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Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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At a Glance...
Top Stories
Auto Loans Could Come by Friday
Dealers Call for Bush to Act Quickly on Aid for Automakers
Ford Builds Image as Strongest of Big 3
Chrysler's Press Says 'Sales Bank' Hasn't Been Revived
Chrysler Joins 12-State Credit Union Loan Program
Toyota Scraps 2009 Dealer Meeting
Honda Cuts Profit Forecast by 64%
Nissan Cuts Production, Temporary Workers
NADA Update
NADA Convention to Focus on Future of the Industry
NADA Members Can Now Save on FedEx Shipping
NADA Offers Virtual Seminar to Help Dealers in 'Tough Times'
STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About Hardware Based Systems
Lenovo Offers Holiday Savings
Top Stories
Auto Loans Could Come by Friday

Treasury Dept. getting input from nation's banks before deciding whether to help struggling industry
WASHINGTON -- Treasury Department officials are weighing the condition of the nation's banks before they loan money to General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, possibly by Friday. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said automakers would soon get emergency loans but the department is still asking detailed questions of automakers before it allocates any money from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. GM and Chrysler are seeking up to $15 billion in emergency aid to keep them afloat through the beginning of next year. President Bush has signaled he'll provide money to the automakers and a decision is going to come soon. The Treasury, however, wants to ensure that it has enough money in reserve so it can inject liquidity into banks in the remaining month the Bush Administration is in office. "The autos will get the money as quickly as we can prudently do it," Paulson told CNBC.
Source:  The Detroit News

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Dealers Call for Bush to Act Quickly on Aid for Automakers

With talks over a rescue package for Detroit's automakers stretching into their sixth day, General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC dealers said they hope the Bush administration acts quickly to disperse the uncertainty keeping customers out of showrooms. The lack of sales is only exacerbating the weak cash positions of GM and Chrysler, who already have warned that without aid, they could run short of the cash they need to operate by the end of the month. But for dealers, waiting may be the hardest part. "GM is walking around with this giant black cloud over its head, like the Peanuts character," said Frank Ursomarso Sr., a megadealer in Wilmington, Del., who sells both domestic and foreign vehicles. "What we need is some positive news."
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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Ford Builds Image as Strongest of Big 3

But a GM bankruptcy could sink Blue Oval; suppliers grow jittery
DEARBORN -- Ford Motor Co. is trying to pull itself up by its own bootstraps, and it hopes America notices. As crosstown rivals General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC ask the White House for $14 billion in emergency loans just to tide them over until March, the Dearborn automaker maintains it has enough cash to weather the current economic crisis. It is still asking the federal government for a $9 billion line of credit, but it is not asking the Bush administration for immediate cash assistance. Ford executives think this fact has not been lost on the American people, and it is hoping to use its comparative financial strength to position itself as the most viable of Detroit's Big Three. That might not be saying much -- particularly given that Ford does not expect to post a profit until at least 2011 -- but experts agree that the situation represents an opportunity for Ford to begin rebuilding its brand image. "We are trying to tell our story, but we also think it's very important that we don't appear to be turning our back on our industry," Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. said Tuesday.
Source:  The Detroit News

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Chrysler's Press Says 'Sales Bank' Hasn't Been Revived

DETROIT -- Chrysler LLC co-President Jim Press said Monday that the company is not reviving its controversial “sales bank” for new vehicles that had been produced without dealer orders. Press made his comments following Automotive News’ publication of a story that detailed his appeal last week to dealers to purchase 12,000 unassigned vehicles. The story said the unsold vehicles marked a revival of Chrysler’s sales bank through the end of the month. In an interview, Press confirmed that Chrysler executives made that appeal during a Dec. 12 conference call with dealers. But he explained that Chrysler originally had produced those vehicles on the strength of purchase orders that later were canceled. “We made a commitment to the dealers that we weren’t going to run their business,'' Press said. "We were going to focus on our business and let the dealers be in charge of their business.” Part of that includes not returning to the sales bank, he said.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Chrysler Joins 12-State Credit Union Loan Program

DETROIT -- Chrysler LLC has teamed with credit unions in 12 states to give its customers access to $12 billion in auto loan financing. The move comes as Chrysler seeks a federal loan to remain solvent. Also, Chrysler Financial is seeking an industrial bank charter and trying to get funds from the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program. The credit union partnership, called Invest in America, will give credit union members additional rebates from Chrysler of $500 to $1,000 on most Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles. The discounts, effective immediately, will be on top of existing incentives on those vehicles, said David Adams, president of the Michigan Credit Union League.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Toyota Scraps 2009 Dealer Meeting

LOS ANGELES -- Toyota Division has canceled its 2009 dealer meeting in an effort to cut costs. Faced with a double-digit sales decline, Toyota says it can save about $1 million by forgoing the annual meeting. "Marketing resources normally used in the planning and the staging of the meeting will instead be focused on activities that directly support dealers and their day-to-day business activities," Toyota spokeswoman Cindy Knight said. Instead of a national meeting, Toyota plans regional briefings next year with smaller groups of dealers.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Honda Cuts Profit Forecast by 64%

HONG KONG — Honda, the Japanese carmaker, on Wednesday issued its third profit warning of the year, the latest sign of the dramatic drop in demand that has hammered the global car industry. Honda lowered its full-year forecast for net profits by 64 percent to ... $2.08 billion, for the year ending March 31, highlighting how tough the market has become as consumers, constrained by tight credit conditions and worried about the gloomy economic conditions, hold back spending even on the smaller and more fuel-efficient cars that had been expected to help Honda survive the current crisis better than many of its rivals. “The environment is worsening day by day, and we see no sign of a recovery,” Honda’s president, Takeo Fukui, said at a press conference in Tokyo, according to Bloomberg News. “Our task is to respond to a sharp drop in sales.”
Source:  The New York Times

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Nissan Cuts Production, Temporary Workers

TOKYO — Japan’s Nissan Motor Co. said Wednesday it would reduce production by a further 78,000 vehicles and cut 500 temporary workers. The cuts were being made to avoid a build up of excess inventory as car sales slow globally, Nissan said in a statement. The carmaker said the workers will be cut from January to March of next year. It will also temporarily halt production at several domestic car and engine factories from January.
Source:  Associated Press

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NADA Update
NADA Convention to Focus on Future of the Industry

Now is the time to attend the industry event of the year and ensure your dealership’s success
McLean, Va. -- Economic turmoil and uncertainty form the backdrop to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention in New Orleans next month. "This is a must-attend convention if there ever was one," says Steve Pitt, NADA vice president of conventions and expositions. “The fate of the industry is hanging in the balance. All of the top manufacturer executives will be there. And we are providing new ideas and information and a series of workshops designed to help dealers get through these tough times,” he added.
 
The 2009 NADA Convention & Exposition, which runs Jan. 24-27, is offering more than 40 workshops, many of which are designed to tackle today’s tough economic issues head-on, such as maintaining dealer profitability, improving cash flow, surviving the credit crunch and driving customers back to dealerships. “Convention participants will learn what they need to do back home at their dealerships for the good of their businesses,” Pitt added. “The convention will help dealers prepare for an upcoming year of uncertainty.”

For the first time ever at a NADA convention, two former U.S. presidents will take center stage. Former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton will deliver remarks during the general session. Ford Motor Co. President and CEO Alan Mulally will deliver the industry keynote address. Inspirational speakers Archie Manning, former quarterback of the New Orleans Saints and the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1978, and Christopher Gardner, the inspiration for the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” will offer motivational talks.

Take a moment to register today. Advance registration for the convention closes Friday, Dec. 19. Many hotel rooms are still available. Airline flights to and from New Orleans have been added, and airfares have been reduced. Hotel rooms can be booked through NADA’s housing agency until Tuesday, Dec. 23.

“This is our 92nd convention and, in many ways, it’s the most important one ever,” says Pitt. “If you’re a dealer, you have to be there.”
Source:  NADA Newswire

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NADA Members Can Now Save on FedEx Shipping

Click here for savingsNADA members are now eligible to receive valuable discounts of up to 29 percent on select FedEx shipping services. There are no costs and no minimum shipping requirements to take advantage of this member benefit. NADA members can save:

• Up to 29 percent on select FedEx Express services
• Up to 25 percent on select FedEx Express international services
• Up to 20 percent on select FedEx Ground services
• Up to 10 percent on select FedEx Home Delivery services

For more information or to enroll in the FedEx Advantage Program, click here or call 1-800-MEMBERS (1-800-636-2377, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. EST, M-F).

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NADA Offers Virtual Seminar to Help Dealers in 'Tough Times'

In response to the challenges facing dealers during these uncertain times, NADA is offering a presentation featuring two speakers who can explain the options and detail the steps dealers need to take to protect their businesses. Tough Times, Tougher Dealers: Saving Your Dealership’s Assets will be offered as a virtual seminar in December and January and as a workshop at the 2009 NADA Convention & Exposition in New Orleans. Tough Times, Tougher Dealers, presented by Michael Charapp, Esq., of Charapp & Weiss, LLP and Bradley Nicklin, CPA, of Beers + Cutler, discusses the tough issues facing almost every dealer today. It is intended to help dealers and managers understand the steps required to protect their dealerships’ assets during these tough economic times.

In this presentation, participants will learn valuable information on cash management, expense control, and franchise rights issues. They will also learn how to deal with bankruptcy—both at the manufacturer and dealership level—as well as franchise terminations, brand terminations, and the legal ramifications of reducing a workforce. Additionally, the speakers will present other practical considerations for surviving this tough environment, both legally and financially.

The virtual seminar will be offered twice—on Dec. 18 from 1–3 p.m. EST and Jan. 13 from 1–3 p.m. EST. The registration fee is only $50 per computer connection. For more information or to register, visit www.nada.org/seminars. The convention workshop will also be offered twice—on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 11 a.m. CST and Monday, Jan. 26 at 8:30 a.m. CST.

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STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About Hardware Based 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. To learn "What is recommended for general maintenance of hardware based systems?" click here.

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Lenovo Offers Holiday Savings

Lenovo is offering NADA members savings of up to 35 percent on all ThinkPad notebooks and accessories. Lenovo's ThinkPad SL notebook -- built for small businesses with legendary ThinkPad reliability, plus advanced wireless and multimedia features -- is available at a discount with eCoupon USXHOLIDAY. This offer ends Dec. 31. To take advantage of these savings, visit NADA's Online PC Purchase program (log-in required), click www.lenovo.com/shop/deals/nada, then "Special Offers," or call (800) 426-7235, Option 1, Ext. 4838. 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
 
"GM is walking around with this giant black cloud over its head, like the Peanuts character. What we need is some positive news."

   
-- Frank Ursomarso Sr., a megadealer in Wilmington, Del., who sells both domestic and foreign vehicles, is one of many dealers who are hoping the Bush administration acts quickly to disperse the uncertainty keeping customers out of showrooms, Detroit Free Press, Dec. 17 


"The autos will get the money as quickly as we can prudently do it."

    -- Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, referring to the Bush administration's timeline for providing loans to GM and Chrysler, The Detroit News, Dec. 17


"We made a commitment to the dealers that we weren't going to run their business. We were going to focus on our business and let the dealers be in charge of their business."

    -- Chrysler LLC co-President Jim Press, adding that the company will not return to the sales bank, as reported earlier this week, Automotive News, Dec. 17
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) What You Should Know About Dealership Federal Income Tax Issues

(2) Lean Management - Unleash Your True Potential

(3) Improve Profitability and Customer Retention in Your Service and Parts Operations

Tax Issues speaker Terri Harris of the Internal Revenue Service will discuss Federal Income Tax issues relevant to automobile dealerships, including the latest on dealership UNICAP and LIFO pooling issues. Additionally, this workshop will cover the latest in dealership-specific court cases and other issues of current concern to the IRS.

Lean Management speaker David Summers of Lexus will teach dealers and managers how they can unleash the latent potential in their most valuable resource—their people—through effective lean management. Participants will learn how to create a culture of engaged associates in dealerships of all sizes.

Profitability speaker Robert Atwood of NADA Dealer Academy will teach participants the critical variables of the service department and how the parts department supports them. Attendees will learn how to manage their time to achieve consistent results.

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

Only 3 days left to pre-register! Click here to register online.

Video Highlights
 

'NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams' reports: "Demise of a local car dealership leaves a big dent."




 
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


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.