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Top Stories
NADA Urges Congressional Passage of Rescue Plan
Auto Industry Loans May Take Up to 18 Months
GM Accepts Loan Package; Building New Plant in Flint
GM CEO Says Credit Crunch Hurting September Sales
Mazda Names Chase Auto as Dealer Lender
Dodge, Ford Stay Firmly Behind Trucks
Honda Expects to Achieve Car Sales Target, Fukui Says
Hydrogen Cars Lack Fueling Stations
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 Internet Access Methods
Save up to 42% on Select ThinkPad Notebooks
Top Stories
NADA Urges Congressional Passage of Rescue Plan

McLEAN, Va. -- The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), along with 14 other leading trade groups, sent a letter Thursday to members of Congress urging them to act as soon as possible on the Treasury Department's economic recovery plan before their session adjourns. The U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board Ben Bernanke have indicated that the Troubled Assets Recovery Plan is essential to restoring certainty, stability and liquidity to the nation's credit markets.

A broad-based coalition of trade groups representing the financial, mortgage, manufacturing and automotive industries wrote in the letter, "The notion that Main Street and Wall Street are separate and distinct is inaccurate. The sophisticated interconnectivity of institutional market participants, individual investors, small businesses and pension funds--both large and small--reflects the broad range of Americans who have a great deal at stake in this debate.

"If the market conditions that have paralyzed the credit markets are allowed to continue and become exacerbated by inaction, every American's economic well-being could be at risk," the coalition said. "The recovery plan, in its most general sense, offers an opportunity to return to an orderly market while assuring maximum protection for taxpayers and a path to divestiture of private funds purchased by the public facility."

Separately, NADA has met with banking and financial services organizations to emphasize that the existing auto financing model is fundamentally strong and to convince lenders that it's in their best economic interest to continue making credit available for auto retailing. "America’s financial liquidity crisis, which was 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," said NADA Chairman Annette Sykora.

NADA supports 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," Sykora said. "We just need liquidity to do our jobs. Consumers, even those with good credit, are finding it increasingly difficult to get financing."

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Auto Industry Loans May Take Up to 18 Months

WASHINGTON -- Loans for automakers and parts suppliers from a $25-billion pool expected to pass Congress this week might not reach the industry for six to 18 months, the U.S. Department of Energy said Thursday. Under the bill, the DOE must write the rules for the loans within 60 days of the bill becoming law. But DOE spokeswoman Healy Baumgardner said Thursday that the agency had "significant doubts about whether distribution of loans by January 2009 is realistic." "Because there are a number of legal and administrative requirements with which the department must comply, such as the National Environmental Policy Act, we anticipate it could take at least six to 18 months or more" before loans are granted. The House approved the loans on Wednesday as part of a $600-billion budget bill that will keep the government running through March. Senate leaders said Thursday that they won't consider the bill until Saturday.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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GM Accepts Loan Package; Building New Plant in Flint

FLINT, Mich.-- General Motors CEO G. Richard Wagoner Jr. said Thursday that the automaker should be able to put to good use its portion of a $25 billion government loan package for new technology. Speaking to reporters at a ceremony announcing a new engine plant in Flint, Wagoner said many of the loan program's specifics still must be written by the U.S. Department of Energy, but that GM can live with the version the House approved Wednesday. "We'd like to see them written to include all new technologies with significant improvement in fuel economy, but the legislation does have specific guidelines as well," he said. Wagoner said the new plant will build a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that will extend the range of the Volt, and a turbocharged version that will power the Chevrolet Cruze, a new compact car to be built in Lordstown, Ohio. Production at the new $370 million plant will begin in 2010, and both cars are slated to go on sale in the same year.
Source:  Associated Press

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GM CEO Says Credit Crunch Hurting September Sales

FLINT, Michigan -- General Motors Corp. Chief Executive Rick Wagoner said on Thursday that September U.S. auto sales were running about flat from August, but held out hope a federal auto loan package, tax breaks and a banking bailout, all pending in Congress, would support demand. "The market this month seems kind of like last month," Wagoner told reporters. "Last month, we also had tight credit, so I think there's no question that it's affecting automotive activity."  "Anything [Congress] can do to loosen up that logjam for automotive credit is going to help from the standpoint of production, employment and demand for vehicles," he said.
Source:  Reuters

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Mazda Names Chase Auto as Dealer Lender

Mazda North American Operations and Ford Motor Credit Co. are parting ways. Starting next month, Mazda will use Chase Auto Finance as its chief source of financial services to dealers and customers. Chase will provide Mazda dealers with subvented retail and lease programs, Mazda CEO Jim O’Sullivan said in a Wednesday, Sept. 24, e-mail message to the company’s U.S. dealers. Mazda American Credit, a brand of Ford Credit, now provides those services. “This action has mutual benefits in the tough business environment and tight credit markets that are challenging the entire industry,” O’Sullivan said. Ford Credit spokeswoman Brenda Hines says the change by Mazda will allow the captive “to focus on supporting the other Ford Motor Co. brands."
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Dodge, Ford Stay Firmly Behind Trucks

Despite a long, hot summer of uncertainty ... pickups will again take center stage at the State Fair of Texas today. Dodge will prominently display its 2009 Ram pickup... Ford will show its 2009 F-150 pickups... Both companies are far more optimistic now about the critical pickup segment ... than they were just 90 days ago. In August, lower gas prices and heavy truck incentives allowed the pickup segment to regain some traction. The seeming shift to small cars earlier this summer was "really to a very narrow range of small cars that got over 30 miles per gallon, and they were hot for three months," said Paul Taylor, chief economist of the National Automobile Dealers Association. "If we get back to where people think gas prices will stay at $3 to $4, we'll see more of a shift back to larger vehicles," Taylor said.
Source:  Dallas Morning News

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Honda Expects to Achieve Car Sales Target, Fukui Says

Honda Motor Co., Japan's second-largest automaker, expects to achieve its sales target for the fiscal year even as credit market turmoil damps industrywide demand in the U.S., President Takeo Fukui said. "Models like the Civic are selling so well," Fukui said in New Delhi today. "The current crisis is not a long-term issue. I don't believe there is any substantial change from the projected figures." The company's total sales in the U.S., the world's largest auto market, increased to 1.08 million vehicles in the first eight months of the year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Car sales gained 11.3 percent to 674,129, while truck sales fell 11 percent to 409,828.
Source:  Bloomberg

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Hydrogen Cars Lack Fueling Stations

PORTLAND, Ore. -- After investing money, time and effort to develop ultra-clean hydrogen prototypes, automakers are frustrated that they're not seeing more fueling stations for these vehicles. Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp., General Motors Corp. and Daimler AG have developed road-ready hydrogen models but there's hardly any infrastructure to support them, Bill Reinert, national manager for advanced technology at Toyota Motor Sales, said at a conference here organized by Toyota. "They're all tethered to areas with these pathetically few stations," he said. "We haven't learned how to establish a hydrogen infrastructure anywhere in the world." "We certainly would like to see hydrogen infrastructure development move faster," GM spokesman Pete Barkey said. "We have been very public that we need energy companies and governments to accelerate their efforts."
Source:  The Detroit 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 Internet Access Methods

 

Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR) has developed new guidelines to to help dealers evaluate their Internet Access Methods. Visit STAR's Dealer Infrastructure Guidelines (DIG) publication for more information. To answer the question "How do I make sure I get a business-grade connection?" 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
 
"If the market conditions that have paralyzed the credit markets are allowed to continue and become exacerbated by inaction, every American's economic well-being could be at risk."

   
-- NADA and 14 other leading trade groups wrote in a letter to Congress urging them to act as soon as possible on the Treasury Department's economic recovery plan, NADA Headlines, Sept. 26


"Last month, we also had tight credit, so I think there's no question that it's affecting automotive activity. Anything [Congress] can do to loosen up that logjam for automotive credit is going to help from the standpoint of production, employment and demand for vehicles." 

    --  GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner explaining the effect of the credit crunch on the auto industry, Reuters, Sept. 26


"If we get back to where people think gas prices will stay at $3 to $4, we'll see more of a shift back to larger vehicles."

   
-- NADA Chief Economist Paul Taylor, Dallas Morning News, Sept. 26
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.