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Top Stories
NADA Supports Automaker Loans
Bailout Boosts Automakers' $25-Billion Plan
Opinion: Not a Bailout, but $25 Billion for Oil Dependence
Suppliers Make Pitch for Federal Auto Loans
Government: Gas Mileage Rise in 2008 Vehicles
GM's Move to Tap Credit Line May Intensify Worries
Title Wash Rules Arrive
J.D. Power: Satisfaction Grows with Service Operations
Committed to Community: Safe Kids, Bradshaw to Check Child Car Seats
NADA Update
Two New Legal Compliance Publications Now Available Online
Reminder: Second Red Flags Rule Seminar Set for Tomorrow
Sign Up Today to Become a Green Checkup Dealer
NADA Convention: 'Full Speed Ahead' to New Orleans in January
STAR Answers Dealers Questions about Dealership Data Security
Save up to 42% on Select ThinkPad Notebooks
Top Stories
NADA Supports Automaker Loans

WASHINGTON -- The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) supports the automakers' request for $25 billion in federal loans. As part of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, a program was included to provide direct loans to automakers to retool their factories to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles. In recent weeks, the automakers have pushed for Congress to fund this provision before the end of the 110th Congress. The economic stability of the automobile industry benefits everyone -- every dealer, every manufacturer and every consumer. Therefore, NADA supports funding the $25 billion provision that was included in last year’s energy bill, specifically Section 136 Direct Loan Program of the Energy Independence and Security Act.

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Bailout Boosts Automakers' $25-Billion Plan

WASHINGTON -- With just a few working days left for Congress this year, Wall Street's turmoil will overshadow the auto industry's bid for $25 billion in loans this week -- but it also may boost the automakers' case for first aid. "The developments on Wall Street are actually going to turn out helpful for the loan package," said Tom Vaughn, a partner in the Dykema law firm's automotive practice. Although the auto industry disowns most parallels between Wall Street aid and the loans -- mainly to avoid calling the $25 billion an industry bailout -- the comparison gives automakers some talking points:

  • Unlike Wall Street, automakers and parts suppliers are pledging to pay back the money they receive.
  • The size of the Wall Street rescue efforts -- which are climbing toward $1 trillion -- dwarf the $25 billion sought by automakers.
  • Although automakers and financial firms get blamed for causing their financial troubles, helping blue-collar factory workers carries more political cachet than riding to the rescue of bankers.

"It's going to be very hard for Congress to say no; we're not going to fund loans that help middle America, when they're willing to bail out loans and activity that most folks view as an East Coast activity," Vaughn said.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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Opinion: Not a Bailout, but $25 Billion for Oil Dependence
by Warren Brown

This might seem a bad time to ask Uncle Sam for money. There is some justifiable concern, especially in this troubled economy, that at least one of the domestic car companies might go under and, in doing so, sock American taxpayers with another multibillion-dollar bill. The Congressional Budget Office, for example, estimates that such a failure could cost $7.5 billion in taxpayer losses. But here's betting that direct loans to the domestic car companies will yield greater dividends to the American economy than the money being invested in our faltering mortgage and insurance institutions. Car companies actually make things -- cars and trucks. Their enterprise encourages the development of future, saleable technology. Their success in that endeavor would ensure the continuation of an American-owned industrial base. That speaks to American manufacturing jobs and to all of the ancillary employment stemming from those jobs. The Volt and similar cars promise to revolutionize personal transportation, to make it less dependent on oil and all of the political, economic and social evils attached thereto. That's worth $25 billion, I think. It's a better risk than betting that the investors and speculators who got us into our current financial trouble by buying and selling poorly vetted loans have our best economic interests at heart.
Source:  The Washington Post

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Suppliers Make Pitch for Federal Auto Loans

WASHINGTON -- Auto parts suppliers flooded Capitol Hill on Friday to make their case for $25 billion in federal loans for the industry... The Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association [MEMA], the trade group for the parts industry, said it met with more than 40 lawmakers Friday. MEMA officials share a list of demands with automakers, asking Congress to pay for the loans and broaden the number of plants they can be applied to. MEMA members also pressed Congress to force the U.S. Department of Energy to write the rules quickly governing how the loans will be made.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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Government: Gas Mileage Rise in 2008 Vehicles

WASHINGTON -- The average fuel efficiency of the fleet of new cars and trucks rose only slightly in 2008, but the government said Friday an increase in the sales of smaller vehicles due to high gas prices could push the numbers higher. The Environmental Protection Agency reported that the average performance of new, 2008 model cars and trucks was 20.8 miles per gallon in 2008, up 0.2 mpg compared to 2007 model year vehicles a year ago, and a 1.5 mpg increase since 2004. The estimates, which the agency uses on vehicle window stickers on dealer lots, are based on a combination of pre-sale road tests and projections of likely sales of the new model vehicles. But with people buying smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles -- and fewer SUVs and pickups -- those fleet-wide projections were likely to be off the mark, the EPA acknowledged. ...Charles Territo, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers ... said the report showed the lengthy list of fuel-efficient vehicles on the market. More than 100 vehicle models offer 30 mpg or better on the highway and they "have become extremely popular recently with the rise in higher gas prices," he said. Fuel efficiency has become a top selling point at dealerships with the rise in gas prices.
Source:  Associated Press

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GM's Move to Tap Credit Line May Intensify Worries

General Motors Corp.'s move to draw $3.5 billion from an existing credit line could intensify investor concerns about the adequacy of the auto maker's cash supply, even as it takes some immediate pressure off the company's plans to tap the volatile credit markets. On Friday, GM said it intends to draw the cash from a $4.5 billion credit facility it arranged in 2006 with banks including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. People familiar with the matter said GM turned to the credit line because it was growing increasingly concerned about the health of its banks amid the current crisis on Wall Street.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Title Wash Rules Arrive

The federal government today will publicly unveil proposed rules requiring insurers and salvage yards to identify for a national database all severely damaged vehicles they acquire. The National Automobile Dealers Association, automakers and consumer groups have been pressuring the Justice Department to issue the rules, originally mandated by a 1992 anti-theft law. The industry and consumer groups contend full implementation of the law would help stem title washing — the practice of reselling repaired wrecks and flood-damaged vehicles with clean titles — which victimizes dealers and consumers, they say.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

[Editor's Note: The proposed rule moving the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) forward is a major first step to reduce title fraud, but a more effective solution is still needed to make total-loss data available to consumers and dealers. Until total-loss information is made available in an electronic and commercial format so that vehicle auctions, dealers and the public can track total-loss vehicles, legislation will be needed. Dealers are urged to push their Representatives to cosponsor H.R. 1029 and push their Senators to cosponsor the recently re-introduced S. 3483 to require insurers and rental companies to disclose the VINs of totaled cars to vehicle history providers on a more rapid and complete basis. For more information, go to www.nada.org/TLD.]

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J.D. Power: Satisfaction Grows with Service Operations

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Satisfaction levels among owners of four- and five-year-old vehicles at dealers' service operations are on a slight upswing this year, according to J.D. Power and Associates. This is an important increase given that many dealers are getting squeezed by tighter profit margins. Specifically, overall satisfaction with dealer services averaged 866 out of 1,000 — a three-point increase from 2007. This year, 58 percent of consumers indicated they brought their vehicle into the dealership for maintenance, while 42 percent reported making repair visits.
Source:  Auto Remarketing

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Committed to Community: Safe Kids, Bradshaw to Check Child Car Seats

GREER, S.C. -- Safe Kids Upstate and Bradshaw Automotive will continue their 13-year partnership through a free safety seat check ... Bradshaw Automotive's president and owner, William Bradshaw, said [last week] he is passionate about ensuring the safety of young children, and one way to do that is to educate parents and grandparents on installing car seats properly. "Approximately nine out of 10 seats that are riding around are either the wrong seat or improperly installed seat," he said. The family-oriented event will feature entertainment as children wait for their car seats to be checked. They include inflatables, interactive robots and magicians. Bradshaw said he hopes the event will spread the word about the importance of having children in proper car seats and prompt other community leaders to pledge financial support for Safe Kids Upstate as the program expands.
Source:  GreenvilleOnline.com

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NADA Update
Two New Legal Compliance Publications Now Available Online

NADA has finalized two new publications aimed at helping dealers comply with several new federal legal requirements. All members will receive a free printed copy of A Dealer Guide to the FTC Affiliate Marketing Rule (L51) and Electronic Disclosure Rules for Dealership Online Commerce (L52) via mail. However, because the Oct. 1 compliance deadline for each of these new rules is approaching, NADA Management Education is making these two publications available immediately, in PDF form, free to members upon request.

The FTC’s Affiliate Marketing Rule specifies when certain credit-related information received from a company’s affiliates may be used for marketing purposes. The guide covering this new rule defines key terms, explains the new rule’s relationship to existing information-sharing restrictions under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and provides examples of the notices required under the new rule.

The Federal Reserve Board’s Electronic Disclosure Rules affect dealers who currently engage in certain online activities (such as advertising leases online, advertising credit online, or providing access to/accepting online credit applications), or envision doing so in the future. This publication explains the rules, discusses amendments to certain regulations—including Regulations B, M, and Z—and provides context and compliance considerations.

Members may obtain a free PDF copy of each publication by sending an email to me@nada.org with their requests and member identification numbers.

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Reminder: Second Red Flags Rule Seminar Set for Tomorrow

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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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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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
 
More than 100 vehicle models offer 30 mpg or better on the highway and they "have become extremely popular recently with the rise in higher gas prices."

   
-- Charles Territo, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, referring to the government's report that gas mileage rose in 2008 vehicles, Associated Press, Sept. 22


"The developments on Wall Street are actually going to turn out helpful for the loan package. It's going to be very hard for Congress to say no..."

   
-- Tom Vaughn, a partner in the Dykema law firm's automotive practice, Detroit Free Press, Sept. 22


"The Volt and similar cars promise to revolutionize personal transportation, to make it less dependent on oil and all of the political, economic and social evils attached thereto. That's worth $25 billion..."

   
-- Warren Brown, The Washington Post, Sept. 21
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.