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Top Stories
Judge Rejects Automakers' Effort to Delay California Emissions Rules
California Unveils Ambitious Climate Plan
White House Tried to Silence EPA Proposal on Car Emissions
Obama Meets with Auto CEOs in Move That Could Ease Strains
Opinion: Going Green Pays Off
Sales Down by a Truckload
Report: Ford Talks with Chinese to Sell Volvo
Nissan and Others Add Factories in Emerging Markets
NADA Update
Enroll Now for NADA's Executive Education Program
NADA and EPA to Recognize Energy Star Efficient Dealerships
Dealers Urged to Apply for the 2008 ENERGY STAR for Small Business Award
STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About Wireless Networks
Go Green With HP ENERGY STARŪ Desktops
Top Stories
Judge Rejects Automakers' Effort to Delay California Emissions Rules

LOS ANGELES -- A federal court has rejected an effort by carmakers to delay implementation of stringent vehicle emissions standards in California.  The ruling ... was the latest in a series of rebukes to the auto industry's efforts to gut a state mandate on greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.  California still can't implement those rules until it receives permission from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  At issue is a California law that calls for a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks between 2009 and 2016.  Under the federal Clean Air Act, other states are permitted to adopt California's rules on emissions; 15 have done so to date.  Automotive industry groups have said that California's law on greenhouse gas emissions is too aggressive and could bankrupt the industry. Because such emissions track closely with gasoline usage, the law would effectively require significant advances in fuel economy.  According to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents 10 carmakers, including General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp., the California law would require cars and some light trucks to achieve an average of 42 miles per gallon by 2015. "We believe a single, nationwide standard is important," said Charles Territo, spokesman for the alliance. "We have concerns about the cost-effectiveness of the California regulations."  In a controversial December decision, the EPA denied the state's request for the required waiver, prompting California to sue the federal government.  Both presumptive presidential candidates, Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), have said they would act to grant the waiver if elected.
Source: Los Angeles Times

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California Unveils Ambitious Climate Plan

LOS ANGELES -- California on Thursday took a major step forward on its global warming fight by unveiling an ambitious plan for clean cars, renewable energy and stringent caps on big polluting industries. The plan, which aims to reduce pollutants by 10 percent from current levels by 2020 while driving investment in new energy technologies that will benefit the state's economy, is the most comprehensive yet by any U.S. state. It could serve as a blueprint not only for the rest of the United States, but also for other big polluting nations like China and India, planners and environmental groups said. At a meeting in Sacramento on Thursday, CARB staff will present a series of proposals that would become law in 2012, with some measures going into effect two years earlier. The initiatives include implementing a cap-and-trade program on carbon dioxide emissions that will require buildings and appliances to use less energy, oil companies to make cleaner fuels, and utilities to provide a third of their energy from renewable sources like wind and solar power. The program will also encourage development of walkable cities with shorter commutes, high-speed rail as an alternative to air travel, and will require more hybrid and hydrogen-fueled vehicles both to move goods and people, CARB said. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose landmark 2006 law aimed at reducing the state's greenhouse gas emissions prompted CARB's plan, supports the program, Nichols said.
Source:  Reuters

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White House Tried to Silence EPA Proposal on Car Emissions

White House officials last December sought to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from submitting a proposed rule that would limit greenhouse-gas emissions from new vehicles, agency sources said yesterday. And upon learning that EPA had hit the "send" button just minutes earlier, the White House called again to demand that the e-mail be recalled. The EPA official who forwarded the e-mail, Associate Deputy Administrator Jason Burnett, refused, said the sources, who insisted on anonymity in order to discuss internal deliberations. The proposed rule was EPA's response to an April 2007 Supreme Court ruling that the agency had violated the Clean Air Act by refusing to take up the issue of regulating automobile emissions that contribute to global warming. The EPA is expected to release a watered-down version of its original proposal within a week, highlighting the extent to which Bush administration officials continue to resist mandatory federal limits on emissions linked to global warming. The New York Times reported Wednesday that White House officials never opened EPA's e-mail. In March, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee disclosed documents showing that the White House had overruled EPA's findings on the impact of vehicle emissions on climate change.
Source:  The Washington Post

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Obama Meets with Auto CEOs in Move That Could Ease Strains

Detroit's auto executives are getting face time this week with Barack Obama, a development that could thaw festering tension between the presidential candidate and the Big Three auto makers. Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Alan Mulally was among a group of several executives from various industries who met with Sen. Obama ... in Chicago Wednesday. A person close to Mr. Mulally said the executive "appreciated" being extended the opportunity to meet, seeing it as a gesture by the candidate aimed at learning more about the beleaguered auto industry. "It was a very productive meeting," Ford said. "The vitality of our economy will depend on our government seeking a partnership with industry. I was pleased to share the perspective on the important role American manufacturers play." Thursday, Sen. Obama will hear from General Motors Corp. Chief Executive Rick Wagoner at a competitiveness summit in Pittsburgh. Mr. Wagoner, who in the past has taken shots at leaders in Washington for failing to address energy diversity, will highlight the need for health-care reform, increased research-and-development support and infrastructure development, a person close to the executive said. Although it is unlikely either auto CEO will publicly support either Sen. Obama or the likely Republican nominee, John McCain, both executives would be keen to establish rapport with the next occupant of the White House after enduring a sometimes-rocky relationship with the current administration.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Opinion: Going Green Pays Off
by Automotive News

A few U.S. dealers are learning the value of using green policies to run their dealerships. In its best sense, being green simply means being efficient. Consuming less energy and other resources can cut costs. Among the things dealers can do: Use rainwater to irrigate landscaping, use solar panels to provide energy, and install a carwash that uses a fraction of the water used by a conventional unit. Dealers report that such Earth-friendly practices not only attract consumers who are concerned about the environment but also give the dealership the choice of passing the savings along to customers or letting those savings drop straight to the bottom line. When dealers realize that environmental practices are not just sales gimmicks but investments that can improve their business model, real change will come.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Sales Down by a Truckload

Dealers finding themselves stuck with big inventory
Two years ago, Wheeling Chevrolet dealer Bill Stasek was comfortable with 50 pickups in stock, but as sales have fallen, he says the 30 he has today are too many. Stasek would like to have fewer trucks, but since Chevrolet makes 26 pickup models, he needs about 30 to have a representative sample. "You can't sell from an empty shelf," he said, or from an overcrowded shelf, it turns out. Pickups and large sport-utility vehicles used to account for the bulk of business at most domestic brand dealerships, but consumers are fleeing those segments faster than dealers and manufacturers can cut supplies. So even though fewer trucks are on dealer lots than in recent years, there is still a glut because rising gasoline prices and declining home construction make them harder than ever to sell. Maroone, president of AutoNation, the largest U.S. dealership chain, couldn't say how many his dealers have in stock but estimated that the supply of large pickups and SUVs industrywide has ballooned to 150 days from 100 a year ago; 60 is considered normal. "It's certainly not fashionable to buy a big vehicle that uses a lot of gas," he said. "The people who are buying them are the ones who seriously need them. The discretionary buyer is gone." GM tried to address this Monday by announcing zero-percent financing on loans of up to 72 months on all trucks and some cars. GM calls it a 72-hour sale, but Maroone and Stasek are realistic. "I don't think anyone's 72-hour sale is going to clear up those issues," Maroone said. "Those kinds of things will accelerate business, but. at the same time. you can't keep building trucks." CNW Research President Art Spinella similarly doubts that GM's offer or discounts up to $6,000 from Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC can rev up sales enough to clear the glut. Spinella sees only time, as measured in months, moving out the 2008s. "You can discount a buggy whip down to a nickel, and it won't matter because nobody wants it," Spinella said. Vehicle sales industrywide are down 8 percent through May, though the domestic manufacturers each have suffered double-digit declines. The National Automobile Dealers Association said that the average net profit for dealers this year has fallen to 1.5 percent from 1.7 percent last year. "This is a low-margin business, like the grocery business," association economist Paul Taylor said. "This is a rough patch for new-car dealers"...
Source:  Chicago Tribune

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Report: Ford Talks with Chinese to Sell Volvo

Volvo says it will cut 2,000 jobs
Ford Motor is in negotiations with a Chinese company to sell its Volvo cars division, the Swedish business publication Dagens Industri reported today on its Web site. A Russian investor is also believed to be interested in acquiring the division, the report said. Media reports have suggested that the Chinese company involved in talks is Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. A Ford spokesman said: “We have been consistently saying since the end of last year that Volvo is not for sale. We are focused on improving Volvo’s business results.” Ford's new major shareholder Kirk Kerkorian, with a 6.49 percent holding, has stated he would like to see the cash strapped U.S. automotive giant divest itself of Volvo which it acquired for 50 billion Swedish crowns in 1999. The Volvo brand has shown good growth over the last few years in Europe, and has a revamped model line-up. However, in the U.S. market, Volvo has skidded under exchange rate pressures... In response, Volvo called on many unprofitable U.S. dealers to walk away from the franchise, an effort expected to cut about 20 percent of the dealerships by the end of the year. Volvo Cars [also] said [yesterday] it would cut 2,000 jobs across its operations in an effort to trim costs.
Source: 
Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Nissan and Others Add Factories in Emerging Markets

Japan’s Big Three — Toyota, Honda and Nissan — led the world in factory automation and eco-friendly technology, but until now they have been cautious about venturing far from the roads they know: the mature markets of North America and developing markets closest to home, particularly China and Thailand. Now, in a radical shift, Japan’s staid Big Three are plowing into exotic terrain, from Saharan Africa to the former Soviet Union to the scorching plains of southern India. They are determined not to repeat the mistakes of a decade ago, when they were late to the party in China, and where they have since trailed rivals like Volkswagen and General Motors. They have been particularly quick to expand in India, a nation of 1.1 billion that is just beginning its automotive revolution, and that many call the world’s next megamarket after China. The aggressive moves by traditionally cautious automakers are the latest signpost that the epicenter of the global auto industry is shifting increasingly from California to somewhere between Canton and Calcutta. The shift is also yet another sign of the waning centrality of the United States to the global economy. “These developing markets used to be an afterthought” for Japanese automakers, said Hirofumi Yokoi, an analyst in Tokyo for CSM Worldwide, the auto market research company. “Now they are the industry’s future.”
Source:  The New York Times

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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.

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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.

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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. Applications must be submitted by June 30.

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STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About Wireless Networks

 

Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR) has developed new guidelines to help dealers evaluate their wireless network. Visit STAR's Dealer Infrastructure Guidelines (DIG) publication. To learn "What version of wireless should I use?" click here.

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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
 
"We believe a single, nationwide standard is important. We have concerns about the cost-effectiveness of the California regulations."

   
-- Charles Territo, spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, referring a federal court's decision to reject an effort by carmakers to delay implementation of stringent vehicle emissions standards in California, Los Angeles Times, June 26


"When dealers realize that environmental practices are not just sales gimmicks but investments that can improve their business model, real change will come."   

    -- Automotive News (Opinion), June 23


"The vitality of our economy will depend on our government seeking a partnership with industry. I was pleased to share the perspective on the important role American manufacturers play."

    -- Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally said following a meeting with Sen. Barack Obama, The Wall Street Journal, June 25


"The people who are buying them are the ones who seriously need them. The discretionary buyer is gone."

    -- Mike Maroone, president of AutoNation, referring to sales of pickups and SUVs, Chicago Tribune, June 25


"You can discount a buggy whip down to a nickel, and it won't matter because nobody wants it."

    -- CNW Research President Art Spinella, referring to the glut of pickups and SUVs, Chicago Tribune, June 25


"These developing markets used to be an afterthought" for Japanese automakers. "Now they are the industry's future."

    -- Hirofumi Yokoi, an analyst for CSM Worldwide, referring to recent advances by automakers into emerging markets like China and India, The New York Times, June 26
Video Highlights
 
 

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


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