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At a Glance...
Top Stories
Chrysler Shrinking to a Profitable Size, Press Says
Feds Discussing Carmakers' Loans
EPA Says Estimates Low on Fuel Economy Benefits
Some Lawmakers Seek 100% Flex-fuel Vehicles
Hyundai Aims for Efficiency Lead
The Ultimate Fuel Economy Challenge: 100 + Hopefuls Intend to Compete for $10 Million Automotive X PRIZE
Tata Halts Construction of Nano Plant, Will Look Elsewhere
GM Extends Employee Discount Program Through September
Ford Names New Volvo Chief
Committed to Community: From Empty Lot in Norfolk to Playground in One Day
NADA Update
Sign Up Today to Become a Green Checkup Dealer
Committed to Community: NADA Hole-in-One Insurance to Host Charity Golf Tournament in New Orleans
Did You Miss the First Virtual Seminar on the Red Flags Rule?
Taxpayers with 25 or More Heavy Vehicles Must File Excise Tax Forms Electronically
STAR Answers Dealers Questions about Dealership Data Security
Save up to 42% on Select ThinkPad Notebooks
Top Stories
Chrysler Shrinking to a Profitable Size, Press Says

Chrysler LLC Vice Chairman Jim Press, a year into managing sales for the third-largest U.S. automaker, said the company should return to profit as it shrinks operations to match "reality." Chrysler cut a million units of assembly capacity in the past year, pared its lineup and now will thin its dealer ranks with a goal of making money on annual sales of as many as 2.5 million vehicles, down from an "unprofitable" 4 million, Press said [Tuesday] in Los Angeles. "We could be the company that makes this transition to a viable model for a U.S.-based manufacturer going forward, if we base it on reality," Press, 61, said at a Motor Press Guild presentation. He didn't give a timetable for a profit.
Source:  Bloomberg.com

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Feds Discussing Carmakers' Loans

White House says it's in talks to lend $25B, but Detroit 3 pushes for $50B
WASHINGTON -- The White House said Tuesday it was in discussions about a proposal to give the auto industry $25 billion in government-issued low-cost loans, a sign that automakers may be making progress in their effort to get financial assistance. "It's something we're aware of and we're talking to the members of Congress and also the people in the (auto) industry, and thinking about what they might think would be required...," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said at a press briefing Tuesday. Perino said the White House may say whether it supports the proposal in the next day or two. The energy bill that was signed into law in December by President Bush included a provision to provide $25 billion in direct loans to automakers, but the bill didn't allocate any funding. Critics have called the plan a bailout. Detroit's automakers, however, and the United Auto Workers argue a $50 billion package may be necessary...
Source:  The Detroit News

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EPA Says Estimates Low on Fuel Economy Benefits

WASHINGTON -- The Environmental Protection Agency says another arm of the Bush administration may be low-balling the economic benefits of increasing fuel economy standards for cars and trucks. Echoing criticism previously voiced by Democrats and environmentalists, the EPA said in comments filed with the Transportation Department that the department would have been better off using higher estimates for future gasoline prices when it proposed increasing the average fuel economy of all vehicles to 31.6 miles per gallon by 2015. The proposed fuel economy increase was based in part on estimates that gas would range from $2.04 a gallon to $3.37 a gallon, averaging $2.42 a gallon in 2016. The national average price for unleaded gasoline was at $3.68 on Tuesday, according to AAA.
Source:  Associated Press

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Some Lawmakers Seek 100% Flex-fuel Vehicles

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Attempting to address energy prices and supplies before the November election, Congress may do more harm than good, auto industry leaders warn. One proposal before lawmakers would require every new car and truck built by 2020 to be capable of running on an alternative fuel such as E85. That idea is misguided, said Barbara Nocera, director of government and public affairs at Mazda North American Operations. “Congress shouldn’t try to dictate winning and losing technologies to automakers,” Nocera told Automotive News here at the Republican National Convention. She said it would discourage automakers from pursuing [research and development] on other promising technologies, such as fuel cells.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Hyundai Aims for Efficiency Lead

Car Maker May Meet U.S. Fuel Standard Five Years Early
NAMYANG, South Korea -- Hyundai Motor Co. can meet the proposed U.S. fuel efficiency standard of 35 miles per gallon in the fleets of its Hyundai and Kia brands by 2015, five years ahead of a U.S. deadline, without relying heavily on hybrid vehicles, the company's research chief said Tuesday. The declaration is a bold statement of technical confidence by the South Korean manufacturer, which has trailed behind Japanese and U.S. manufacturers in the development of fuel-sipping hybrid vehicles. It also distinguishes the company from competitors that have argued to U.S. regulators in recent weeks that an interim step in boosting fuel standards -- to 31.6 mpg by 2015 -- is too aggressive. "With just conventional gasoline engines, we think we can hit 35," Mr. Lee said in an interview at company's research and test center. "We have the technology to improve fuel economy. The problem was it increased the cost of the vehicle. Now, with higher oil prices, we can justify the technology."
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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The Ultimate Fuel Economy Challenge: 100 + Hopefuls Intend to Compete for $10 Million Automotive X PRIZE

With a Shared Goal of 100 MPGe, Teams from Around the World Aim to Develop Viable, Super Efficient, Clean and Affordable Vehicles
...hopeful winners of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE – a multimillion dollar competition designed to inspire a new generation of viable, super-efficient vehicles – are laboring away in their garages and test facilities, with the shared goal of finding a solution that will make filling up that gas tank much less painful on the wallet in the coming years. To date, more than 120 teams, from 28 states and 17 countries, intend to compete for their share of a $10 million prize purse, which will be awarded to those that can design and build production-capable, 100 MPGe (miles per gallon energy equivalent) vehicles that people will want to buy and that meet market needs for price, size, capability, safety and performance. “This competition has caught the attention of every major auto manufacturer, and we are confident that it will bring new visibility to a range of solutions, from both established and emerging sources,” [said Executive Director Don Foley.] Interested teams, from established car manufacturers to startups, have an opportunity to join the competition through Jan. 1, 2009. More information on registration and rules can be found at www.progressiveautoxprize.org.

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Tata Halts Construction of Nano Plant, Will Look Elsewhere

NEW YORK -- Tata Motors suspended work indefinitely at a factory building the world's cheapest car, the company said Tuesday following increasingly violent protests by farmers demanding the return of their land. "The situation around the Nano plant continues to be hostile and intimidating. There is no way this plant could operate efficiently unless the environment became congenial and supportive of the project," the company said in a statement Tuesday. "A detailed plan to relocate the plant and machinery to an alternate site is under preparation," the statement added. Tata has already poured $350 million into its plant in Singur, which had been scheduled to roll out the first Nano in October. Sixty key suppliers have invested millions of dollars more for plants and equipment in the area.
Source:  Associated Press

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GM Extends Employee Discount Program Through September

DETROIT -- General Motors Corp. is expected to extend by one month its employee discount deal for everyone tomorrow, said a source familiar with the plan, continuing a limited incentive program that has helped clear out inventory, particularly for pickup trucks and SUVs, and softened an expected drop in sales. The discount was offered to everyone Aug. 20 as part of GM's 100th anniversary celebration and the incentive program is expected to have made an impact on August sales totals when they are released tomorrow. GM, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC are expected to sustain further market share losses in August as domestic automakers continue to bear the brunt of the slump in demand, largely because all three have truck heavy lineups.
Source:  The Detroit News

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Ford Names New Volvo Chief

Ford Motor Co. today appointed Stephen Odell as president and CEO of Volvo Car Corp., replacing Fredrik Arp, who has decided to leave the company. Arp, whose plans were not divulged, is the third high-ranking executive in Ford’s global operations to leave the company in the past few weeks. Odell, 53, will be responsible for Volvo’s global operations out of the company’s headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, effective Oct. 1. In a statement, Odell said, “Volvo will adopt a more stand-alone approach within Ford Motor Co., while still leveraging product development and purchasing synergies with other Ford operations.”  
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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Committed to Community: From Empty Lot in Norfolk to Playground in One Day

They came by the hundreds from across Hampton Roads [Va.] to deliver a message to the criminals who for too long have ruled the streets of Denby Park: This will again be a safe place for kids to play. More than 400 volunteers spent less than six hours ... building a playground... The $100,000 effort was funded largely by the Chrysler Foundation and five area Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep dealers from Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Suffolk and Norfolk. The foundation chipped in $50,000 and the local auto dealers another $50,000. "The real heroes here are the volunteers," said Bill Shepherd, chief executive of Greenbrier Chrysler Jeep. Many work for local car dealers. Others were average people who felt moved to help.
Source:  The Virginian-Pilot

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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, dealers in 43 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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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, Jan. 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, Sept. 2 at www.ACECOinsurance.com.

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

If you weren’t among the 500 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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Taxpayers with 25 or More Heavy Vehicles Must File Excise Tax Forms Electronically

WASHINGTON — Individuals and organizations with 25 or more trucks, tractors or other heavy vehicles used on highways now are required to make their excise tax filings with the Internal Revenue Service electronically, rather than by paper. Form 2290, Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return, is used to report and pay highway-use excise taxes. E-filing of Form 2290 began in August 2007. Electronic filing streamlines the processing of the Form 2290. It is safer and more reliable than paper filing and reduces preparation and processing errors. Another advantage of e-filing Form 2290 is that taxpayers don’t have to wait for a stamped version of the Schedule 1, Schedule of Heavy Highway Vehicles, to be returned by mail because they will almost instantly receive the equivalent of a stamped version electronically. For additional information, contact NADA/ATD Regulatory Affairs at regulatory@nada.org. Click here for the complete press release.
Source:  IRS

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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 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 (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. Free ground shipping is available on all Web orders.

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Featured Video
 
 
NADA-TV Reports on the Launch of the 'Green Checkup' Campaign. Pictured above is NADA Chairman Annette Sykora with Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter at a news conference in Denver.


More Video Highlights

Quotable
 
"With just conventional gasoline engines, we think we can hit 35. We have the technology to improve fuel economy. The problem was it increased the cost of the vehicle. Now, with higher oil prices, we can justify the technology."

    -- Lee Hyun-soon, president of Hyundai's research and development division, predicts its Hyundai and Kia brands will meet the proposed U.S. fuel efficiency standard of 35 mpg by 2015, five years ahead of a U.S. deadline, The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 2


"Congress shouldn't try to dictate winning and losing technologies to automakers."

   
-- Barbara Nocera, director of government and public affairs for Mazda, says actions by Congress could discourage automakers from pursuing [research and development] on other promising technologies, such as fuel cells, Automotive News, Sept. 2


"This competition has caught the attention of every major auto manufacturer, and we are confident that it will bring new visibility to a range of solutions, from both established and emerging sources."

   
-- Don Foley, executive director of the Progressive Automotive X Prize.


"The situation around the Nano plant continues to be hostile and intimidating."

    -- Tata Motors, in a statement announcing suspension of construction of a plant that was to build the world's cheapest car, following increasingly violent protests by farmers demanding the return of their land in Singur, India, Associated Press, Sept. 2
Video Highlights
 
 
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.


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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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.