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Monday, August 11, 2008 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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At a Glance...
Top Stories
Tight Credit Hinders Lease Deals
Small-car Sales Could Hit 3M if Automakers Meet Demand Challenge
Cost Cuts Alone Can't Save Chrysler
Media Outlets Losing Money From a Lack of Auto Ads
Researchers Work to Turn Car's Exhaust into Power
NADA Update
NADA Insurance Announces New Plan for Retiring and Career-changing Dealers
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
Lenovo PCs Power Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
Top Stories
Tight Credit Hinders Lease Deals

Detroit 3 dealers more likely to embrace 72-month loans; lease business shifts to imports
As automakers and big banks slash their vehicle leasing programs, dealers are finding few options. For customers who want or need low monthly payments, dealers say, financing will get tougher. Since July, the Detroit 3's captive finance companies and several national banks have placed strict new limits on leasing or exited the business. Industry experts predict the cutbacks will have these effects: New-vehicle purchases financed by loans of six years or longer, once rare, will become more prevalent. Some independent lenders will seek to increase their leasing business, but their programs are likely to be less competitive and more restrictive than the factory-subsidized leases offered by captives. Customers who still want to lease vehicles will shift from Detroit 3 to import brands.
Source: Automotive News

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Small-car Sales Could Hit 3M if Automakers Meet Demand Challenge

Small cars are on track to hit a sales level this year not seen since the 1980s — if automakers can build enough. Both Ford Motor and General Motors officials say they think small-car sales could hit 3 million, an increase of more than 10% from last year. Ford sales analyst George Pipas says that by his calculation, the closest previous total was 2.9 million in 1986. The sales trend is significant because it shows how seriously many motorists are taking the rise in gasoline prices. It also raises questions about whether small-car sales growth can be sustained if pump prices tumble along with oil. Small-car sales are 10.9% higher than last year through July, says industry tracker Autodata. At the same time, overall sales of new vehicles declined by an almost equal amount, 10.5%.
Source: USA TODAY

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Cost Cuts Alone Can't Save Chrysler

Healthy future relies on product development
Jim Press — Chrysler LLC's co-president and optimist-in-chief — says the company has slashed costs and is meeting its cash flow targets. So why is Wall Street so gloomy? In a report last week, Moody's Investors Service downgraded Chrysler's rating three notches to Caa1 — a pessimistic "junk" rating. The bottom line: Chrysler is slashing jobs, unused production capacity and assets to become smaller and more profitable. But is it spending enough on product development to ensure a healthy future? The Moody's report suggests the answer may be no. J. Bruce Clark, senior vice president of Moody's corporate finance group, praised Chrysler for its "relatively aggressive and successful cost-cutting program." But he adds that Chrysler must establish adequate demand for its minivans and crossovers, given the weakness of its car lineup. And over a three-year period, companies with similar Moody's credit ratings had a 30 percent chance of default.
Source: Automotive News

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Media Outlets Losing Money From a Lack of Auto Ads

The flight of advertising dollars to the Internet is one explanation for the pain felt by traditional media. Another culprit that is increasingly to blame is Detroit. For all the discussion of new media’s role in hurting profits and revenues at traditional media outlets — newspapers, magazines, broadcast television and radio — the sharp downturn in the auto industry is another big culprit, and is taking an increasing toll on the advertising revenue generated by the media. In the first quarter alone, the auto industry spent $414 million less on advertising than in last year’s first quarter... And it’s not just the local newspaper or television station that is hurting from cutbacks in advertising by the local car dealerships. Newspapers were the hardest hit, losing $131 million in auto advertising, much of the decline coming from local dealerships that are having trouble moving cars off their lots. “You’re talking about cars sitting on lots for 90 days,” said Mort Goldstrom, vice president for advertising at the Newspaper Association of America. “The dealers are saying, ‘I have cars that won’t move. And I can’t advertise.’ It’s because of cash flow.”
Source: The New York Times

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Researchers Work to Turn Car's Exhaust into Power

WARREN, Mich. -- The stinky, steaming air that escapes from a car's tailpipe could help us use less gas. Researchers are competing to meet a challenge from the U.S. Department of Energy: Improve fuel economy 10 percent by converting wasted exhaust heat into energy that can help power the vehicle. General Motors Corp. is close to reaching the goal, as is a BMW AG supplier working with Ohio State University. Their research into thermoelectrics - the science of using temperature differences to create electricity - couldn't come at a better time as high gas prices accelerate efforts to make vehicles as efficient as possible.
Source: Associated Press

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NADA Update
NADA Insurance Announces New Plan for Retiring and Career-changing Dealers

NADA Insurance is offering a new, two-year continuation life plan to NADA members who are either retiring or transitioning out of the retail-automobile industry. "In the spirit of supporting dealers who have been loyal clients of NADA's insurance programs over the years, this new program is available to them once they are no longer NADA members," says Lin Peacock, vice president of NADA Insurance. The plan is available to members who have been NADA Insurance clients for a minimum of five years. The current policy and premiums remain the same. No additional applications or underwriting are necessary. To learn more about this new enhancement to the NADA Insurance Dealer Life Plan, call NADA Insurance at (888) 461-6232.

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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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Lenovo PCs Power Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

  

Lenovo, a major sponsor of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, is providing 30,000 computers to power all aspects of the games. Imagine what they can do for you! NADA members can save up to 36 percent on select ThinkPad notebooks with eCoupon USXBACKTOSCHOOL at checkout. This offer ends August 25. 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.

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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
 
"There is a big portfolio of customers who have leased vehicles for a long time. There's going to be a defection to other brands because now Chrysler, General Motors and maybe Ford don't offer competitive programs."

    -- Carlos Hoz de Vila, a suburban Philadelphia dealer who operates domestic and import franchises, Automotive News, August 11


Dealers of all makes and models could sell up to 300,000 more cars this year if they could get all the small vehicles that buyers are demanding.


    -- Mark LaNeve, a GM vice president, in a recent press briefing, USA TODAY, August 10


"We talked to Chrysler. We said we've got to have something to drive traffic."

    -- Dick Greenfield, owner of Dick Greenfield Dodge in Lawrenceville, N.J., wishes Chrysler would spend more money on advertising to help bring customers into his showroom, Automotive News, August 11


"If I can use some of that heat energy and convert it to electricity, you can improve the overall efficiency."

    -- GM researcher Jihui Yang referring to a joint effort between automakers and the Department of Energy to convert wasted exhaust heat into energy that can help power a vehicle, Associated Press, August 10
Video Highlights
 
  
NADA's New Orleans Project: Lusher Charter School


NADA's Return to New Orleans
NADA and "SeeMore's Playhouse" Promote Child Passenger Safety Month in September
 


Click here for more NADA-TV reports.

 
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