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At a Glance...
Top Stories
How Your Dealership Can be a Green LEEDer
Dealers' Green Policies, Not Just Cars, Draw Shoppers
Opinion: A Shift That's Sticking
Toyota May Shift Plants from Trucks to Cars
Toyota Struggles to Keep Up With Battery Production for Hybrids
Honda Rolls Latest Fuel-Cell Car Off Assembly Line
GM Fights to Attract High-tech Engineers
Chrysler to Raise Prices on '08 Models
Kerkorian's Ford Tender Offer nets More Than $826 Million Shares
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
Go Green With HP ENERGY STARŪ Desktops
Top Stories
How Your Dealership Can be a Green LEEDer

With manufacturers pushing green initiatives and energy costs rising, a number of dealers have chosen to construct environmentally sound buildings that follow Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards. The LEED program is the brainchild of the U.S. Green Building Council. It awards buildings — whether residential, commercial, industrial or, in this case, retail — that meet LEED criteria with regular, silver, gold or platinum certification. Last year, Pat Lobb Toyota of Mc-Kinney in McKinney, Texas, became the first dealership to obtain LEED certification, earning silver. In April, Toyota of Rockwall in Rockwall, Texas, opened the first gold-certified dealership. More dealers plan to open LEED-certified stores by year end. "With the energy climate the way it is, we thought it was smart business," says Jay Caldwell, general manager of Caldwell Toyota in Conway, Ark. The National Automobile Dealers Association has worked with the EPA to develop an Energy Star program geared toward dealers. The program expects to start awarding recognition this fall to dealerships that have cut their energy use at least 10 percent. More than 1,000 dealers have enrolled. In addition, most automakers offer support and materials to dealers looking to green up their building. Doug Greenhaus, NADA's director of environment, health and safety, says most dealers are "more focused on the strategies and various ideas for improvement rather than certification."
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

Dealers' Green Policies, Not Just Cars, Draw Shoppers

Chuck Theisen, owner of Mercedes-Benz of Arrowhead in Peoria, Ariz., wants potential buyers to know he cares about the environment. The Phoenix area dealer shows off his environmentally friendly dealership in local TV spots and talks about his green practices in radio commercials and print ads. When consumers walk into his showroom, they are greeted with a color brochure outlining the store's eco credentials. The brochure highlights such green features at the store as sweeping roof extensions and canopy screens that maximize shade in the summer and heat and natural light in the winter, rooftop parking that reduces land use, roof-mounted solar panels that shade cars and generate up to 35 percent of the building's power during off-peak hours, and a carwash that uses only 6 gallons per car vs. 20 gallons for the typical retail center carwash. "We've had people call us up way on the other side of our competitor and say they are coming to us because we're a green dealer," says Theisen, who advertises his store as "Arizona's only green dealership." Ron Kogan, editor of Green Car Journal, predicts a growing number of dealers will pick up the green message as the industry's fleet of environmentally friendly vehicles expands and consumers make protecting the environment a higher priority. "The number of people who care about green dealerships and recycling properties is a very minute part of the car-buying public," says Kogan, whose publication covers hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles. "But we see the trends developing. People want to be green. Dealerships are going to want to stand out from their peers." Last fall, General Motors conducted a study among car shoppers who were actively looking to buy. It found that "consumers appeared more interested in environmentally friendly facilities" than the company thought, says Bill Hepburn, green project manager for GM's dealer network, planning and investment area.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

Opinion: A Shift That's Sticking
by Warren Brown

I write this to praise high fuel prices, not to condemn them. We are a nation without an energy policy and so happily would have remained had it not been for the misery of gasoline at $4 a gallon. We could be paying more than $5 a gallon by summer's end. So be it. The market is doing what Congress would not do, what regulation could not do, and what consumers would not do without cause. It is forcing us to make realistic choices about how we use energy -- particularly in the matter of personal transportation. We are becoming conservative in the generic sense of the term. That means we are driving less -- 4.3 percent less in March, 11 billion fewer vehicle miles driven than in March 2007, according to the Transportation Department. That is a major shift, a behavioral profundity matched by what consumers are doing in the automotive marketplace. They are moving in droves from consumptive trucks to more fuel-efficient vehicles. We will need the political will, imagination, innovation, and compassion of government and community to help ease the agony. Change is not easy. Forced change is even more difficult. We're being forced. We're also being given an opportunity. Entrepreneurs, such as Shai Agassi and Malcolm Bricklin, are preparing to seize the moment. Agassi views the electric car as the four-wheeled equivalent of a cellphone in which the service -- transportation -- is more valuable than the hardware itself. His Palo Alto, Calif., company, Project Better Place, has signed agreements with Israel and Denmark to set up personal transportation networks, replete with charging and battery-swapping stations, to support a mass movement toward electric cars. Bricklin remains wedded to the "personal" in personal transportation. His electric cars would be plug-ins serviced by regional networks of park-and-charge stations. The cars would be outfitted with a variety of batteries, depending on vehicle design and intended use. Both visions are ambitious. But neither is wishful thinking.
Source:  The Washington Post

Toyota May Shift Plants from Trucks to Cars

TOKYO — Toyota may convert truck assembly lines in the United States to meet demand for fuel-efficient cars, says the automaker's global manufacturing chief. The automaker could add unibody vehicles to truck plants or convert a truck line to car production, said Executive Vice President Takeshi Uchiyamada. "Because of the declining sales of the Tundra and SUVs and the resulting decrease in the rate of operation of the lines producing those vehicles in the United States, we may consider a change in structure to enhance the rate of operation," Uchiyamada said here last week. Toyota Motor Corp.'s assembly plant in San Antonio, which opened in November 2006, produces only the Tundra full-sized pickup. With gasoline at $4 a gallon, Tundra sales in the United States fell 31.5 percent in May compared with May 2007. A supplier source has said the automaker is also looking at adding the Toyota Camry car to its underused light-truck factory in Princeton, Ind.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

Toyota Struggles to Keep Up With Battery Production for Hybrids

TOKYO – Toyota Motor Corp. is struggling to keep up with booming demand for hybrid vehicles because it is unable to make enough batteries that are key parts in the hit "green" cars, a senior executive said Monday. The crunch on battery production is likely to stay for the rest of the year, as new lines can't be added to boost production until next year, said Toyota Executive Vice President Takeshi Uchiyamada, who oversees production at Japan's top auto maker. "Hybrids are selling so well we are doing all we can to increase production," he said. "We need new lines." Battery production is critical in determining how many hybrid vehicles Toyota can produce, Mr. Uchiyamada said at the company's Tokyo office. Toyota leads the world's auto makers in hybrids sold at about 1.5 million vehicles since coming out with the first mass-produced hybrid Prius about a decade ago.
Source:  The Associated Press

Honda Rolls Latest Fuel-Cell Car Off Assembly Line

TOCHIGI, Japan -- Honda Motor Co. kicked off production on Monday of its newest fuel-cell car, as the automaker gears up for the battle to dominate the market for next-generation vehicles. Honda's FCX Clarity, a sporty-looking fuel-cell sedan, came off the production line in Tochigi, north of Tokyo. The assembly line is Honda's first to be dedicated to building fuel-cell vehicles. The FCX Clarity will be sold through a newly established fuel-cell vehicle dealership network in the United States from July, Honda said. In Japan, sales are slated to start in autumn. The automaker is targeting lease sales of about 200 FCX Clarity cars in the first three years in the two countries combined. Fuel-cell vehicles are widely considered the ultimate longer-term alternative to today's conventional cars as they run on an inexhaustible and cheaper source of fuel -- hydrogen, have no harmful tail-pipe emissions, and do not compromise driving performance. The main hurdles for their proliferation are a lack of fueling stations and the high cost of development.
Source:  Reuters

GM Fights to Attract High-tech Engineers

Automaker finds competition keen for innovators to work on hybrid technology
ATLANTA -- Detroit's car companies are playing a frantic game of high-tech catchup with Asian and European rivals when it comes to developing new fuel-saving technology from hybrid systems to clean diesel engines. Getting ahead will take the best talent around -- but those workers are getting harder to come by. "There are so many options for engineers, and we're looking at a lot of young people today who have concerns about working for the Big Three," said Phil Gardner, director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University. "Kids are telling us that they're shying away from those companies because they're not sure about the future and they don't want to go through the same thing their parents are going through now." Automakers' needs are becoming more specialized and advanced, especially as the companies grapple with a worldwide push to dramatically increase the fuel efficiency of automobiles. At the same time, more industries, including many without the same high-profile woes facing the auto industry, are courting young engineering talent. Hospitals, for example, are increasingly looking to engineers to help streamline operations. "Everybody wants the best and brightest, and there's so few of them," [said Vin O'Neil, legislative representative for IEEE-USA, a Washington, D.C.-based engineering association.] That's why GM, for one, is doing all it can to encourage young talent to consider a job in the auto industry. The automaker hopes to fill the void in part by pitching the auto industry to budding engineers as early as grade school.
Source:  The Detroit News

Chrysler to Raise Prices on '08 Models

DETROIT -- Chrysler LLC is raising sticker prices on 2008 models 2 percent, amid rising prices for steel and other commodities and vehicle price moves by some of its rivals. The increase was announced to dealers in a webcast today. It was first reported by Automotive News, a trade publication. The higher prices, which will go into effect June 16, will be applied to any 2008 vehicle Chrysler produces the rest of the year, Chrysler spokesman Stuart Schorr said. They will also carry over into 2009. The rise does not effect the prices of 2008 vehicles already in dealer inventories, Mr. Schorr said. A the beginning of the year, Chrysler added more features to its vehicles at no additional cost to make them more attractive to car buyers. Mr. Schorr said the additional content was worth about $1,200 per vehicle on average. The move has helped at least one Chrysler model, the Dodge Charger. That car, a large sedan, has sold well despite the rise in gas prices. Overall, however, Chrysler has been hit hard by gas prices and a move to cut back sales to rental fleets, which generate little or no profit for the company.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

Kerkorian's Ford Tender Offer nets More Than $826 Million Shares

DETROIT -- Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian's Tracinda Corp. said Friday its tender offer for Ford Motor Co. shares resulted in 826 million shares from investors in the automaker. Tracinda spokesman Tom Johnson said the final tabulation fell short of the 1 billion shares -- nearly half of Ford's outstanding stock -- originally pledged in response to its tender offer of $8.50 a share because some shares that had been promised did not come in within three business days of Monday's deadline. Tracinda will buy 20 million shares for about $170 million. When Tracinda launched the cash tender offer on May 9 for the additional shares, it offered a slight premium to the stock's May 8 closing price of $8.20. Tracinda will buy 2.4 percent of the tendered shares. The Ford family owns 3 percent of the company's shares but has 40 percent voting rights through a special class of stock, insulating the automaker from a takeover.
Source:  The Detroit News

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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.

Go Green With HP ENERGY STARŪ Desktops

Save up to 44 percent on computer power consumption when you choose HP ENERGY STAR® qualified HP desktops with 80 PLUS® power supplies. Look for HP Compaq dc7800 Ultra Slim Desktop at www.nada.org/ProductsServices/PC+Purchase+Program/, click www.hp.com/go/promos/nad1 (member log-in required).

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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
 
Most dealers are "more focused on the strategies and various ideas for improvement rather than certification."

    -- Doug Greenhaus, NADA's director of environment, health and safety, referring to some dealers' preference just to carry out green initiatives without LEED-certification, Automotive News, June 16


"People want to be green. Dealerships are going to want to stand out from their peers."

    -- Ron Kogan, editor of Green Car Journal, referring to trends in vehicle retailing, Automotive News, June 16


About 58 percent of shoppers within three months of buying a new car said they would favor a green dealer over the same-make dealership without a green program even if the price of the vehicle were somewhat — say, 1 to 4 percent — higher, the study found.

   
-- A recent CNW Marketing Research weekly survey asked car shoppers about their willingness to seek out green dealers, Automotive News, June 16


"Because of the declining sales of the Tundra and SUVs and the resulting decrease in the rate of operation of the lines producing those vehicles in the United States, we may consider a change in structure to enhance the rate of operation."

    -- Toyota Executive Vice President Takeshi Uchiyamada, indicating the automaker may shift plants from trucks to cars, Automotive News, June 16


"The market is doing what Congress would not do, what regulation could not do, and what consumers would not do without cause. It is forcing us to make realistic choices about how we use energy -- particularly in the matter of personal transportation."

    -- Warren Brown, syndicated columnist, The Washington Post, (Opinion) June 15
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.
 
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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.