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

SPONSORED BY
 
NADA.org
Monday, June 2, 2008 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Home | AdvocacyAffiliates | Convention | Jobs | Programs | Publications | Training | Services
At a Glance...
Top Stories
Industry to Motorists: We're Here to Help
Gas Prices Fuel Industry's New Era
Economic Cost Drives Senate Debate
Industries Allied to Cap Carbon Differ on the Details
May Car Sales Likely to Show Shift in Taste
Detroit 3 Ready to Focus on Future
GM Marketshare May Fall Below Milepost
Ford to Close Deal with Tata
Lincoln Gets 'Game-Changer'
NADA Update
Shop the NADA Expo Floor - Online
NADA Provides Guidance on Reaching Subprime Customers
Ballots for New NADA Director from Georgia due June 13
NADA's Consulting Tosses Dealers a Lifeline
STAR Answers Dealers' Questions on Safeguarding Customer Information
Lenovo ThinkPad Notebooks Start at Just $459
Top Stories
Industry to Motorists: We're Here to Help

Automakers and dealers can't do much about high gasoline prices. But they are giving their customers tips for cutting fuel use, short of trading in gas-gulping cars and trucks. The National Automobile Dealers Association is developing a Web site that will offer driving and car-care suggestions. NADA also plans to offer free vehicle checkups at participating dealerships, says association Vice President David Hyatt. NADA will announce its program in several weeks, Hyatt says. Separately, groups that represent automakers and used-car dealers are backing a new Web site, www.drivesmarterchallenge.org.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

Gas Prices Fuel Industry's New Era

Automakers confront new reality: Trucks are out, cars are in, small is chic and mpg trumps everything else
As gasoline prices top $4 a gallon, the shift by U.S. consumers from big, powerful trucks to small cars with small engines is now a stampede. Fuel prices are roiling the auto industry in a way Americans have not seen since the panic that followed the embargoes by oil-exporting countries in the 1970s. Industry executives and vehicle buyers alike are acting on the belief that high fuel costs are not a momentary discomfort, but a new reality. "I would bet my house that the old buying habits won't return," says Ford Motor Co. sales analyst George Pipas. In a new Automotive News survey, dealers — especially those who sell Detroit 3 brands — cite a mismatch between the fuel-efficient vehicles their customers are demanding and the vehicles they have in stock. That mismatch, they say, is bleeding sales. Last month, vehicles with four-cylinder engines accounted for 45.6 percent of all U.S. retail sales of new cars and trucks, according to J.D. Power and Associates' Power Information Network. That's up from 36.0 percent in February 2008 ...
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required.)

Economic Cost Drives Senate Debate

WASHINGTON - From higher electric bills to more expensive gasoline, the possible economic cost of tackling global warming is driving the debate as climate change takes center stage in Congress. Legislation set for Senate debate Monday would require a reduction in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from power plants, refineries, factories and transportation. The goal is to cut heat-trapping pollution by two-thirds by midcentury.  With gasoline at $4 per gallon and home heating and cooling costs soaring, it is getting harder to sell a bill that would transform the country's energy industries and — as critics will argue — cause energy prices to rise even more. Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut independent who is a leading sponsor of the bill, says computer studies suggest a modest impact on energy costs, with several projections for continued economic growth. The proposal would cap carbon dioxide releases at 2005 levels by 2012. Additional reductions would follow annually so that by 2050, total U.S. greenhouse emissions would be about one-third of current levels. The bill would [also] create a pollution allowance trading system. The legislation is not as strong as some Democrats, including presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, would like. They want cuts in CO2 emissions of 80 percent by 2050. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the likely GOP presidential nominee, recently announced a less ambitious plan to cut greenhouse emissions 60 percent by 2050. He has not said whether he will support the Senate bill, although he favors a cap-and-trade approach. A separate GOP proposal, from Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio, would set milestones for carbon dioxide reductions over the next 20 years. It would allow for mandates after that time once a clearer picture develops about new, low-carbon energy technologies.
Source:  The Associated Press

Industries Allied to Cap Carbon Differ on the Details

Some of the most powerful corporate leaders in America have been meeting regularly with leading environmental groups in a conference room in downtown Washington for over two years to work on proposals for a national policy to limit carbon emissions. The discussions have often been tense. Pinned on a wall, a large handmade poster with Rolling Stones lyrics reminds everyone, “You can’t always get what you want.” What unites these two groups — business executives from Duke Energy, the Ford Motor Company and ConocoPhillips, as well as heads of environmental organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council — is a desire to deal with climate change. They have broken with much of corporate America to declare that it is time for the federal government to act and set mandatory limits on emissions. What divides them is that dealing with climate change will almost certainly hurt some industries and enrich others. Billions of dollars are at stake. Depending on how the nation decides to tackle the problem, electricity bills in some states could rise 50 percent, and gasoline prices could go up 50 cents a gallon. The Senate is to vote Monday to kick off a weeklong discussion on carbon limits. But the intense debates under way already illustrate just how hard it will be for Congress to satisfy conflicting business interests while coming up with a global-warming plan that works.
Source:  The New York Times

May Car Sales Likely to Show Shift in Taste

When automakers report monthly sales results Tuesday, the numbers are likely to show more evidence of a fundamental purchasing shift among U.S. consumers who are abandoning profit-generating pickups, SUVs and luxury vehicles in favor of fuel-efficient cars, including gas-electric hybrids. During the first four months of this year, sales of pickups dropped 16.8 percent, SUVs dropped 9.9 percent and luxury vehicles fell 12.9 percent, according to Autodata Corp., while sales of small cars rose 7.5 percent. "Part of the story is the absolute volume drop," said Michael Robinet, vice president of global vehicle sales forecasting at CSM Worldwide in Northville. "But I think the bigger story that especially affects Detroit is the segment change that is going on, and how the Detroit Three are going to react." Many consumers who need a vehicle are instead buying used cars and -- to a lesser extent -- trucks. David Butler, general manager of the Suburban Collection, said the Troy company's nearly 40 dealerships have seen used-car sales increase about 20 percent this year, while sales of used pickups and SUVs are down substantially. "Year to date, our sales for the Suburban Collection are up. ...But the major trend this year is used vehicle sales are up substantially over last year," he said.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

Detroit 3 Ready to Focus on Future

Automakers aim to be strong in '10
After tens of thousands of job losses and decades of talk about fuel efficiency, Detroit's automakers say that this time they are serious about slashing costs and shifting from trucks to cars in the wake of $4-a-gallon gas. Truck and SUV sales have fallen as dramatically this spring as gas prices have risen, and industry leaders say they believe this time it's not cyclical. Ford Motor Co. is moving to boost car production as it calculates how many salaried jobs to cut. General Motors Corp. is preparing a plan to increase car production and further reduce production of trucks. Chrysler LLC is reevaluating its entire brand strategy and product plan. The urgency of these shifts is underscored by sales data from recent weeks. Traditional SUVs fell to 4.4 percent of all U.S. vehicle sales in the first half of May from 8.4 percent in 2007. Full-size pickups, which accounted for 14.1 percent of the U.S. vehicle market in 2007, were down to 9 percent in early May. U.S. automakers didn't really adapt after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 sent gas prices above $3 a gallon and consumers started changing their purchasing habits -- and it's costing them now.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

GM Marketshare May Fall Below Milepost

DETROIT -- The rapid decline in truck sales in the last month has pushed General Motors Corp. to the brink of a once-unimaginable trough: Its U.S. market share could fall below 20 percent on Tuesday when the auto industry reports vehicle sales for May. Sales of pickup trucks and big sport-utility vehicles -- Detroit's bread-and-butter products -- have been falling for the past few years, pulled down by the slumping economy, falling home values and rising gasoline prices. But the declines accelerated this year and showed an unexpectedly steep drop in May, as gasoline prices reached $4 a gallon in many parts of the country. Amid all the bad news, GM's dwindling market share had been largely overlooked. It hit a record low of 20.5 percent in April, according to Autodata Corp. Given the direction of truck sales, GM is likely to report a drop in May sales large enough to pull its share below 20 percent. "That could happen very easily," said Ron Pinelli, president of Autodata, a market researcher based in Woodcliff Lake, N.J. "For all of the domestic manufacturers, the prognosis is not good." A GM spokesman, John McDonald, declined to comment. "I can't speculate on what May sales might be," he said.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

Ford to Close Deal with Tata

Final sale of Jaguar, Land Rover expected [Today]
Ford Motor Co. is expected to close the sale of its Jaguar and Land Rover luxury brands to India's Tata Motors Monday, sources familiar with the situation said on Friday. Terms remain largely unchanged from those in the preliminary agreement that Ford and Tata announced in March, they said. Tata will pay Ford about $2.3 billion for the British carmakers, but Ford will contribute about $600 million of that to the Jaguar and Land Rover pension funds. That means Ford will net about $1.7 billion from the deal, which concludes the Dearborn automaker's long involvement with British luxury brands. Last year, Ford sold the Aston Martin carmaker to a group of investors for $925 million.
Source:  The Detroit News

Lincoln Gets 'Game-Changer'

MKS is the luxury brand's first all-new model since the LS in 1998
Mike Stanford has already sold 60 Lincoln MKS sedans at his Varsity Lincoln Mercury dealership in Novi -- not bad for a car that does not officially go on sale until the end of this month. And he is not alone. "It's going to be an awesome product for us," Stanford said. "We should be able to recapture some of the business we lost when the Continental went away." That was in 2002. Since then, Lincoln has been making do with rebadged Fords. "It's really the first new Lincoln since the LS in 1998," said analyst Erich Merkle of IRN Inc. in Grand Rapids. "When you look at the Lincolns they have today and what this car represents, there's no question it's a game-changer." Ford is even changing the way it markets this Lincoln. In an unusual move, it announced pricing information and package options the same day the production version debuted at the Los Angeles auto show in November. The company also set up a Web site where customers could build and price a vehicle that allowed them to place their finished order with a local dealership.
Source:  The Detroit News

[back to top]
NADA Update
Shop the NADA Expo Floor - Online

The 2008 NADA Convention & Expo is over, but the virtual exhibit floor is open 24/7 with our new online exhibit directory. Browse more than 700 exhibitors and search by company name or category of interest. Click here for direct access to the 2008 NADA Exhibit Directory.

NADA Provides Guidance on Reaching Subprime Customers

Damaged credit can happen to anyone. As many as three out of five auto consumers suffer from damaged credit. Dealers could be leaving a great deal of money on the table—perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in additional gross profit—if they ignore the subprime market.
 
That’s where a special finance operation comes in. Call it subprime, non-prime, secondary or special finance—this large and growing segment of the market needs dealers who are prepared to sell credit-challenged customers the vehicles they need at prices they can afford.

NADA Management Education’s new DVD, Creating a Special Finance Operation: Doing it Right, shows dealers how to be prepared. The four-segment training video, plus an information-packed study guide, is available for $169. Go to www.nada.org/specialfinance to see a preview, log in and order.

Ballots for New NADA Director from Georgia due June 13

Ballots for nominating dealers to serve as the NADA director from Georgia have been mailed to members in that state. Nomination ballots must be returned postmarked by Friday, June 13. If two or more nominees receive at least 10 percent of the votes and agree to seek election, ballots will be mailed Friday, July 11 to be returned postmarked by Friday, August 1. The candidate elected will take office immediately to serve the remaining term which expires February 2010.

NADA's Consulting Tosses Dealers a Lifeline

NADA’s Lifeline Dealership Consulting provides dealers with an objective evaluation and advice on operations and performance. NADA 20 Group and NADA Dealer Academy consultants work with dealership management personnel to achieve specific goals determined by a telephone interview or a site visit.

On site, a NADA consultant would meet with department managers to develop remedial action plans. The consultant also provides managers with various tools to assist performance measurement and tracking, and develops a written report with recommendations for improvement.

"We consider NADA’s Lifeline Dealership Consulting an investment in our dealership," said Frankie Korschun, general manager of Frema Motors Inc. in Goldsboro, N.C. "I would highly recommend the program to anyone who needs an outside point of view." For more information, call NADA's Lifeline Dealership Consulting at 1-800-248-6232, ext. 4745.

STAR Answers Dealers' Questions on Safeguarding Customer Information

 

Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR) has developed new guidelines to help dealers with Safeguarding Customer Information. Visit STAR's Dealer Infrastructure Guidelines (DIG) publication for more information. To learn what is recommended for Safeguarding Customer Information, click here.

Lenovo ThinkPad Notebooks Start at Just $459

Here's how you save:

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

Visit www.nada.org/ProductsServices/Technology and click on "PC Purchase Program" (member log-in required), click www.lenovo.com/shop/deals/nada or call 800-426-7235, Option 1, Ext. 4838 to take advantage of these savings. Enter eCoupon USXDADSGRADS at checkout. Free ground shipping is available on all Web orders. This offer ends June 16, 2008. Visit the Web site often for special limited-time eCoupons.

[back to top]
Quotable
 
"I would bet my house that the old buying habits won't return."

   
-- Ford Motor Co. sales analyst George Pipas referring to the consumer shift from big trucks to small cars as a result of gas prices topping $4 a gallon, Automotive News, June 2


"It's all about the gas mileage. It's all people are buying. If they're not getting gas mileage, they're not interested."

   
-- Rhett Ricart, who owns a seven-brand superstore in Columbus, Ohio, said he had a sobering glimpse of the market shift over Memorial Day weekend, Automotive News, June 2


"When you look at the Lincolns they have today and what this car represents, there's no question it's a game-changer."

    -- Analyst Erich Merkle of IRN Inc. in Grand Rapids referring to the MKS, which is Lincoln's first all-new model since the LS in 1998, The Detroit News, June 2
Video Reports
 
NADA's Annual Industry Relations' Symposium Brings Dealers and Automakers Together
NADA's 2008 Industry Relations Symposium.
Field of Dreams: Auto dealers show their commitment to New Orleans.  NADA Chief Economist Paul Taylor delivers '08 sales forecast. 

NADA returns to New Orleans for its 92nd annual convention.  

Click here for more NADA TV video reports.
 
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.