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Top Stories
10 Governors Push Auto Loans
Auto Sales May Suffer as Banks Tighten Credit
Auto Lease Drop Threatens 1 Million Annual U.S. Sales
Court Revives NM Auto Emissions Challenge
NADA Recognizes Legislative Leader at the Washington Conference
GM Reshuffles Product Plans
For New Pickups, Ford and Chrysler Talk about Fuel Efficiency
Chrysler to Show Dealers Electric Car
Chrysler Expands Employee Discounts
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
Reminder: Second Red Flags Rule Seminar Set for Tuesday
STAR Answers Dealers Questions about Dealership Data Security
Save up to 42% on Select ThinkPad Notebooks
Top Stories
10 Governors Push Auto Loans

WASHINGTON -- Ten U.S. governors asked Congress on Thursday to back $25 billion in loans for the auto industry... In a letter to lawmakers, the governors of Michigan, Illinois, New Jersey, Tennessee, Ohio, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Delaware, Kansas and North Carolina also asked Congress to spend $250 million on advanced battery research. Nine of the governors are Democrats. "It is imperative that the federal government make these critical investments in advanced vehicles and battery research to create jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase our nation's energy independence," the letter said. After a blitz from the chief executives of Detroit's automakers on Wednesday, Congress isn't expected to take up the loans until sometime next week, when it is to consider the resolution to keep the government open through the elections.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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Auto Sales May Suffer as Banks Tighten Credit

U.S. auto sales were hobbled in the first half as gasoline prices jumped to record highs. Now, a financial crisis that pushed Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. into bankruptcy has toughened new-vehicle loan terms and may further depress sales. "The panic over fuel prices brought the quickest shift from trucks and SUVs to cars I've ever seen," said Dave Zuchowski, vice president of sales for Hyundai Motor's U.S. unit. "The new story is access to credit. That will impact us more in the second half." General Motors Corp. CEO Rick Wagoner this week said consumer financing is now "much tighter" and urged the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates. "Our biggest problem is credit," Chrysler LLC President Jim Press told reporters on Sept. 2.
Source:  Bloomberg

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Auto Lease Drop Threatens 1 Million Annual U.S. Sales

Automakers' efforts to wean U.S. consumers off leasing may trim annual industry sales by as many as 1 million units, a Standard & Poor's credit analyst said. New-car shoppers who seek a lease, which generally carries a lower monthly payment, may choose to keep their current vehicles longer, said Gregg Lemos Stein, at a conference hosted by S&P in New York. Lower prices paid for vehicles coming off lease, known as residual values, are cutting into automaker's earnings at their finance units and prompting them to pare leasing. The drop in leasing adds to the squeeze on buyers and automakers already grappling with declining consumer confidence, higher gasoline prices and a deteriorating housing market.
Source:  Bloomberg

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Court Revives NM Auto Emissions Challenge

SANTA FE — New life has been given to a lawsuit challenging a state board's power to adopt tougher emissions standards for new vehicles in New Mexico. The state Court of Appeals revived the lawsuit on Tuesday by ruling that a district court in Las Cruces had wrongly dismissed the case last year. A group of Democratic legislators, car dealers and a farmer challenged the power of the Environmental Improvement Board to adopt auto emission standards similar to those in California. Their lawsuit contended that the Legislature must change state law before the California standards could be approved. "We want to have clean air, but we want to do it the right way and not take California law and make us have to apply it," [said Kevin Key, general manager and co-owner of Jack Key Motor Company of Las Cruces.] "And we want it to go through the normal legislative process rather than back-dooring it through the Environmental Improvement Board of New Mexico."
Source:  Las Cruces Sun-News

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NADA Recognizes Legislative Leader at the Washington Conference

WASHINGTON, DC -- The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) presented its Capitol Achievement Award to Gary Williams, president of the Wisconsin Automobile and Truck Dealers Association. The award, presented in conjunction with the NADA Washington Conference, recognizes a dealer or Automotive Trade Association Executive who goes above and beyond the call of duty on Capitol Hill. Hundreds of dealers from around the country attended legislative briefings and one-on-one meetings with lawmakers this week as part of the conference.


Ray Ciccolo, right, presents Gary Williams with NADA's Capitol Achievement Award.

"This year, we recognize a tireless advocate for dealers in his home state of Wisconsin and in Washington," said Ray Ciccolo, chairman of NADA's government relations committee. "From healthcare to fuel economy, he has been a leader among his peers, always seeing and understanding how each part of the legislative process works while keeping a close eye on the big picture."

After more than 37 years of service, Williams has announced he will retire this year. In 1971, Williams joined the Wisconsin Automobile Trades Association, which in 1976 expanded to become the Wisconsin Automobile and Truck Dealers Association. "Since he’s been at the helm, Gary has been critical to the success of NADA's legislative efforts in DC, and for Wisconsin dealers as well," Ciccolo added.

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GM Reshuffles Product Plans

General Motors Corp. has suspended plans to build a small, seven-seat crossover wagon for its Chevrolet brand in North America and instead plans to bring another small car to the U.S. from Asia. The moves come as it continues to reshuffle its product plans amid a rapidly shifting U.S. market. The MPV, or multipurpose vehicle, would have been based on GM's compact-car architecture but would have been capable of seating seven people. The vehicle could still be built for markets outside North America, such as Europe, where smallish MPVs are more popular. A concept version of the model -- called the Chevrolet Orlando -- will debut at the Paris auto show next month.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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For New Pickups, Ford and Chrysler Talk about Fuel Efficiency

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Automakers usually introduce a new pickup model by boasting that it is bigger and beefier than the old model. This year, with the Ford Motor Company and Chrysler both unveiling new pickups in one of the weakest truck markets in decades, their messages are all about higher fuel economy and gas-saving features, like a more efficient engine, lighter components and more aerodynamic design. Though it is far from an ideal time to sell trucks, the segment has rebounded somewhat since bottoming out in May, Ford’s chief sales analyst, George Pipas, said. Full-size pickups were 8.6 percent of the auto market four months ago but accounted for 13.6 percent in August. “Trucks are always going to be an important part of the business at Ford,” Mr. Pipas said. “I can’t see a day when trucks are not our No. 1 product.”
Source:  New York Times

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Chrysler to Show Dealers Electric Car

Chrysler LLC, in a bid to cheer up its dealers, next week plans to offer them a glimpse of an electric car it is scrambling to develop, people familiar with the matter said. The concept is similar to the Chevrolet Volt electric car that General Motors Corp. is working on and aims to launch by 2011. The event, which also will preview other Chrysler models under development, will be broadcast from the company's headquarters to dealers gathered in 100 movie theaters across the country, according to invitations distributed... The presentation is aimed in part at lifting the spirits of the company's hard-hit dealers. Many are being squeezed by Chrysler's slumping sales and more-restrictive lending policies that Chrysler put in place because of its own difficult financial situation.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Chrysler Expands Employee Discounts

Chrysler LLC announced today that is offering most of its employee discount to military personnel, customers returning leased vehicles and employees of many parts suppliers. The discounts run through Sept. 30. They amount to the employee price plus a $200 fee and apply to nearly all 2008 and 2009 Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge models that are in dealer stocks. In addition, Chrysler U.S. employees and retirees can give one additional employee discount to a friend or neighbor. That's in addition to six employee discounts they can offer family members.
Source:  Associated 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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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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Reminder: Second Red Flags Rule Seminar Set for Tuesday

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
 
"It is imperative that the federal government make these critical investments in advanced vehicles and battery research to create jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase our nation's energy independence."

    -- In a letter to Congress, 10 U.S. governors support the auto industry's efforts to secure $25 billion in loans, Detroit Free Press, Sept. 19


"The new story is access to credit. That will impact us more in the second half."

   
-- Dave Zuchowski, vice president of sales for Hyundai Motor's U.S. unit, responding to a report that auto sales may suffer as credit tightens, Bloomberg, Sept. 19


"We want to have clean air, but we want to do it the right way and not take California law and make us have to apply it."

   
-- Kevin Key, general manager and co-owner of Jack Key Motor Company of Las Cruces, responding to a lawsuit challenging a state board's power to adopt tougher emissions standards for new vehicles in New Mexico, Las Cruces Sun-News, Sept. 19

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.