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At a Glance...
Top Stories
Big 3 Scores in Lobbying for Bailout
What a Pirouette -- 58 House Members Flip to 'Yes'
Credit Crisis Adds to Pressures on Auto Dealers
Many Dealers Floored by Floorplan Limits, Costs
Auto Dealers See Bailout Freeing Car Loan Cash
GM Shifts Into Overdrive on Small Cars
European Automakers Seek EU Loan
Renault Itching for a Return to the U.S.
Opinion: Let's Get Clunkers Off the Road and Spur the Economy
NADA Update
ALERT: Be Sure to Work with NADA-Approved Convention Vendors
Player Slots for Pre-Convention Charity Golf Tournament Filling Up
Two New Legal Compliance Publications Now Available Online
STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About Internet Access Methods
Save Up to $760 on Select ThinkPad Notebooks
Top Stories
Big 3 Scores in Lobbying for Bailout

OK'd plan includes $1B tax credit over 10 years for plug-ins and fully electric vehicles
WASHINGTON -- Detroit's Big Three CEOs personally spoke with undecided members of Congress to help win passage of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout package -- and their work paid off. The bill, signed into law Friday by President Bush, includes a $1 billion tax credit over 10 years for plug-in vehicles and fully electric vehicles, which will be a boost for electric cars being planned for production by General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC. "The message from the auto executives was something [that] needed to be done or we were going to see layoffs in the coming weeks," said Nate Bailey, a spokesman for [Rep. Knollenberg (R-Mich.)] "They were legitimately pretty scared."
Source:  The Detroit News

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What a Pirouette -- 58 House Members Flip to 'Yes'

WASHINGTON -- The bill got better for some lawmakers. And back home, folks got scared after Monday's stock market plunge. Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain stepped up the pressure, as did Capitol Hill bosses like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. A Michigan congressman got a call from the head of General Motors. For some, the need to act became more urgent after car dealers and other local businesses complained about a credit freeze. All that combined to prod 58 House members who had voted a resounding "no" to the financial bailout on Monday to flip to "yes" just four days later. That means one of every four lawmakers who had helped shoot down the legislation did a complete reversal -- a gravity-defying pirouette, considering it came barely four weeks from Election Day on one of the most controversial issues of the year.
Source:  The Washington Post

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Credit Crisis Adds to Pressures on Auto Dealers

For auto dealers already suffering under the worst U.S. sales downturn in 15 years, the increasing cost of the credit they use to keep inventory in their showrooms means every Ford Focus and Jeep Grand Cherokee with a sale sticker in the window is chipping away at dealers' razor-thin profit margins every day and threatening to send more of them out of business. Paul Taylor, chief economist with the National Automobile Dealers Association, said Friday that dealership closures spiked in September... He now expects 500 to 600 of the group's 20,770 dealerships to shut their doors this year, up from previous estimates of 300 to 400. Ray Ciccolo, president of Village Automotive Group in the Boston area, said his financing costs have doubled in recent years. That's had a "disastrous" effect, he said, on his six dealerships... In some cases, funds aren't available at all. Ciccolo said one of his dealers recently expressed interest in picking up another franchise but couldn't find a bank willing to finance the inventory. "I've been in this business for 46 years and this is the first time I've seen anything like this," Ciccolo said. "It's a perfect storm of calamity." The NADA's Taylor said he expects this year's vehicle sales to total about 14.2 million units, down from 16.1 million units last year and 16.5 million in 2006.
Source:  Associated Press

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Many Dealers Floored by Floorplan Limits, Costs

The credit crisis — which has made lenders reluctant to finance dealerships' vehicle inventories — is helping force hundreds of dealers out of business. The National Automobile Dealers Association projects that as many as 700 dealerships could close this year, out of 21,461 as of Jan. 1. The last decline of this magnitude occurred during the recession of the early 1990s. Dealers have fallen prey to poor sales, high gasoline prices and ruinous price wars. But a lack of credit is a big factor in this year's shakeout, says NADA chief economist Paul Taylor. "Credit conditions need to be improved somehow, and quickly," he says.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Auto Dealers See Bailout Freeing Car Loan Cash

WHEAT RIDGE – Colorado auto dealerships anticipate the financial bailout bill will open up a tight credit market for car buyers. [John Medved, who owns dealerships in Wheat Ridge and Castle Rock] says the credit crunch has caused him to reduce the amount of inventory on his lot from $40 million worth four months ago to $22 million today. Customers are also showing signs of wariness over the economy, Medved said, by hanging onto cars longer before trading them in. “We're seeing trade-ins come in 150,000 and 100,000. They're tired and their worn out. We never saw that before,” Medved said. Tim Jackson, the executive director of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, also views the rescue bill as an opportunity for car buyers previously shut out of borrowing. "It won't happen overnight but credit will become more readily available, easier to obtain and less costly. And all those are important for consumers."
Source:  9News.com (NBC affiliate), Denver, Colo.

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GM Shifts Into Overdrive on Small Cars

General Motors Corp., still unable to meet demand for fuel-efficient small cars, will keep its sole U.S. compact-car factory running on overtime for the remainder of this year, the auto maker said Friday. GM is running short on Chevrolet Cobalt cars despite adding a third shift this summer at its Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant. Dealers across the U.S. have fewer than eight weeks' worth of the Cobalt, Corolla and Civic in stock, according to Wardsauto.com. The industry norm is to have at least a 10-week supply. The Ford Focus, with roughly a 13-week supply according to Wards, saw a 5% bump in sales last month.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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European Automakers Seek EU Loan

PARIS -- Europe's car makers plan to ask the European Commission for a €40 billion ($55.22 billion) loan to accelerate the transition to environmentally friendly cars, a spokesman for Italy's Fiat SpA confirmed Saturday. The request follows a similar move in the U.S., where Congress approved $25 billion in loans to help U.S.-based auto makers improve fuel economy. Car companies have complained it isn't economically viable for them to meet the emission deadline for the entire fleet by 2012. They have lobbied for the European Commission to delay application of the rules until 2015. "All European carmakers agree on the [€40 billion] demand," a spokesman for Fiat said Saturday, confirming earlier comments by his boss, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne. The final details of an agreement remain unclear, another person familiar with Fiat's proposal said.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Renault Itching for a Return to the U.S.

PARIS -- French car maker Renault SA is still itching for a move into the U.S. automobile market -- the world's biggest, from which it has been absent for more than 20 years -- and might be interested in Chrysler LLC if its owners were to put it up for sale, a senior Renault official said Thursday. Jacques Verdonck, Renault's vice-president for corporate and strategic planning, told Dow Jones Newswires that one option for the company is to try to establish a presence in the U.S. by itself, although this would be both "risky and costly." That is because it would involve developing at least three new products specifically designed for the U.S. market, while creating a dealer network, either by forming an alliance with an existing dealership network or creating Renault's own network from scratch. The other easier and less onerous way would be to link up with one of the large U.S. automotive companies, though this would imply that the partner is in good financial health and is sufficiently robust to carry the deal through, he said.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Opinion: Let's Get Clunkers Off the Road and Spur the Economy
Automotive News

Now that Washington is throwing hundreds of billions of tax dollars at financial and economic problems, there is one more program with proven benefits that Congress ought to fund: a national scrappage incentive that would get polluting clunkers off the road and stimulate demand for new vehicles. Several states, including Texas and California, have had successful programs. In Texas, consumers in some high-pollution counties can get as much as $3,500 to scrap polluting cars and trucks and replace them with new or late-model vehicles. Since the program began last December, 15,000 Texans have scrapped clunkers. Since owners of older vehicles tend to spend less to maintain them, many old cars don't even meet the emissions or safety standards under which they were manufactured, let alone newer standards. They can be rundown, dirty and dangerous. According to the California Air Resources Board, by 2010 about 30 percent of the vehicles driven in that state will be at least 13 years old. Those elderly vehicles will account for 25 percent of miles driven but 75 percent of pollutants emitted by vehicles, CARB says. With the U.S. auto market likely to be in the doldrums until 2010, getting clunkers off the road would create demand for new vehicles. That would keep factories humming, suppliers supplying, dealers selling and auto workers working.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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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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Player Slots for Pre-Convention Charity Golf Tournament Filling Up

Registrations for the “Dealers for Charity” golf tournament in New Orleans are starting to roll in, reports Lin Peacock, vice president of NADA Insurance.  The tournament, hosted by NADA’s hole-in-one insurance partner, ACECO, is slated for Friday, Jan. 23, 2009 before the opening of the NADA Convention and Exposition. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Brees Dream Foundation, a charitable organization founded by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. The tournament will be held at TPC Louisiana, the only PGA Tour course in the state. The event is open exclusively to NADA members. Registration fees are $300 per player. Participation is limited to the first 144 golfers who sign up. The registration deadline is Nov. 9. Visit www.ACECOinsurance.com and click on the “Dealers for Charity” logo to sign up.

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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. NADA Management Education is also 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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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 $760 on Select ThinkPad Notebooks

NADA members can save in three ways:

  • Instant savings with discounted Web pricing
  • Save even more with your NADA discount
  • Enter eCoupon USXFALLSAVINGS at checkout

To take advantage of this offer, visit www.nada.org/Technology/PCPurchaseProgram/ (member login required), click www.lenovo.com/shop/deals/nada, then click "Special Offers," or call (800) 426-7235, Option 1, Ext. 4838. Enter eCoupon USXFALLSAVINGS at checkout. Free ground shipping is available on all Web orders.

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Featured Video
 

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.
More Video Highlights
Quotable
 
Dealers have fallen prey to poor sales, high gasoline prices and ruinous price wars. But a lack of credit is a big factor in this year's shakeout. "Credit conditions need to be improved somehow, and quickly."

   
-- NADA chief economist Paul Taylor, Automotive News, Oct. 6


"I've been in this business for 46 years and this is the first time I've seen anything like this. It's a perfect storm of calamity."

    -- Ray Ciccolo, president of Village Automotive Group in the Boston area, referring to the effect of the credit crisis on dealerships, Associated Press, Oct. 5


"It won't happen overnight but credit will become more readily available, easier to obtain and less costly. And all those are important for consumers."

    -- Tim Jackson, executive director of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, explaining how the bailout will free up car loan cash, 9News.com (NBC affiliate), Denver, Colo., Oct. 5


"With the U.S. auto market likely to be in the doldrums until 2010, getting clunkers off the road would create demand for new vehicles. That would keep factories humming, suppliers supplying, dealers selling and auto workers working."

    -- Automotive News opinion in support of a national scrappage incentive that would get polluting clunkers off the road and stimulate demand for new vehicles, Oct. 6
Video Highlights
 


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.


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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