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Top Stories
Chrysler Gets a Jolt of Lease Traffic
GMAC Raises Floorplan Rates, Reduces Lease Programs
GM Says Several Parties Interested in Hummer Brand
Nardelli: Chrysler Alliances May Yield Cars Next Year
Ford Downsizing Cuts Deeply Into Design, Engineering Units
Opinion: It's Still True: Product is King
NADA Update
NADA Convention Registration Now Open
New Executive Education Class at Babson College Begins in January
NADA Publication Provides Guidance on New FTC 'Red Flags Rule'
NADA Management Education Video Helps Dealers Create Special Finance Operations
Save on HP Printers and Notebooks
Top Stories
Chrysler Gets a Jolt of Lease Traffic

A week ago Chrysler LLC announced its financial arm would stop offering leases on new cars and trucks, effective Friday. For some dealers, the move has sparked a boomlet. "It has been a frenzy," said Paul Steel, who runs three dealerships in Michigan, including Southfield Chrysler Jeep outside Detroit. "Everyone is trying to get in now on a three-year lease hoping that Chrysler Financial will get back in the game by the time their lease is done." Mr. Steel has kept his dealerships open until midnight every night since Monday, and he expects his staff will be working until at least 2 a.m. Friday to process all the orders.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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GMAC Raises Floorplan Rates, Reduces Lease Programs

DETROIT -- In a letter to General Motors’ dealers [Thursday], GMAC Financial Services says it will raise interest rates for dealer floorplan financing and boost consumer financing rates. The increases will affect consumer leases and purchases of new and used vehicles. GMAC also is working with GM to reduce the number of U.S. leases in which GM offers a rate below the standard rate. “GMAC is taking steps to align its financing program to changing market conditions,” says Sue Mallino, a GMAC spokeswoman.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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GM Says Several Parties Interested in Hummer Brand

General Motors says several outside parties are interested in buying its Hummer brand... "We're talking to a number of parties that are interested in Hummer," [company spokesman Tom] Wilkinson said Thursday. "We can't comment on negotiations at this point." Industry analysts have mentioned Mahindra as well as India's Tata Motors, which just acquired the Land Rover and Jaguar brands from Ford Motor, as possible buyers. Chinese automakers also are possible suitors.
Source:  Associated Press

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Nardelli: Chrysler Alliances May Yield Cars Next Year

Chrysler LLC could see the fruits of alliances with other automakers as quickly as next year, the company's CEO indicated Thursday. "If we're successful with some of our discussions relative to alliances or partnerships you very well could see some new platforms, some new vehicles out next year," Bob Nardelli, Chrysler CEO, said after a ribbon cutting for Sterling Heights Dodge's new commercial center. "For sure we've got a strong lineup coming in 2010 with all of the traditional brands," Nardelli said, "but more fuel efficiency, better performance, better fit, better finish, a lot more consumer-oriented responses."
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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Ford Downsizing Cuts Deeply Into Design, Engineering Units

DETROIT -- Downsizing efforts at Ford Motor Co. to cut roughly 2,000 jobs by Friday have claimed dozens of design and engineering positions, raising speculation about whether its European operations will now emerge as the leading creative engine inside the company. Cutbacks also come on news that the auto maker is making a radical shift in its future product mix away from trucks and sport-utility vehicles and towards small, more fuel efficient cars. Its new strategy counts on Ford introducing some of its European models into the U.S., sparking speculation that new vehicle design could be curtailed and could make a shift the balance of power in product development away from Dearborn.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Opinion: It's Still True: Product is King
by Keith Crain

The automobile business has turned upside down in the past few months. Detroit should understand that not only are big pickups and SUVs losing their appeal; the cars on the drawing boards aren't going to work anymore. The Detroit 3 must change their entire product portfolios — and do it overnight. Every product is going to make a huge difference to Detroit's success or failure. It will be exciting to watch as companies change their product portfolios over the next couple of years. They are on the right track if fuel prices don't fall dramatically. Who would have thought that you might not want cheaper fuel right now?
Source:  Automotive News

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NADA Update
NADA Convention Registration Now Open

 

New Orleans -- the site of the 2009 NADA Convention & Exposition January 24-27 -- is ready for dealers to return. "The heart and the core of New Orleans ... looks better than it did before ... [Katrina]," 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.

In 2007, New Orleans hosted 7.1 million visitors. Since Hurricane Katrina, $700 million has been invested in hotel renovations. More restaurants (913) are open in the city today than before the storm. And the French Quarter is cleaner than ever. "From the time you enter the city, you can see that everything has been revitalized," says Jeff Carlson, chairman of the NADA convention committee.

The theme of the 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.

Already hotel reservations are going fast. Be sure to take a moment now to register. 

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.

[Editor's Note: 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.]

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New Executive Education Class at Babson College Begins in January

Applications for a new Dealer Executive Education class scheduled to begin in January 2009 at Babson College are due October 1. For applications received on or before September 1, 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 becoming 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 Babson program.

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

McLEAN, Va. — In response to the Federal Trade Commission'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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NADA Management Education Video Helps Dealers Create Special Finance Operations

In response to a growing special finance market, NADA Management Education has released a new video training program on establishing a special finance department in the dealership. "Creating a Special Finance Operation: Doing it Right" (VT20) illustrates the key steps dealers and managers need to follow in order to build a special finance operation. Video segments—which include advice from experienced managers and dealers—cover staff appointment, the process of selling to the special finance customer, inventory and marketing. An additional case study reveals how one particular dealership succeeded in the special finance market. A 27-page study guide is offered as a companion piece to the DVD. The guide serves as a reference on establishing, running and marketing a special finance department, and includes a special finance quiz. The DVD and study guide are available for $169. Additional information and a four-minute preview are available at www.nada.org/specialfinance. For further inquiries, call NADA Management Education at (703) 821-7227.

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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
 

Registration for the NADA convention in New Orleans Jan. 24-27 is now open. Click here to see just how much progress New Orleans has made since Katrina.  

More Video Highlights
Quotable
 
"It has been a frenzy. Everyone is trying to get in now on a three-year lease hoping that Chrysler Financial will get back in the game by the time their lease is done."

    -- Paul Steel, who runs three dealerships in Michigan, The Wall Street Journal, August 1


"For sure we've got a strong lineup coming in 2010 with all of the traditional brands but more fuel efficiency, better performance, better fit, better finish ..."

    -- Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli, Detroit Free Press, August 1


"Demand for fuel-efficient vehicles is so strong that the customer is willing to buy used ones at a significant premium."

    -- J.D. Power's Tom Libby, USA TODAY, August 1

Video Highlights
 
  
NADA and "SeeMore's Playhouse" Promote Child Passenger Safety Month in September.
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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