For optimal viewing through your web browser or PDA, click here.

SPONSORED BY
 
NADA.org
Tuesday, August 19, 2008 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Home | AdvocacyAffiliates | Convention | Jobs | Programs | Publications | Training | Services
At a Glance...
Top Stories
Dealers, Automakers Launch Fuel-saving Effort
Fewer Buyers are Satisfied with Big 3
GM Returns to Employee Pricing Promotion to Lift Sales
GM to Trim Lease Deals for 3 of its Brands
Chrysler Head Designer is Latest to Leave Firm
Opinion: Shifting to a Greener Attitude on Tire Ratings
NADA Update
NADA Promotes Green Checkup Month in September
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
Dealers, Automakers Launch Fuel-saving Effort

WASHINGTON -- Automakers and dealers today helped launch a campaign aimed at reducing fuel use by persuading consumers to drive smarter and take better care of their vehicles. The campaign, called EcoDriving, was unveiled in an online announcement by industry leaders and two state governors, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and Democrat Bill Ritter of Colorado. In a related measure, the National Automobile Dealers Association said it is encouraging dealers to offer free vehicle checkups in September. Many dealers will link the "green" checkups with free child safety seat inspections, said NADA Chairman Annette Sykora, a Texas dealer. Sykora took part in the EcoDriving announcement.
Source:  Automotive News

[back to top]

Fewer Buyers are Satisfied with Big 3

Detroit's automakers lost ground this year to their Japanese and German rivals in the latest customer satisfaction survey by the University of Michigan, marking a reversal for U.S. manufacturers. In recent years, the domestic automakers had been closing the gap with their competitors in the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which asks owners to rate their satisfaction with the brand of vehicle they own.  "This year is more ominous. It's all foreign at the top and all American at the bottom," [said Claes Fornell, who heads the study.] Fornell attributed the drop to rising fuel prices, which he said have soured consumers to the big trucks and sport utility vehicles that have until recently been the focus of U.S. automakers. The survey targets consumers who have purchased their vehicle between six months and three years ago. Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus brand was first, followed by Germany's BMW AG. Toyota was third, followed by Honda Motor Co.
Source:  The Detroit News

[back to top]

GM Returns to Employee Pricing Promotion to Lift Sales

DETROIT — General Motors, aiming to boost sagging sales, rolled out a major promotion for U.S. dealers Monday that includes employee-level discounts on almost all the Chevrolet cars and trucks in its showrooms. The discount offer takes effect Wednesday and marks GM's return to a strategy it had abandoned in the last two years in an effort to make its pricing more transparent and to wean American consumers from fire-sale blowout deals. "It's not a new theme, but, on the other hand, the track record of GM's incentive programs has been very good," said the dealer briefed on the new discounts.
Source:  Reuters

[back to top]

GM to Trim Lease Deals for 3 of its Brands

In another sign that the auto industry is pulling away from lease deals, General Motors Corp. is cutting back incentives on new GMC, Buick and Pontiac vehicles. Dealers learned Monday that the only lease deal they'll have to offer for those brands through GM's partially owned financial arm GMAC will be on the Pontiac G6, said Russ Shelton, owner of Shelton Pontiac Buick GMC in Rochester Hills. The narrowed leasing incentives start Wednesday. It is unclear what kind of leasing deals GM will support for other brands, including Chevrolet, Saturn and Hummer.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

[back to top]

Chrysler Head Designer is Latest to Leave Firm

Chrysler LLC said its head designer, Trevor Creed, will retire effective Sept. 1, the latest in a string of executive departures since the auto maker was acquired a year ago by private-equity group Cerberus Capital Management LP. Mr. Creed, 63 years old and a 23-year veteran at Chrysler, will be succeeded as vice president of design by Ralph Gilles, now head of design for trucks and Chrysler's Jeep brand. Mr. Gilles is considered a rising star in the auto industry. He had a hand in styling the Chrysler 300 sedan that was a hot-seller a few years ago and oversaw design of the new Dodge Ram pickup coming out later this year.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

[back to top]

Opinion: Shifting to a Greener Attitude on Tire Ratings
by Cindy Skrzycki

As Americans try to squeeze every last mile out of a gallon of gasoline, one regulatory option hasn't been given much of a road test: telling consumers the fuel efficiency of their tires. As gas prices have hit $4 a gallon and more, the idea of reducing tire "rolling resistance" to improve vehicle gas mileage is gaining traction. A 2006 study by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that it was feasible to reduce rolling resistance by 10 percent. This would increase the fuel economy of vehicles by 1 to 2 percent, saving up to 2 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel annually. After 12 years of blocking any such standard, Congress has ordered a consumer information program by next year to inform buyers on what to expect from tires on fuel economy. Daniel Zielinksi, spokesman for the Rubber Manufacturers Association ... said the industry now agrees on the new requirement to inform buyers about the fuel efficiency of tires. "We advocated that rather than more information on the sidewall, better the information be required at the point of sale," Zielinski said.
Source:  The Washington Post

[Editor's Note: Cindy Skrzycki is a regulatory columnist for Bloomberg News.]

[back to top]

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, more than 100 dealers in 30 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.

[back to top]

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.]

[back to top]

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.

[back to top]

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.

[back to top]

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.

[back to top]

 
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
 
Many dealers will link the "green" checkups with free child safety seat inspections.

   
-- NADA Chairman Annette Sykora at a press conference in Denver announcing "Green Checkup" Month in September in conjunction with Child Passenger Safety Month, Automotive News, Aug. 18


"It's not a new theme, but, on the other hand, the track record of GM's incentive programs has been very good."

    -- A dealer briefed by GM on the return of the employee pricing promotion, Reuters, Aug. 19
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.

 
Search Back Issues | Unsubscribe/Manage your subscription | email us
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.