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Top Stories
Ford CEO Says Effort to Regain Profits Going Well
Opinion: Makers Must Resist Urge to Backslide as Gas Price Dips
Mulally Hopeful About Loan Deal
Unpopular Models Slow Down GM
Ford Speeds to Tailor European Cars For U.S. Crowd
Opinion: Eyes on the Road: Sales Slump in Luxury-Car Segment and Auto Makers Offer Deals
Committed to Community: Gift to Boost CPR Skills
NADA Update
NADA Convention: 'Full Speed Ahead' to New Orleans in January
Sign Up Today to Become a Green Checkup Dealer
NADA Virtual Seminar Archives Now Available
Registration Open for Pre-Convention Charity Golf Tournament
Did You Miss the First Virtual Seminar on the Red Flags Rule?
STAR Answers Dealers Questions about Dealership Data Security
Save up to 42% on Select ThinkPad Notebooks
Top Stories
Ford CEO Says Effort to Regain Profits Going Well

DEARBORN -- Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Alan Mulally said Monday that the automaker's financial position and its product development efforts are helping it face a slumping market at home and a slowing one abroad. "Everything you read in the paper is really pretty true," he told Inforum, a women's business group, in Ford's hometown. "It really is tough out there. ... But as bad as everything is, it's really going quite well." He said the automaker has the financing in place to handle the U.S. auto sales slump.
Source:  Associated Press

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Opinion: Makers Must Resist Urge to Backslide as Gas Price Dips
by Automotive News

Summer is just about over. The kids are back in school, adults are back on the job, and the price of gasoline is receding from the peak of more than $4 a gallon that we paid just weeks ago. But that should not be a signal for the industry to go wobbly on its plans to produce a radically more fuel-efficient fleet of vehicles. Automakers and suppliers must stay the course. Collectively, Americans have a short memory. Since a $60 fill-up will seem a lot less painful than an $80 fill-up, some consumers will breathe a sigh of relief and shop for larger vehicles. Lower gasoline prices might help dealers move some of the big pickups and SUVs that are still pushed up against the fence collecting dust and floorplan charges on their lots. There might even be a modest step-up in demand for some of the bigger new models, such as the Dodge and Ford full-sized pickups that go on sale this fall. The addictive lure of big-truck profits could obscure the rational truth that sooner or later, the price of gasoline will rise again. When it does, fickle consumers again will demand even better fuel economy. Any automaker that isn't ready to meet that demand won't deserve another chance.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Mulally Hopeful About Loan Deal

Ford CEO says key issue is how to finance up to $50B for Big 3
DEARBORN -- Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Alan Mulally said Monday that he's optimistic that a deal can be reached quickly on direct federal loans to automakers to help them pay for modernizing factories and building more fuel-efficient vehicles. Mulally, speaking to reporters..., said the main issue now is to find the right way to finance up to $50 billion in government loans. He would not say if he will go to Washington to lobby Congress, which returns this week from its summer break. ...Mulally described last year's energy legislation as part of a "turning point" in Washington. "I was really pleased with the reception we got for all of the work we are doing on fuel efficiency, from EcoBoost (a turbocharged yet more fuel-efficient engine) to hybrids to electrification," he said. "I don't think many people realized how far along Ford is on an agenda to make really fuel efficient ... vehicles.
Source:  The Detroit News

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Unpopular Models Slow Down GM

Low-Volume Sellers Eat Ad Dollars, Take Dealer Space
A few months ago, General Motors Corp. flooded the prime-time airwaves with commercials introducing the G8, a big, powerful sedan that is supposed to re-energize GM's Pontiac brand. [But] in August, GM's 2,712 U.S. Pontiac dealers sold only 1,915 G8s -- not even one per dealer. The G8 illustrates one problem that's often overlooked: The auto maker's lineup contains many vehicles that deliver barely any bang for the buck. Mark LaNeve, GM's top marketing executive in North America, said the additional costs of offering slower-selling models are "really very incremental" because most share parts with higher-volume models. The G8, for instance, is a version of a car that has been a strong seller for GM's arm in Australia. Yet auto analysts say slow sellers are a bigger drag on profit than GM acknowledges.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Ford Speeds to Tailor European Cars For U.S. Crowd

Push for Smaller Autos Is 'About Our Survival'; Bumpers Are Big Hurdle
Chief Executive Alan Mulally is hoping to revive Ford Motor Co. by bringing European small cars to the U.S. market. His success may hinge in large part on a mundane component: the front bumper. European regulations require auto makers to design bumpers that cause minimal injury to pedestrians. U.S. bumpers need to be much heavier to withstand direct impacts and front-end collisions against a solid barrier or a large vehicle like a truck or SUV. To make European cars comply with U.S. safety regulations and insurance standards, Ford will have to add some potentially costly parts and steel reinforcements. If the work isn't done efficiently, the vehicles could become too expensive for Ford to make money on them, or too heavy to deliver the kind of gas-mileage Americans now crave.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Opinion: Eyes on the Road: Sales Slump in Luxury-Car Segment and Auto Makers Offer Deals
by Joe White

Luxury Brands Shun 'Cash Back' Rebates, Offer Cut-Rate Financing to Draw Buyers
Here's something you don't see every day: Factory sponsored low interest rate financing deals on new BMWs. But they're out there now, because even luxury brands are getting bounced around by a choppy economy. Several major luxury brands, including BMW, Tata Motors Ltd.'s Land Rover, Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz, Toyota Motor Corp's Lexus, Nissan Motor Co.'s Infiniti are promoting discounted leases or other price cutting deals to spur sales. These brands tend to shy away from crude, mass-market come-ons such as direct cash rebates or "employee pricing" offers. But the deals are there waiting for customers who start bargaining. In August, 63% of luxury vehicle sales involved some kind of cut-rate financing, compared to 43% a year earlier, according to data from the Power Information Network (PIN), which harvests transaction data from dealerships.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Committed to Community: Gift to Boost CPR Skills

Hub City business gives area school potentially life-usaving mannequin
Receiving a mannequin designed to train people to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation can mean a lot to people who live in a mostly rural area. “So many families live on farms and ranches that are so far away from medical services,” said Sandy Urbaniak, science teacher and grant writer at Leola School. She and others from Leola School came to Aberdeen, [S.D.] last week to accept the Resusci Anne, a gift made possible by Haar Motors of Aberdeen and the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation. Many Haar Motors customers come from outside Aberdeen, and the company likes to give back not only to Aberdeen but to surrounding communities as well, said Matt Haar of the dealership.
Source:  Aberdeen News

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NADA Update
NADA Convention: 'Full Speed Ahead' to New Orleans in January

New Orleans Hospitality Industry Coming Back Strong after Gustav
NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans city officials say that damage caused by Hurricane Gustav this week is "minor and easily repairable." A statement issued by the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) reported little to no disruption in meetings, conventions and special events scheduled over the next two weeks. The Convention Center, New Orleans Superdome and major hotels suffered only minor damage such as window breaks. There is no mid-range or long-term impact of any kind, the CVB reported.

"We're pleased to hear that the city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas are making such progress,” says Steve Pitt, NADA vice president of conventions and expositions. "Residents and workers from across the region already have begun returning to their homes and businesses. And for us, it’s full speed ahead for the NADA convention’s return to New Orleans in January."

The NADA convention will return to New Orleans in about five months. The convention dates are Jan. 24-27. Registration is open. Several hotels already have sold out. 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 scheduled. Since Katrina, more than $1 billion has been spent on hotel renovations and 913 restaurants are open.
Source:  NADA Newswire

For more updates, click here to go directly to the New Orleans CVB Web site.

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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 45 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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NADA Virtual Seminar Archives Now Available

The complete audio and video content of 19 NADA Management Education virtual seminars from the past year is now available. Each seminar archive contains the original presentation from 2007 or 2008, and can be accessed for up to six months. The cost of each seminar is $99.

Archived virtual seminars are available for the following topics:

  • Variable operations
  • Fixed operations
  • F&I
  • Legal issues
  • Business management
  • Trucks

For a complete list of archived seminars or to place your order, visit www.nada.org/seminars or call (800) 252-6232, Ext. 2.

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Registration Open for Pre-Convention Charity Golf Tournament

Registration for the "Dealers for Charity" golf tournament in New Orleans is now open. The tournament, hosted by ACECO, NADA’s hole-in-one insurance program, is slated for Friday, Jan. 23, 2009. All proceeds will benefit the Brees Dream Foundation, a charitable organization founded by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. The shotgun scramble tournament will be held at the Pete Dye-designed TPC Louisiana, the only PGA TOUR golf course in the state. Fees for the event are $300 per person. Participation is limited to the first 144 NADA members who register. Visit www.ACECOinsurance.com and click on the "Dealers for Charity" logo to register.

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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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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
 
"I don't think many people realized how far along Ford is on an agenda to make really fuel efficient ... vehicles."

   
-- Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally, who referred to last year's energy legislation as a "turning point," is optimistic about the government loan deal for the Detroit 3, The Detroit News, Sept. 9


"It really is tough out there. ... But as bad as everything is, it's really going quite well."

   
-- Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally explaining that the automaker's efforts to regain profits are going well, Associated Press, Sept. 9


"The addictive lure of big-truck profits could obscure the rational truth that sooner or later, the price of gasoline will rise again. When it does, fickle consumers again will demand even better fuel economy. Any automaker that isn't ready to meet that demand won't deserve another chance."

   
-- Automotive News opinion, "Makers Must Resist Urge to Backslide as Gas Price Dips," Sept. 8
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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