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Top Stories
Detroit 3 Want More Flexibility for Federal Loans
Opinion: Loans for the Detroit 3 Are Not Gifts
Banks Backing Big 3 on Loans
NADA's Energy Star Challenge Recognizes 20 Dealerships
Report: Emission Rules to Boost Calif. Economy
U.S. Makers of Electric Cars Push for Consumer Tax Credits
Price vs. Fuel Savings for Chevy Volt Debated
Toyota Sees Opening for Prius Brand
NADA Update
NADA Job Board Off to a Strong Start
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
Detroit 3 Want More Flexibility for Federal Loans

WASHINGTON -- The Detroit 3 CEOs are calling on congressional leaders to fully fund a $25 billion loan program for the industry and to change restrictions attached to the money that may impede its benefit for the struggling companies. The requests came in a joint letter from the executives this week. The three also held a series of meetings on Capitol Hill Wednesday, including a joint one with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi... Chrysler LLC CEO Bob Nardelli, in brief remarks to reporters ... said the sessions were “very encouraging, very candid, very straightforward.” Asked by Automotive News about the purpose of meeting with someone who already agrees with funding the loans, Nardelli said: “All three of us wanted to continue to show our support, continue to convey the importance of this legislation, to make sure at this critical time, within the next several days, that it continues to move forward.” One possible reason for the Pelosi meeting: How to overcome an apparent legal hurdle to changing restrictions on the money.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Opinion: Loans for the Detroit 3 Are Not Gifts
by Keith Crain

The energy bill that Congress passed late last year included provisions for loans totaling $25 billion to General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler.  I don't know how the loans would be carved up, and the Detroit 3 would not be the only beneficiaries, but the Detroit automakers sure could use the money. This is not a bailout, although one might argue that it should be. These are loans from the government to be used by the automobile companies to help them retool for smaller, more-fuel-efficient vehicles and to conduct engineering to improve fuel economy. The auto companies would have to pay back every nickel of the loans. The U.S. automakers are the linchpin of a strong manufacturing industry in this nation. The auto companies need and deserve the support of our federal government.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Banks Backing Big 3 on Loans

Investors have largely dismissed Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. as financially irrelevant to the stock market. But big investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase own huge amounts of Ford and GM corporate debt and consider the government loans insurance for their investments. That is why these big banks and investment houses are in back-channel negotiations with members of Congress and the Bush administration, according to sources in both the auto and banking industries with direct knowledge of the situation. They say these Wall Street giants are calling in favors and trying to build support for the loan program. Banks that hold Ford and GM debt see the proposed federal loan program as a way of backstopping their massive investments in the automakers and, to a lesser extent, privately held Chrysler LLC.
Source:  The Detroit News

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NADA's Energy Star Challenge Recognizes 20 Dealerships

New Car Dealers Cut More Than 1,200 Tons of Carbon Dioxide Emissions
McLEAN, Va. – The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) recognized 20 dealerships that took part in the NADA Energy Star Challenge. Each dealership reduced electricity or natural gas consumption by at least 10 percent since January 2007. This amounts to a reduction of more than 1,200 tons of carbon dioxide, close to the amount generated by 148 houses in one year.

NADA, which represents about 20,000 new-car and -truck dealers, joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program in January 2007 to launch an Energy Stewardship Initiative. The initiative challenges dealers to cut the energy consumption at their stores by 10 percent or more. If all U.S. dealerships reduced their energy consumption by just 10 percent, they would save about $200 million in energy costs and cut about one million tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year.

“New car dealers are at the forefront of energy conservation,” says Annette Sykora, NADA chairman and owner of two multi-brand dealerships in Texas. “The Energy Star program helps the dealers’ bottom line and the environment at the same time.”
Source:  NADA Newswire

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Report: Emission Rules to Boost Calif. Economy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next 12 years ultimately will benefit California's economy and save its residents money, according to a report released Wednesday by state air regulators. The analysis found that the state's economy would grow at a faster rate than if it did nothing to cut the emissions that have been blamed for contributing to global warming. It offers the most authoritative projection yet of the economic consequences of the state's 2006 greenhouse gas law. "Our historic effort here in California to deal with the crisis of global warming will also have a benefit of saving our businesses and residents money," state Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols told reporters during a conference call. In June, the board proposed a series of ambitious measures to require cleaner-burning vehicles, increase renewable energy and impose an emissions cap on major polluters. It is working under a year-end deadline to finalize those strategies.
Source:  Associated Press

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U.S. Makers of Electric Cars Push for Consumer Tax Credits

WASHINGTON -- The surest way to spur the widespread development of plug-in electric vehicles in the U.S. is to offer the consumer tax credits that have been proposed in Congress, makers of plug-in cars told a Senate committee Tuesday. Pending Senate legislation that would extend a wide range of expiring tax cuts would provide a tax credit of $3,000 for the purchase of qualified plug-in vehicles. While tax credits have long been available for the purchase of hybrid cars that use a combination of gasoline engines and electric batteries, the new tax credit is designed to spur the market entry of electric-only cars. "The stark reality is that while most major automakers are working to develop and commercialize plug-in vehicle technology, few see a 'sustainable' business case" without financial assistance, said Edward Kjaer of Southern California Edison, a unit of Edison International, which is developing advanced meters that will allow customers to track electricity use by the hour.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Price vs. Fuel Savings for Chevy Volt Debated

The average U.S. driver of a Chevrolet Volt is expected to save $1,500 to $2,000 a year on fuel, compared with today's compact cars and about $1,000 a year compared with a Toyota Prius hybrid. But the debate continues over how much consumers will pay to get the fuel savings. GM, which unveiled the production design of the electric Volt on Tuesday, has yet to say how much the range-extended electric vehicle will cost when it goes on sale, but early estimates have put the cost in the mid-$30,000s to low-$40,000s. "My research tells me people won't pay that kind of premium," said Kevin Tynan, an analyst at Argus Research. His research shows that consumers won't pay more than $2,000 extra for a fuel-efficient vehicle.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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Toyota Sees Opening for Prius Brand

DETROIT -- Toyota Motor Co. is considering selling a family of Prius-branded hybrids with dedicated areas in dealerships to showcase the expanded line-up, a senior executive said on Tuesday. "You could have a series of derivatives under the Prius brand name that would allow you to market product at a much lower cost," Jim Lentz, Toyota's North American sales chief, told the Reuters Autos Summit in Detroit. "There is a definite desire for us to do that." Currently the sold-out Prius is offered as just another model in Toyota showrooms.
Source:  Reuters

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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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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 through Sept. 30. 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
 
... "time is critically important" in getting loans approved.

    -- Chrysler LLC CEO Bob Nardelli, in brief remarks to reporters after a series of meetings on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Automotive News, Sept. 17


"The U.S. automakers are the linchpin of a strong manufacturing industry in this nation. The auto companies need and deserve the support of our federal government."

    -- Keith Crain, Automotive News, Sept. 15


"New car dealers are at the forefront of energy conservation. The Energy Star program helps the dealers’ bottom line and the environment at the same time."

   
-- NADA Chairman Annette Sykora referring to the dealers who were recently recognized for meeting the NADA Energy Star Challenge, NADA Newswire, Sept. 18


"The stark reality is that while most major automakers are working to develop and commercialize plug-in vehicle technology, few see a 'sustainable' business case" without financial assistance.

    -- Edward Kjaer of Southern California Edison, says his company is developing advanced meters that will allow customers to track electricity use by the hour, The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 18

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.