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At a Glance...
Top Stories
State Bid to Limit Emissions Hits Court Snag
Honda's On the Go as Automakers Brace for July Results
Chrysler Shifts Away from Leases
A Jittery Industry Stomps on the Brakes
Detroit 3 Face Huge Gap in Fuel Economy
Toyota Lowers 2008 Global Sales Target
Ford Shuffles Mercury Brand
Jeep Still Strong as Chrysler Slumps
Opinion: A Modest Proposal: Eco-Friendly Stimulus
NADA Update
NADA Convention Registration Opens Today
New Executive Education Class Forming at Babson College
NADA Publication Provides Guidance on New FTC 'Red Flags Rule'
Save on HP Printers and Notebooks
Top Stories
State Bid to Limit Emissions Hits Court Snag

SAN FRANCISCO -- California's effort to limit vehicle emissions of gases that contribute to global warming hit a snag Friday when a federal appeals court ruled that the state and environmental groups acted too early when they sued the Bush administration in January for blocking the law. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco dismissed a lawsuit filed by California, 15 other states and five environmental groups over the Environmental Protection Agency's refusal to let the state enforce its limits on greenhouse gas fumes from new cars and trucks. The court said the Jan. 2 suit was premature because the EPA, which had announced its intention to deny the state's request in a letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Dec. 19 hadn't yet acted formally. The agency eventually took that step March 6 when EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson entered his decision in the Federal Register. California and its allies then filed a new suit in a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. That suit is still pending and is unaffected by Friday's order.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

[NADA Statement: “We’re pleased with the decision because this allows the case to proceed in the appropriate court which is the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia,” said NADA general counsel Andy Koblenz. “The question all along has been whether this is a matter of national applicability. We believe it is. The Clean Air Act is clear; matters of national applicability can only be appealed in D.C.,” Koblenz added.]

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Honda's On the Go as Automakers Brace for July Results

U.S. auto makers on Friday will report vehicle sales for July, and another substantial decline is expected. In the battle for top spot, Toyota Motor Corp. is nipping at the heels of longtime leader General Motors Corp. But GM has been propping up sales with heavy incentives, which should enable the company to remain No. 1, at least for now. The more telling development this week and in the months ahead, however, could be the race for No. 3. Honda Motor Co. is the only major car company that guessed right on gasoline prices and geared up in the past few years to sell small cars. Honda's sales, meanwhile, have surged. In June, it passed Chrysler LLC to become the fourth-largest auto maker in the U.S. for that month. In July, it will likely beat Chrysler again and edge closer to the No. 3 player, Ford Motor Co.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Chrysler Shifts Away from Leases

Chrysler LLC, burned by declining resale values on vehicles coming back from leases, particularly trucks, said Friday it would stop writing leases through its Chrysler Financial unit on Aug. 1. Instead, Chrysler has boosted incentives for customers to buy vehicles, extending zero percent financing to more models. "The advantages of leasing have really disappeared. The economic formula that made leasing attractive 15 to 20 years ago is not there now," Chrysler Vice Chairman Jim Press said. Paul Taylor, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association, called leasing "an important financing option for the consumer" and said he doubted other automakers would do the same. "The answer is to have more accurate forecasts of residual values," he said, predicting Chrysler's sales will decline if banks and other financing companies don't fill the void.
Source:  Chicago Tribune

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A Jittery Industry Stomps on the Brakes

Production will plunge in 2nd half
That high-pitched wail of grinding gears you hear coming from the auto industry these days? It's the sound of carmakers downshifting madly as they swerve into the third quarter. Analysts were busy revising their forecasts last week. They now see North American output crashing to its lowest level since 1992. Nearly all automakers are slashing production to avert big inventories of unwanted low-mpg models. Consulting firm CSM Worldwide forecasts industrywide second-half output of 6.39 million units in North America, 11.4 percent lower than the same period a year earlier. CSM pegs the full year at 13.35 million units, which would be the lowest output since 1992 and a huge drop-off from last year's 15.1 million units. Global Insight expects 2008 output to be 13.2 million, as does J.D. Power and Associates. IRN Inc. in Grand Rapids, Mich., sees production of 13.3 to 13.4 million.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Detroit 3 Face Huge Gap in Fuel Economy

The pledges from Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. to focus their futures on smaller and more fuel-efficient cars find them playing catch-up again in a race with foes that are far ahead and will continue running hard. By the time the first new models from Motown's campaign to get small hit a dealership in 2010, they will face fresh competition from foreign automakers, including several varieties of hybrids. While Detroit executives vow to make every new model a class leader in efficiency, they will have to overcome a fuel-economy gap with foreign rivals -- in small and large cars alike. And beyond the engineering hurdles, Detroit's automakers will have to fight years of consumer experience that frequently doesn't put American models on the shopping list.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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Toyota Lowers 2008 Global Sales Target

TOKYO -- Toyota lowered its global vehicle sales plan for this year to 9.5 million vehicles -- down from 9.85 million -- as the sluggish North American market slows the Japanese automaker's momentum. The pace of Toyota's growth has been slowing. "The main reason for the change came from the faltering U.S. economy, and how rising oil prices and material costs are dampening the market there overall," said Toyota spokeswoman Kayo Doi. Toyota now plans to sell 2.44 million vehicles in the U.S., far less upbeat than the earlier plan to sell 2.64 million vehicles.
Source:  Associated Press

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Ford Shuffles Mercury Brand

Model will offer smaller entry-level premium cars and crossovers that will complement Lincoln
Ford Motor Co. will reposition Mercury as an entry-level premium brand that will support Lincoln, according to senior executives. Lincoln will no longer get any smaller vehicles, as had been planned, while Mercury will only get smaller cars and crossovers, said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's global product chief. Until recently, Ford had planned to eliminate the Mercury brand and give Lincoln a wider range of products. Dealers were skeptical, pointing out that Mercury brings a different demographic into the showroom than any other Ford brand -- a fact Kuzak acknowledged. "We're focusing (Mercury) very much on small, fuel-efficient products," [Kuzak said.]
Source:  The Detroit News

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Jeep Still Strong as Chrysler Slumps

Brand is important asset either for a sale or to get automaker through rough period
For the past two decades, the iconic [Jeep] brand has belonged to Chrysler LLC, but as the Auburn Hills automaker struggles amid sagging sales of its gas-guzzling trucks and vans, analysts and others are wondering if the time has come for the company to shed Jeep. Jeep, some contend, is Chrysler's most valuable asset, perhaps worth more than the rest of the privately held company. "Jeep is the key to Chrysler getting married again," [Gerald Meyers, chairman of the former American Motors Corp., which owned Jeep until Chrysler snapped up AMC in the late 1980s.] "Whoever wants Jeep is going to have to buy Chrysler." But while Jeep's sales remain stronger than other Chrysler nameplates, the famous brand is not without blemishes. Jeep has scored poorly on quality studies, and its trail-rated 4-by-4 image runs counter to the shift in consumer demand for fuel-efficient cars. Chrysler executives insist Jeep is not for sale -- for now.
Source:  The Detroit News

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Opinion: A Modest Proposal: Eco-Friendly Stimulus
by Alan S. Blinder

ECONOMISTS and members of Congress are now on the prowl for new ways to stimulate spending in our dreary economy. Here’s my humble suggestion: “Cash for Clunkers,” the best stimulus idea you’ve never heard of. Cash for Clunkers is a generic name for a variety of programs under which the government buys up some of the oldest, most polluting vehicles and scraps them. If done successfully, it holds the promise of performing a remarkable public policy trifecta — stimulating the economy, improving the environment and reducing income inequality all at the same time. Cash for Clunkers is not the pipe dream of some academic scribblers. Local variants are either now in operation or have been tested in California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Texas, Virginia and several Canadian provinces. So there is no need for a “proof of concept.” Rather, a national Cash for Clunkers program could learn from all this experience in building a better system. By pulling millions of old cars off the road, Cash for Clunkers would stimulate the demand for new cars as people trade up. It need hardly be pointed out that our ailing auto industry, like our ailing economy, could use a shot in the arm right now. Scrapping two million or more clunkers a year should help. With today’s concerns over stimulus, inequality and greenhouse gases, as well as an aging vehicle fleet, Cash for Clunkers is an idea whose time may finally have come.
Source: The New York Times

[Editor's Note: Alan S. Blinder is a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve.]

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NADA Update
NADA Convention Registration Opens Today

 

New Orleans is back – the site of the 2009 NADA Convention & Exposition January 24-27. And the Big Easy is ready for dealers to return. "The heart and the core of New Orleans, its commercial and its cultural core and its tourism and hospitality industry looks better than it did before the storm," says Stephen Perry, president and CEO, New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. The NADA convention committee recently met in New Orleans to see firsthand the city's progress. "New Orleans is definitely ready for the dealers to come back," says Annette Sykora, NADA chairman.

Convention registration and hotel reservations begin today. In recognition of tough economic times, registration fees and hotel rates have remained unchanged, and discounted airfare is available. More than 700 exhibitors, 150 dealer workshops, a heavy-weight lineup of speakers and an additional half-day of workshops, including "Lifeline to Profit$" (offered both Friday and Tuesday), are slated for the NADA convention.

In 2007, New Orleans hosted 7.1 million visitors. Since Hurricane Katrina, $700 million has been invested in new hotel renovations. More restaurants (913) are open in the city today than before Katrina. And the French Quarter is cleaner than ever. "It's amazing how clean the French Quarter is," Sykora says.

The theme of the NADA convention is "Committed to Community." Putting the theme into action, the NADA Charitable Foundation contributed $400,000 in May to the Brees Dream Foundation (founded by Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints quarterback) to complete the restoration of the athletic fields at Lusher High School, the city's largest public high school.

New Orleans has been a favorite NADA convention city for more than 30 years. The cultural experience of New Orleans continues to flourish, as it has for centuries. The city is the birthplace of jazz and the place of some of the world’s most popular musicians – from Louis Armstrong to Lenny Kravitz.

The most celebrated and historic core of the city – including the French Quarter, Faubourg Marigny, Central Business District, Warehouse and Arts District, Magazine Street, Garden District, Audubon Park and Zoo and St. Charles Avenue – is thriving. "From the time you enter the city, you can see that everything has been revitalized," says Jeff Carlson, chairman of the NADA convention committee.

Click here to register online or for more information.

 Click here for the video that shows just how much progress New Orleans has made since Katrina.

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New Executive Education Class Forming at Babson College

Applications for a new Dealer Executive Education class scheduled to begin in January 2009 at Babson College are due October 1. For those applications received on or before September 1st, the $600 application fee may be applied toward the initial installment payment for tuition and fees.

Babson is the  preeminent provider of entrepreneurial executive education training in the United States. It has been ranked No. 1 in entrepreneurship for 13 consecutive years  by U.S. News & World Report. The customized six-module program focuses on leadership, management and entrepreneurship for the retail side of the automotive and truck industry. All six week-long classes are being held on campus at the Babson Executive Education Center over a 16-month period. "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. "This is a lot more than just changing your dealership. This is about making myself a better leader," said executive education student Jared Hamilton of Henry Day Ford in Sandy, Utah.

Visit www.DealerExecEd.org to enroll and find out more about the program or contact Dealer Academy Director Allan Jones at (703) 821-7210 or ajones@nada.org.

  Click here to view a brief video on the program.

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NADA Publication Provides Guidance on New FTC 'Red Flags Rule'

McLEAN, Va. — In response to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s new Red Flags Rule — under which most dealers and other creditors must develop and implement a comprehensive Identity Theft Prevention Program by November 1 — NADA Management Education has released a new guide to assist with U.S. dealer compliance.

A Dealer Guide to the FTC Red Flags and Address Discrepancy Rules: Protecting Against Identity Theft (L50) explains the requirements under the Rule, and includes detailed, step-by-step guidance on developing the written program required under the Red Flags Rule, as well as a sample written program, worksheets and other helpful materials. All members will soon receive one free copy of the full guide in the mail. The sample written program is also being made available to members — free upon request, subject to terms and conditions — as a Word document to aid dealers in developing written programs specific to their dealerships in advance of the compliance deadline.

To receive these materials, contact me@nada.org with your request and member identification number. Additional copies of the guide, as well as a PDF version, are available to members for $40 each. The guide is also available to nonmembers for $80 each. The guide also will serve as the basis for two virtual seminars on the Red Flags Rule. Register for the seminars, to be held twice — August 26 and September 23 — at www.nada.org/seminars, or call (800) 248-6232, ext. 7061. For further information, visit the NADA Management Education online catalog at www.nada.org/mecatalog or call (703) 821-7227.
Source: NADA Newswire

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Save on HP Printers and Notebooks

 

NADA members can save $200 on HP Color LaserJet printers CP4005n and CP4005dn. Members can also save $200 on HP Compaq 6515b notebook PCs with broadband wireless service. To take advantage of these savings, visit NADA's PC Purchase Program and click "HP" (member login required).

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Featured Video
 

Click here for the video that shows just how much progress New Orleans has made since Katrina. The NADA convention returns to New Orleans January 24-27.  

More Video Highlights
Quotable
 
"The advantages of leasing have really disappeared."

    -- Chrysler Vice Chairman Jim Press explaining the company's decision to stop writing leases through its Chrysler Financial unit, Chicago Tribune, July 26


"Cash for Clunkers ... holds the promise of performing a remarkable public policy trifecta — stimulating the economy, improving the environment and reducing income inequality all at the same time."

   
-- Alan S. Blinder, professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, The New York Times (Opinion), July 27


"Whoever wants Jeep is going to have to buy Chrysler."

    -- Gerald Meyers, chairman of the former American Motors Corp., which owned Jeep until Chrysler snapped up AMC in the late 1980s, The Detroit News, July 28
Video Highlights
 
  
NADA and "SeeMore's Playhouse" Team Up to Promote Child Passenger Safety
NADA's New Orleans Project: Lusher Charter School
NADA's Return to New Orleans
NADA Chief Economist Forecasts a Challenging '08
Click here for more NADA-TV reports.
 
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