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Top Stories
The Squeeze on Getting a Car Loan
Automakers Clear Obstacle to Loans
Opinion: Don't Attach Too Many Strings to Federal Loans
Toyota Looks to Expand Prius, Focus on Gas-Electric Hybrids
Ford Progress Hidden by Economy, Exec Says
Chrysler's Jolt: Three Electric Cars
Senate OKs Volt-Friendly Plug-In Tax Credit
Committed to Community: Universities Get Grants from Auto Dealers
NADA Update
ALERT: Be Sure to Work with NADA-Approved Convention Vendors
Two New Legal Compliance Publications Now Available Online
Sign Up Today to Become a Green Checkup Dealer
STAR Answers Dealers Questions about Dealership Data Security
Save up to 42% on Select ThinkPad Notebooks
Top Stories
The Squeeze on Getting a Car Loan

Car dealers say they can still get financing for customers, but experts warn it's a tough market.
NEW YORK -- A massive pile-up in the credit markets is causing serious congestion for new car buyers who want financing, according to industry observers. But some dealers say they're still able to work out deals. Almost all auto dealers recently surveyed by the industry newspaper Automotive News said they were having a harder time finding loans for customers with poor credit. About 60 percent said they are having more trouble getting financing even for customers with good credit. "The issue with autos right now is that, essentially, we're having our own [auto] credit crisis that's brought on by the credit crisis," said George Magliano, director of North American auto industry research for the consulting firm Global Insight.
Source:  CNNMoney.com

[NADA Statement: The Financial Liquidity Crisis: "America’s financial liquidity crisis, created by mortgage lending, is constraining the availability of auto credit, which is the lifeblood of both dealerships at the wholesale level and car buyers at the retail level. Industry experts agree that the economics of auto financing are sound and that vehicle financing did not cause the current crisis.  Nonetheless, banks and finance companies are reluctant to lend. Consumers – even those with good credit – are finding it increasingly difficult to get financing. To address the issue, NADA is moving forward on several fronts. First, NADA is meeting with the major associations representing the banking and financial services industries. The purpose of these meetings is 1) to emphasize the fundamental soundness of the existing auto finance model and 2) to highlight the fact that it is, therefore, in the economic interests of finance sources to continue making credit available for automotive retailing. In addition, NADA is supporting Congressional efforts both to stabilize liquidity in the economy and to provide government funding that would make available $25 billion in loans for the auto industry. Our message to the financial community and Congress is simple: Auto financing is sound. We just need liquidity to do our jobs." -- Annette Sykora, NADA Chairman]

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Automakers Clear Obstacle to Loans

WASHINGTON -- Detroit automakers cleared a major hurdle for government funding of $25 billion in loans to the auto industry -- but lost a bid to have those loans applied to a wide range of new vehicles. Rep. David Obey [D-Wis.] chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said Tuesday that the loan program created but not paid for in last year's energy bill will be included in the budget resolution that Congress is expected to pass as soon as today. That resolution keeps the government running through March, and President George W. Bush is expected to sign it.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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Opinion: Don't Attach Too Many Strings to Federal Loans
Automotive News

It is naive to hope that the federal government would co-sign $25 billion in loans to the auto industry without attaching conditions. Even the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — which sailed through Washington with far less opposition than has been shown to the proposed auto industry loan package — came with substantial strings. Specifically, top management was forced out of both companies. It is not clear what conditions the government will place on automakers and suppliers that wish to tap the low-interest federal loans. It would be shameful and shortsighted not to encourage and support the nation's manufacturing base with $25 billion in loans while doling out hundreds of billions — even trillions — to bail out Wall Street. At the same time, politicians and bureaucrats must resist the urge to mandate technologies. And attaching too many strings could strangle the very industry Congress claims to want to help. America cannot afford that.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Toyota Looks to Expand Prius, Focus on Gas-Electric Hybrids

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Toyota Motor Corp. expects gas-electric hybrids to form the majority of its alternative-technology vehicles for decades to come, and the automaker is studying plans to expand the successful Prius nameplate across a range of vehicles, senior company officials said Tuesday. "The reason the Prius was such a successful car is that the customer didn't have to do anything to it," [said Bill Reinert, national manager of advanced technology for Toyota Motor Sales in Torrance, Calif.] Many engineers view hybrids as a transitional technology because it costs more to equip cars with dual powertrains. Toyota and Honda Motor Co., the leading sellers of hybrids, say they have lowered the cost of the technology and are now spreading it across increased volumes.
Source:  The Detroit News

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Ford Progress Hidden by Economy, Exec Says

One of Ford Motor Co.'s top global leaders told the Free Press on Monday that the pangs in the economy, which are spreading from the United States to other global markets, are masking how successful Ford's operations are being turned around behind the scenes. "What's going right at Ford right now is a little bit hidden," said Jim Farley, Ford's group vice president for global marketing and communications. Ford, which lost $8.6 billion in the first half of the year and has already slashed about 40% of its North American workforce, is twisting through the toughest market in a decade and a half and asking the federal government for financial assistance to meet new fuel-economy regulations. Still, Ford is recognized as having a stronger position than some rivals, largely because of the $38.2 billion in cash and available credit it has at its disposal.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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Chrysler's Jolt: Three Electric Cars

Auto Maker Discloses It Has Lost $400 Million This Year As It Unveils Battery-Powered Vehicles
Auburn Hills, Mich. -- Chrysler LLC on Tuesday disclosed to dealers that it has lost $400 million so far this year, just hours after it unveiled prototypes of new electric cars it hopes will give it an edge in the race to develop battery-powered vehicles. Earlier, at a small test track outside its headquarters here, Chrysler demonstrated a battery-powered Dodge sports car that it said would travel 150 to 200 miles before needing a recharge. The company also demonstrated a Jeep Wrangler sport-utility vehicle that it said would go 40 miles on electric power alone, while a small gasoline engine under the hood provides supplemental electrical power and recharges the battery on longer trips. Chrysler said it is also working on a Town & Country minivan with the same propulsion system used in the Wrangler. All three could be plugged into standard electrical outlets to recharge overnight, the company said. One of the three vehicles will be introduced in the U.S. by the end of 2010, the company said, without identifying which one.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Senate OKs Volt-Friendly Plug-In Tax Credit

WASHINGTON -- General Motors’ hopes for a $7,500 federal tax credit to help it sell plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volts may soon be realized. The Senate this evening passed a complex and wide-ranging tax bill, covering everything from extension of credits for wind energy producers to expanded exemptions from the alternative minimum tax. Riding along is a small provision creating a new tax credit for buyers of plug-in electric vehicles – none of which is on the market yet. The credit would start at $2,500 and rise to as much as $7,500 for a light-duty vehicle, depending on battery capacity.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Committed to Community: Universities Get Grants from Auto Dealers

Two area universities received grants Tuesday from the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation. Kevin Eichner, Ottawa University’s president, and Patricia Long, Baker University’s president, accepted the $7,000 gifts on behalf of their universities. Dale Willey, owner of Dale Willey Automotive in Lawrence, and his wife, Jan, who attended Ottawa University, helped make the presentations. Ottawa received a grant from the Joseph J. Sanchez Memorial Fund, which honors the former vice president and general manager of the Oldsmobile Division of General Motors and first president of Saturn Corp. The grants are given to students for emergency needs at accredited private independent colleges or universities in each of the National Automobile Dealers Association’s four regions.
Source:  Lawrence Journal World & News

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NADA Update
ALERT: Be Sure to Work with NADA-Approved Convention Vendors

Both exhibitors and attendees planning to attend the 2009 NADA Convention & Exposition in New Orleans may receive email solicitations, phone calls, direct mail or other forms of communications from vendors and contractors claiming to be endorsed or approved by NADA, which many are not. Be on the lookout for these types of solicitations.

HERE IS A LIST OF OFFICIAL NADA VENDORS AND CONTRACTORS:              

  • Freeman (Service Contractor)
  • PSAV Presentation Services (Audio/Visual)
  • CCR Events (Computer Rental)
  • National Plant & Floral, Inc.
  • Experient (Lead Retrieval)
  • HMI – Holiday Models, Inc.
  • Oscar Einzig (Photography)
  • Marshall Robinson & Associates (Security)
  • Experient (Housing – Exhibitor & Attendee)
  • NADA's AutoExec Department (Advertising/Sponsorships)

Please use caution when dealing with any solicitations from companies that are not on this list. Contact NADA conventions at (703) 821-7141 if you have any questions.

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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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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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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
 
"NADA is supporting Congressional efforts both to stabilize liquidity in the economy and to provide government funding that would make available $25 billion in loans for the auto industry."

   
-- NADA Chairman Annette Sykora in a written statement outlining NADA's policy position on the credit crisis, NADA Headlines, Sept. 24


"The issue with autos right now is that, essentially, we're having our own [auto] credit crisis that's brought on by the credit crisis."

   
-- George Magliano, director of North American auto industry research for the consulting firm Global Insight, CNNMoney.com, Sept. 23


"It would be shameful and shortsighted not to encourage and support the nation's manufacturing base with $25 billion in loans while doling out hundreds of billions — even trillions — to bail out Wall Street."

    -- Automotive News opinion, Sept. 24
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.