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At a Glance...
Top Stories
Months of Economic Troubles has U.S. Automakers on Edge
Chrysler Stays on Track Despite Downturn
Ford Says U.S. Sales Weaken Further
'Like House of Cards,' Used Trucks Fall
Auto-Parts Firms Face Trouble as Car Makers Retool Production
Chrysler's New Trend: 3 Brands, 1 Location
U.S. Hybrids Rely on Asian Battery Power
Sen. McCain Offers $300 Million Prize for New Auto Battery
Obama Camp Closely Linked with Ethanol
Mazda Will Improve Vehicle Fuel Efficiency by 30 Percent
Looters and Broken Levees
NADA Update
Enroll Now for NADA's Executive Education Program
NADA and EPA to Recognize Energy Star Efficient Dealerships
Automotive News to Host 'Green Dealership' Webinar
Dealers Urged to Apply for the 2008 ENERGY STAR for Small Business Award
Hire an AYES Intern Today
STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About PC Equipment
Go Green With HP ENERGY STARŪ Desktops
Top Stories
Months of Economic Troubles has U.S. Automakers on Edge

The check engine light has come on for Detroit's auto industry... Every sign of economic health -- jobs, oil prices, credit, housing -- suggests a calamity on the horizon as bad as Detroit's keystone industry has ever faced. Consumers appear to be buying new vehicles in June at the slowest monthly rate in more than a decade. And they especially are shunning pickups and SUVs that have kept the Detroit Three running for a decade. Barring an expected rebound in the economy, sales equal to Chrysler's total last year may disappear from the U.S. market this year. The industry started out with one problem, which was cost, then it was market share, then it was commodity prices, then it was gas prices. It just goes on and on for these guys," said Shelly Lombard, an analyst with Gimme Credit. "This is the worst situation they've ever been in, because there are so many things going wrong." If you're looking for some sign of light in the gloom, there are glimmers.

• Unlike previous slumps, the vehicles built by Detroit's automakers are broadly on par with much of their competition.

• The landmark deal that will lead the UAW to take on health care for workers will free up cash in 2010, especially at General Motors Corp.

• All three companies are pushing new fuel efficient models, with side bets on more exotic technology such as plug-in hybrids.

"The outlook hinges on the price of oil. Almost nothing else matters right now," said John Casesa, a longtime industry analyst and consultant. "If oil prices keep going up, that will shorten the fuse, and if they go down, that will give them some breathing room. ... We're in a very challenging period here."
Source:  Detroit Free Press

Chrysler Stays on Track Despite Downturn

DETROIT -- Chrysler LLC is meeting or topping its financial targets despite the deepening slump in U.S. market, the automaker's senior spokeswoman said on Friday. In an email sent to all Chrysler employees, Nancy Rae, the company's senior vice president in charge of communications, said Chrysler staff were likely to face "difficult" questions about the state of the company and the industry. "Our full year plan for the market in 2008 has been aggressively conservative, allowing us to be better positioned for the current downturn," Rae said in her memo. "Despite the challenges, we are meeting or exceeding our financial targets." The unusual memo was sent to all Chrysler employees on the same day the privately held automaker's larger cross-town rival Ford Motor Co. warned the U.S. market for trucks and SUVs had weakened beyond its expectations. Rae's memo represented the company's most detailed and widely circulated disclosure on its performance since it was taken private by Cerberus Capital Management LP last year. In her memo to staff, Rae highlighted some of the successes Chrysler has had in areas such as reducing low-margin fleet sales, cutting dealer inventory and consolidating dealerships. Chrysler, she said, had reduced fleet sales by more than 20 percent year to date and cut dealer inventory by 67,000 units. The number of U.S. dealers, she said, has been cut to 3,488 stores from 3,684. Chrysler is also pushing toward larger dealerships that carry all three of its brands, Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge. That step will allow it to cut overlapping products. Rae said 58 percent of Chrysler dealers now carried all three brands, up from 50 percent a year earlier.
Source:  Reuters

Ford Says U.S. Sales Weaken Further

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. said on Friday it would slash output and delay a new version of its top-selling F-150 pickup truck due to a deepening slump in U.S. sales it warned would weigh on results this year and next. Ford said it would post a deeper loss for its auto business this year and warned it would be difficult to avoid a loss in 2009. That was a weaker outlook than Ford offered just last month when it abandoned a long-held goal of returning to profit by next year in the face of record gas prices and plummeting sales for trucks and SUVs. The risk of continued losses raises the prospect Ford could be forced to raise liquidity, possibly through a deal with billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, who owns almost 6.5 percent of Ford and has offered more capital for its restructuring. Ford lowered its forecast for industrywide U.S. auto sales this year to a range of 14.7 million to 15.2 million vehicles, including medium and heavy-duty trucks. That was down from Ford's already reduced forecast of 15 million to 15.4 million. In response, Ford said it would cut third-quarter production by 25 percent and fourth-quarter output by up to 14 percent as it throttles back the output of big trucks and SUVs that consumers are increasingly shunning. Ford also delayed the launch of its new F-150 pickup truck, pushing back by about two months the first sales of the redesigned version of its best-selling vehicle. It said it was taking the unusual and costly step because it needed to sell down inventory of the current F-150 model. "As gasoline prices average more than $4 a gallon and consumers worry about the weak U.S. economy, we see June industrywide auto sales slowing further, and demand for large trucks and SUVs at one of the lowest levels in decades," Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally said in a statement.
Source:  Reuters

'Like House of Cards,' Used Trucks Fall

Dealer Poncho Redfern sees big used trucks that were worth $20,000 just a few months ago valued today at $12,000. And he winces. "It's not like prices are just a little soft," says Redfern, president of Thomason Auto Group, of San Francisco, which owns seven dealerships in California and Texas. "The values have dropped extraordinarily. We are having a hard time adjusting." Soaring fuel prices have toppled the market for big used trucks "like a house of cards," says Tom Kontos, executive vice president of analytical services for the ADESA auction company. Dealers say they can't offer customers much for trade-ins of big trucks — and some are refusing to take those pickups and SUVs at all. Last month, used full-sized pickups sold at auction for an average price of $9,343 — a 21.3 percent decline from May 2007, ADESA says. The average wholesale price of large SUVs plunged 19.7 percent to $11,271. The market for big used trucks shifted "overnight," says Patrick Walsh, a Ford dealer in rural Atwater, Minn. "I don't think any of us were ready for that." In May, an informal Automotive News survey found that one out of 10 dealers no longer accepted big SUVs and pickups as trade-ins. Other dealers said they didn't have that option but were offering far lower trade-in prices. "We can't turn them away," says Ken Cooper, sales manager of Alex Chevrolet in rural Charles Town, W.Va. "We are in a small town. If it gets around that we weren't taking trucks as trade-ins, we wouldn't be doing any business."
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

Auto-Parts Firms Face Trouble as Car Makers Retool Production

U.S. auto-parts makers, the backbone of the North American automotive industry, are bracing for a summer that promises to cut profits, increase layoffs and may drive more companies into bankruptcy. Last week, Ford Motor Co. announced deeper production cuts than those unveiled just one month ago. With the pace of the sales decline accelerating, concerns are mounting that General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC also might be forced to move more aggressively. "It is far worse than anyone had anticipated at this point," said Jim Gillette, an auto-supplier analyst with CSM Worldwide, a market-research firm in Michigan. "I don't care what name you throw out there. There isn't any one out there that is going to be safe." Most North American suppliers have gone through extensive restructuring over the past three years, with many opting for bankruptcy protection as they grappled with high costs and the fading fortunes of their main customers. While many diversified their product offerings and their geographic presence, helping insulate themselves from the current auto-maker meltdown, many still rely heavily on the Detroit Three. The companies that are the most vulnerable lack geographic diversity, rely heavily on SUVs and pickups or are still undergoing a turnaround, said Shelly Lombard, a high-yield analyst with Gimme Credit. "The suppliers will have to do more restructuring and more cuts."
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

Chrysler's New Trend: 3 Brands, 1 Location

Automaker hopes bigger outlets with fuller product lines will increase sales
BLOOMFIELD HILLS -- With a child care area, full-service cafe and Wi-Fi, the spacious Golling Chrysler Jeep Dodge on Telegraph boasts amenities more akin to an upscale mall than a traditional auto dealership. The 3-year-old store represents Chrysler LLC's vision for the future of its retail network:  A single store that sells all three brands -- Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep -- and offers an inviting atmosphere that heightens each nameplate's appeal. Chrysler's goal to narrow its stores into a single channel has gained momentum in the past year, after nearly a decade of starts and stops. The Auburn Hills automaker's latest effort, dubbed Project Genesis, appears to be succeeding, in part, ironically, because the industry is failing. Falling automotive sales -- especially among trucks and SUVs -- and Chrysler's goal to thin its product lineup of overlapping vehicles are two major factors that have hastened the process, pushing some dealers out of the business and others looking to expand, said Steven Landry, Chrysler executive vice president for North American sales. "As overall volumes shrink, dealers realize that there are not enough sales for everyone," he said. "The bigger dealers, with more (volume) and a full product line are more likely to be successful." The automaker trimmed 196 dealers from its ranks nationwide in the past 12 months; at the same time, 70 Genesis stores have been created. Now, 58 percent of all Chrysler stores sell Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles. Unlike with previous consolidation efforts, Chrysler is eliminating overlapping products, so that a dealership may not offer a midsize SUV in more than one brand. In the future, a dealer who wants to offer a full line of products will have to sell all three brands. Landry and others contend tri-branded stores will have more sales and will be more profitable, allowing dealers to afford some of the sparkle and business-building amenities that Golling boasts.
Source:  The Detroit News

U.S. Hybrids Rely on Asian Battery Power

In the rush to cut foreign oil dependence, domestic automakers overlooked lithium-ion production
The future of the U.S. auto industry resembles a box of parts for hybrids, plug-in electrics and fuel cells, which promise to slash oil demand and provide jobs for another century. But that box comes with a familiar disclaimer: Batteries not included. As Detroit's automakers rush to develop vehicles powered by electricity, they find themselves reliant on foreign sources for the advanced batteries that will make such technology available to everyday consumers. While much of the science has been developed in U.S. labs, Asian companies have a two-decade head start on actually making rechargeable batteries. That gap concerns U.S. automakers, which often have to shop Asian manufacturers for the most expensive parts of today's hybrids and their first generation of plug-in vehicles. The batteries for General Motors Corp.'s Chevrolet Volt will be made in either South Korea or China, depending on which supplier is chosen, and likely will cost more than $10,000 per vehicle. "One of the reasons for having hybrids is to reduce dependence on foreign oil," said Sherif Marakby, Ford Motor Co.'s chief engineer of hybrid core engineering. "You don't want to substitute dependence on foreign oil with dependence on foreign materials for lithium-ion batteries." U.S. automakers and battery companies lobbied Congress for a provision in last year's energy bill to provide loans and loan guarantees to firms that want to set up battery production. But Congress hasn't provided any money for the loans, and appears unlikely to pass many funding bills in the remainder of its term.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

Sen. McCain Offers $300 Million Prize for New Auto Battery

PHOENIX -- John McCain hopes to solve the country's energy crisis with cold hard cash. The Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting is proposing a $300 million government prize to whomever can develop an automobile battery that far surpasses existing technology. The bounty would equate to $1 for every man, woman and child in the country, "a small price to pay for helping to break the back of our oil dependency," McCain said in remarks prepared for delivery Monday at Fresno State University in California. McCain said such a device should deliver power at 30 percent of current costs and have "the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars." The Arizona senator is also proposing stiffer fines for automakers who skirt existing fuel-efficiency standards, as well as incentives to increase use of domestic and foreign alcohol-based fuels such as ethanol. In addition, a so-called Clean Car Challenge would provide U.S. automakers with a $5,000 tax credit for every zero-carbon emissions car they develop and sell. "In the quest for alternatives to oil, our government has thrown around enough money subsidizing special interests and excusing failure," said excerpts from McCain's prepared text. "From now on, we will encourage heroic efforts in engineering, and we will reward the greatest success."
Source: Associated Press

Obama Camp Closely Linked with Ethanol

When VeraSun Energy inaugurated a new ethanol processing plant last summer in Charles City, Iowa, some of that industry’s most prominent boosters showed up. Leaders of the National Corn Growers Association and the Renewable Fuels Association, for instance, came to help cut the ribbon — and so did Senator Barack Obama. And as befits a senator from Illinois, the country’s second largest corn-producing state, he delivered a ringing endorsement of ethanol as an alternative fuel. In the heart of the Corn Belt that August day, Mr. Obama argued that embracing ethanol “ultimately helps our national security, because right now we’re sending billions of dollars to some of the most hostile nations on earth.” America’s oil dependence, he added, “makes it more difficult for us to shape a foreign policy that is intelligent and is creating security for the long term.” Ethanol is one area in which Mr. Obama strongly disagrees with his Republican opponent, Senator John McCain of Arizona. While both presidential candidates emphasize the need for the United States to achieve “energy security” while also slowing down the carbon emissions that are believed to contribute to global warming, they offer sharply different visions of the role that ethanol, which can be made from a variety of organic materials, should play in those efforts. Mr. McCain advocates eliminating the multibillion-dollar annual government subsidies that domestic ethanol has long enjoyed. As a free trade advocate, he also opposes the 54-cent-a-gallon tariff that the United States slaps on imports of ethanol made from sugar cane, which packs more of an energy punch than corn-based ethanol and is cheaper to produce. Mr. Obama, in contrast, favors the subsidies, some of which end up in the hands of the same oil companies he says should be subjected to a windfall profits tax. In the name of helping the United States build “energy independence,” he also supports the tariff, which some economists say may well be illegal under the World Trade Organization’s rules but which his advisers say is not.
Source:  The New York Times

Mazda Will Improve Vehicle Fuel Efficiency by 30 Percent

Mazda Motor Corp., a third owned by Ford Motor Co., will boost the fuel economy of its models by 30 percent on average in the next seven years by making vehicles lighter and developing new engines.  New vehicle platforms will shed at least 100 kilograms (220 pounds) compared with existing ones, it said in a statement today. Mazda, based in Hiroshima, Japan, aims to introduce a gasoline-electric car in the early 2010s, combining Ford's technology with its own, it said. Mazda and other automakers are spending more to develop fuel-efficient vehicles as governments worldwide tighten emission standards. Record oil prices, which have risen 41 percent this year, are also increasing demand for hybrid vehicles among car buyers and fleet operators. Mazda's other fuel-efficient car programs include the Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid, which won Japanese government approval for leasing last week. The vehicle runs on an electric motor powered by electricity generated from an engine that can burn or hydrogen and gasoline. It can cruise for about 200 kilometers (124 miles) on a single tank of compressed hydrogen. Mazda will lease fewer than ten of the hybrid minivans to companies by March 31, Seita Kanai, the company's head of research and development told reporters today. "We have technology to be an electric-car maker, if the world wants it and it becomes a feasible business," he said. "Cost, durability and confidence in batteries" are the hurdles, Kanai added.
Source:  Bloomberg

Looters and Broken Levees

How one Iowa dealership found a new home after being wiped out by the region's devastating floods
With the Iowa River rising dangerously on Thursday, June 12, federal officials stopped by Jeff Carr's Chrysler dealership in Coralville, Iowa. They told Carr that he had about four days before floodwaters would reach his 43-year-old store, which sits about a half mile from the river. In fact, Carr had less than a day. By the time four days had elapsed, Carr was supervising the reopening of McGurk Meyers Chrysler at a new location 3.5 miles away. His old dealership was under water. That Thursday night, Carr and his employees had begun moving the dealership's inventory to a safer place. They managed to transfer about 80 percent of the 120 vehicles in stock — about half new and half used — to a lot out of harm's way. Carr's team finally went home around 1 a.m. on Friday, the 13th. After they left, Carr said, looters broke into the dealership. And some levees broke. About $750,000 worth of vehicles ended up under water, Carr said. By noon on Friday, the 13th, the staff at McGurk Meyers Chrysler was sitting in a bar, wondering what to do next. Carr said and one of his managers decided that they needed to find a new location. They eventually found an empty building in Iowa City about 10 minutes from the old store. Carr said he and his staff have spent every day since then putting together a new dealership. A guy from the body shop made a sign. They ordered lifts for the service department. They recorded TV and radio spots advertising the new location. There were plans to bring a nurse in to give tetanus shots to the staffers who had been wading through dirty water. Many of the basic tools for running a dealership weren't available. Jeff Covington, the dealership's general sales manager, said they finally managed to get a printer running on Thursday. "Every couple hours, something new happens," Covington said. As of Thursday afternoon, June 19, McGurk Meyers had sold four cars. The dealership was planning to start servicing cars on Friday. Carr expects business to pick up as Iowans file insurance claims to replace flood-damaged vehicles. The 41-year-old dealer, who has owned the store with partners for 11/2 years, said he's not yet sure how much the flood will cost. "I can't say enough about our entire staff, right down to our detail guys," Covington said. "We've got a couple of people in the lobby talking to some salespeople right now; hopefully we'll sell a couple more."
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

 Click here to view a NADA-TV report about the McGurk Meyers' dealership.

[Editor's Note:
  Dealership employees affected by flooding in Iowa have asked for help from the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation (NADCF). "We processed a number of requests for assistance," said foundation chairman Bob Mallon. "Some people have lost everything. The flooding in their homes have destroyed much of their belongings," added Mallon. The foundation's Emergency Relief Fund offers assistance to dealership employees who have been affected by emergencies and natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and fires. Since its establishment in 1992, the foundation has distributed more than $4.1 million to about 6,500 dealership employees. If you're interested in supporting this relief effort, click here to download a donation form. Fax the completed form to (703) 821-7030 or mail to:  NADCF, 8400 Westpark Dr., McLean, Va. 22102.]

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NADA Update
Enroll Now for NADA's Executive Education 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.

NADA and EPA to Recognize Energy Star Efficient Dealerships

  

As part of NADA's Energy Stewardship Initiative, both NADA and EPA’s Energy Star program are eager to recognize dealerships that have met or exceeded the Energy Star Challenge by improving their energy efficiency by at least 10 percent.

NADA will award these “green” dealers with a certificate, a press release distributed to the dealership’s local media, and coverage on www.nada.org, as well as recognition at NADA’s annual Washington Conference in September.

If you have improved the energy efficiency of your dealership or dealerships by at least 10 percent and you can show us, please send an email to RegulatoryAffairs@nada.org. Candidates for recognition will be asked to submit their dealership’s energy information. For more on NADA’s partnership with Energy Star, visit www.nada.org/energystar.

Automotive News to Host 'Green Dealership' Webinar

Dealers are encouraged to participate in an online seminar hosted by Automotive News on June 24 at 1 p.m. EST. The focus of the seminar is environmentally friendly dealerships and how dealers are gaining an advantage by going green. Editor Dave Sedgwick will interview dealers who have gone green, and the experts that helped them. Joining Sedgwick will be Pat Lobb, owner of Pat Lobb Toyota of McKinney, Texas; Justin Doak of the U.S. Green Building Council; and Douglas Greenhaus, director of environmental health and safety for NADA.

Participants can post a question in advance by emailing asktheexpert@autonews.com with the subject line "Green Dealerships." To register for the Webinar, click here.

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

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
 

Iowa Dealership Endures Extensive Flood Damage

More Video Highlights
Quotable
 
"The industry started out with one problem, which was cost, then it was market share, then it was commodity prices, then it was gas prices. It just goes on and on for these guys."

   
-- Shelly Lombard, an analyst with Gimme Credit, Detroit Free Press, June 22


Soaring fuel prices have toppled the market for big used trucks "like a house of cards."

    -- Tom Kontos, executive vice president of analytical services for the ADESA auction company, Automotive News, June 23


The market for big used trucks shifted "overnight. I don't think any of us were ready for that."

   
-- Patrick Walsh, a Ford dealer in rural Atwater, Minn., Automotive News, June 23


"Our full year plan for the market in 2008 has been aggressively conservative, allowing us to be better positioned for the current downturn. Despite the challenges, we are meeting or exceeding our financial targets."

    -- Nancy Rae, Chrysler's senior vice president of communications, said in a memo to employees, Reuters, June 20


"As gasoline prices average more than $4 a gallon and consumers worry about the weak U.S. economy, we see June industrywide auto sales slowing further, and demand for large trucks and SUVs at one of the lowest levels in decades."

   
-- Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally said in a statement, Reuters, June 20


"In the quest for alternatives to oil, our government has thrown around enough money subsidizing special interests and excusing failure. From now on, we will encourage heroic efforts in engineering, and we will reward the greatest success."

   
-- John McCain said in remarks prepared for delivery today at Fresno State University in California, Associated Press, June 23


Embracing ethanol "ultimately helps our national security, because right now we're sending billions of dollars to some of the most hostile nations on earth." America's oil dependence "makes it more difficult for us to shape a foreign policy that is intelligent and is creating security for the long term."

   
-- Sen. Barack Obama, said in Iowa, the heart of the Corn Belt, last August, The New York Times, June 23


"One of the reasons for having hybrids is to reduce dependence on foreign oil. You don't want to substitute dependence on foreign oil with dependence on foreign materials for lithium-ion batteries."

   
-- Sherif Marakby, Ford Motor Co.'s chief engineer of hybrid core engineering, Detroit Free Press, June 22


"Other countries such as Korea and Japan have identified advanced battery research and production as competitive priorities. We have to make sure not to cede that competitive race."

   
-- General Motors' spokesman Greg Martin, Detroit Free Press, June 22


"It is far worse than anyone had anticipated at this point. I don't care what name you throw out there. There isn't any one out there that is going to be safe."

   
-- Jim Gillette, an auto-supplier analyst with CSM Worldwide, a market-research firm in Michigan, referring to U.S. auto-parts makers realigning labor and production as automakers slash production of SUVs and pickup trucks because of plunging sales, The Wall Street Journal, June 23


"We have technology to be an electric-car maker, if the world wants it and it becomes a feasible business. Cost, durability and confidence in batteries" are the hurdles.

   
-- Seita Kanai, Mazda's head of research and development, Bloomberg, June 23


"There's a silver lining in everything. I just haven't figured out what it is yet."

   
-- Brad Deery, owner of Deery Bros., a multibrand dealership in West Burlington, Iowa, referring to flooding that closed a bridge leading to his dealership, Automotive News, June 23
Video Highlights
 
   

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


 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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