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Top Stories
NADA: Give Us Tax Incentives, Dealer Loan Guarantees
GM Dealers Say Lender's New Terms May Force Closings
U.S. Rejects GM's Call for Help in a Merger
Analysts: Big 3 Woes Imperil U.S. Economy
GM and Wagoner Face Uncertain Future if Boss Can't Secure Aid
Chrysler-Nissan Talks Halt
Ford Pessimistic About Auto Sales
Hispanic Dealers Face Rough Road Over Economic Potholes
Repeat Performance: Buyers Return for Pickups, SUVs
Opinion: Detroit 3 Need and Deserve U.S. Help Now
nada update
NADA Insurance Offers New Plan to Protect Dealerships from Identity Theft Liability
Red Flags Enforcement Delayed Six Months
Player Slots for Pre-Convention Charity Golf Tournament Filling Up
STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About Content Filtering Systems
NADA Members Can Save on Lenovo's ThinkPad Notebooks
Top Stories
NADA: Give Us Tax Incentives, Dealer Loan Guarantees

WASHINGTON — The National Automobile Dealers Association wants an economic stimulus bill to boost showroom traffic and vehicle sales. Dealers also need loan guarantees to keep their doors open, NADA says. Among the incentives the dealer group suggests are refundable tax credits for car and truck buyers and restored tax deductibility for auto loans. "Now it is time to give families an extra financial incentive to buy a new car or truck and to provide dealers the access to capital they need to keep their small businesses open and their work forces employed," NADA Chairman Annette Sykora said in a letter to the White House last week. NADA also proposed federal aid to state programs that take air-polluting clunkers off the roads, and giving businesses more tax breaks for vehicle purchases.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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GM Dealers Say Lender's New Terms May Force Closings

General Motors dealers — already hurt by plummeting vehicle sales — say the former GM finance arm, GMAC, has tightened credit terms on unsold vehicles on their lots so much that some dealers may be forced out of business. In what GM dealers call a two-pronged attack, GMAC Financial Services — now majority-owned by Cerberus Capital Management — has stopped lending to retail auto customers with all but the highest credit ratings, and now it's requiring dealers to begin making hefty payments on new 2008 model-year vehicles still in stock. The payments can run into the tens of thousands of dollars a month at a time when many dealers are already financially strapped. It's "just a staggering blow to dealers," said Chuck Hanes, general manager of Team Chevrolet in Smyrna. "Many dealers don't have the cash to make these payments, and a lot of them won't be able to keep it going." Hundreds of retailers here and nationwide received letters outlining the stricter GMAC terms starting last week, Denny Fitzpatrick, chairman of the California New Car Dealers Association, said in an interview. "Dealers just don't have that cash lying around," said Fitzpatrick, who owns a GM dealership in Concord, Calif.
Source:  The Tennessean

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U.S. Rejects GM's Call for Help in a Merger

DETROIT — The Treasury Department has turned down a request by General Motors for up to $10 billion to help finance the automaker’s possible merger with Chrysler, according to people close to the discussions. Instead of providing new assistance, the Treasury Department told G.M. on Friday, the Bush administration will now shift its focus to speeding up the $25 billion loan program for fuel-efficient vehicles approved by Congress in September and administered by the Energy Department. Treasury officials were said to be reluctant to broaden the $700 billion financial rescue program to include industrial companies or to play a part in a G.M.-Chrysler merger that could cost tens of thousands of jobs. But it remained unclear whether the officials were also seeking to avoid making any decision that would conflict with the goals of a new presidential administration. The Democratic candidate, Senator Barack Obama, has said in recent days that he supports increasing aid to the troubled auto companies, while Senator John McCain has not said whether he would support aid beyond the $25 billion. While G.M. and Chrysler continue to talk, no deal is expected until the government clarifies its role, if any.
Source:  The New York Times

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Analysts: Big 3 Woes Imperil U.S. Economy

Auto manufacturers and related businesses employ as many as 3.1 million workers across the United States, a broad network of jobs that loom large for federal officials considering taking steps to bolster domestic carmakers whose plummeting sales have created a cash crisis that threatens the very concept of the Big Three. Every direct job at an automaker in the United States creates five more jobs, said Sean McAlinden, chief economist and vice president for research for the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor. Two of the five are related to suppliers or dealers; the other three are spinoff jobs at businesses where auto industry workers spend their paychecks. By contrast, one Wall Street position creates a total of about 2.5 jobs, yet Congress expedited aid to the financial services sector this year. "The cost benefit to the economy (of helping automakers) is better than any individual buyout offered on Wall Street," [said Sean McAlinden, chief economist and vice president for research for the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor.]
Source:  The Detroit News

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GM and Wagoner Face Uncertain Future if Boss Can't Secure Aid

After eight years at the helm of General Motors Corp. and 31 years with the company, Rick Wagoner's most critical days will arrive in the next few weeks. Just over a month ago, the chairman and chief executive of GM told a crowd in Flint that a new engine plant there was proof of the automaker's future, saying "GM is here to stay." Today, no one can say for sure. Despite continuous cuts, GM hasn't booked sustained profits from North America since the first half of 2004. Cash burn has grown, the third-quarter financial report will be brutal, and many on Wall Street expect a GM bankruptcy within the year should Wagoner and his team fail to get outside help.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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Chrysler-Nissan Talks Halt

No more discussions scheduled after Cerberus acknowledges preference for GM deal, sources say
Talks between the Renault-Nissan alliance and Cerberus Capital Management LP have stopped as both sides acknowledged Cerberus's preference to conclude a deal for Chrysler LLC with General Motors Corp., according to sources familiar with the situation. No more talks between Cerberus and Renault-Nissan negotiators have been scheduled, the sources said Friday, although the parties have not ruled out discussions in the future. Cerberus and Nissan declined to comment. But sources close to Cerberus have said the private-equity firm favors a GM-Chrysler deal, viewing it as financially more advantageous and also better for the U.S. auto industry.
Source:  The Detroit News

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Ford Pessimistic About Auto Sales

DEARBORN, Mich. — Auto sales in October could hit the lowest levels since the early 1980s, says Ford Motor's head of sales analysis, and future months could go even lower. "The next six to 12 months are going to be very, very challenging," George Pipas, Ford's U.S. sales analyst, said in a meeting with journalists at Ford's headquarters Friday. "And I mean this for the whole planet." Industry auto sales will be released Monday afternoon, following nearly six weeks of lagging sales. Car sales cooled in mid-September when the credit crisis hit, and haven't returned yet, Pipas says. He says Ford still doesn't know if the market has hit its bottom.
Source:  USA TODAY

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Hispanic Dealers Face Rough Road Over Economic Potholes

At a time when the auto industry is spinning its wheels under the weight of high gas prices and a crippling credit crunch, many Hispanic-owned dealerships are feeling the pain. Despite cutting costs where possible and coming up with creative ways to increase his customer base, [Carlos Planas, general manager of Tamiami Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Miami] has seen his staff drop from 128 employees to 113. Dealers elsewhere are also feeling the pinch. Bob Zamora, a Mexican-American who's been in the auto business 35 years, owns California Honda dealerships in Stockton and Lodi, and another in Mesa, Arizona. "The current climate is challenging, to say the least," Mr. Zamora said. In these turbulent times, minority auto dealerships are becoming increasingly flexible and creative in their efforts to stay afloat. Besides pricing adjustments, dealership orders of giveaways like T-shirts, key chains, calendars and coffee mugs are at an all-time high as the search for ways to ride out the economic storm continues.
Source:  Hispanic Business

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Repeat Performance: Buyers Return for Pickups, SUVs
by Joe White
Lower Gas Prices and Bargains Lure Consumers to Dealers Creating a Headache for Auto Makers
Jim Ellis Chevrolet in Atlanta has about 120 leftover 2008 model trucks and SUVs to sell. Normally by Halloween, it would have almost none of last year's models lurking on the lot. That's the bad news. The good news is that buyers are starting to come out of their fallout shelters and take a look at the deals, now that gas is back below $3 a gallon and desperate manufacturers are piling on discounts. "The last
two weeks, our truck activity has picked up," says Mark Frost, the dealership's general manager. Sales haven't rebounded to the level they were before $4 a gallon gas and the credit crunch slammed the market, he says. But selling 30 or 40 trucks a month beats selling just 15. The yo-yoing in the truck market illustrates how hard it is to manage in an industry that is so sensitive to the ups and downs of energy prices. Industry product strategies take years to roll out. Planning to shut down factories or ramp them back up can take months. Meanwhile, consumer demand can turn around in a couple of weeks.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Opinion: Detroit 3 Need and Deserve U.S. Help Now
by Automotive News

Now is the time for government to come to the aid of the domestic auto industry. No rational person relishes the thought of the U.S. government getting involved in any business. But if the existence of a domestic auto industry is important to this nation, society — through its government — has an interest in investing in that industry. And it has an obligation to do so. The reasons cited for helping the Detroit 3 range from their impact on the U.S. economy, by means of direct and indirect employment, to security issues involving the potential loss of more U.S. manufacturing capability. For many reasons, the loss of the domestic automakers, their suppliers and dealers would send shock waves through communities across the country. Some will call assistance to the Detroit 3 a bailout, but it must be more than that. The domestic industry — GM, Ford and Chrysler — must use a helping hand from government to forge a new, sustainable business model, not just to resume business as usual. It's a huge challenge. A government-industry partnership is the only way to accomplish it.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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nada update
NADA Insurance Offers New Plan to Protect Dealerships from Identity Theft Liability

NADA Insurance is offering a new Identity Theft Insurance Plan to NADA members. The plan will provide dealers and its employees with the financial resources needed in case they are implicated in an identity theft incident. The wide use of data processing, electronic loan origination, e-signature and Web-based transactions has dramatically increased the incidence of identity theft. Since 2005, more than 88 million Americans have been victims of identity theft. “Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America,” says Lin Peacock, vice president of NADA Insurance. The insurance plan covers the following identity theft expenses:

• Legal Liability
• Regulatory Action Expenses
• Notification Costs
• Identity Theft Recovery Services
• Defense Costs
• Crisis Expenses

“An identity theft case could cost your dealership hundreds of thousands of dollars and negatively impact your dealership’s reputation,” Peacock added. The new plan also protects dealers and employees individually in case a customer files a civil suit against specific employees. The plan’s coverage ranges from $100,000 to $5 million. For more information or to apply for coverage, contact NADA Insurance at (888) 302-4342 or go to www.nadainsurance.com.

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Red Flags Enforcement Delayed Six Months

The FTC has announced a six-month “delay of enforcement” of the Red Flags rule. Dealers and other creditors now have until May 1, 2009 to develop and implement a written identity theft prevention program (“ITPP”). This does not affect the address discrepancy rule, which continues to have an effective date of Nov. 1, 2008.

Dealers who have already drafted and implemented their ITPP are not required to do anything. NADA encourages those dealers who have not yet finalized their ITPP to complete their work as soon as possible in advance of the new deadline. 

All NADA members received a copy of A Dealer Guide to the Red Flags and Address Discrepancy Rules: Protecting Against Identity Theft (http://eseries.nada.org/scriptcontent/ProductDetail.cfm?pc=MEDPRL50E) in August 2008. For more information, see http://ftc.gov/opa/2008/10/redflags.shtm and http://ftc.gov/os/2008/10/081022idtheftredflagsrule.pdf.

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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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STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About Content Filtering Systems

Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR) has developed new guidelines to help dealers evaluate their Dealership Security. Visit STAR's Dealer Infrastructure Guidelines (DIG) publication for more information. To learn if you should choose a hardware or software content filtering system click here.

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NADA Members Can Save on Lenovo's ThinkPad Notebooks

Lenovo's ThinkPad SL notebook built for Small Businesses with legendary ThinkPad reliability, plus advanced wireless and multimedia features, starts at only $450 with eCoupon USXTHANKSGIVING for a limited time. To take advantage of these savings, visit NADA's PC Purchase Program online (member log-in required), click www.lenovo.com/shop/deals/nada, then click Special Offers, or call 800-426-7235, Option 1, Ext. 4838.  Enter eCoupon USXTHANKSGIVING 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 open. Click here to see just how much progress New Orleans has made since Katrina.


More Video Highlights

Quotable
 
"Now it is time to give families an extra financial incentive to buy a new car or truck and to provide dealers the access to capital they need to keep their small businesses open and their work forces employed."

    -- NADA Chairman Annette Sykora, in a letter to the White House last week, urging consumer tax incentives on vehicle purchases and dealer loan guarantees, Automotive News, Nov. 3


"The cost benefit to the economy (of helping automakers) is better than any individual buyout offered on Wall Street."

    -- Sean McAlinden, chief economist and vice president for research for the Center for Automotive Research, explaining how the woes of the Big 3 may imperil the U.S. economy, The Detroit News, Nov. 3


"The domestic industry — GM, Ford and Chrysler — must use a helping hand from government to forge a new, sustainable business model, not just to resume business as usual. It's a huge challenge. A government-industry partnership is the only way to accomplish it."

    -- Automotive News opinion calling on the government to offer Detroit the help it needs and deserves, Nov. 3
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) Grass Roots Marketing: Building a Valuable Connection between your Dealership and your Community

(2) Increase Traffic and Sales for Every Department with a Video Marketing Strategy

(3) The Lost Art of the Business Manager…A Credit Score is Not F&I

Grass Roots speakers Scott Toland of The Marketing Academy and Denise Scattergood of Sale-in-a-Box will teach participants how to build valuable connections between their dealerships and communities through grass roots marketing. Attendees will learn how to engage customers where they live and work to increase traffic, word-of-mouth sales networking and earning free positive publicity.

Video Marketing will feature Sean Bradley of Dealer Synergy, who will explain how dealers can implement targeted, cost-effective video marketing strategies online. Participants will learn how to create videos and use popular search engines to raise the visibility of their dealerships and drive more traffic to their Web sites and showrooms.

Credit Score, presented by Tony Dupaquier of American Financial & Automotive, will examine all of the elements that a lender considers when deciding on a deal. Attendees will learn how they can approve more car shoppers for financing by taking a closer look at the credit application and asking the right questions.

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.