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Top Stories
President Bush: Automakers to Get $17.4B
NADA Chairman Praises President Bush for Providing Automaker Relief
Chrysler Shutdown to Idle 46,000 for Month
GMAC Bank Plan is Lacking Support
Black Owned Auto Dealers In Dire Straits
Credit Unions Offer Auto Deals
GM Denies Holding New Merger Talks With Chrysler
Toyota May Post 1st Parent Operating Loss in 71 Years
Nissan, Infiniti, Mitsubishi Dealers to Display at Detroit Show
NADA Update
Advance Registration for 2009 NADA Convention Ends Today
NADA Convention to Focus on Future of the Industry
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
President Bush: Automakers to Get $17.4B

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration came to the rescue of the deeply troubled U.S. auto industry Friday, offering $17.4 billion in loans in exchange for concessions from carmakers and their workers. "Allowing the auto companies to collapse is not a responsible course of action," President Bush said. He said that a bankruptcy was unlikely to work for the auto industry at this time and would deal "an unacceptably painful blow to hardworking Americans" across the economy. One official said $13.4 billion of the money would be available this month and next, $9.4 billion for General Motors Corp. and $4 billion for Chrysler LLC. Both companies have said they soon might be unable to pay their bills without federal help. Ford Motor Co. has said it does not need immediate help. Bush said the rescue package demanded concessions similar to those outlined in a bailout plan that was approved by the House but rejected by the Senate a week ago. It would give the automakers three months to come up with restructuring plans to become viable companies. If they fail to produce a plan by March 31, the automakers will be required to repay the loans, which they would find very difficult.
Source:  Associated Press

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NADA Chairman Praises President Bush for Providing Automaker Relief

Auto Dealers Say Loans Will Allow Industry to Succeed
WASHINGTON -- The Chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, Annette Sykora, said President Bush’s decision to provide domestic automakers with short-term loans gives “the shot in the arm we need to lead the economic recovery.”  “This is the first step toward restoring consumer confidence,” Sykora said in a written statement today. Bush announced today that the government will provide $13.4 billion to U.S. automakers in short-term loans to give manufacturers time to restructure. “When you have the government declaring its confidence and commitment to U.S. auto manufacturers, it helps reassure the American public that domestic automakers will be around for the long term,” Sykora said. “This sends a clear message: Consumers can now consider any car from any manufacturer with confidence.”
Source:  NADA Newswire

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Chrysler Shutdown to Idle 46,000 for Month

A signal of dire future if no auto aid comes?
Chrysler LLC announced Wednesday it would shutter all 30 of its factories for one month and idle 46,000 workers, while General Motors Corp. said it was delaying a key supply plant for the Chevrolet Volt, as both attempted to avoid imminent collapse while the Bush administration pondered a rescue. "It's clear that the automakers are in a very fragile financial condition, and they're taking steps to deal with it," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. "We're aware of their financial situation and are considering possible policy options to provide assistance in an appropriate way. As we've said, a disorderly collapse of the auto industry should be avoided." While President George W. Bush and other officials have promised to act since the Senate blocked a rescue last Thursday, auto dealers and other industry supporters say the wait is damaging the rest of the economy. "Time is of the essence," said Annette Sykora, chairwoman of the National Automobile Dealers Association. "A lot of people are depending on the White House to provide the bridge loans to prevent a collapse of the auto industry. We need action now."
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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GMAC Bank Plan is Lacking Support

Financing firm short of 75% bondholder participation to qualify for part of $700B aid
NEW YORK -- With a key deadline looming just a day away, GMAC LLC is running out of time and hasn't found nearly enough support for its plan to swap $38 billion of debt, become a bank holding company and gain eligibility for part of the government's $700 billion bank rescue package. And barring a last minute change of heart by its bondholders, GMAC, which has posted billions of dollars in losses this year, could soon be forced to file for bankruptcy protection. GMAC, which provides financing for General Motors Corp. vehicle and dealer loans along with home mortgages, says it needs about 75 percent participation from bondholders on both offers to raise the $30 billion in regulatory capital the Federal Reserve requires to become a bank holding company. "We're clearly disappointed with the follow through participation," said GMAC spokeswoman Gina Proia. "But we're hopeful that we'll achieve the needed participation to meet the capital requirements" by today.
Source:  The Detroit News

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Black Owned Auto Dealers In Dire Straits

In 2005 Fontana Nissan celebrated a couple of firsts; the $7.5 million facility became the first auto dealership in the Fontana Auto Mall; it’s owner, Marc Williams became the first African-American Nissan dealership in the company’s Southwest Region, which encompasses Arizona, the Las Vegas/Henderson area and from Bakersfield south. Now with the future of the Big Three hanging in the balance, thirty-eight years of developing minority auto dealer franchises have come to a sudden halt. Republican opposition killed a $14-billion auto industry bailout plan in the Senate last week, putting the future of U.S. automakers at the door of bankruptcy. Even with emergency government help the future of ethnic minority owned auto dealers is unclear. To stay afloat minority dealers need $500 million in emergency loans and small business (SBA) loan guarantees. That’s the warning from Damon Lester, president of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD) during a December 5 hearing before the House Financial Services Committee. “Minority owned dealerships are in dire straits. Today, ethnic minority and small dealers throughout the U.S. are suffering at an alarming rate. Many are running out of cash, and will close their doors if immediate access to capital is not provided.”
Source:  New American Media

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Credit Unions Offer Auto Deals

Credit unions are stepping into the auto-finance gap, striking deals with U.S. auto makers to provide loans for cars and trucks sold at discounted prices. Anchored by institutions in the Midwest, credit unions from a dozen states have agreed over the past week to make $22 billion in loans available to members to finance purchases of any vehicle. For U.S. auto makers, credit-union members could become an important lifeline as they struggle to compete against foreign-based auto makers that generally have healthier finance arms. Chrysler agreed this week to give discounts of $500 to $1,000 to credit-union members in 12 states in the Midwest, South and Southwest. Last week, General Motors Corp. agreed to a similar deal, offering "supplier" discounts of roughly 5% plus $250 off the price of GM. Ford Motor Co. isn't in talks on a similar deal, as it believes its finance arm, Ford Financial, can meet buyers' needs. GM, Ford and Chrysler are struggling amid auto sales that are at their lowest levels in a quarter-century. Tight credit markets have made the situation worse by hobbling "captive finance" companies such as GMAC LLC and Chrysler Financial, which for years have been the primary source of loans for buyers of their cars.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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GM Denies Holding New Merger Talks With Chrysler

NEW YORK -- General Motors has not reopened merger talks with Chrysler, a GM spokesman said Thursday, denying a report in The Wall Street Journal that talks had been revived. "We have had no talks with them since we announced during our third-quarter earnings call that the talks had been suspended," GM spokesman Tony Cervone said. Representatives for privately held Chrysler and Cerberus Capital Management, which owns an 80% stake in Chrysler, did not return calls seeking comment.
Source:  Reuters

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Toyota May Post 1st Parent Operating Loss in 71 Years

TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp., the world's biggest automaker, is likely to report its first annual parent-only operating loss in 71 years, hit by plunging sales and the soaring yen, Japanese media reported on Friday. Toyota is set to issue revised forecasts for its parent-only and consolidated profits for the business year to March 31, 2009, at a year-end news conference scheduled on Monday, the Chunichi Shimbun and Kyodo news agency said. Toyota last posted an operating loss at the parent level, which doesn't include its subsidiaries, in its first year of operation in 1937/38.
Source:  Reuters

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Nissan, Infiniti, Mitsubishi Dealers to Display at Detroit Show

DETROIT -- Detroit-area Nissan, Infiniti and Mitsubishi auto dealers plan to bring in vehicles off their lots and occupy the Detroit auto show space that was originally allocated to their company’s corporate displays, says Joe Serra, the show’s senior co-chairman. For Nissan and Infiniti, it’s going to be a bare appearance. There will be no high-tech video displays, no corporate signs and no stages for the cars. “The cars are going to be the stars,” Serra told Automotive News. “It’s not going to be an elaborate exhibit. We’re going to make it work.” In late November, Nissan North America Inc. announced it was pulling out of the Detroit show next month and the Chicago show in February. Nissan later reversed its decision on Chicago. Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and several other automakers also have said they will skip the Detroit show, citing reduced marketing budgets because of the sales slump. On the other hand, Mitsubishi is helping its dealers by providing the auto display stand. Dealers, like those for Nissan and Infiniti, will supply the vehicles.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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NADA Update
Advance Registration for 2009 NADA Convention Ends Today

Pre-Registration for the NADA Convention & Expo in New Orleans ends today, Friday, Dec. 19, at 3 p.m. Members and guests wishing to register after today will need to register on site in New Orleans starting Jan. 24. Housing arrangements made through Experient will end on Tuesday, Dec. 23. Attendees who still need to secure hotel reservations after Dec. 23 must contact the hotel directly. Attendees who need to make a change to their hotel reservation may call Experient until Jan. 5 at (800) 974-3084. After Jan. 12, reservation changes must be made by contacting the hotel directly. To register, click here.

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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 dealer franchise meetings are more important than ever. We're also providing new ideas and information and a series of workshops designed to help dealers get through these tough times."
 
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.

Advance registration for the convention closes today. Take a moment to register online now. 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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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 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 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
 
"Allowing the auto companies to collapse is not a responsible course of action."

   
-- President Bush, Associated Press, Dec. 19


"This is the first step toward restoring consumer confidence."

   
-- NADA Chairman Annette Sykora, in a written statement today about President Bush's decision to provide domestic automakers with short-term loans, NADA Newswire, Dec. 19


"The time to make hard decisions to become viable is now, or the only option will be bankruptcy. The automakers and unions must understand what is at stake and make hard decisions necessary to reform."

   
-- President Bush, Associated Press, Dec. 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) 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 1 day 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.