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Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2008 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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At a Glance...
Top Stories
Big 3 Gain Loan Support
August Auto Sales May Rise
Automakers Tweak Existing Models to Boost Mileage
Honda Stays True to Efficient Driving
BMW Raises U.S. Vehicle Prices 2.1% on Higher Costs
NADA Update
Sign Up Today to Become a Green Checkup Dealer
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
Save up to 42% on Select ThinkPad Notebooks
Top Stories
Big 3 Gain Loan Support

Automakers ramp up lobbying efforts to secure cheap loans for building fuel-efficient vehicles.
WASHINGTON -- Democrats will back direct government loans for automakers in their platform this week as Michigan delegates and lobbyists for all of Detroit's Big Three car companies work the party convention in Denver for support. Automakers are pushing -- in Denver this week and at the Republican convention next week in St. Paul -- to win up to $50 billion in low-cost government loans to help them retool and build advanced-technology vehicles. They also plan an aggressive lobbying effort in Washington next month that could include a joint visit to Capitol Hill by Detroit's Big Three CEOs. The Democrats have added a plank to their platform in support of the program, saying: "We will bring together government, private industry, workers, and academia to turn around the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy and provide assistance to automakers and parts companies to encourage retooling of facilities in this country to produce advanced technology vehicles and their key components." It also supports a "measure that gives manufacturers access to low-interest loans to help convert factories to build more fuel-efficient vehicles."
Source:  The Detroit News

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August Auto Sales May Rise

But numbers far below last year; slight recovery from July may be due to incentives, analysts say
Auto sales appear to be tracking well below last August's levels, but are likely to show an improvement over last month's alarmingly weak numbers after automakers boosted incentive spending, forecasters and analysts say. They estimate this month's annualized selling rate at slightly more than 13 million cars and light trucks, compared with 16.2 million a year ago.  Analysts and dealers said General Motors Corp.'s centennial sales bonanza appeared to be underpinning demand. Full-size trucks and SUVs are selling briskly in Ogden, Utah, a stark contrast to a week before the latest GM offer. "Nobody wants them until they can get them cheap," said Cory Watson, sales manager at John Watson Chevrolet. "We've definitely seen a spike in sales. The only downfall for us is when (the offer) ends. It will be short-lived, I'm afraid."
Source:  The Detroit News

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Automakers Tweak Existing Models to Boost Mileage

With gasoline still hovering around $4 per gallon, many manufacturers are making far more than the usual tweaks to cars and trucks between model years to squeeze out one or two more miles per gallon and catch customers who increasingly rank fuel economy as a top factor when buying a vehicle. "Fuel economy is very important," said Greg Peterson, General Motors Corp.'s vehicle performance manager for compact cars, including the Cobalt. "That is one of the drivers in the changes that we made." With the U.S. auto market continuing its shift from trucks and SUVs to more efficient cars and car-based crossovers, automakers say they'll keep adding technology from year to year to keep making their cars more efficient.
Source:  Associated Press

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Honda Stays True to Efficient Driving

Despite the huge profits that its competitors were minting by making larger vehicles, Honda Motor never veered from its mission of building fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly cars like its Accord sedan. While competitors are scrambling to shift their product lineups to build more small vehicles and slash their bloated inventories of trucks, Honda can barely keep up with demand, particularly in the subcompact category. Honda’s focus on fuel efficiency is paying off on the bottom line as well. The Japanese automaker reported a record profit of 179.61 billion yen ($1.68 billion), during its fiscal first quarter that ended in June, an 8.1 percent jump from the previous year. “Honda is a philosophy-driven company,” said Tetsuo Iwamura, president of Honda North America. “Even when the large S.U.V.’s and trucks were big sellers, they did not fit with our philosophy.”
Source:  The New York Times

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BMW Raises U.S. Vehicle Prices 2.1% on Higher Costs

[BMW], the world's largest maker of luxury autos, said it's raising U.S. prices on 2009-model ... vehicles an average of 2.1 percent because of higher raw-material costs. The increase is for vehicles that begin sales in October, Munich-based BMW said ... in a statement on its Web site. The automaker is coping with rising steel prices and a weak dollar, which makes it more expensive to build vehicles in Europe and sell them in the U.S.
Source:  Bloomberg

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NADA Update
Sign Up Today to Become a Green Checkup Dealer

NADA is urging its members to offer free Green Checkups at their dealerships during the month of September. 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.

Already, more than 160 dealers in 36 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 September. “While customers wait in line to have their child safety seats inspected, we will offer them the option of having the Green Checkup,” says Annette Sykora, NADA chairman.

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 is open. 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 convention. Since Hurricane Katrina, more than $1 billion has been invested in hotel renovations. More than 900 restaurants 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," said Stephen Perry, president and CEO, New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. Hotels rooms are selling out fast. Be sure to take a moment now to register by clicking here.

 Click here to see just how much progress New Orleans has made since Katrina.

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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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Save up to 42% on Select ThinkPad Notebooks

  

NADA members can save three ways:

  • Instant savings with discounted Web pricing;
  • Save even more with your NADA discount; and
  • Enter eCoupon USXLABORDAY at checkout.

Visit www.nada.org/Technology/PCpurchaseprogram/default.htm (member log-in required), then click www.lenovo.com/shop/deals/nada or call (800) 426-7235, Option 1, Ext. 4838 to take advantage of these savings. Enter eCoupon USXLABORDAY at checkout.  Hurry! Limited time offer! 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
 
"We've definitely seen a spike in sales. The only downfall for us is when (the offer) ends. It will be short-lived, I'm afraid."

   
-- Cory Watson, sales manager at John Watson Chevrolet of Ogden, Utah, referring to the recent uptick in sales from GM's centennial sales promotion, The Detroit News, August 26


"Fuel economy is very important. That is one of the drivers in the changes that we made."

    -- Greg Peterson, General Motors Corp.'s vehicle performance manager for compact cars, explaining how automakers are tweaking existing models to boost mileage, Associated Press, August 26


"Honda is a philosophy-driven company. Even when the large SUVs and trucks were big sellers, they did not fit with our philosophy."

    -- Tetsuo Iwamura, president of Honda North America, explaining the automaker's ability to stay true to fuel-efficient vehicles, The New York Times, August 26
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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