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At a Glance...
Top Stories
McCain: Set U.S. Limit for Car CO2
Toyota Could Overtake GM in US Sales in June
New-car Losses Soar; Dealers' 3rd Year of Red Ink
When Pickup Sales Dived, Automakers Changed Plans
Drivers Paid to Retire Old Cars
Ford Waits as GM, Toyota Take Lead on Plug-In Hybrids
Calif. Orders 'Green' Labels for New Cars
Chrysler Sale Near, Some Predict
Opinion: End Vehicle Title Washing
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
Applications for the 2008 ENERGY STAR for Small Business Award due Today
STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About Wireless Networks
Go Green With HP ENERGY STARŪ Desktops
Top Stories
McCain: Set U.S. Limit for Car CO2

He moves away from state-set emissions limits, rejects federal bailout of Big 3.
WARREN, Ohio -- Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Friday he favors nationwide limits on carbon emissions from cars, a position that addresses one major worry of Detroit's automakers but could create new problems for them.  The presumptive GOP nominee also said he would oppose any federal bailout of domestic carmakers to keep them afloat... McCain has supported a controversial request from California and other states to be allowed to set their own limits on greenhouse gasses from autos, a request automakers have said threatens their future. His Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, supports the request as well. The Bush administration turned it down late last year. Asked about the issue Friday, before a visit to GM's Lordstown assembly plant [in Ohio], McCain said he hoped as president to eliminate the need for state regulations. "It seems to me the reason California went the way they did was because we, federally, failed to act to address greenhouse gas emissions," McCain told a small group of reporters on his campaign bus. "So my goal would be to see a federal standard that every state could embrace ..."  On his campaign bus and in a later news conference at the [Ohio] plant, McCain said he does not see the federal government rescuing any of the U.S. automakers, as happened in the 1970s with Chrysler.
Source: The Detroit News

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Toyota Could Overtake GM in US Sales in June

DETROIT -- Toyota Motor Corp. could overtake General Motors Corp. in monthly U.S. sales for the first time in June, but the victory could be a hollow one as the weak economy continues to pummel the auto industry and even Toyota struggles to meet U.S. consumers' sudden and insatiable demand for hybrid cars. Analysts are predicting another double-digit dip in June sales, in large part because buyers are shunning big vehicles. Automakers report sales figures Tuesday. J.D. Power and Associates ... predicts the annualized sales rate for June ... could be 12.5 million vehicles. If so, that would be the lowest monthly rate since 1992. Falling home values, weak consumer confidence and high gas prices have taken their toll on auto sales, which had seen seven consecutive months of declines as of May. When customers do buy, they're picking smaller cars, crossovers and hybrids. [Toyota] has been unable to ramp up production of its Prius and Camry hybrids to meet demand. John McEleney, who owns a Toyota dealership in Clinton, Iowa, said he expects to be sold out of Priuses until at least November. McEleney said there are other small cars with good fuel economy, such as the Toyota Yaris subcompact, but that's also in short supply and he can't always talk buyers into another model. "People who want a hybrid are tough to move off of that ... he said. "As a rule, people have either decided to get on the waiting list or just postponed the sale."
Source:  Associated Press

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New-car Losses Soar; Dealers' 3rd Year of Red Ink

The average U.S. auto dealer has lost money on new-vehicle sales for two years and is headed for another, much deeper loss in 2008. Through April, the average loss in the new-vehicle department had doubled compared with the same period of last year, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association. "It's been tough in the new-car departments," said Russ Darrow Jr., who owns 15 dealerships in Wisconsin that sell various brands. "Dealer volumes are down, and grosses are down, and expenses are up all at the same time." It has been a long losing streak. Never before has the average new-vehicle department lost money for three consecutive years. NADA says the only other years with new-vehicle losses were 1990, 1991 and 1995. This year, NADA says, net losses are averaging $136 per new vehicle, compared with a $61 average loss in the first four months of 2007. The figures include finance and insurance operations, which are profitable. As recently as 2004, the average profit per vehicle was $176. Paul Taylor, NADA's chief economist, blames soaring gasoline and diesel prices, slumping real estate, tight credit and model shortages caused by labor disputes. Those factors offset the Federal Reserve's series of interest rate cuts, he says. "It is not a happy time," says Taylor. "This is challenging for dealership management."
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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When Pickup Sales Dived, Automakers Changed Plans

DEARBORN, Mich. -- Every morning, just after getting coffee, Mark Fields fires up his laptop to pore over a computer model showing real-time U.S. auto sales figures. On this morning in the middle of May, the man who heads Ford Motor Co.'s Americas operations has seen enough. "This is going on 10 weeks where we're seeing this not get any better," Fields recalled in a recent interview. Eleven miles away at General Motors Corp., they were reaching the same conclusions. Consumers were delaying big-ticket purchases. Those who bought weren't going for GM or Ford trucks and sport utility vehicles, instead snapping up just about anything that gets more than 30 miles per gallon. Whether Ford, GM and Chrysler LLC can go forward fast enough remains to be seen. But even [Roland] Hwang of the Natural Resources Defense Council says he thinks the companies will have a brighter future because they are more focused on fuel economy. "There's no reason why Detroit can't emerge leaner, stronger, more fuel efficient and more sustainable from a business and environmental perspective," Hwang said.
Source:  Associated Press

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Drivers Paid to Retire Old Cars

WASHINGTON -- Some U.S. states and Canada are boosting efforts to get older, dirtier cars off the roads. The moves come as people are holding onto vehicles longer than ever, amid a weakening economy. And it's expected that people will hold on to their cars and trucks even longer when new U.S. fuel efficiency rules boosting the industrywide, fleet average to 35 miles per gallon drive up the price of new vehicles. In January, Texas unveiled a $45 million annual program, dubbed "Drive a Clean Machine" that offers up to $3,500 toward a new vehicle for consumers in Austin, Houston and the Dallas-Fort Worth area who make lower incomes and own a vehicle at least 10 years old. The program has retired more than 11,000 vehicles this year, said Andrea Morrow, a spokeswoman for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. R.L. Polk said in a report earlier this year that the median age of passenger cars remained at 9.2 years in 2007, tying a record set in 2006. The median age of light trucks increased to 7.1 years, its highest level since 1998. Americans junked about 13 million vehicles in 2007, or 5.2 percent of all vehicles, up from 5 percent in 2006.
Source: The Detroit News

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Ford Waits as GM, Toyota Take Lead on Plug-In Hybrids

Ford Motor Co., under pressure to trim its reliance on trucks, said it's taking a measured approach on plug-in hybrid vehicles by letting rivals assume the risk of marketing the new technology. "If customers aren't buying them, we're not making them," Ted Miller, Ford's senior manager of energy storage, said in an interview [last week]. "If there's going to be a true plug-in hybrid market, we're going to be there. It's just that that's a huge commitment to actually go to production." That tack may force the world's third-largest automaker to play catch-up if plug-ins such as General Motors Corp.'s Chevrolet Volt concept can be built in high volume. The chief hurdle is a rechargeable battery for extended electric-only use. GM and Toyota Motor Corp., the biggest automakers, are racing to introduce a vehicle able to recharge from household electrical sockets in 2010. Ford has a test fleet of 20 plug-in sport-utility vehicles, without a target date for selling them.
Source: Bloomberg

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Calif. Orders 'Green' Labels for New Cars

Stickers will tell shoppers vehicles' impact on global warming, smog
WASHINGTON -- Beginning next year, all new vehicles sold in California must display window labels that rate the environmental performance of the car or truck. The stickers will carry scores, from 1-10, based on how much the vehicles contribute to global warming and smog. The lower the scores, the worse the performance. The average new vehicle will get a 5 on both scales. The cleanest vehicles will get 10s. The labels also urge drivers to: "Protect the environment, choose vehicles with higher scores." All new vehicles sold in the Golden State must display them by Jan. 1. "This label will arm consumers with the information they need to choose a vehicle that saves gas, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps fight smog all at once," said Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board. "Consumer choice is an especially powerful tool in our fight against climate change." California requires automakers to produce some ultra-clean vehicles, known as partial zero emission vehicles, to comply with its clean air rules. The Environmental Protection Agency has a voluntary program for automakers to display similar information and posts it on its Web site in its green vehicle guide.
Source: The Detroit News

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Chrysler Sale Near, Some Predict

As 2009 line debuts, Cerberus says year is too soon to recover
CHELSEA -- While Chrysler LLC gathered journalists from around the world last week to its Chelsea Proving Grounds to show off its 2009 model year lineup, there are growing concerns about the future of the Auburn Hills automaker. An influential annual study of the U.S. automotive product pipeline says Chrysler's lack of future product plans is an indication of a near-future breakup or sale by the automaker's majority-owner, Cerberus Capital Management. "Chrysler's product pipeline severely lags the industry on a number of key metrics, which is an ominous sign for its market share," Merrill Lynch's recently issued Car Wars report said. "We believe that this is an active decision by new owners to rationalize the product portfolio in advance of a breakup/sale." A Chrysler spokesman called the prediction of a sale ridiculous and a Cerberus spokesman said the private equity firm has "a model that is buy, fix and hold."
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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Opinion: End Vehicle Title Washing
by Automotive News

Some estimates say that as many as 500,000 cars and trucks will be damaged by this spring's flooding across the Midwest. Thousands of those damaged vehicles will be dried out and sold to unsuspecting consumers and auto dealers because Congress has failed to pass legislation requiring insurance companies to make total-loss data available to the public. For shame. Congress must pass and the president must sign legislation that requires insurance companies to disclose all total-loss vehicles and permanently brand the titles of those vehicles to put an end to title washing.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

[Editor's Note: NADA has long been a leading advocate of legislation in Congress that would require insurance companies to make public Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) of cars and trucks declared a total loss.]

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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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Applications for the 2008 ENERGY STAR for Small Business Award due Today

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.

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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
 
"It seems to me the reason California went the way they did was because we, federally, failed to act to address greenhouse gas emissions. So my goal would be to see a federal standard that every state could embrace ..." 

   
-- Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Friday he favors nationwide limits on carbon emissions from cars, The Detroit News, June 28


"People who want a hybrid are tough to move off of that ... As a rule, people have either decided to get on the waiting list or just postponed the sale."

   
-- John McEleney, owner of a Toyota dealership in Clinton, Iowa and 2008 NADA vice chairman, says he expects to be sold out of Priuses until at least November, Associated Press, June 27


"Dealer volumes are down, and grosses are down, and expenses are up all at the same time."

   
-- Russ Darrow Jr., who owns 15 dealerships in Wisconsin that sell various brands, Automotive News, June 30


"There's no reason why Detroit can't emerge leaner, stronger, more fuel efficient and more sustainable from a business and environmental perspective. Fuel efficiency is not just because you want to help save the world. It's because you need to save your company."

    -- Roland Hwang, vehicle policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, Associated Press, June 29


"Chrysler's product pipeline severely lags the industry on a number of key metrics, which is an ominous sign for its market share." 

    -- Merrill Lynch's Car Wars report, Detroit Free Press, June 29


"If customers aren't buying them, we're not making them. If there's going to be a true plug-in hybrid market, we're going to be there. It's just that that's a huge commitment to actually go to production."

   
-- Ted Miller, Ford's senior manager of energy storage, referring to the company's decision to take a measured approach to producing plug-in hybrid vehicles, Bloomberg, 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.