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At a Glance...
Top Stories
Chrysler's Future Cloudy After Year with Cerberus
GM Board's Support of CEO Continues
Toyota Expects Profits to Plunge
Ford Execs Shuffled to Focus on Product
Dingell Presses for Approval of Auto Industry Loans
Opinion: Detroit Finally Gets It. Is it too Late?
NADA Update
Registration for the NADA Convention in New Orleans is off to a Strong Start
Convention Workshop Recordings Now Available at Discounted Cost
STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About Dealership Data Security
Save on Lenovo ThinkPad Notebooks
Top Stories
Chrysler's Future Cloudy After Year with Cerberus

DETROIT -- After running Chrysler LLC for a year, Cerberus Capital Management LP must be wondering if its mascot, the three-headed dog that guards the gates of hell, is protecting it from the underworld or leading it into the flames. "Their timing is horrendous," said Gerald Meyers, a former chairman of American Motors Corp... "They couldn't have picked a worse time to get into the automobile business domestically." Chrysler puts a positive spin on the headlines. ...in a conference call to announce July sales last week, Vice Chairman and President Jim Press said a company should be judged by how it performs when times are tough. "The strongest steel comes from the hottest fire, and while this is like dancing on the sun, we're making significant improvements in our business," said Press, who was lured from Toyota Motor Corp. to lead Chrysler's marketing.
Source:  Associated Press

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GM Board's Support of CEO Continues

General Motors Corp.'s board remains behind Chief Executive Rick Wagoner following the company's $15.5 billion loss in the second quarter, the company said Tuesday. "The board has expressed its support for Rick Wagoner and the GM management team on several occasions, and that has not changed," said GM spokesman Steve Harris. One person close to the directors said the board "is totally behind Rick, realizing nobody could deal with this situation any better than he." This person added, "It's a case of an excellent plan, [and] delivering on all promises. "Mr. Wagoner has been at GM's helm as CEO since mid-2000. In recent years, he has cut $9 billion in structural costs, reworked the contract with the United Auto Workers union and accelerated growth in markets outside the core U.S. business.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Toyota Expects Profits to Plunge

Rounding out a bleak earnings season for automakers, Toyota Motor Corp. is expected to report a steep drop in quarterly profits Thursday because of slumping U.S. auto sales. Unfavorable currency trends also weighed on the Japanese automaker, according to analysts who forecast its operating earnings may be down more than 40 percent for the three months to June 30. Toyota previously cautioned investors that profit for the fiscal year that began April 1 would fall for the first time in seven years, to 27 percent below last year's record level of $15 billion.
Source:  The Detroit News

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Ford Execs Shuffled to Focus on Product

Sales and marketing chief Farley gives daily duties to new recruit so he can work more on new lineup
On Monday, Ford's new U.S. sales and marketing director Ken Czubay held a "town hall" meeting with employees in Dearborn, outlining the division of labor between himself and chief marketing officer Jim Farley. Czubay told employees that he will take responsibility for sales and marketing operations in the United States so Farley can spend more time working to fine-tune Ford's product plan. Farley, himself a former Toyota Motor Corp. executive, recruited Czubay from Lexus last month. "That allows Jim Farley to work more closely with Derrick Kuzak and the product team to further shore up our product plans," said Ford spokeswoman Jennifer Flake.] Farley will work with Kuzak to make sure Ford keeps up with the rapidly evolving retail market in the United States, which has recently shifted to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Source:  The Detroit News

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Dingell Presses for Approval of Auto Industry Loans

Michigan Democrat asks for release of $25B to convert factories for alternative-fuel vehicles
Michigan Congressman John Dingell is asking the federal government to speed rules that would free up $25 billion in government loans to convert General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC factories to build alternative-fuel vehicles. The loans were authorized in last year's energy bill, and the guidelines were supposed to be written within a year of its December passage, Dingell wrote in a letter to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman this week. "It is essential for the department to undertake this effort with urgency," wrote Dingell, a Democrat and chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "Providing the domestic automobile industry with targeted and timely assistance will help stimulate the entire economy."
Source:  The Detroit News

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Opinion: Detroit Finally Gets It. Is it too Late?
by James B. Stewart

Now we see the results of the myopia that has afflicted Detroit auto executives. These are the people who staked their companies' futures on gas-guzzling, heavyweight behemoths. Auto execs claim they were giving Americans the products they wanted. Really? For proof to the contrary, look at their U.S. market shares, which are slumping to historically low levels as Japanese auto makers gain ground. My purpose here is not to further berate the U.S. auto makers. Far more encouraging is the possibility that reality has penetrated the fog that envelops Detroit. At last Ford appears to be making bold moves to design and sell vehicles that people want. Even GM seems to be facing reality. It, too, is accelerating production of efficient four-cylinder engines, and announced a global Chevrolet small-car initiative. Can these moves save these venerable companies? The timetable is daunting. There will always be some demand for trucks and large passenger vehicles, and now that gas has dropped below $4 a gallon, sales may pick up a little. But gas-guzzling SUVs were a fad that I suspect will never return.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

[Editor's Note:  Stewart is a columnist for SmartMoney magazine and SmartMoney.com.]

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NADA Update
Registration for the NADA Convention in New Orleans is off to a Strong Start

 

Registration for the 2009 NADA Convention & Exposition in New Orleans Jan. 24-27 opened only a week ago and already three hotels are sold out and sales of exhibition space are strong. "We're very pleased," says Steve Pitt, vice president of NADA conventions. "This is a nice, strong start for the convention." Since Katrina, more than $1 billion has been invested in hotel renovations. More restaurants (913) are open in the city today than before Katrina, and the French Quarter is cleaner than ever. "The heart and the core of New Orleans ... looks better than it did before the storm," says Stephen Perry, president and CEO, New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Hotel reservations are going fast. Be sure to take a moment now to register by clicking here.

 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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Convention Workshop Recordings Now Available at Discounted Cost

Take advantage of a special package deal on the 2008 NADA Convention Workshop recordings to hear the audio and see the PowerPoint visuals exactly as they happened in the sessions. Buy the complete AudioPoint package for $695—a savings of more than $500—with free shipping. For more information, call Playback Now at (800) 241-7785 or go to www.iplaybackNADA.com. Use Promocode 508-5 to receive special pricing and free shipping.

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STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About Dealership Data Security

 

Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR) has developed new guidelines to help dealers evaluate their Dealership Data Security. Visit STAR's Dealer Infrastructure Guidelines (DIG) publication for more information. To learn how dealerships should test their security plans click here.

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Save on Lenovo ThinkPad Notebooks

 Click here for savings

NADA members can save up to 36 percent on select ThinkPad notebooks from Lenovo in three ways:

  • Instant savings with discounted Web pricing
  • Save even more with your NADA discount
  • Enter eCoupon USXBACKTOSCHOOL at checkout

To take advantage of these savings, visit NADA's PC Purchase Program online (member login required), then click on www.lenovo.com/shop/deals/nada or call (800) 426-7235, Option 1, Ext. 4838. Free ground shipping is available on all Web orders.

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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
 
"The strongest steel comes from the hottest fire, and while this is like dancing on the sun, we're making significant improvements in our business."

   
-- Chrysler Vice Chairman and President Jim Press says a company should be judged by how it performs when times are tough, Associated Press, August 5


"The board has expressed its support for Rick Wagoner and the GM management team on several occasions, and that has not changed." 

    -- GM spokesman Steve Harris, The Wall Street Journal, August 6


"Providing the domestic automobile industry with targeted and timely assistance will help stimulate the entire economy." 

    -- Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) urging the federal government to speed rules that would free up $25 billion in government loans to convert factories to build alternative-fuel vehicles, The Detroit News, August 6
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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