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Top Stories
Auto Industry Bailout Decision Could Come After Thanksgiving
NADA Chairman Delivers 'Main Street' Message to Congress
NADA: Cutting Dealers Isn't 'Restructuring'
Dealers Asked to Push Tax Incentive Bill to Boost Auto Sales
NBC-TV Report: Demise of Local Car Dealerships Leaves a Big Dent
Finger-Pointing Begins as Senate Nixes Auto Vote
Wagoner Doesn't Rule Out Quitting
Chrysler Has $6.1 Billion, but $5 Billion in Monthly Costs
Ghosn Says Auto Industry Consolidation Likely
Big Incentives Help Auto Sales Recover
NADA Update
NADA to Host Virtual Seminar on Changes to Telemarketing Rules
STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About Content Filtering Systems
NADA Members Can Save on Lenovo's ThinkPad Notebooks
Top Stories
Auto Industry Bailout Decision Could Come After Thanksgiving

WASHINGTON -- The fate of a federal auto industry rescue was still in doubt Thursday morning, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid saying the Senate could return to Washington after the Thanksgiving holiday. Reid's suggestion meant there may still be time for negotiators to work out a compromise on the controversial auto-industry bailout. "We are in a situation where we don't know procedurally what we are going to be able to accomplish today," Reid said on the Senate floor. The Senate will likely vote today on a bill that would extend unemployment insurance benefits. Reid said senators should be ready for "a roll call vote or votes" -- leaving open the chance a vote still could come on Thursday. But Reid's comments left open the possibility that lawmakers could return after their holiday recess to consider auto legislation. Democrats and Republicans failed to reach agreement Wednesday to vote on either of two proposals to funnel $25 billion to the ailing auto industry. A plan introduced by Reid and proposed by Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan would use money from the $700 billion Wall Street rescue. But Levin has been negotiating with Republican Sens. Kit Bond of Missouri and George Voinovich of Ohio on a plan, favored by Republicans and the White House, that would draw the money from a separate $25 billion program, already approved, to help auto companies retool their factories to make more fuel-efficient vehicles. Negotiations continued into Wednesday night, but it was unclear this morning whether legislation would be ready today, or whether agreement could be reached to bring it to a vote.
Source:  The Detroit News

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NADA Chairman Delivers 'Main Street' Message to Congress

WASHINGTON – In a Congressional hearing Wednesday on options to aid the struggling domestic automakers, National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Chairman Annette Sykora urged the members to consider the important role that dealers play in the success or failure of an automaker and the direct impact that the nation’s nearly 20,000 franchised auto dealers have on local communities across America. “Dealers are the public and local face of the automobile industry in towns and cities across the country,” Sykora said in testimony before the House Financial Services Committee. “Our fate is directly connected to our manufacturers and the success of the automakers is directly connected to the success of our dealerships.”

Sykora noted that the economic downturn, the meltdown on Wall Street and the real estate crisis have caused auto sales to plunge to a 15-year low. As a result, dealers have cut business expenditures, including employees and close to 700 dealerships have simply gone out of business. “Car and truck sales account for 20 percent of all retail sales in the country. The fact is local dealerships will be a major factor in our economic recovery. By getting automotive retailing back on track, Congress can effectively leverage the economic engine of the automobile industry to get this economy running on all cylinders again,” Sykora added.

She also praised legislative proposals that would provide tax incentives to boost automobile sales.  Sens. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., Kit Bond, R-Mo., and Reps. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., and Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio, have introduced legislation (S. 3684/H.R. 7273) that would permit new car buyers to deduct auto loan interest and sales tax from their personal income taxes.  Additionally, she testified that supporting programs such as emergency small business loans for dealers and “cash for clunkers” initiatives, which encourage consumers to upgrade their older cars to cleaner, more fuel-efficient models, will help restore consumer confidence and get the economy moving again. “At a time when the future of the auto industry hangs in the balance, we urge Congress to move quickly to provide the assistance needed to help the automobile industry to once again lead our country back to economic health,” Sykora reiterated.
Source:  NADA Newswire

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NADA: Cutting Dealers Isn't 'Restructuring'

WASHINGTON -- Congressional demands for auto industry restructuring that include eliminating dealerships could do more harm than good, says the head of the National Automobile Dealers Association. In testimony prepared for delivery to a House committee [Wednesday], NADA Chairman Annette Sykora said that "any precipitous decline in the size of the dealer network of any manufacturer could dramatically reduce competition for the sale and service of vehicles." Sykora, a Detroit 3 dealer in Texas, said competition within auto brands is important to consumers. The chief competitor for a Ford dealership may be the nearest Ford dealership, not the dealership of another automaker, she contended. "Dealership reduction is not necessarily the equivalent of dealership rationalization or dealership optimization," Sykora said in testimony for a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee. Sykora's testimony responded to a provision of House legislation that would require automakers getting emergency aid to report on efforts to "rationalize" their operations, including "manufacturing work force, suppliers and dealerships." Sykora also advocated federal incentives aimed at stimulating consumer traffic at dealerships and boosting the U.S. economy.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Dealers Asked to Push Tax Incentive Bill to Boost Auto Sales

WASHINGTON -- Reps. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., and Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio, introduced legislation to stimulate new vehicle sales through a tax incentive for car buyers. H.R. 7273, (Pascrell-LaTourette) the companion bill to S. 3684 (Mikulski-Bond), would make interest payments on car loans and sales taxes for new cars purchased -- now through the end of 2009 -- deductible from a family’s income taxes. “As Congress considers ways to help the Big Three auto companies, we must not forget that Main Street auto dealers account for 20 percent of America’s retail economy. And they are not limited to three manufacturers,” stated Rep. Pascrell in a statement. “By extending temporary, targeted tax deductions for moderately priced cars and trucks, Congress can relieve working class American families, stimulate auto sales, inspire consumer confidence and put retail workers and mechanics back to work.”

[Editor's Note: NADA's Legislative Office is urging dealers to contact both their representatives and senators to ask them to cosponsor H.R. 7273 and S. 3684. With the brief lame-duck session of Congress underway, a strong showing of support for the bills will help move them forward in a potential stimulus package and in the next Congress beginning in January. Click here for NADA's Legislative Bulletin on this issue.]

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NBC-TV Report: Demise of Local Car Dealerships Leaves a Big Dent

Click here to view the 'NBC Nightly News' report.

BELVIDERE, Ill. -- An aspect of the Big Three automaker crisis that hasn't really been talked about a whole lot [is what auto dealers do for their communities.] "If you grew up in an American town then you know how important the local car dealership is," says Brian Williams anchor and managing editor of "NBC Nightly News." "They donate the Chevy Malibu for the church raffle. They provide the van for the Meals on Wheels' volunteers." Local car dealers have been entrenched in their local communities for close to a century, and the third-generation owners of Wolf Chevrolet in Belvidere, Ill., exemplify the role they play beyond selling cars, NBC's Lee Cowan reports. "Auto dealers are anchors in their communities and when it comes to charitable work and philanthropic work, they are second to none," says David Hyatt, NADA vice president of public affairs.
Source:  NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams

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Finger-Pointing Begins as Senate Nixes Auto Vote

WASHINGTON -- A Democratic Congress, unwilling or unable to approve a $25 billion bailout for Detroit's Big Three, appears ready to punt the automakers' fate to a lame-duck Republican president. Caught in the middle of a who-blinks-first standoff are legions of manufacturing firms and auto dealers - and millions of Americans' jobs - after Senate Democrats canceled a showdown vote that had been expected Thursday. "If GM is telling us the truth, they go into bankruptcy and you see a cascade like you have never seen," said Sen. George V. Voinovich, R-Ohio, who was working on one rescue plan Wednesday. For now, however, with the federal emergency loan plan stalled in the Senate, lawmakers in both parties are engaged in a high-stakes game of chicken, positioning themselves to blame each other for the failure. "I don't believe we need the legislation," [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid said. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson can tap the financial industry bailout money to help auto companies, Reid said, but "he just doesn't want to do it.” The White House and congressional Republicans instead called on Democrats to sign on to a GOP plan to divert a $25 billion loan program created by Congress in September - designed to help the companies develop more fuel-efficient vehicles - to meet the auto giants' immediate financial needs.  A vote on that bill is likely on Thursday.
Source:  Associated Press

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Wagoner Doesn't Rule Out Quitting

General Motors Corp. Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner signaled that he might step aside, should he be asked to resign as a condition for the biggest U.S. automaker to receive federal aid. "I'll always do what's right for the company," Wagoner said Wednesday in a Bloomberg Television interview. "But even more critical during a difficult time period is having the best possible management team. We have a good team at GM. That's not what I would recommend."
Source:  Bloomberg

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Chrysler Has $6.1 Billion, but $5 Billion in Monthly Costs

For Chrysler LLC, bankruptcy is a real threat, with only $6.1 billion on hand and about $5 billion a month in operating costs. CEO Robert Nardelli made the private company's financial status public this week during his testimony in Washington, D.C., as part of a bid for federal assistance by Detroit's Big Three. ...Chrysler burned through $3.3 billion in cash in the third quarter. That's more half the $5 billion Chrysler has run through so far this year. General Motors Corp. sliced through $6.9 billion in the quarter ending Sept. 30; Ford went through $7.7 billion. Nardelli said Chrysler's financial obligations amount to $4 to $5 billion for salaries, benefits and suppliers. With vehicle sales down 38 percent in October, the automaker likely burned through another $1 billion, which means cash is at the minimum the company needs to keep the lights on in Auburn Hills. "Without government support we believe auto suppliers will tighten terms causing Detroit Three bankruptcy filings," said Eric Selle, chief analyst with J.P. Morgan in a report Wednesday.
Source:  The Detroit News

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Ghosn Says Auto Industry Consolidation Likely

LOS ANGELES -- Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said Wednesday that he expects the current crisis in the auto industry will soon lead some carmakers to consolidate. Ghosn said the weakening global auto market that the auto industry is facing will knock out some competitors. He pointed to the U.S. financial industry, which has seen key players recently disappear. "We're still stuck in a situation where credit is not flowing normally, and the recession that began in the United States is not only deepening but spreading across the globe," Ghosn said. "It's fair to say that no one, no one had predicted how the global economy would be so volatile in 2008."
Source:  Associated Press

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Big Incentives Help Auto Sales Recover

Big discounts, the end of the presidential campaign, and relief from the credit crunch have combined to boost car sales this month from October's dismal numbers, auto dealers and analysts report. "We're actually selling cars," said Mark Blick, general manager of Gary Mathews Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep in Clarksville, Tenn. "It's really picked up this month, which is exactly what we were hoping for." At Alexander Chevrolet-Cadillac in Murfreesboro, General Manager Michael Creque Jr. said sales have improved almost to a normal level this month. "The surprising thing is that we're selling full-size trucks and SUVs, although we really never did see a big drop in truck sales here," Creque said. Several dealers said they believe discounts and cash incentives automakers put in place after their poor October sales have made a difference. In October, U.S. vehicle sales were down 32 percent from the same month a year earlier, coming in as the worst sales month in 25 years.
Source:  The Tennessean

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NADA Update
NADA to Host Virtual Seminar on Changes to Telemarketing Rules

Many new and amended federal telemarketing regulations have been issued since the National Do-Not-Call Rules were established in 2003, and dealers who haven’t kept up risk the possibility of very costly litigation. While not all of these mandates have received widespread press coverage, they deserve dealers’ utmost attention as they affect dealers’ ability to advertise their products and services by phone, fax and email.

To help dealers and managers comply with these regulations, NADA is hosting a virtual seminar next month presented by Erica McMahon, chief of the FCC’s consumer policy division, and moderated by Paul Metrey, NADA’s director of regulatory affairs.

The speakers will highlight many of the well-known and lesser-known telemarketing requirements that have been imposed since the 2003 Do-Not-Call Rules took effect. The seminar will cover regulations governing telephone solicitations, commercial emails and fax advertisements, and will allow time for questions. All dealership personnel and service providers who are involved in marketing to consumers or businesses are encouraged to attend.

Changes in Telemarketing Regulations Since the National Do-Not-Call Rules Took Effect will be held Dec. 9 from 1–3 p.m. EST. The fee for this seminar is $199 per computer connection. Additional attendees can participate on the same connection for no additional cost. For more information on this virtual seminar and other upcoming seminars, visit www.nada.org/seminars or call (800) 252-6232, ext. 2.

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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
 
 
NADA Chairman Annette Sykora at a press conference with U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski. Click here for the NADA-TV report.


More Video Highlights

Quotable
 
"Any precipitous decline in the size of the dealer network of any manufacturer could dramatically reduce competition for the sale and service of vehicles."

   
-- NADA Chairman Annette Sykora responding to House legislation that would require automakers getting emergency aid to report on efforts to "rationalize" their operations, including "manufacturing work force, suppliers and dealerships." Sykora also advocated federal tax incentives aimed at boosting auto sales, Automotive News, Nov. 19


"I think most people realize that this country's in a deep recession. If we lose GM ... it could put us over the cliff."

    -- Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio) in support of a GOP proposal to keep the car companies afloat, The Washington Post, Nov. 20


"We're still stuck in a situation where credit is not flowing normally, and the recession that began in the United States is not only deepening but spreading across the globe."

   
-- Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn predicting industry consolidation is likely given the current status of the economy, Associated Press, Nov. 20


"Auto dealers are anchors in their communities and when it comes to charitable work and philanthropic work, they are second to none."

   
-- David Hyatt, NADA vice president of public affairs, in an interview that aired on "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams," Nov. 19
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) Seven Innovative Steps to Hedge Your Bet and Dominate Your Used-Car Market

(2) The Essential Eight Processes for Maximizing Service Profits

(3) The Four Pillars of Online Process: How to Drive Peak Performance and Internet Sales Results

In Seven Steps, speaker Tommy Gibbs of Tommy Gibbs and Associates will demonstrate strategies for creating a focused, profit-driven used-vehicle department. Participants will learn how to stock used vehicles that don’t compete directly with new vehicles, use technology to track inventory, and develop an Internet pricing strategy that will improve gross, volume and turn.

Service Profits speaker Don Reed of DealerPro Training Solutions will cover the vital steps to handling phone calls, meet-and-greets, maintenance training and delivery. Participants will examine eight essential processes for setting goals, measuring performance, increasing service sales and retaining customers.

Internet Sales speaker Ralph Ebersole of Cars.com will teach dealers and managers how to implement successful Internet sales processes and develop online advertising that catches customers’ attention. Participants will learn how to staff a strong Internet sales department, handle leads online and track the performance of sales processes.

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

Video Highlights
 

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.


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.