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Friday, August 15, 2008 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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At a Glance...
Top Stories
Automakers Take Different Routes Toward Recovery
Toyota Says U.S. Sales to Recover Slowly
Chrysler Not About to Fail, Analyst Says
Plug-in Hybrid from GM is Nearly Ready for Testing
NADAGuides.com Names Top Cars for Students
Committed to Community: Auto Dealership's Role Boosts Baseball's Fun
NADA Update
NADA Promotes Green Checkup Month in September
Results Are In: New NADA Directors Elected
Convention Registration is off to a Strong Start
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
Automakers Take Different Routes Toward Recovery

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Although continued stalled sales worry many industry watchers, auto executives are optimistic that next year won't be worse. Executives speaking at the annual Management Briefing Seminars sponsored by the Center for Automotive Research here this week were asked to address the topic: "Transcending Turbulence. A New Beginning?" With buyers virtually overnight fleeing formerly profitable SUVs and trucks and overall monthly sales at the lowest point in more than 15 years, the topic was fitting. No single solution was presented, but the automakers talked about the many little steps they'll take. In his speech Thursday morning, Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota brand, asked attendees to raise their hands if they thought things would get worse in the next two years. About 5% did so. But half the room raised hands when asked if things would get better. "Certainly that's the message," Carter says. "We can wring our hands … or we can listen to the consumer and deliver higher fuel efficiency and lower carbon emissions. Down markets create opportunities."
Source:  USA TODAY

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Toyota Says U.S. Sales to Recover Slowly

A top Toyota Motor Corp. executive predicted U.S. auto sales will eventually return to about 17 million cars and light trucks, but he said it will happen more gradually than auto makers originally hoped. To support his forecast, Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager for the Toyota division at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., cited the rising U.S. population... His assumptions also include gasoline stabilizing at $3.50 a gallon through 2010 and then climbing after that, possibly above $5 in the longer term. He also expects the restoration of full-size light-truck sales to two million vehicles. The estimate for truck sales this year is 1.45 million vehicles, down more than a million from its peak in recent years.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Chrysler Not About to Fail, Analyst Says

TRAVERSE CITY -- Fears of Chrysler LLC's imminent demise are overblown but the newly private automaker poses risks to the rest of the auto industry with its dramatic changes, a reputable industry analyst said Thursday. Business partners -- from parts makers to dealers -- face special risks because of secrecy around Chrysler's financial status and the expectation that it will ultimately be sold off to other automakers, Mark Warnsman, a Calyon Securities analyst, wrote in a note to investors Thursday. "Even as the prospects for the U.S. auto industry will improve when the economy turns the corner, Chrysler may prove to be a drag on that recovery," Warnsman wrote.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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Plug-in Hybrid from GM is Nearly Ready for Testing

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — General Motors said Thursday that it had “essentially finished” designing its first plug-in hybrid car, the Chevrolet Volt, and would have production-ready prototypes within 10 days. The automaker still has considerable work to do on the car’s lithium-ion battery and other technology in the two years before the Volt is scheduled to go on sale, but completing the design is a milestone for what is arguably the most crucial car in decades for G.M. As of Thursday afternoon, 35,750 people from all 50 states and 63 countries had signed up on an unofficial waiting list for the car at gm-volt.com...
Source:  The New York Times

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NADAGuides.com Names Top Cars for Students

COSTA MESA, Calif. — To help dealers better connect students with the right vehicles in the coming weeks, NADAguides.com has introduced its top 10 picks that are "cool for school." To determine the list, NADAguides.com said it considered affordability, reliability, safety, fuel economy, styling and ownership costs. "Never is the generation gap bigger than when parents and kids debate about what car to buy," said Don Christy Jr., president and chief executive officer for NADAguides.com. "It doesn't have to be hard, though. Parents can get what they want and kids can too."
Source:  AutoRemarketing

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Committed to Community: Auto Dealership's Role Boosts Baseball's Fun

The victory tasted extra sweet when the first place under-13 Libertyville Wildcats ... baseball team beat its crosstown rival, the Mundelein Mustangs, 12-1, on July 15 at Butler Lake Park in Libertyville, Ill. The game was filmed by the local NBC-affiliate as part of a Chicago Auto Trade Dealers Association documentary about local car dealerships and their involvement in the community. The Libertyville team's sponsor, Acura of Libertyville, was chosen to be featured in the documentary, which is scheduled to air in August during Channel 5's coverage of the Olympics. "We've been sponsoring teams in Libertyville and Mundelein for a long time," said Glenn Bockwinkel, co-owner of Acura of Libertyville. "I think (the documentary) shows how much local auto dealers do for the community."
Source:  Libertyville-Review.com

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NADA Update
NADA Promotes Green Checkup Month in September

New campaign shows drivers how to save gas and cut greenhouse gas emissions
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 greatest effect 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. (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 a “greenprint” for success.

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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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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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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 can wring our hands … or we can listen to the consumer and deliver higher fuel efficiency and lower carbon emissions. Down markets create opportunities."

   
-- Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota brand, USA TODAY, Aug. 15


"I think (the documentary) shows how much local auto dealers do for the community." 

    -- Glenn Bockwinkel, co-owner of Acura of Libertyville, who participated in a televised documentary about local car dealerships and their involvement in the community. The effort was sponsored by the Chicago Auto Trade Dealers Association, Libertyville-Review.com, Aug. 14


"Never is the generation gap bigger than when parents and kids debate about what car to buy."

    -- Don Christy Jr., president and chief executive officer for NADAguides.com, who just released a list of the top cars for students, AutoRemarketing, 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.

On the Lighter Side
 
Thanks for the tips, everyone!

Man Buys Truck with Change, LOTS of Change
I once bought an ice cream cone with two fistfuls of pennies. It did not make me popular on that busy summer's day many years ago... A 70-year-old Ohio man recently bellied up to the bar at his local Chevrolet dealer and allowed them to count $8,000 worth of coins as a down payment for a new Silverado. After the dealership spent an hour and a half counting through the various coinage in the 16 coffee cans ... he got his truck. You see, Jones ... wisely realizes that paper money will burn, so he kept his savings in coins all this time.
Source:  Dan Roth's Autoblog

 
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