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Top Stories
Automakers Could Seek More Funding
Lifeline for Automakers Dangles Just Out of Reach
Nissan Seeks Chrysler Stake
GM Looks for Capital from Outside Investors: Report
Report: Toyota to Post First Sales Drop in Decade
Kerkorian Cuts Ford Stake, Weighs Pulling Out
Opinion: Luxury Auto Makers Gird for Sales Slump
NADA Update
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
HP Offers NADA Members Small Business 'Smart Deals'
Top Stories
Automakers Could Seek More Funding

WASHINGTON -- General Motors Corp. has talked with federal officials since the news of its negotiations with Chrysler LLC emerged, although it's not clear what role, if any, the government might be asked to play in a possible deal. The talks between GM and Chrysler come as the industry prepares to lobby for an additional $25 billion in direct government loans, just a few weeks after Congress approved the first $25 billion to help build fuel-efficient vehicles. With the economy worsening and auto sales slumping, some in the industry hope to loosen the rules around the loans so they can be used to not just retool plants, but help the companies survive. "I think you'll see an effort to get the second $25 billion, and have it be structured as more general assistance to the companies, not just for advanced vehicles," [said UAW Legislative Director Alan Reuther.] "What we're dealing with is the likelihood of a recession and depressed vehicle sales."
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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Lifeline for Automakers Dangles Just Out of Reach

A $25 billion loan program rushed through Congress to revive the nation's ailing domestic auto industry may not deliver any money to Detroit for more than a year, federal officials said, prompting concern that the cash may come too late to prop up one of the country's most important manufacturing sectors. In recent days, auto industry representatives and lawmakers ... have begun clamoring to pry the funds loose... The loan program has emerged as a lifeline as the global financial crisis has made it more difficult for people to get loans, sending car sales plummeting to a 15-year low. "It's critical to have a direct loan program, and it's equally important to infuse that money into the industry as quickly as possible," GM spokesman Greg Martin said. Congress approved the money last month and directed the Energy Department to write regulations for the program, including the interest rate for the loans, by the end of November. A day after the measure passed the House, however, Energy officials issued a statement vowing to "expedite" their actions, but expressing "significant doubts about whether distribution of loans by January 2009 is realistic."
Source:  The Washington Post

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Nissan Seeks Chrysler Stake

Ghosn's proposal: Chrysler would be partner with Renault-Nissan
The Renault-Nissan alliance is proposing to acquire around 20 percent of Chrysler LLC and bring the Auburn Hills automaker into the French-Japanese automotive partnership, according to sources familiar with the situation. The offer is now before private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, which also is in talks with General Motors Corp. about its Chrysler holding. Sources familiar with the discussions said Carlos Ghosn, CEO of both Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co., sent a proposal in recent days that included revisions to a draft agreement prepared by Cerberus. But another source close to the talks has told The Detroit News that Cerberus founder and CEO Stephen Feinberg favors a deal with GM, viewing it as the best solution for the embattled U.S. auto industry.
Source:  The Detroit News

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GM Looks for Capital from Outside Investors: Report

NEW YORK -- General Motors is looking for a large investment from outside investors as a possible alternative to a deal with Chrysler LLC, the Financial Times reported on its website on Tuesday. The hoped for capital injection would be similar to recent investments by billionaire investor Warren Buffett in General Electric and Goldman Sachs, the paper said. But the paper cited an unnamed banker as questioning the chances of GM finding an investor to do so. In a sign of the pressure on the industry, GM and Chrysler are in merger talks in an attempt to shore up cash and survive the industry slump, sources familiar with the plans have said. A source briefed on the matter has told Reuters that representatives of GM and Chrysler's majority owner Cerberus Capital Management have approached at least one major investor with a pitch to invest in their deal.
Source:  Reuters

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Report: Toyota to Post First Sales Drop in Decade

TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. will post its first decline in annual global sales in a decade this year, hit by slowing demand worldwide amid the financial crisis, a Japanese newspaper predicted Wednesday. Japan's largest automaker will likely sell 8.3 million units in 2008 on the parent level -- excluding subsidiaries and affiliates -- down from 8.43 million units in 2007, the Nikkei daily said, citing no sources. Toyota did not confirm the report. But company spokesman Hideaki Homma said market conditions were "very severe" but Toyota aimed to reach its global sales target of 8.5 million units this year on the parent level. Toyota is expected to release its annual sales data in January 2009.
Source:  Associated Press

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Kerkorian Cuts Ford Stake, Weighs Pulling Out

NEW YORK -– Billionaire US investor Kirk Kerkorian announced Tuesday that he had sold shares in Ford and was considering divesting his whole stake... In a sharp change of strategy, Kerkorian's holding group Tracinda said it had sold 7.3 million shares in Ford for an average price of 2.43 dollars per share -- representing a huge loss for the 91-year-old investor. Tracinda said it had contacted an investment bank about further divestments of its Ford shares, adding that it would now focus on the gaming, hospitality and oil and gas industries where it sees "unique value."
Source:  Associated Press

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Opinion: Luxury Auto Makers Gird for Sales Slump
by Joe White

Brands must deal with downturn without hurting their images
About six years ago, Helmut Panke, then the incoming chief executive of BMW AG, forecast a new direction for the auto market. There'd be a lot of sales at the bottom, fewer sales for middle-priced, middle-class brands, and more demand for premium cars with luxury amenities and higher-caste brand images. During the ensuing years, the market took on the hourglass shape Mr. Panke described. BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Acura, Audi, Infiniti and a rejuvenated Cadillac boomed as they lured upper middle class consumers into their showrooms with lease deals and financing that made their $30,000, $40,000 and $50,000 cars and sport utility vehicles affordable to people who might once have purchased Buicks or Mercurys. Now, many of these same luxury brands are battening down for a bleak year or two as their sales crumple. Luxury car makers now face a challenge to sustain interest, and as much as possible demand, to keep their dealer networks healthy and keep factories operating. But they can't go overboard to push sales, or they risk undermining brand images and resale value records that are the bedrock of their long-term success.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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NADA Update
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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HP Offers NADA Members Small Business 'Smart Deals'

NADA members can save up to 30 percent on HP's dc5750 desktop PCs or $791 on HP's Compaq 2710p. This offer is valid on call-in orders only. To take advantage of this offer, call (800) 888-0365 and mention passcode "NAD1." To see more "Smart Deals," visit NADA's PC Purchase Program online at www.nada.org/Technology/PCpurchaseprogram (member login required), then click on www.hp.com/go/promos/nad1 then "Smart Deals" on left navigation bar.

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Featured Video
 

Registration for the NADA convention in New Orleans Jan. 24-27 is open. Click here to see just how much progress New Orleans has made since Katrina.


More Video Highlights

Quotable
 
"The local banks have money. Consumers need to know money is available because otherwise they fear even considering the purchase of an automobile..."

   
-- William Bradshaw, president and owner of Bradshaw Automotive Group and past NADA chairman, wants car buyers to be aware that fear about a credit crunch locally appear to be overblown, The Greenville News, Oct. 21


"I think you'll see an effort to get the second $25 billion, and have it be structured as more general assistance to the companies, not just for advanced vehicles. What we're dealing with is the likelihood of a recession and depressed vehicle sales."

    -- UAW Legislative Director Alan Reuther referring to the possibility that automakers may seek additional federal funding, Detroit Free Press, Oct. 22


"It's critical to have a direct loan program, and it's equally important to infuse that money into the industry as quickly as possible."

    -- GM spokesman Greg Martin in a plea to Congress to quickly distribute the $25 billion loan package to automakers, The Washington Post, Oct. 22


"Luxury car makers now face a challenge to sustain interest, and as much as possible demand, to keep their dealer networks healthy and keep factories operating. But they can't go overboard to push sales, or they risk undermining brand images and resale value records that are the bedrock of their long-term success."

    -- Columnist Joe White explaining the challenges facing luxury automakers in weathering the industry downturn without hurting brand image, The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 20
NADA Convention 2009
 
  
Convention Workshops Keyed to Today’s Economy

Now more than ever, dealers need to meet, talk and learn how to survive in tough times. In that spirit, workshops planned for NADA’s upcoming convention in New Orleans will focus on recession-proof business operations. NADA Headlines will spotlight three convention workshops each week.

(1) Single-Point Dealerships can Survive and Thrive in Today’s Market 
(2) Five Sure-fire Techniques to Increase Special Finance Volume and Profit
(3) Improving Attitudes, Efficiency and Communication in the Dealership

Survive and Thrive speakers Chip Maher and Steve Risso, both of NADA 20 Group, will demonstrate how to substantially improve performance in a shrinking market economy. Learn how to adapt and thrive through rightsizing and performance tracking.

Special Finance will feature Mike Tamas of American Financial and Automotive, who will explain how to turn a prospect into a satisfied customer while increasing gross profit.

Improving Attitudes will feature Art Niemann, Sr., of Art Niemann and Company. He will outline specific ways to implement four “absolutes” for achieving sales success: integrity, positive outlook, meaningful relationships and open communication.

Join us in New Orleans at the 2009 NADA Convention & Exposition Jan. 24–27. Click here to register.

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


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.