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

SPONSORED BY
 
NADA.org
Monday, June 9, 2008 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Home | AdvocacyAffiliates | Convention | Jobs | Programs | Publications | Training | Services
At a Glance...
Top Stories
In Congress, Gas Prices Trump Global Warming
Opinion: It's Not the Greens, It's the Greenbacks
When it Comes to Cars: Bigger Isn't Better
Dealers: Be Open About Credit Problems
Hummer Dealers Stoic in Face of Brand Review
Opinion: Chrysler Gears Up to Use Criticism to Address Shortcomings
Toyota Considering 'Made in U.S.A.' Prius
Opinion: Repair Incentives for Clean Cars
NADA Update
Shop the NADA Expo Floor - Online
Ballots for New NADA Director from Georgia due June 13
STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About PC Equipment
Lenovo ThinkPad Notebooks Start at Just $459
Top Stories
In Congress, Gas Prices Trump Global Warming

WASHINGTON -- Congress retreated Friday from the world's biggest environmental concern - global warming - in a fresh demonstration of what happens when nature and business collide, especially in an election year. It was no contest. A bill the Senate was debating would put a price on carbon emissions, targeting "greenhouse gases" that contribute to the warming that many scientists say could dramatically change the Earth. Opponents wanted to talk about higher gasoline prices. And higher taxes. That kind of talk spooks Washington. Senate Democratic leaders couldn't overcome Republican opponents who managed to block the most serious effort in Congress to date to address the warming of the planet. The legislation called for cutting greenhouse gases by 71 percent from power plants, refineries and factories over the next 40 years. The opponents first filibustered the bill, requiring supporters to get 60 votes, and at the same time attacked it on a gut issue making daily headlines: gasoline prices that have surged past $4 a gallon in many parts of the country. "At the beginning of the summer driving season (you) offer a bill that would send gas prices up another 53 cents a gallon for goodness sake," Republican leader Mitch McConnell needled the Democratic majority. Sen. Barbara Boxer ... say[s] the bill would provide tens of billions of dollars a year in tax breaks for people facing high energy costs and for other measures to ease the transition from oil, coal and other fossil fuels, which are the cause of impending changing climate. She argued that people actually may end up paying less to fuel their cars because a price on carbon emissions would accelerate the push for more fuel efficient vehicles and alternative fuels. Democratic Sen. Barack Obama and his GOP presidential rival, Sen. John McCain, both favor mandatory reductions in greenhouse gases. President Bush had promised to veto the Senate bill if it ever got to his desk.
Source: Associated Press

Opinion: It's Not the Greens, It's the Greenbacks
by Warren Brown

U.S. auto executives are crunching numbers, trying to figure out which trucks to keep and which to junk. Their counterparts in Europe and Asia are reviewing product plans, looking at the possibility that North America might now be hospitable to micro-cars that have long been popular overseas. The global car industry is topsy-turvy. Fuel conservation is in. Horsepower for the sake of horsepower is out -- at least, for most of us. It is the world Hummer-haters said they wanted. But here's suggesting that they had little to do with the current situation. When it comes to change in a capital-intensive industry such as the car business, money talks, and politics walks. And money, particularly the increasingly large amounts spent by consumers on motor fuels, has been talking loudly lately. Car companies are not wedded to any given products, not betrothed to any sacred strategies. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are not truck companies, as they often have been portrayed in the media. Toyota and Honda are not environmental enterprises. GM, Ford and Chrysler will make and sell small, fuel-efficient cars if they think they can do so profitably. The proof is that GM and Ford have been doing exactly that for years in foreign markets. Toyota and Honda are small-car experts by default, because their home markets, long beset by fuel-supply and pricing woes, have always demanded fuel-efficient models. They have, therefore, a temporary advantage over GM, Ford and Chrysler in the current market shift from trucks to cars. But "temporary" means just that. Domestic car companies are adjusting to fuel-price-induced changes much more quickly than vehicle sales numbers or media reports indicate. None of this is rocket science. It isn't philosophical. The car companies will give consumers whatever they are willing to pay for. Right now, the companies are betting that high fuel prices are here for the long term and that many consumers are willing to pay more to get more mileage out of a tank of gas. It's just that simple -- really.
Source:  The Washington Post

When it Comes to Cars: Bigger Isn't Better

Some SUV, truck owners ready to let go -- others 'would never go back to a car'
As gas prices surge toward $5 a gallon, sales nationally of big SUVs and pickup trucks are in a steep decline. But many Chicagoans who already own these gas-guzzling behemoths can't bring themselves to end a relationship that feels comfortable, even if it isn't as good as it once was. While some SUV and truck owners are ready to let go, others 'would never go back to a car.' "I love it," said Dee Dee Naylor, 57, of Rolling Meadows, of her GMC Envoy. "I would never go back to a car." But Pamela Lopez, 31, of Bensenville said she's had it with high gas prices. She owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty, and she's looking into buying a hybrid. "I'm a single mom, so it's harder to spend that much on gas when I have other expenses with the kids," she said. Area auto industry experts say they aren't seeing SUV owners rushing to dealerships to trade them in. "Regardless of fuel prices, some people have big families to haul, and they need an SUV to tow boats to lakes or haul camping trailers," said Jerry Cizek III, president of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, which represents area new-car dealers. And while some owners are sticking with their SUVs, others may be stuck with them. "Common sense prevails when people sit down at dealerships and see the financial hit they'll take on an SUV trade-in and the cost of a more fuel-efficient new car that meets many of their needs," Cizek said.
Source:  The Chicago Sun Times

Dealers: Be Open About Credit Problems

What does a dealer do when a customer wants to buy a Lincoln Navigator but can get financing only for a used Ford Focus? As they face a growing number of customers with credit problems, auto dealers across the nation are learning to handle such "special finance" buyers with finesse. "Some people are confused when they come in, because they know they have credit issues," says Jim Candela, financial service manager at Dean Sellers Ford in suburban Detroit. "The first thing they assume is that it would be easier to get a used car. They don't understand what credit is all about." Dean Sellers, the dealership's general sales manager, says it is easier to get a credit-challenged customer approved to lease a new vehicle than to buy a used one, because the risk to lienholders is lower. Sometimes, though, dealers' hands are tied. "We run into customers with bankruptcies or foreclosures," says Tim Flanigan, general manager of North Brothers Ford in suburban Detroit. "If they are open court cases, we can't help them because the courts will not let them incur any more debt." "Sometimes people have payments in mind that may be an unrealistic expectation," says John Sunderland, a Chevrolet dealer in Jerseyville, Ill., a suburb of St. Louis. "Others realize they have to spend a little more to get the car they want." The nation's economic climate is aggravating credit problems. Gasoline prices are climbing. Sales of new homes have plummeted. As the discretionary income of U.S. families is shrinking, personal bankruptcies and foreclosures are rising. As a consequence, vehicle lending agencies are making credit tougher to get.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

Hummer Dealers Stoic in Face of Brand Review

New Jersey-based GM dealer David Ferraez says he was getting ready to break ground on a brand new Hummer facility earlier this year when GM called him and advised him to wait. “They told several other dealers to wait also,” he says. “GM acted honorably with stopping us from investing more in the franchise when they knew they were going to review the brand’s status.” Hammered by skyrocketing gas prices, Hummer sales have declined in 2008 more than any other GM brand. May deliveries plummeted 62 percent vs. year-ago, according to Ward’s data. Through the first five months of the year, Hummer sales were 36 percent below like-2007. GM will “continue to work with our dealers on the appropriate mix of advertising and incentives and dealer programs to keep them going (and) build franchise value, which we think is a critical part of this review,” says Mark LaNeve, vice president-North America sales, service and marketing. Ferraez says GM executives told a dealer council this week the auto maker is exploring ways to reposition Hummer with smaller vehicles that run on alternative fuels... News reports suggest potential buyers are lining up. They include India-based Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and Tata Motors Ltd., plus a wealthy Russian businessman. The brand could fetch $750 million, estimates say. But dealers hope Hummer stays with GM. “The demand for Hummer is still there,” Ferraez says. “I would love for it to stay because it still has a place.” Interestingly, Ferraez sold a fully loaded Hummer H2 for full sticker price a few hours after GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner’s comments about the brand to shareholders. “(The customer) said he heard the Hummer brand might be going away,” Ferraez says. “He wanted to get it before they were gone.”
Source:  Ward's Dealer Business

Opinion: Chrysler Gears Up to Use Criticism to Address Shortcomings
by Tom Walsh

CEO tells workers to analyze complaints
At around 7 a.m. last Wednesday, Chrysler LLC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Nardelli fired off an e-mail to all company employees. Chrysler's biggest business challenge, he wrote, is to understand why many potential customers don't consider buying Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep brand vehicles. And then do something about it. Nardelli wants no whining about Chrysler products not getting a fair shake from Consumer Reports magazine or the latest J.D. Power and Associates report on vehicle quality. Rather, he wrote, instead of putting defenses up, Chrysler workers should seek to understand the harshest critics of the company. And then get to work on solving the shortcomings cited by those critics.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

Toyota Considering 'Made in U.S.A.' Prius

NAGOYA, Japan — Toyota's popular Prius hybrid could soon be "Made in U.S.A." The company is considering a North American production site to meet soaring demand for the fuel-efficient car, but it has made no decisions regarding a reported plan to build the Prius at Toyota's joint venture plant with General Motors in California. "Production of the Prius in the United States is something we are considering," spokesman Hideaki Homma said June 2. "We are struggling with strong demand and not enough supply." Global production capacity is 280,000 units. But in the first four months of the year, 107,100 vehicles had been sold worldwide.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

Opinion: Repair Incentives for Clean Cars
by UAW President Ron Gettelfinger

Let's reward companies that build advanced technologies in America
Five years ago -- back when you could buy gas for $1.50 a gallon -- our union began advancing proposals for a more fuel-efficient U.S. auto industry. Even when gas was less expensive and large-size pickups and SUVs were hot-selling vehicles, United Auto Workers members were working with other stakeholders in the auto industry to address long-range concerns about fuel economy and energy security. Consumer preferences and government regulation, after all, were bound to change in reaction to new environmental and economic challenges. A brutal case in point is General Motors Corp.'s announcement this week that it will idle four large-vehicle plants, while adding shifts at two car factories. That's why, in 2003, when our union joined the broad-based Energy Future Coalition, we proposed a "Marshall Plan" for the U.S. auto industry. Our proposal centered around a retooling effort, with incentives for the manufacture of advanced technology vehicles and their key components here in the United States. Incentives linked to production are crucial to creating an environmentally friendly auto industry that enhances our nation's manufacturing base. Chrysler, Ford and GM will have to spend about $30 billion to comply with the new [fuel economy] rules -- nearly two-thirds of the cost -- while all other automakers combined will pay just $17 billion. Providing public support for advanced automotive technologies was a good idea five years ago -- and it's an even better idea now.
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.

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.

STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About PC Equipment

 

Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR) has developed new guidelines to help dealers evaluate their PC Equipment.  Visit STAR's Dealer Infrastructure Guidelines (DIG) publication for more information. To learn "What is Key When Selecting Client Hardware?"  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]
Featured Video
 
NADA returns to the Big Easy for its 92nd annual convention
New Orleans is Back! 

More Video Highlights
Quotable
 
"Regardless of fuel prices, some people have big families to haul, and they need an SUV to tow boats to lakes or haul camping trailers. Common sense prevails when people sit down at dealerships and see the financial hit they'll take on an SUV trade-in and the cost of a more fuel-efficient new car that meets many of their needs."

   
-- Jerry Cizek III, president of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, The Chicago Sun Times, June 8


"Production of the Prius in the United States is something we are considering. We are struggling with strong demand and not enough supply."

   
-- Toyota spokesman Hideaki Homma, Automotive News, June 9


"The demand for Hummer is still there. I would love for it to stay because it still has a place."

   
-- GM dealer David Ferraez, Ward's Dealer Business, June 9
Video Highlights
 
   

NADA's executive education program at Babson College

NADA's Executive Education Program at Babson College Teaches Leadership Skills. 


 NADA's New Orleans Project
 NADA's Return to New Orleans 
 NADA Chief Economist Forecasts a Challenging '08
Click here for more NADA-TV 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.