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At a Glance...
Top Stories
Energy Department Grants $30M to Plug-in Vehicle Projects
GM, Lexus, Chrysler List Certified Used-vehicle Inventories on eBay Motors
Hummer Dealers Uneasy as GM Weighs Possible Sale
Newer Lithium Batteries Improve Electric Car Range
GE Teams with Chrysler on Plug-in Hybrid System
Chrysler Plans to Lease Factory
Chrysler Has Ways to Save
NADA Update
Enroll Now for NADA's Executive Leadership Program
Dealers Urged to Apply for the 2008 ENERGY STAR for Small Business Award
Hire an AYES Intern Today
NADA Insurance Announces Gains in its Hole-in-One Insurance Program
Shop the NADA Expo Floor - Online
STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About PC Equipment
Top Stories
Energy Department Grants $30M to Plug-in Vehicle Projects

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Energy Department on Thursday announced $30 million in funding over three years for a trio of plug-in vehicle projects -- a fraction of the financial support automakers have sought, but a step they praised nonetheless. Detroit's automakers will use the money for plug-in vehicle test fleets and to accelerate mass production of battery technologies. There is concern among automakers and Congress that the United States could replace reliance on imported oil with reliance on imported batteries, since most battery production is in Asia. The announcement was made at a conference on plug-ins sponsored by Google.org and the Brookings Institution... "We really need you to succeed," [said Dan Reicher, director of Google.org's climate change initiative.] "Plug-ins are a real solution whose time has arrived."
Source:  The Detroit News

GM, Lexus, Chrysler List Certified Used-vehicle Inventories on eBay Motors

General Motors, Lexus Division and Chrysler LLC are featuring their dealers’ certified used-vehicle inventories in an eBay Motors online venue. The eBay Motors Certified Pre-Owned Showroom debuted Wednesday, June 11. It features more than 70,000 certified used cars and trucks listed for sale by more than 5,000 dealers, says Rob Chesney, eBay Motors vice president. The listings are free to dealers. “CPO is actually holding up pretty well in this economy; it’s a great alternative to new and is a great value play for consumers,” Chesney told Automotive News. “We thought it was important to aggregate as much of that inventory as we could and bring it to our buyers on eBay Motors.” Cadillac, Saturn, Saab and Hummer have separate certified used-vehicle brands and also are listing their dealers’ inventories on the site.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

Hummer Dealers Uneasy as GM Weighs Possible Sale

DETROIT -- As if high gas prices, a weak economy and a strike by a major supplier weren't enough to drag down Hummer's sales, Hummer dealers are now reeling from the news that General Motors Corp. may consider selling the brand. Jim Bushart, parts director at Lynch Hummer in Chesterfield, Mo., said he assumed GM was analyzing the Hummer brand as gas prices reach $4 a gallon and consumers look for more fuel-efficient vehicles. But he was surprised the automaker discussed the review publicly. "Maybe they were hoping that by making an announcement they would drum up some interest," he said. Others [expressed concern] that the company could hurt sales of Hummer's first pickup, the H3T, which comes out this summer. At an event in Washington Thursday, GM's North America President Troy Clarke again refused to give a timetable for the review but indicated it will be done quickly. Dan Towbin, who sits on GM's Hummer dealers' advisory board and whose 60,000-square-foot Las Vegas Hummer dealership is the largest in the U.S., said he wasn't surprised by the news of the review. Towbin said GM has assured him it's giving equal consideration to continuing the brand with newer, more fuel-efficient vehicles. "Obviously the landscape has changed for the automotive industry for a lot of reasons. There's been a dramatic shift from trucks to cars and crossovers, and fuel is an issue for a brand like Hummer," he said. "Like any good business they must continue to analyze their assets and determine whether they're worthwhile to continually reinvest."
Source:  The Associated Press

Newer Lithium Batteries Improve Electric Car Range

Mitsuhiko Yamashita, Nissan's executive vice president for research and development, said advances in lithium-ion battery technology will dramatically boost the operating range of electric vehicles, potentially broadening their appeal. The breakthrough will come with so-called fourth-generation lithium-ion batteries that will be ready by 2015, he said. The current generation of lithium-ion batteries have a more limited range, confining the use of electric vehicles to mainly urban commute distances of under 100 kilometers. Second-generation lithium-ion batteries, available in 2010, will extend the range of electric cars to about 170 kilometers on one charge, and third-generation vehicles, ready in 2012, should give electric vehicles a range of between 290 and 300 kilometers... Mr. Yamashita said key factors, such as the duration it takes to charge the new batteries would determine how widely they are used in electric vehicles. Nissan is planning to launch electric cars in the U.S. and Japan in 2010, and globally in 2012.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

GE Teams with Chrysler on Plug-in Hybrid System

WASHINGTON -- General Electric is interested in supplying components for plug-in hybrid vehicles and is teaming with Chrysler on a project to demonstrate a technology GE calls a dual-battery energy storage system. [GE official Vlatko Vlatkovic] called the automotive sector for GE “a new space that we are convinced will grow.” GE can offer expertise in batteries, drivetrains and power electronic controls, he added. Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli is a former GE executive. A plug-in hybrid would have a more robust battery pack than a traditional gasoline-electric hybrid. In theory, with recharging from electrical outlets, a plug-in vehicle could operate much longer on electric-only power than other hybrids. Proponents contend that an all-electric range of 40 miles would satisfy the daily needs of most drivers, giving them the equivalent of 100 mpg or more and dramatically cutting petroleum demands.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

Chrysler Plans to Lease Factory

Chrysler LLC is crafting an unconventional pact to lease part of an Indiana transmission plant and some of its employees to a Canadian company that would build parts for the auto maker and other customers, including some outside the car industry. The tentative deal is expected to be sealed this summer and is small in value -- just $60 million -- but it illustrates the different ideas that Chrysler is experimenting with to try to wring value out of under-used plants. Since arriving last summer, Chief Executive Bob Nardelli has pushed Chrysler to rethink how it does business in a bid to conserve cash, cut capital spending and focus resources on improving the parts of cars that influence consumer purchases and perceptions. In an interview this week, Mr. Nardelli emphasized the urgency to control cash flow, especially now as a historic shift in consumer preference from trucks to cars squeezes Chrysler and other manufacturers.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

Chrysler Has Ways to Save

Chrysler expects to save $100 million over the next 12 months because of the 5 percent cost-reduction initiative introduced June 1 on indirect supplier contracts, according to a company document obtained by the Free Press. The Auburn Hills automaker also plans to delay payments to certain non-production suppliers, the document marked "confidential" said. It included "draft talking points" regarding the cost-reduction initiative and 60-day payment term. As previously reported, Chrysler is trying to reduce costs on non-production contracts, including contract agencies. Indirect purchasing accounts for $5 billion of Chrysler's $40-billion annual purchasing budget, the records said. Payment terms are being changed from 45 days to 60 days. Jim Gillette, CSM Worldwide's director of supplier analysis, said stretching out payments allows an automaker to improve its cash flow. "They just finance their own company on the backs of their own suppliers," he said. "It's a very common strategy that businesses will employ, especially when times are tough."
Source:  The Detroit Free Press

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NADA Update
Enroll Now for NADA's Executive Leadership Program

Ranked No. 1 for Entrepreneurial Education
Applications are now being accepted for NADA's Dealer Executive Education program at Babson College, which meets at Babson's Wellesley, Mass., campus from Sept. 21-26. Launched in March, the program offers a six-part, 16-month curriculum designed to enhance the leadership skills of dealership employees. "Ideal candidates for the program are individuals who are in a position to effect change within the dealership," says Allan Jones, director of the NADA dealer academy. Instructors lead students through a series of interactive learning activities, including group activities, role-play and video. Students gain insight into leadership traits, decision-making processes, communication skills and "opportunity obsession" -- a term coined by Babson. "This is a lot more than just changing your dealership. This is about making myself a better leader," said Jared Hamilton of Henry Day Ford in Sandy, Utah. "If I become a more effective leader, I can ... articulate our dealership's vision." The program teaches you how to "think like an entrepreneur and how to think beyond the four walls of the dealership," said Matthew Haiken of Prestige Volvo in East Hanover, N.J.  Babson College has been ranked No. 1 in entrepreneurship for 13 consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report. For more information on NADA's Executive Education, visit www.DealerExecEd.org.

Click here to see why NADA's executive leadership program is No. 1 for executive education.

Dealers Urged to Apply for the 2008 ENERGY STAR for Small Business Award

The 2008 ENERGY STAR Small Business and Congregations Awards are open to any small business, congregation, or non-profit which has increased the energy efficiency of its facility through upgrades or energy-management improvements during the last two years. It can be a large project or small improvement in energy efficiency, a retrofit or new construction. In 2007, EPA’s ENERGY STAR program honored three dealerships: Pat Lobb Toyota of McKinney, Texas; Planet Subaru, Hanover, Mass.; and Sendell Motors, Inc., Greensburg, Pa. Each received an ENERGY STAR for Small Business Award, which recognized these dealerships as “examples of financial and environmental stewardship” for achieving greater energy efficiency at their facilities. To download an application, click here.

Hire an AYES Intern Today

More than 2,000 qualified students are available in the Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) program, and all are available for summer internships. NADA is a long-time, active supporter of the AYES program, which is designed to help train young people as automotive technicians, and prepare them for careers at new-car and -truck dealerships. "NADA encourages dealers to participate with their local AYES-affiliated schools," said NADA Chairman Annette Sykora. "As a school to career partnership, it's a tremendous way to grow your own workforce. Hiring an AYES student also supports local schools and the community, and can increase the productivity of your dealership's service department." To find an AYES school near you, call (888) 339-AYES, e-mail info@ayes.org or visit http://maps.ayes.org. Additional information on AYES can also be found at at www.ayes.org.
Source: AYES

NADA Insurance Announces Gains in its Hole-in-One Insurance Program

NADA Insurance announced that its hole-in-one insurance program, ACECO, earned 36 percent more in premiums in May 2008 compared to the same month a year ago. The number of policies written increased as well, jumping 23 percent. The reason for the impressive gains, despite the recent downturn in the auto industry, is because of several factors, says Lin Peacock, NADA Insurance vice president.  "We've made a number of positive changes to the program last quarter," Peacock said. "We surveyed our members to determine their needs; we created new services to meet those needs; and we revamped our Web site to make it easier to use. It all adds up to satisfied customers." NADA's hole-in-one insurance will provide a no-obligation quote to any NADA dealer. Just call (888) 828-8540 or visit www.NADAinsurance.com and click on "Hole-in-One."

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.

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.

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Featured Video
 

Click Here to see why NADA's executive leadership program is No. 1 for executive education. 

More Video Highlights
Quotable
 
"We really need you to succeed. Plug-ins are a real solution whose time has arrived."

    -- Dan Reicher, director of Google.org's climate change initiative, The Detroit News, June 13 

“CPO is actually holding up pretty well in this economy; it’s a great alternative to new and is a great value play for consumers.”

    -- Rob Chesney, eBay Motors vice president, Automotive News, June 13


"Obviously the landscape has changed for the automotive industry for a lot of reasons. There's been a dramatic shift from trucks to cars and crossovers, and fuel is an issue for a brand like Hummer."

    -- Dan Towbin, a Las Vegas Hummer dealer who sits on GM's Hummer dealers' advisory board, The Associated Press, June 12

Video Highlights
 
   

New Orleans is Back!


 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.
On the Lighter Side
 

 STOP, THIEF ... OR JUNIOR!

"As a father of two sons, I asked if that service can also be used by parents."

    -- GM Chairman Rick Wagoner on a feature of the automaker's OnStar that lets police remotely stop a stolen car

Source:  NADA's AutoExec Magazine

 
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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.