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Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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At a Glance...
Top Stories
Groups Back Auto Industry Loans
Seeking Federal Loans, Automakers Cite Alternative-Energy Goals
Press Touts U.S. Powertrain Collaborations
Concern Grows as Car Sales Fall Globally
Leasing Falls to 4-Year Low
Chrysler Seeks Lift from New Dodge Ram Pickup
Opinion: How to Save Detroit and $50 Billion
NADA Update
NADA Job Board Off to a Strong Start
NADA Insurance Adds New Benefit for Members: Life Insurance for Dealership Employees
Sign Up Today to Become a Green Checkup Dealer
NADA Convention: 'Full Speed Ahead' to New Orleans in January
Registration Open for Pre-Convention Charity Golf Tournament
Did You Miss the First Virtual Seminar on the Red Flags Rule?
NADA Virtual Seminar Archives Now Available
STAR Answers Dealers Questions about Dealership Data Security
Save up to 42% on Select ThinkPad Notebooks
Top Stories
Groups Back Auto Industry Loans

Industry association, UAW urge Congress to OK $25B to retool
WASHINGTON -- Direct loans to the auto industry drew additional support Wednesday from two influential groups, the United Auto Workers and the National Association of Manufacturers. UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said he is optimistic Congress will approve at least $25 billion in low-cost government loans for the auto industry to retool plants. "There's a lot of jockeying back and forth," Gettelfinger said. "We're hopeful that the loan guarantees will be passed." So is the National Association of Manufacturers. "The challenges facing the auto industry to transition to more fuel efficient vehicles will be costly and difficult," said NAM President and former Michigan Gov. John Engler. "The NAM believes the federal loans are in the nation's interest and require prompt action by Congress." Automakers and Michigan legislators think the best route is to attach funding for the $25 billion to a bill to fund the continuing operations of government, though some high-level auto executives in Detroit are still pushing for $50 billion this year and more flexiblity in what they could spend the direct loans on.
Source:  The Detroit News

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Seeking Federal Loans, Automakers Cite Alternative-Energy Goals

DETROIT — A proposed $25 billion federal loan program to help retool the American auto industry would speed the development of electric cars and other alternative-fuel vehicles, a Chrysler executive said Wednesday. “It’s a way for us to accelerate technology so you can get it in the hands of people faster and so they can afford it,” Chrysler’s vice chairman, James E. Press, said at an industry event. His comments came as Congressional leaders began discussions on whether to pay for the loan program that was created last year as part of legislation requiring a 40 percent increase in fuel economy. While automakers appear to have backed off the efforts to increase the loans to $50 billion, Detroit executives are becoming more specific in their comments regarding how the funds would be spent.
Source:  The New York Times

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Press Touts U.S. Powertrain Collaborations

DETROIT -- The United States must collaborate with carmakers on alternative powertrains and new energy sources for the domestic auto industry or face losing out to foreign interests, said Jim Press, Chrysler LLC co-president. “We’re worried about dependence on foreign oil now,” he said. “If you fast forward 15 years, are we going to trade dependence on foreign oil to dependence” on foreign battery suppliers? A $50 billion proposed package of federal loans under consideration in Congress can help... Press said it’s inaccurate to refer to the proposed loans as a “free bailout” because it was part of last year’s energy bill.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Concern Grows as Car Sales Fall Globally

A worsening slump in auto sales in Europe and signs of a possible slowdown in China are fueling worries about a global auto industry already battered by trouble in the U.S. Some forecasters in Europe are considering lowering sales projections following sharp declines last month in auto sales in Spain, Britain and Germany. In China, where booming sales have been offsetting the shortfalls in more mature markets, auto sales fell in August, the first monthly decline in more than two years. Though analysts think growth in China will resume in the months ahead, a softer market there would leave the world's auto makers facing a bleak landscape.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Leasing Falls to 4-Year Low

Leasing last month plunged to its lowest level in four years... Only 13.3 percent of new-vehicle transactions were leases from Aug. 1 to 24, according to the Power Information Network. That was down from 18.0 percent for all of July and 18.4 percent in August 2007. Leasing hasn't been that low since September 2004.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Chrysler Seeks Lift from New Dodge Ram Pickup

The fully redesigned [Ram] truck, which started arriving in dealerships this month, is Chrysler's biggest selling vehicle and its most profitable model. If the new Ram is a hit, it could lift Chrysler's revenue and move the company much closer to ending its operational losses and generating positive cash flow. People familiar with the matter said Cerberus has planned on incoming cash to start exceeding its monthly expenses some time in 2009 -- the Ram's first full year in the market. After a speech ... Wednesday, Chrysler Vice Chairman Jim Press acknowledged the new pickup is a key product and its most important launch this year. But he insisted that Chrysler's chance of generating positive cash flow next year isn't "dependent on one model." Chrysler dealers believe they have a winner in the new Ram. "I've never been so excited about a new truck," said Steven Wolf, general manager of Helfman Dodge in Houston.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Opinion: How to Save Detroit and $50 Billion
by Holman W. Jenkins Jr.

For a sum small compared to their revenues but large in relation to their market caps, the Detroit auto makers were all over the two conventions. Their lobbyists had something to sell -- a plea for $50 billion in federal loans. But before rushing to pass the legislation, there's an easy way to save $50 billion or whatever part of these loans wouldn't be paid back: Just repeal the fuel economy rules. CAFE has to be the most perverse exercise in product regulation in industrial history. It confronted the Big Three with the choice only of whether to lose a lot of money, by matching Toyota and Honda on quality and features; or somewhat less money, by scrimping on quality and features and discounting, discounting, discounting. Had CAFE not existed, there is no reason the Big Three today could not be competitive. As businesses do, they would have allocated capital to products capable of recovering their costs. Investments in fuel efficiency would still have taken place -- to the extent consumers valued those investments. That is, if they were profitable. Bottom line: Fifty billion won't turn CAFE into effective policy. It will do just fine, though, as an indicator of Washington's willingness to throw good money after bad rather than admit the folly of its own long-running handiwork.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

[Editor's Note: Jenkins is a member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board.]

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NADA Update
NADA Job Board Off to a Strong Start

In less than six months, jobs posted on Automotive Careers Online have accrued nearly 10,000 views and as many as 250 views for a single job posting. “That’s a solid return on investment for employers registered for the site,” says John Lyboldt, NADA vice president of dealer operations. “More than 500 job seekers have registered for the site and many have applied for dealership jobs.”

Automotive Careers Online is a dedicated job board exclusively for NADA members to post openings. Job posting packages start at $200 for a 30-day listing, which is a fraction of the cost of other commercial job boards and classified ads. Employers set the skills criteria for openings. Email alerts notify an employer of matching candidates once a resume is posted. Automotive Careers Online is free for job candidates, who can post resumes and search for dealership careers. To sign up, visit www.AutomotiveCareersOnline.com.

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NADA Insurance Adds New Benefit for Members: Life Insurance for Dealership Employees

To help NADA members keep and attract a high-quality staff, NADA Insurance has created a new life insurance plan for dealership employees. The plan has a basic group option at a flat 21 cents per thousand dollars ranging in coverage from $10,000, $25,000, $50,000 to $100,000. All full-time employees at the dealership must participate in the group plan to receive the highly competitive rates. The second option is a voluntary employee life plan, starting at $150,000 of coverage to a maximum of $500,000. “This is a very effective way to build on your dealership’s employee benefits package and help employees protect their families and assets,” says Lin Peacock, vice president of NADA Insurance. For more detailed information on the employee life plans or to apply, go to www.nadainsurance.com or call (888) 461-6232.

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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 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 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. The Convention Center, 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 have returned 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 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.
Source:  NADA Newswire

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

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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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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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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
 
"It's a way for us to accelerate technology so you can get it in the hands of people faster and so they can afford it."

   
-- Chrysler Vice Chairman Jim Press citing how the proposed $25 billion federal loan program would help speed the development of electric cars and other alternative-fuel vehicles, The New York Times, Sept. 11


"We're worried about dependence on foreign oil now. If you fast forward 15 years, are we going to trade dependence on foreign oil to dependence" on foreign battery suppliers?

    -- Chrysler Vice Chairman Jim Press calling on the United States to collaborate with carmakers on alternative powertrains and new energy sources for the domestic auto industry, Automotive News, Sept. 11


"Had CAFE not existed, there is no reason the Big Three today could not be competitive. As businesses do, they would have allocated capital to products capable of recovering their costs. Investments in fuel efficiency would still have taken place -- to the extent consumers valued those investments. That is, if they were profitable."

    -- Holman W. Jenkins Jr., editor, The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 10
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.