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Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top Stories
Outgoing NHTSA Chief: Don't Expect CAFE Plan to Get Softer
Ford to Invest $75 Million in Michigan Truck Plant
GM Receives Gulf Arab Interest in Hummer Buy
Study: Toyota Top U.S. Lender
Drivers Who Ditch SUVs Discover Deals on Crossovers
Experian: Almost 200,000 Titles Washed So Far This Year
Committed to Community: NADA Hole-in-One Insurance to Host Charity Golf Tournament in New Orleans
NADA Update
Sign Up Today to Become a Green Checkup Dealer
Convention Registration is off to a Strong Start
Did You Miss the First Virtual Seminar on the Red Flags Rule?
NADA Insurance Announces New Plan for Retiring and Career-Changing Dealers
STAR Answers Dealers Questions about Dealership Security
Save up to 42% on Select ThinkPad Notebooks
Top Stories
Outgoing NHTSA Chief: Don't Expect CAFE Plan to Get Softer

Nicole Nason, who is stepping down Friday after more than two years as the nation's top auto regulator, said automakers shouldn't expect a final corporate average fuel economy regulation or CAFE to be softer -- and said that the next president is almost certain to revisit the issue in 2009. "The debate is over. The industry needs to understand that and respect that. There is going to be an increase in fuel economy and if there is a change in the price of gasoline that's going to have an impact on the rulemaking," Nason said in an interview Tuesday... Likely Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has proposed doubling fuel efficiency standards to 55 mpg by 2027, while both Obama and his Republican rival John McCain support allowing states to set their own vehicle tailpipe emissions limits. A spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Wade Newton, said the companies agree "that CAFE increases are indeed needed, and the industry's hard at work moving forward to meet that goal." "While we continue supporting the historic increase, we expect that there will likely be continuing discussions on many of the elements that go into the 40 percent increase," Newton said. "However this industry continues to be 100 percent behind 35 by 2020 -- we were when the legislation was passed and we are today."
Source:  The Detroit News

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Ford to Invest $75 Million in Michigan Truck Plant

Ford Motor Co. ... will invest $75 million in Michigan Truck Plant’s body shop to prepare for small-vehicle production. Michigan Truck Plant in Wayne will begin converting its body shop in November. The tooling and equipment specific to the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator will be disassembled and transferred to the Kentucky Truck Plant, which begins producing the large SUVs in the second quarter of 2009. The move paves the way for Michigan Truck to convert to a car plant that will begin producing global C-car based vehicles in 2010.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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GM Receives Gulf Arab Interest in Hummer Buy

DUBAI -- General Motors Corp. has received interest from two separate investors from the Gulf Arab region to buy its Hummer brand, the company's Middle East chief told Reuters on Tuesday. General Motors is readying sales documents for its Hummer brand and has initial expressions of interest from potential buyers that it hopes to develop into formal sale talks, the automaker's chief executive said on Aug. 21. [GM Middle East Managing Director Terry Johnson] said keeping the Hummer division was still a realistic option and that it was not a "foregone conclusion" it would be sold.
Source:  Reuters

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Study: Toyota Top U.S. Lender

In the first half of 2008, Toyota Financial Services replaced longtime leader GMAC Financial Services as the biggest U.S. auto lender, a new study suggests. The shifts in the captives' rankings reflect changes in the relative financial health of their parent companies. Automakers use their captives to provide consumer incentives that greatly affect their dealers' ability to sell new and used vehicles. AutoCount, a research unit of the Experian Automotive marketing information company, estimates Toyota Financial had a 6.35 percent share of the U.S. market for vehicle finance and lease contracts from January through June, compared with 6.20 percent for GMAC.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Drivers Who Ditch SUVs Discover Deals on Crossovers

Auto Makers Offer Cash Back, Low Interest Rates on Models That Gulp but Don't Guzzle
Auto makers are working harder these days to woo drivers who care about size as much as mileage. Discounts on crossovers -- which are built on a car's frame but styled like a sport-utility vehicle -- are at their highest level in two years. That's largely because, even though they get better mileage than their larger cousins, crossovers have been tainted by association with gas-guzzling SUVs, and dealers are pushing to clear out built-up inventory.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Experian: Almost 200,000 Titles Washed So Far This Year

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — An alarming number of damaged vehicles have been re-titled as clean so far this year, and that figure could continue to grow in the aftermath of hurricane season and other natural disasters, according to Experian Automotive...  In total, 1.3 million vehicles were labeled as damaged by accidents or severe weather during the first six months of 2008, the company reported. Particularly disconcerting is that Experian's AutoCheck discovered that more than 15 percent (or 185,000 units) were re-titled in another state and lost their damage designation. Looking ahead, the company projects that the influx of natural disasters in the first part of the year, plus the start to hurricane season, could mean even more title washing to come and warns dealers and consumer to be sure to run history reports to avoid these units.
Source:  Auto Remarketing

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Committed to Community: NADA Hole-in-One Insurance to Host Charity Golf Tournament in New Orleans

NADA Insurance announced that its hole-in-one insurance program, ACECO, will host a charitable golf tournament in conjunction with the 2009 NADA Convention & Exposition in New Orleans next January. The inaugural “Dealers for Charity Golf Tournament” is slated for Friday, January 23 at TPC Louisiana, the only PGA TOUR golf course in the state. The challenging 7,300-yard, par-72 Pete Dye-designed course is set among bayous and old-growth cypress trees. Built in 2004, it is home to the prestigious PGA TOUR Zurich Classic of New Orleans. All proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Brees Dream Foundation, a charitable organization founded by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and his wife Brittany.
 
"NADA's convention theme is 'Committed to Community,' so it's fitting that we're raising money for a New Orleans-based organization," says Lin Peacock, vice president of NADA Insurance.  "Our members have a long history of supporting charitable events within their own communities." The National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation donated $400,000 in May to restore the athletic fields at Lusher Charter School, located in the heart of Uptown New Orleans.

If you’re interested in a sponsorship, contact tournament director Alicia Rodriguez at (888) 828-8540 for details. The tournament is open to NADA members only. Fees for the 144-person tournament are $300 per person or $1,200 per foursome. Online registration opens on Tuesday, September 2 at www.ACECOinsurance.com.

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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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Did You Miss the First Virtual Seminar on the Red Flags Rule?

If you weren’t among the 300 individuals and several dealer association groups who logged on this past week for our first virtual seminar on complying with the new FTC Red Flags Rule, you have another chance: The seminar will be repeated on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008 from 1-3 p.m. EST.

Like the first one, the seminar will be presented live and online, inviting participation by attendees. Questions are encouraged, which will be answered by presenters, Bert Rasmussen, author of A Dealer Guide to the FTC Red Flags and Address Discrepancy Rules: Protecting Against Identity Theft, and Paul Metrey, NADA director of regulatory affairs. The seminar will address what you need to do by Nov. 1, 2008 to comply with the Red Flags Rule, such as:

  • Preliminary risk assessment
  • Construction of a written Identity Theft Prevention Program
  • Knowing the indicators of identity theft (Red Flags) and how to detect and respond to them
  • Training requirements
  • Service provider oversight
  • Involvement of a dealership’s board of directors

Dealers, general managers, CFOs, controllers, finance managers, sales managers, IT managers and outside compliance professionals are encouraged to participate. The fee is $199 per computer connection.

To register online, visit www.nada.org/seminars or call (800) 248-6232, Ext. 7061. To order A Dealer Guide to the FTC Red Flags and Address Discrepancy Rules: Protecting Against Identity Theft, visit www.nada.org/RedFlags.

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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 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 find out "How Often Should a Dealership Back Up Data?" 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
 
"The debate is over. The industry needs to understand that and respect that. There is going to be an increase in fuel economy and if there is a change in the price of gasoline that's going to have an impact on the rulemaking."

    -- Outgoing NHTSA chief Nicole Nason referring to the debate over CAFE requirements, The Detroit News, August 26


The [automakers] agree "that CAFE increases are indeed needed, and the industry's hard at work moving forward to meet that goal. ...this industry continues to be 100 percent behind 35 by 2020 -- we were when the legislation was passed and we are today."

    -- Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers spokesman Wade Newton, responding to suggestions that CAFE regulations won't get softer, The Detroit News, 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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