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Thursday, August 14, 2008 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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At a Glance...
Top Stories
Arkansas Democratic Leader Shot at HQ was [Auto] Dealer
Man Fired from Job Kills Ark. Democratic Chairman
Toyota Exec Says Pickup Market Will Recover
Study Predicts 2020 Car Buying Options
Honda to Price New Hybrid Less than Civic, Compete with Prius
GM Engineer Says Rechargeable Car is on Schedule
Chrysler Seeks Partnerships to Expand Globally
NADA Update
NADA to Promote "Green Checkup" Month in September
Convention Registration is off to a Strong Start
Results Are In: New NADA Directors Elected
NADA Insurance Announces New Plan for Retiring and Career-changing Dealers
STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About Dealership Data Security
Lenovo PCs Power Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
Top Stories
Arkansas Democratic Leader Shot at HQ was [Auto] Dealer

Gwatney dies in hospital. Suspect shot dead after police chase.
Bill Gwatney, chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party and CEO of Gwatney Chevrolet in Jacksonville, Ark., died in a hospital [Wednesday] ... after being shot by a lone gunman at Democratic Party headquarters in Little Rock, officials said... He was 48. The motive for the shooting remained unknown. Police later shot and killed the suspect after a 30-mile chase. Police identified the suspect as 50-year-old Timothy Dale Johnson of Searcy, a town 50 miles northeast of Little Rock. According to news reports from Little Rock, police and witnesses say the gunman entered Democratic Party headquarters around noon and said he wanted to volunteer. Gwatney had been an early and enthusiastic supporter of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's failed bid for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. Gwatney, a former state senator, had been planning to travel to the Democratic National Convention later this month as a Clinton super delegate. Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, issued a statement saying that Gwatney was "not only a strong chairman of Arkansas' Democratic Party, but he is also a cherished friend and confidante." Gwatney's father opened the Chevrolet store in 1957, according to The North Little Rock Times. The family owns or controls five stores in Little Rock and Memphis, Ark.
Source: Automotive News, Associated Press and The Washington Post

[Editor's Note: NADA expresses its deepest sympathy to the Gwatney family. Bill Gwatney was a very active NADA member for many years. "Bill was active not only in Arkansas politics but also in Washington, D.C.," said NADA President Phil Brady. Most recently, he played a key role in helping NADA with its CAFE fight, traveling to Washington to present the dealer position on Capitol Hill. "We are truly saddened by this tragic loss," Brady added.]

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Man Fired from Job Kills Ark. Democratic Chairman

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Police and neighbors are struggling to explain why a man described as a loner drove more than 30 miles to Arkansas' Democratic Party headquarters and fatally shot its chairman hours after losing his job. Police said Timothy Dale Johnson, 50, of Searcy, barged into Bill Gwatney's office on Wednesday and shot him multiple times. There were no signs that Gwatney and Johnson ... knew each other. A Target store in Conway fired Johnson early Wednesday because he had written graffiti on a wall, police said. A Target statement Thursday said Johnson "voluntarily quit" and did give any details. Target said Johnson was an hourly employee at the Conway store, who had "no history of behavioral or performance problems at Target." After the shooting, Johnson sped away in a truck, stopped seven blocks away at the Arkansas State Baptist Convention and pointed a gun at the building's manager, police said. When asked what was wrong, the gunman said "I lost my job," according to Dan Jordan, the church group's business manager. Officers chased the suspect to Sheridan, 30 miles south of Little Rock. After avoiding spike strips and a roadblock, the suspect emerged from his truck and began shooting at deputies and state troopers, who returned fire. Johnson later died at a hospital. Police said they could find no criminal record for Johnson.
Source: Associated Press

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Toyota Exec Says Pickup Market Will Recover

Toyota’s U.S. sales chief said [Wednesday] that he’s confident the U.S. pickup truck market will rebound and continue to make up a large part of total sales. Robert Carter, general manager of Toyota Division at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., told Automotive News that he expects full-size pickup truck sales to total 1.45 million in 2008 -- a significant drop from last year’s sales of 2.14 million units. “We are absolutely confident that the recovery will take place, it’s just arguable when,” he said.
Source:  Automotive News

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Study Predicts 2020 Car Buying Options

Auto executives envision consumers using all-electric vehicles with 10-year batteries
DETROIT -- Auto industry executives predict that over the next decade, consumers will see a new auto sales model that allows them to access a variety of vehicles based on their needs, according to a study released Wednesday by IBM Automotive. Consumers would still pay one price, but they might have access to a small car for their daily commute and a more luxurious car or sport utility vehicle for the weekend. The study [also] predicts that all-electric, plug-in vehicles will be a reality by 2020, and that the battery technology for electric cars could also change the way vehicles are financed. Executives anticipated that batteries will cost up to 15 percent of the total cost of vehicles in some segments, making those vehicles significantly more expensive than those with traditional engines.
Source:  Associated Press

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Honda to Price New Hybrid Less than Civic, Compete with Prius

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan -- A Honda Motor executive said Wednesday it will price its new hybrid lower than its current Civic hybrid to compete with Toyota's Prius. Richard Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda Motor told an industry seminar in Traverse City that the new five-door, five-passenger hybrid will be launched next spring. "We're targeting sales of 100,000 units of this new vehicle in North America," he said...
Source:  Associated Press

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GM Engineer Says Rechargeable Car is on Schedule

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Early versions of the Chevrolet Volt's battery packs are powerful enough to run the high-stakes rechargeable car, but dozens of issues remain before General Motors Corp. can start selling the revolutionary vehicle in 2010 as planned. But the 47-year-old veteran GM engineer who was recruited from a GM post in Germany to run the high-profile project is driven by knowing the entire company's future could rest on it. "At this point, there's nothing standing in our way of continuing to do what we said we're going to do," Andrew Farah, the Volt's chief engineer, said...
Source:  Associated Press

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Chrysler Seeks Partnerships to Expand Globally

Chrysler LLC will aggressively pursue partnerships with other auto makers to expand its global reach, and its president dismissed the idea that joint ventures may damage the value of Chrysler's own brand. [Chairman and President Tom LaSorda] pledged that every joint venture will either produce an entirely new vehicle not already in Chrysler's lineup or it will be limited to a slightly modified car or truck made or designed by the partner but that doesn't compete with an existing Chrysler model in the same market. Chrysler also announced a $1.8 billion investment to convert one of its two Detroit plants to build a car-based crossover vehicle based on a design developed with Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz. That vehicle will replace the aging Jeep Grand Cherokee and retain its name yet will include a more fuel-efficient V-6 "Phoenix" engine when it hits showrooms in 2010, Mr. LaSorda said.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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NADA Update
NADA to Promote "Green Checkup" Month in September

New campaign shows drivers how to save gas and cut greenhouse gas emissions
McLEAN, Va. – With high fuel prices and vehicle emissions on the minds of many Americans, the incentive has never been greater for car owners to improve their vehicle’s fuel economy. To help motorists save money at the gas pump and, at the same time, cut greenhouse gas emissions through proper vehicle maintenance, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) is promoting September as “Green Checkup” Month.

NADA is urging its members to offer free Green Checkups at their dealerships. The Green Checkup focuses on the things that have the most affect on fuel economy, such as oil and air filters, engine performance, tire pressure and emission controls. Participating dealers can refer to the Green Checkup Guidelines, which provide the estimated tech hours to perform a Green Checkup.

“Dealerships are located in every major community in the country which means we are ideally positioned to be at the forefront of a national consumer awareness campaign,” says Annette Sykora, NADA chairman and owner of two dealerships in Texas. “Our goal with the Green Checkups is to highlight simple steps that car owners can take to maintain their vehicles in top running condition.”

Already, dealers in nine states have signed up to become Green Checkup Dealers. (Click here to sign up to become a Green Checkup Dealer.) Dealers may decide to provide the Green Checkup along with inspections of child passenger safety seats that are also offered at many dealerships in the month of September. “I know that’s what I plan to do,” Sykora says. “While customers wait in line to have their child safety seats inspected, we will offer them the option of having the Green Checkup.” Although NADA is promoting Green Checkup Month in September, the program is designed for dealers to offer checkups as part of their routine service year-round.

To help dealers raise public awareness of how the auto industry is increasing fuel economy through innovation and new technologies, NADA created the Toolkit “A New Car is a Green Car.” The toolkit is designed to highlight how easy it is to be green. It includes tips on hosting green driving events, participating in the Green Checkup program and case studies that offer “greenprints” for success.

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Convention Registration is off to a Strong Start

 

Registration for the 2009 NADA Convention & Exposition in New Orleans January 24-27 opened only two weeks ago and three hotels are already sold out and sales of exhibit 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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Results Are In: New NADA Directors Elected

NADA Directors from four states have been elected. They are:

  • South Carolina: Cliff C. Goodwin, III (Goodwin Honda Mitsubishi Volkswagen) succeeds William Bradshaw.
  • Metropolitan Washington, DC: Tamara C. Darvish (DARCARS Automotive Group) succeeds Geoffrey Pohanka.
  • Georgia: Ramsey T. "Bub" Way (Way Brothers Ford) succeeds Martin NeSmith.
  • Kansas: David Shepherd (Shepherd Team Auto Plaza) succeeds Dale Willey.

Goodwin and Darvish serve 3-year terms beginning Jan. 27, 2009. The announcements will be made at the NADA convention in New Orleans. Shepherd also takes office Jan. 27 to serve the rest of Willey's term, which expires Feb. 2011. Way takes office immediately to serve NeSmith's remaining term, which expires Feb. 2010.

Eighteen directors were re-elected: Tom Johnson, Ariz.; Peter Blackstock, Northern Calif.; John Symes, Southern Calif.; Jeff Carlson, Colo.; Gary Reynolds, Conn.; Joe Hanley, Hawaii; Greg Taylor, Idaho; Rick Gregg, Ill.; John McEleney, Iowa; Ray Ciccolo, Mass.; William Adamson, Minn.; Butch Oustalet, Miss.; Bill Fox, N.Y. State; Neale Kuperman, Metropolitan N.Y.; Chuck Eddy, Ohio; David Penske, Eastern Pa.; Doug Knust, S.D.; and George Miller, W.Va.

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

NADA Insurance is offering a new, two-year continuation of NADA's Dealer Life Insurance plan for members who are either retiring or transitioning out of the retail-automotive 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 Dealer Life Insurance plan, call NADA Insurance at (888) 461-6232.

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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
 
"We are truly saddened by this tragic loss."

   
-- NADA President Phil Brady referring to the death of NADA member Bill Gwatney, NADA Headlines, Aug. 14


"We are absolutely confident that the recovery will take place, it's just arguable when." 

    -- Robert Carter, general manager of Toyota Division at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., says the pickup market will rebound, Automotive News, Aug. 14


"One of the biggest dissatisfiers to customers is when, at the time they want to sell their vehicles, if it's lost a lot of value."

    -- Mark Fields, president of the Americas for Ford Motor Co., USA TODAY, Aug. 14


"At this point, there's nothing standing in our way of continuing to do what we said we're going to do."

    -- Andrew Farah, the Chevrolet Volt's chief engineer, indicating the Volt is still on schedule, Associated Press, Aug. 14
Video Highlights
 
  
NADA's New Orleans "Committed to Community" 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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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.