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At a Glance...
Top Stories
GM Leads Way Into Downward Spiral as Auto Anxiety Soars
Chrysler Denies Rumors of Serious Cash Crunch
GM Chief Tells Obama How to Save Auto Industry
Court Says No Deadline for EPA on Global Warming
$4 Gas Solution: More Miles per Gallon
Gas Prices Fuel Drop in Car Owner Satisfaction
A Pep Talk at Chrysler, Hailing Its Hero of the '80s
NADA Update
NADA Offers Consumer Tips to Avoid Flooded Vehicles
Nomination Ballots for NADA Director from Kansas due July 18
Runoff Election to be Held for NADA Director from N. Calif.
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
GM Leads Way Into Downward Spiral as Auto Anxiety Soars

The Detroit auto industry appeared to be imploding Thursday. Shares of General Motors stock hadn't traded so cheaply since the 1950s. Ford Motor stock was at a 52-week low. Privately held Chrysler doesn't trade but still felt compelled to deny a rumor that it will file for bankruptcy protection. Consultant J.D. Power and Associates is predicting June sales will calculate to an annual selling rate of 12.5 million, a breathtaking drop from a rate of 15.6 million in June 2007. The annual selling rate for the months so far this year has ranged from 14.3 million to 15.4 million, already almost guaranteeing a bad year. Full-year sales have been about 17 million most of the past decade. A drop to 14 million from 17 million for the entire year would be the equivalent of closing a dozen big auto factories. "There has never been a time in the auto industry like this," Van Conway, senior managing director of Conway MacKenzie & Dunleavy restructuring firm in Detroit, said Thursday. Conway called current conditions "the perfect storm" for the industry.
Source:  USA Today

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Chrysler Denies Rumors of Serious Cash Crunch

Chrysler LLC is not facing a cash crunch and has ample liquidity, a spokesman said Thursday, denying market rumors. Rumors that the auto maker might seek bankruptcy protection circulated in European markets after a Detroit newspaper said the company is facing a cash crunch. "It's not true. We have cash," spokesman Dave Elshoff said. A bankruptcy filing "is not on the table." Chrysler had $9 billion at the end of 2007, according to Cerberus Capital Management LP, Chrysler's majority owner. Chrysler recently tapped a $2 billion credit line from Cerberus and Daimler AG, which retains in an interest in its former U.S. unit. At the time, Chrysler said it was meeting or exceeding its financial targets despite the woes facing the auto industry.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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GM Chief Tells Obama How to Save Auto Industry

Candidate receptive, Wagoner says
PITTSBURGH -- Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama asked the head of General Motors Corp. on Thursday what he could do to preserve the U.S. auto industry if elected, saying automakers "may need some bridges" to reach the future. GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner said the industry needed help to shift toward more-efficient vehicles or new technologies. He said the U.S. government should:

  • Provide more support for basic research into new technologies, along with tax credits or other incentives for consumers to buy them once they are available.
  • Assist manufacturers in converting factories.

Building new technologies "takes a lot of capital," Wagoner said. Obama's statement ... suggests that Detroit automakers' troubles could get more attention from whoever succeeds President George W. Bush. "The question is, assuming I'm president, what would be the one or two things that the federal government can do most constructive to make certain that in the race against time for the U.S. automakers, that you are able to make this pivot as quickly as possible?" Obama said.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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Court Says No Deadline for EPA on Global Warming

WASHINGTON -- A federal appeals court refused Thursday to make a resistant Bush administration speed up a decision on whether greenhouse gases and global warming threaten public health and welfare. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied a petition by 17 states and several environmental groups asking it to order the Environmental Protection Agency to make that determination within 60 days. Such a finding is a necessary first step to regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from motor vehicle tailpipes and the smokestacks of refineries, power plants and factories. The Supreme Court more than a year ago ruled that the EPA has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, a step President Bush has repeatedly refused to take. Instead, EPA is expected to issue a proposal in coming weeks that seeks public comment on a range of options the agency could take to control greenhouse gases under current law. It will take no position on whether carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases should be regulated, according to a draft obtained by The Associated Press. "We are pleased the Circuit court recognized the agency's approach," said Timothy Lyons, deputy press secretary for EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson. "The advanced notice for proposed rulemaking ... will allow for public input on the broad range of fundamental issues involved in regulating greenhouse gases."
Source:  Associated Press

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$4 Gas Solution: More Miles per Gallon

House committee explores raising fuel economy standards for American automobiles in response to record gas prices.
NEW YORK -- Oil speculation has been getting a lot of attention from Congress lately. On Thursday lawmakers took up another possible solution: getting more miles per gallon out of cars Americans drive. Last December, Congress passed the Energy Information and Security Act (EISA), which mandated that the car standards and light truck standards be set high enough to ensure that the combined industry-wide average reaches at least 35 mpg in model year 2020. On Thursday, Congress' Select Committee on Energy Independence held a hearing to discuss fuel economy and the future of the nation's automobiles. "America's strength lies not in its oil reserves but its superior technological might," said Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., the committee chair. "We will need to use vehicles that use no oil at all." The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - a unit within the Department of Transportation - proposed a method to implement the new fuel law and bring the nation's fleet of cars and light trucks to an average of 31.6 miles per gallon [by 2015]. "These standards are tough, but achievable and necessary," said Tyler Duvall, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Assistant Secretary for Policy, in testimony before the committee. "All told, the proposal will save nearly 55 billion gallons of fuel and a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions estimated at 521 million metric tons over the life of the affected vehicles." Some in Congress think the Department of Transportation can and must go further. But some suggested increased fuel standards would devastate an already battered U.S. auto industry. "Many in this Congress are focused on bankrupting the domestic auto industry," said Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich. "This is an $85 billion mandate on domestic autos ... that puts the breaks on innovation." Miller said Congress should provide the auto industry with incentives to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles rather than mandating expenditures on "an old and antiquated technology."
Source: CNNMoney.com

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Gas Prices Fuel Drop in Car Owner Satisfaction

DETROIT -- Drivers of new cars were less satisfied with their vehicles this year for the first time in at least five years due mainly to rising fuel prices, according to an annual survey released Thursday. The survey by the J.D. Power and Associates marketing and consulting company saw the industry average drop by two points to 770 this year from 772 in 2007. The survey measures owner satisfaction with the design, layout and performance of new vehicles. It was the first drop in at least five years, said Neal Oddes, J.D. Power's director of product research and analysis. Gas prices rose 27 percent in the period between the 2007 and 2008 surveys, he said, but the latest survey found that fuel economy stayed the same at an average of 21 miles per gallon. Porsche led all brands, scoring 854 out of a possible 1,000 points, followed by Jaguar at 844. Cadillac was the highest-scoring U.S.-based brand at 827, the research company said. It also found that models that were given mild updates scored higher on average than models that were entirely redesigned, a departure from previous years. The Honda brand captured more model segment awards than any other automaker with three each. Its subcompact Fit, Odyssey minivan and Ridgeline midsize pickup scored highest in their segments.
Source:  Associated Press

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A Pep Talk at Chrysler, Hailing Its Hero of the '80s

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — For one afternoon at least, it was like the good old days again at Chrysler. Lee Iacocca, the savior of Chrysler in its darkest hour, was back. Retired for 16 years but still spry at age 83, Mr. Iacocca was welcomed back Thursday to thunderous applause from Chrysler workers who are, once again, facing tough times. With Chrysler’s market share dropping and its future uncertain, who better to pump up the troops than its celebrated, straight-talking chairman of the 1980s. “Don’t get panicked,” Mr. Iacocca told about 1,000 Chrysler workers at a townhall-style meeting at the Chrysler Technical Center. “Things are going to be O.K.” [Chrysler’s current chairman, Robert L.] Nardelli invited Mr. Iacocca to Chrysler to pay tribute, and maybe have some of the legendary leader’s success rub off on today’s management. “Thanks to you, Lee, we’re here today,” Mr. Nardelli said. “Chrysler came roaring back when people left it for dead.” With gasoline prices rising above $4 a gallon, American consumers have shunned Chrysler’s heavy lineup of pickups and sport utility vehicles. Sales have plummeted nearly 20 percent so far this year, and the company’s United States market share fell to 10 percent in May.
Source: The New York Times

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NADA Update
NADA Offers Consumer Tips to Avoid Flooded Vehicles

The record-setting floods in the Midwest have left a large number of flood-damaged vehicles. NADA urges consumers, even in unaffected areas, to remain alert to the possibility that some individuals may attempt to sell or trade flood-damaged used vehicles in the months to come. “Through awareness and education, dealers and consumers can make sure severely damaged vehicles remain off of the nation’s roads,” says David Regan, NADA vice president of legislative affairs.

NADA offers 10 inspection tips -- available online in both English and Spanish -- that may be used to detect significant water damage. While these inspection suggestions will not detect flood damage in every case, they do provide some information that may help to protect consumers from purchasing a vehicle damaged by water or flood. Mechanics at dealerships or repair shops can also be helpful in inspecting used vehicles. Along with offering tips to consumers, NADA continues to urge insurers to publicly disclose the Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) of flooded and totaled vehicles on a more complete and timely basis, citing safety and consumer protection concerns. For more information about NADA’s campaign to permanently red flag flooded vehicles, visit www.nada.org/tld.

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Nomination Ballots for NADA Director from Kansas due July 18

Ballots for nominating members to serve as the NADA director from Kansas have been mailed to members in that state. Current director Dale Willey will be leaving the board effective Jan. 26, 2009. Nomination ballots must be returned postmarked by Friday, July 18. The newly-elected director, who takes office Jan. 27, will be announced at the 2009 NADA Convention & Exposition in New Orleans.

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Runoff Election to be Held for NADA Director from N. Calif.

Two nominees have received at least 10 percent of the votes for the position of NADA director from Northern California forcing a runoff election. Election ballots have been mailed to members in Northern California and are to be returned postmarked by Friday, July 18. The winner, who will serve a 3-year term beginning Jan. 27, will be announced at the 2009 NADA Convention & Exposition in New Orleans.

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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 are pleased the Circuit court recognized the agency's approach. The advanced notice for proposed rulemaking ... will allow for public input on the broad range of fundamental issues involved in regulating greenhouse gases." 

   
-- Timothy Lyons, deputy press secretary for EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, referring to federal court decision refusing to make the Bush administration speed up a decision on whether greenhouse gases and global warming threaten public health and welfare, The Associated Press, June 26


"These standards are tough, but achievable and necessary. All told, the proposal will save nearly 55 billion gallons of fuel and a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions estimated at 521 million metric tons over the life of the affected vehicles."

   
-- Tyler Duvall, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Assistant Secretary for Policy, referring to NHTSA's proposed method to implement the new fuel law and bring the nation's fleet of cars and light trucks to an average of 31.6 miles per gallon by 2015, CNNMoney.com, June 26


"Many in this Congress are focused on bankrupting the domestic auto industry. This is an $85 billion mandate on domestic autos ... that puts the breaks on innovation."

  
-- Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., says Congress should provide the auto industry with incentives to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles rather than mandating expenditures on old technology, CNNMoney.com, June 26 


Building new technologies "takes a lot of capital." "One of the biggest issues the U.S. industry faces is we have relatively weak balance sheets due to a lot of things ... so support in improving the manufacturing base is important."

   
-- GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said at a panel discussion on the economy, which included Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential hopeful, and a dozen other business leaders. Wagoner says the industry needs help to shift toward more-efficient vehicles and new technologies, Detroit Free Press, June 27


"The question is, assuming I'm president, what would be the one or two things that the federal government can do most constructive to make certain that in the race against time for the U.S. automakers, that you are able to make this pivot as quickly as possible?"

    -- Sen. Barack Obama, Democratic candidate for president, asked the head of General Motors Corp. what he could do to preserve the U.S. auto industry if elected, Detroit Free Press, June 27


"From 1978 to 1983 we didn't make a buck in this company. We lost billions of dollars. But we came back."

   
-- Lee Iacocca told about 1,000 Chrysler workers at a townhall-style meeting at the Chrysler Technical Center, The New York Times, June 27
Video Highlights
 
 

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


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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.