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Top Stories
NADA's Sykora: 'Action is Better Than No Action'
With Credit Drying Up, Car Buyers Bring Cash
NADA Chief Urges Quick Bailout Action
Energy Chief Says Loans to Come for Carmakers
Oil, Gas Prices Fall with Stocks
Study: Dealers Gain on Independent Shops
Toyota Fighting US Woes to Meet Global Sales Goal
NADA Update
Coming Up: Another Virtual Seminar on the Red Flags Rule
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
NADA's Sykora: 'Action is Better Than No Action'

DETROIT -- Auto dealers hope the federal government’s $700 billion bailout package will thaw credit markets so they can finance floorplans and consumer purchases, the chairman of the National Automotive Dealers Association said today. Annette Sykora called credit “the lifeblood of our industry” in her address here [yesterday] to the Automotive Press Association. She urged quick implementation of the bailout package to save the country’s more than 20,000 dealers. “It’s too early to tell whether the fix will work, but one thing is clear: This action is better than no action,” [Sykora said.] “Dealers can’t move product and are facing higher floorplan rates themselves, so the products they can’t move are costing them more,” she said. Slow sales even affected Sykora’s remarks on a nationwide fuel economy standard, which NADA supports. “Unless and until customers actually buy these new vehicles covered by (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s) proposal, the fuel economy and climate advantages associated with those vehicles cannot and will not be realized,” she said.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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With Credit Drying Up, Car Buyers Bring Cash

DETROIT — The few consumers who are buying new cars are being forced into bigger down payments or all-cash deals in the latest sign of how the credit crisis is battering an already weak auto market. The average down payment on financed car purchases has jumped nearly $1,000, about 20 percent, since July, and all-cash transactions are at their highest point in three years, according to data from the research firm J. D. Power & Associates. While credit is drying up for consumers, dealers are also struggling to secure financing for their vehicle inventories. In a speech Tuesday in Detroit, the leader of the National Auto Dealers Association said the unrest on Wall Street was wreaking havoc on the auto market. “Credit is the lifeblood of our industry,” said the chairwoman, Annette Sykora, who is also a principal in two Ford dealerships in Texas. “Dealerships need it to finance inventory from manufacturers. Consumers need it to buy cars.” She said that typically more than 90 percent of buyers finance their vehicles. But now, some dealers have been unable to get financing even for car buyers with exemplary credit scores.
Source:  The New York Times

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NADA Chief Urges Quick Bailout Action

Leader of nation's car, truck dealers says U.S. must move swiftly to end credit crisis crippling auto sales
The head of the nation's car and truck dealers called on the federal government to move swiftly to implement the $700 billion bailout plan approved last week and end a credit crisis that she said is crippling the retail auto business. "Consumer buying is frozen, and that's why we're urging prompt action," said Annette Sykora, chair of the National Automobile Dealers Association. "If the country can break the credit freeze on Wall Street, then we can revive the economy on Main Street." About 700 of the nation's 20,000 auto dealers will go out of business by the end of this year, she told members of the Automotive Press Association Tuesday. Sykora said dealers are inherently optimistic, and she hopes that the economy will recover once the bailout plan is fully implemented. "Restore access to credit, and you will restore consumer confidence," Sykora said. "I think there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I just don't know how long the tunnel is."
Source:  The Detroit News

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Energy Chief Says Loans to Come for Carmakers

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Energy will meet a congressional deadline for a temporary rule governing $25 billion in loans for the U.S. auto industry, but the money may not flow for some time, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said Tuesday. Although the bill requires the agency to write a temporary rule within 60 days, the agency has said it could take six to 18 months before loans could be made -- a timeline that Michigan lawmakers have called unacceptable. "We feel we're going to be able to produce a rule that will be consistent with the requirements of Congress. That is, an interim rule that will take immediate effect," Bodman said Tuesday. But he added that other requirements, such as an environmental study required under the National Environmental Policy Act, would slow the process of granting loans.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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Oil, Gas Prices Fall with Stocks

The prices of gasoline and oil, racing each other up to records recently, now seem in a contest to see which can drop fastest. The U.S. average price for regular-grade gasoline was $3.484 a gallon, the U.S. Energy Information Administration's weekly survey showed Monday — 14.8 cents less than a week ago and the lowest since April 14, though 71.4 cents higher than a year ago. "We'll see a $3.20 national average in the next couple of weeks," says Paul Taylor, economist at the National Automobile Dealers Association. He says that would be good for auto dealers, who have a shortage of fuel-efficient, small vehicles to sell but still are well-stocked with bigger vehicles.
Source:  USA TODAY

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Study: Dealers Gain on Independent Shops

Franchised dealerships are earning better marks from service customers, a new study by J.D. Power and Associates concludes. Over the last five years, the customer satisfaction gap between dealers and nondealers has been narrowing. Dealers excel in the comfort of the facility and the amenities they offer. Another reason dealers are performing better is that they are doing more maintenance work. Maintenance customers tend to be more satisfied than repair customers. Repairs are more unexpected, inconvenient and costly than maintenance work, so you tend to see a lower level of satisfaction. Dealers are [also] trying to make maintenance services more convenient. Many are offering a quick-service lane. Some guarantee customers will get in and out in 30 minutes. And dealers are offering the service at competitive prices.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Toyota Fighting US Woes to Meet Global Sales Goal

TOKYO -- Shares of Toyota Motor Corp. plunged Wednesday following a major business daily report that Toyota may have trouble meeting global vehicle sales targets. But Toyota declined to comment on the report, while Senior Managing Director Yoichiro Ichimaru said his company was sticking with its targets for now, including this year's global vehicle sales goals. He acknowledged, however, that the numbers were becoming increasingly tough to meet because of a drop in U.S. sales. The Nikkei reported in its Wednesday's editions Toyota's operating profit for the fiscal year ending March 2009 may fall 40 percent. "When we look at our numbers, we see things are very critical," Ichimaru said. "U.S. and Europe sales are getting seriously hit because of the economic conditions." Speculation has been growing Toyota may lower its global vehicle sales target of 9.5 million vehicles at a time when the Japanese manufacturer has been going neck-and-neck in global vehicle sales against General Motors Corp., the world's top automaker.
Source:  Associated Press

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NADA Update
Coming Up: Another Virtual Seminar on the Red Flags Rule

Due to the unprecedented demand—so far, more than 1,100 individuals and dealer groups have logged on to NADA’s Red Flags seminars—we are offering another virtual seminar on what you need to do by Nov. 1, 2008 to comply with the new FTC Red Flags Rule. The seminar will be repeated on Monday, Oct. 20 from 1-3 p.m. EST.

Like past sessions, the seminar will be presented live and online, and invite participation by attendees. Participants are encouraged to ask questions, which will be answered by presenters, Bert Rasmussen, author of NADA’s 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 dealership’s board of directors

Dealers, general managers, CFOs, controllers, finance managers, sales managers, IT managers and outside compliance professionals are encouraged to attend. The fee is $199 per computer connection. Be sure to have your copy of A Dealer Guide to the FTC Red Flags and Address Discrepancy Rules: Protecting Against Identity Theft at hand during the seminar. To register online, go to www.nada.org/seminars, or call (800) 248-6232, Ext. 7273. To order A Dealer Guide to the FTC Red Flags and Address Discrepancy Rules: Protecting Against Identity Theft, go to www.nada.org/RedFlags.

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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
 
"Credit is the lifeblood of our industry. Dealerships need it to finance inventory from manufacturers. Consumers need it to buy cars."

    -- NADA Chairman Annette Sykora explaining how the unrest on Wall Street is wreaking havoc on the auto market, The New York Times, Oct. 7


"If the country can break the credit freeze on Wall Street, then we can revive the economy on Main Street."

    -- NADA Chairman Annette Sykora urging quick action on the economic rescue plan, The Detroit News, Oct. 7


"We'll see a $3.20 national average in the next couple of weeks," [and] that would be good for auto dealers, who have a shortage of fuel-efficient, small vehicles to sell but still are well-stocked with bigger vehicles.

   
-- NADA Chief Economist Paul Taylor, USA TODAY, Oct. 7
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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