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Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top Stories
Rattled Wall Street Roils Auto Lenders, Dealers
Automakers Downshift on Loan Requests
Detroit is Not Wall Street, Ford and GM Say
More Houston-Area Dealerships Open Today
Chevy Volt, Cost Cuts are Focus of GM
Toyota Exec Sees rising U.S. Sales Next Decade
AutoNation's Jackson: Dealer Shakeup Will be 'Painful and Disruptive, Even for the Survivors'
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
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
Rattled Wall Street Roils Auto Lenders, Dealers

The turmoil on Wall Street is creating a two-tier system among auto dealerships and captive finance companies, industry executives say. Those in the upper echelon -- largely associated with import brands -- are finding it easier to finance inventories and make car loans. Meanwhile, highly leveraged dealerships and captives with weaker balance sheets -- likely associated with Detroit 3 brands -- are scrambling for credit and paying more when they find it. David Cosper, vice chairman of the public retailer Sonic Automotive Inc., says “BMW, Honda, Daimler and Toyota have a huge competitive advantage” over their domestic-brand rivals.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Automakers Downshift on Loan Requests

DETROIT — U.S. automakers have decided to back off from their drive for $50 billion in loan subsidies from the federal government and now are focused on persuading Washington to appropriate the money to back the original $25 billion promised in last year's energy bill. The strategy change came over the weekend after the government let Lehman Bros. file for bankruptcy protection rather than providing financing to help the investment bank find a buyer. The car companies already were working in a tight window, trying to get the money appropriated and settle on rules for what projects would qualify before Congress recesses for the campaign season.
Source:  USA TODAY

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Detroit is Not Wall Street, Ford and GM Say

WASHINGTON -- Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford said late Tuesday that industry leaders and their allies in Congress are winning the argument that Wall Street turmoil should not interfere with government loans for automakers and suppliers. “People see this as a very separable issue,” Ford said, emerging from a meeting at the Capitol with lawmakers from as many as seven states where Ford has plants. Still, Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.), an organizer of the meeting, said that some lawmakers still have questions about the loan request -- aggravated by the upheaval among major financial institutions over the past days and weeks. But Miller contended that the large bipartisan group of lawmakers who favor the loans is making headway with colleagues and she is “cautiously optimistic” that funding will be approved this month.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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More Houston-Area Dealerships Open Today

Houston area dealerships tried to return to normal operations today as cleanup continued after Hurricane Ike’s trip through the nation’s fourth-largest city last weekend. But some dealerships, including Houston’s largest, remained closed because two-thirds of the city still lacked power. Customers are trickling into dealerships, but Group 1’s [vice president Pete] DeLongchamps said he expected increased business as customers look to repair and replace damaged vehicles. “After storms like this, you do get a bounce in business, which happened in New Orleans,” DeLongchamps said, noting Group 1’s experience with its three New Orleans dealerships after Hurricane Katrina. “The quicker we get open and service our customers, the better.”
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Chevy Volt, Cost Cuts are Focus of GM

General Motors Corp. is open to making more cost cuts in order to execute a plan to increase liquidity by $15 billion during the next year and a half amid increasing turmoil on Wall Street, the auto maker's No. 2 executive said Tuesday. Chairman and Chief Executive Rick Wagoner said the Volt is the symbol of the auto maker's quest to reinvent the automobile itself. Mr. Wagoner said GM is navigating through a particularly volatile environment as it turns 100. While GM is trying to shine the light on efforts to be the first auto maker to mass market a so-called extended-range electric vehicle, turmoil on Wall Street threatens to overshadow optimism about GM's longer-term prospects. "The world has changed a lot in the last 100 years," Mr. Wagoner said at the beginning of a speech Tuesday. "It has changed a lot in the last 100 hours."
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Toyota Exec Sees rising U.S. Sales Next Decade

A population increase will propel spending that fuels more purchases, Japan firm's top American boss says
Toyota Motor Corp.'s top U.S. sales executive is confident about growth prospects in the years ahead for the American economy and auto sales, once the industry gets past its current rocky stretch. "If you look at the fundamentals of the economy, the U.S. population is going to increase by 32 million between now and 2020. That's equivalent to the populations of New Jersey, Maryland and Florida combined," Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales USA, said on Tuesday. "In the next decade, we'll see markets of 17 million-plus again." But in the short term, Toyota is struggling for visibility in a downturn that has taken everyone by surprise. The Japanese automaker no longer expects to see a turnaround this year and Lentz isn't certain it will take place next year, either, given the severity of the housing crisis. For the rest of 2008, he said he expects the market to trundle along at a pace slightly below last month's annualized selling rate of 13.7 million cars and trucks.
Source:  The Detroit News

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AutoNation's Jackson: Dealer Shakeup Will be 'Painful and Disruptive, Even for the Survivors'

It’s brutal out there. So says the nation’s largest seller of Detroit’s cars and trucks, Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation... He predicts many dealerships will go out of business or consolidate as a result of the tough economic climate. “Long term, this shakeup has had to happen — it’s long overdue,” he said. “But it’s going to be painful and disruptive, even for the survivors.”
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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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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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
 
"BMW, Honda, Daimler and Toyota have a huge competitive advantage" over their domestic-brand rivals.

   
-- David Cosper, vice chairman of the public retailer Sonic Automotive Inc., referring to how the turmoil on Wall Street is creating a two-tier system among auto dealerships and captive finance companies, Automotive News, Sept. 16


"The world has changed a lot in the last 100 years. It has changed a lot in the last 100 hours."

    -- GM Chairman and Chief Executive Rick Wagoner highlights company efforts to be the first auto maker to mass market a so-called extended-range electric vehicle in a volatile environment, The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 17


"If you look at the fundamentals of the economy, the U.S. population is going to increase by 32 million between now and 2020. That's equivalent to the populations of New Jersey, Maryland and Florida combined. In the next decade, we'll see markets of 17 million-plus again."

    -- Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales USA, The Detroit News, Sept. 17
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.