today

Prius Sailing Off Dealers' Lots

Higher gas prices are sending more customers looking for Toyota's most fuel-efficient vehicle
Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius hybrid, the most fuel-efficient car sold in the U.S., is getting harder to find on dealer lots and commanding higher prices when customers do. U.S. dealer supplies of Priuses have dropped to the lowest level in two years, allowing Toyota, the world's second-largest automaker, to pare incentives and raise prices, said Mike Michels, a Toyota spokesman in Torrance, Calif. It can take up to two weeks to receive delivery of the hybrid-electric vehicle, said Mark Harding, general manager of Toyota of Santa Monica. U.S. inventories of Priuses are limited by production capacity in Japan, which must be shared with Asia and Europe, said John Hanson, another Toyota spokesman in Torrance. Prius sales jumped 67 percent last month, fed by record gasoline prices. Toyota said May 2 it planned to boost the base price of the Prius $400, or 1.8 percent, this month. Currently, Prius sells for $25,274 on average, $869 more than a year ago, according to J.D. Power & Associates...
Source:  The Detroit News

Ghosn Hedges Bets on Emissions

TOKYO -- Nissan Motor Co. Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn this week declared that he wants the company to lead the world in producing all-electric, zero-emission cars. But he is hedging his bets. In an interview Wednesday, Mr. Ghosn said not all the electric cars Nissan manufactures will be purely electric or emission free. He said Nissan would make some models available with an optional "range extender" -- a gas-powered engine that recharges the battery and keeps the vehicle moving after the initial plug-in charge expires. Such a device would let Nissan's electric car, to be introduced in limited numbers in the U.S. and Japan by 2010 and marketed globally in 2012, compete with similar vehicles planned by rivals General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. Mr. Ghosn said he wants to help put the world behind the wheel of zero-emission vehicles to address growing concerns about the effect of tailpipe emissions on the environment. Outfitting vehicles with gas-powered range extenders falls short of that goal, but a hybrid compromise might help make Nissan's vehicles more appealing to consumers, who likely will be concerned about the limited range of a purely electric car. "The more practical solution is the hybrid. It's more consumer friendly," said Tatsuo Yoshida, an auto-industry analyst at UBS Securities Japan in Tokyo.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

Ford Recalls 650,000 F-150s, Lincoln Trucks for Brake Hose

DETROIT — Ford Motor is recalling more than 650,000 of its top-selling F-150 pickups as well as a Lincoln-branded truck because of a problem with the brake hose that could cause the vehicles to lose braking power. The automaker has recalled 2005 and 2006 model year Ford F-150 and Lincoln Mark LT trucks, according to the recall notice posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on its website Wednesday. Ford trucks covered by the recall are equipped with 5.4-liter engines. The brake hose on those trucks can detach from an intake manifold, causing the driver to lose the "assist" function that provides additional power to the brakes, according to the safety notice. Ford said customers in the United States and Canada affected by the recall could have brake hoses replaced at Ford dealerships starting in late June.
Source:  Reuters

Lamborghini Revs Up Pre-Owned Program

Italy's super sports car purveyor Lamborghini this year will iron out details for dealers to sell certified pre-owned versions of its vehicles, to be supported with broadcast advertising. "The certified pre-owned program will be launched worldwide, starting in the U.S. and Europe," said Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. "We are now facing discussions with our dealers to work out the details." Winkelmann said the certified used cars will be available only via dealerships, which will be allowed to do "above the line advertising," such as broadcast spots. In most cases, the certified cars can only be sold in branded dealerships, as in the plan Lamborghini is working on. "You've got a company that is looking to increase its overall sales in the U.S., and this is a good way of increasing brand recognition and awareness, and at the same time, selling more vehicles," said Tara Baukus Mello, lead market analyst at NADAguides.com, Costa Mesa, Calif. Offering certified pre-owned cars will not diminish the brand, she said, "You can't lose specialness when you are Lamborghini." Ferrari ... has offered a pre-owned vehicle program in North America since 2003 ... Maserati ... also has a certified pre-owned program in North America ...
Source:  BrandWeek

Chattanooga: VW plant Could Make Porsche, Audi Vehicles

An auto industry analyst said Monday that making Porsche and Audi vehicles as well as Volkswagens at a possible U.S. plant is a cost efficient way of using a new facility. “It wouldn’t be an unprecedented kind of thing,” said Paul Taylor, chief economist of the National Automobile Dealers Association. German business newspaper Handelsblatt quoted Volkswagen sources as saying the company could run the plant together with its largest shareholder Porsche, according to Reuters. It said the facility could make Porsche vehicles, Volkswagens and VW’s upscale Audi line as well, the report said. “Both companies would gain efficiencies, but maintain a strong separate identify of two product lines,” Mr. Taylor said. Martin Winterkorn, VW’s chief executive, also told the German newspaper it will decide before mid-July on whether to build the assembly plant. VW has said it is looking at Tennessee, Alabama and Michigan as sites for a new facility.
Source:  Chattanooga Times Free Press

[back to top]
NADA Update
Director Nominations Mailed to NADA Members

Ballots for nominating members to serve as NADA directors have been mailed to members in Arizona, Northern California, Southern California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Metropolitan New York, New York State, Ohio, Eastern Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Metropolitan Washington, DC and West Virginia. All ballots should be returned postmarked by May 30. If two or more nominees receive at least 10 percent of the votes and agree to seek election, ballots will be mailed June 27 to be returned postmarked by July 18. Directors elected will take office on Jan. 27, 2009 at the convention in New Orleans.

Looking for a Competitive Edge? Check Out NADA's Used-Vehicle Seminar

NADA 20 Group consultant Steve Emery will present "Used-Vehicle Department Profit Accelerator," held May 21–22 in St. Louis, Mo. The seminar will explain the crucial elements of running a profitable used-vehicle operation, such as purchasing and managing inventory, reconditioning, financing, marketing and advertising, maintaining a business plan and more.

The 1½-day seminar will be held at the Hilton Ballpark Hotel. For more information, including member and non-member fees, visit www.nada.org/seminars. Dealers, general managers, used-vehicle managers and sales managers are encouraged to attend.

Want to log on from your own dealership? Take a look at NADA's upcoming Web-based seminars:

  • How to Prepare and Interpret a Cash Flow Statement (Steve Lane, May 13)
  • How to Drive Traffic in a Tough Market (Ron Wheeler, May 22)
  • Using All the Tools in Your F&I Toolbox (Ron Reahard, June 3)
  • Totally Trucks: Best Practices in Cost and Expense Management and Reduction (ATD) (Keith Ely, June 11)
  • Increasing Collision Repair Sales (Robert Rick, June 12)
  • Managing Fixed Operations from the General Manager's Desk (Randy Brenckman, June 24)

The fee for each virtual seminar is $199 per computer connection. Additional attendees can participate from the same connection at no additional cost.

For more information on upcoming seminars, visit www.nada.org/seminars or call 1-800-248-6232, ext. 7061.

Save Up to 35 Percent on ThinkPad Notebooks Through May 19

NADA members can save in three ways:

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

Visit NADA's PC Purchase Program online (member log-in required), then click on www.lenovo.com/shop/deals/nada or call 800.426.7235, Option 1, Ext. 4838 to take advantage of these savings.  Enter eCoupon USXSAVE4SPRING at checkout. Free ground shipping is available on all Web orders.

[back to top]
Quotable
 
"The more practical solution is the hybrid. It's more consumer friendly."

    -- Tatsuo Yoshida, an auto-industry analyst at UBS Securities Japan in Tokyo, referring to the limited range of a purely electric car, The Wall Street Journal, May 15 


Dealers are "the sort of third step in a three-legged stool."
   
    -- General Motors Corp., Bill Hepburn, a dealer relations executive, referring to the role dealers play in the auto industry's green movement. (Step 1): GM is adding green vehicles; (Step 2): GM is cutting energy use at its plants and buildings, The Wall Street Journal, May 15


"It is unusual for a single individual to hold the fate of an entire industry in his hand - but that will be the case for the next president of the United States. He or she will have the power to enact unbearably strict fuel economy standards on the cars and trucks sold in half the country."

    -- Forbes (Opinion), May 14

Video Reports
 
NADA Chief Economist Paul Taylor's 2008 Sales Forecast.

 Paul Taylor delivers '08 sales forecast 

 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 | Unsubscribe/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.