For optimal viewing through your web browser or PDA, click here.

NADA.org
Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Home | AdvocacyAffiliates | Convention | Jobs | Programs | Publications | Training | Services
At a Glance...
Top Stories
U.S. Treasury's Aid to GMAC Pays Off for Area Dealers
General Motors May Not Require Further U.S. Loans to Survive
GM and UAW Begin Negotiations...
US Dem Senator to Push for Tax Credits for Car Buyers
Chrysler Cuts Back Auto Show Spending
Best Time to Buy a Car: Now
NADA Update
Convention to Host 21 Automaker Franchise Meetings at Critical Time for the Industry
NADA Convention Features Former U.S. Presidents and Industry Leaders
Carville and Matalin to Headline AFSA's Vehicle Finance Conference in New Orleans
NADA Convention to Focus on Future of the Industry
Understanding the TALF
NADA Offers Virtual Seminar to Help Dealers in 'Tough Times'
STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About Internet Content Systems
Lenovo Offers New Year Savings
Top Stories
U.S. Treasury's Aid to GMAC Pays Off for Area Dealers

Auto dealers have quickly benefited from $6 billion in government aid to GMAC, the financing arm of General Motors Corp. At the start of last week, the U.S. Treasury bought $5 billion in GMAC stock and loaned GM $1 billion to invest in GMAC Financial Services LLC. The next day, GMAC announced zero percent financing on some models of GM cars and doubled the number of potential buyers qualifying for loans. "It's definitely had an impact," said Paul Gentilini, owner of Gentilini Chevrolet in Woodbine [N.J.]. "It's all good stuff right now, and a huge factor in their future, for sure." Gentilini said the zero percent financing on 2008 models ended Monday and is being replaced with 2.9 percent financing on 2009 models. GMAC also lowered the consumer credit score needed to qualify for a loan from 700 to 621. "Basically about 40 percent of consumers qualify at 700, while it's double that at 621," he said. Jim Gee, vice president and general manager of RK Auto Group in Vineland, said the government-funded GMAC financing helped give his Chevrolet-Cadillac dealership a better month than a year ago despite the overall slump in auto sales. "December this year we sold more vehicles and saw more people than in December last year," Gee said. "GMAC's credit easing certainly helped, no doubt about it."
Source:  The Press of Atlantic City

[back to top]

General Motors May Not Require Further U.S. Loans to Survive

General Motors Corp. has enough government loans to cover the worst-case scenario it described last month and says it won’t need more if the economy holds up. The U.S. Treasury has pledged as much as $13.4 billion in aid to help GM pay its bills and $6 billion to prop up lender GMAC LLC, which GM relies on for auto loans and dealer support. President George W. Bush agreed to the rescue after the biggest U.S. automaker said it wouldn’t have enough money to pay bills in December. “The U.S. Treasury’s $13.4 billion bridge loan to GM, coupled with the separate transaction for GMAC, meets our liquidity needs under the scenarios outlined in our December plan to Congress,” GM spokesman Greg Martin said yesterday. GM is trying to win concessions from its biggest union, cut its debt level in half, and trim brands and dealerships as part of a restructuring plan to show it will be able to repay the money. A progress report is due Feb. 17 to the Treasury Department, and a final report is due March 31. If the plan doesn’t pass government scrutiny, GM has to repay the loans. “It all depends on a lot of difficult-to-forecast factors, like the size of the market,” said John Casesa, a former Merrill Lynch auto analyst who’s now a partner at consulting firm Casesa Shapiro Group in New York. GM’s market share, the health of the economy and action by competitors are all unknowns, he said.
Source:  Bloomberg

[back to top]

GM and UAW Begin Negotiations...

UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said [Tuesday] that the union would seek rank-and-file approval for any changes it makes to labor agreements to help the Detroit 3 comply with provisions of the new federal bailout. UAW negotiations for those changes [began Tuesday night] with General Motors, Gettelfinger said... Union negotiators will meet with Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC later this week, he said. President George Bush is requiring GM and Chrysler to make cuts to improve their competitiveness as part of emergency loans each is receiving from the federal government to stave off a cash crisis. The UAW was singled out for more concessions than any of the other stakeholders, including bondholders, dealers, suppliers or others, Gettelfinger said. The union is willing to help, he said. But the process is being slowed by confusing loan language and the absence of a federal point person or car czar to clarify questions, he said. Gettelfinger said he expected bondholders, dealers and suppliers to also make sacrifices. But he said he would not let those negotiations stop the UAW from making changes that would help the automakers get their loans.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

[back to top]

US Dem Senator to Push for Tax Credits for Car Buyers

WASHINGTON -- A Democratic senator will push to extend tax credits to car buyers as part of a broad economic stimulus package, aiming to lift vehicle sales out of a precipitous slump. The proposal would mirror a bill introduced in the Senate in November, a spokeswoman for Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., a member of the Appropriations Committee, said Monday. Under that bill, interest payments on car loans would be tax deductible, as would sales and excise taxes on cars. The program would apply to new vehicles purchased through the end of 2009. With U.S. auto makers reporting dismal December sales figures Monday - closing out their worst year in more than 15 years - auto dealers are preparing to make a push for tax incentives and other forms of government aid. A spokesman for the National Automobile Dealers Association said Monday that tax incentives for consumers would be a top priority of the association in the coming Congress. "Sen. Mikulski is going to continue to fight to get this included," said Cassie Harvey, a spokeswoman for the senator. She emphasized that talks on the economic stimulus package - expected to focus heavily on tax cuts, infrastructure projects and aid to states - are in the early stages and that details could change. Mikulski estimated that buyers of a $25,000 Dodge minivan would save $1,553 with the credits. The incentives would apply to loans of up to $49,500. Households with incomes above $250,000 wouldn't be eligible.
Source:  Dow Jones Newswires

[back to top]

Chrysler Cuts Back Auto Show Spending

Another sign of the auto industry meltdown: Journalists covering next week’s Detroit auto show will not be treated to free food, an open bar and entertainment by Chrysler LLC, which will not host its annual Firehouse hospitality suite in downtown Detroit. In past years the automaker has rented the Detroit Fire Department station across from Cobo Center to host media members during the press days of the auto show. “Less glitz and no giveaways. These are unfortunate but necessary steps to help return Chrysler to a solid footing,” Rick Deneau, Chrysler director of product and brand communications, wrote Monday in a posting on the company’s blog, thefirehouse.biz. Costly gimmicks are out, too. Last year, Chrysler flooded the streets in front of Cobo with a herd of cattle for the unveiling of its redesigned Dodge Ram pickup. In 2006, the automaker generated a confetti blizzard inside Cobo at the unveiling for the Aspen SUV.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

[back to top]

Best Time to Buy a Car: Now

Things are scary out there, but here's how to decide which Detroit's cars and trucks are worth buying.
NEW YORK -- There's never been a better time to buy a car. On the other hand, there's never been a scarier or more confusing time, either. There are big incentives out there and dealers are discounting like crazy as they try to get aging inventory off their lots. But consumers are understandably worried about the financial health of the automakers they may be buying from, especially domestic manufacturers. So, is it worth taking the deal? Here are some points to consider. The product: If it weren't for all the financial trouble, this would be a great time buy a car from either General Motors or Ford. GM has some really outstanding products, including the award-winning Chevrolet Malibu, new large three-row SUVs - the GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave, Saturn Outlook and Chevrolet Traverse - and the Cadillac CTS, a world-class mid-size luxury sedan. Ford, meanwhile, has successfully attacked its past quality problems. Now when you buy a Ford car or crossover you can expect the same kind of dependability that was once the hallmark of Japanese brands like Toyota and Honda, according to Consumer Reports.
Source:  CNNMoney.com

[back to top]

NADA Update
Convention to Host 21 Automaker Franchise Meetings at Critical Time for the Industry

Now that U.S. automakers will receive bridge loans, attention has shifted to the NADA Convention & Exposition in New Orleans Jan. 24-27 when dealers will have an opportunity to meet face-to-face with the top leadership of the auto manufacturers. NADA’s Industry Relations Group has announced that 21 separate manufacturer franchise meetings have been confirmed at the convention.

“NADA is pleased that nearly all of the automakers’ CEOs and presidents plan to attend these important meetings,” said Annette Sykora, NADA chairman. General Motors’ Rick Wagoner, Toyota’s Jim Lentz, Chrysler’s Jim Press and Ford’s Alan Mulally are all planning to attend. Mulally will deliver the keynote industry address at the convention’s opening session on Saturday, Jan. 24. “There could not be a more important time for a dealer to attend an NADA convention and hear directly from their manufacturer,” Sykora added. "Franchise meetings offer dealers the opportunity to hear from NADA, dealer councils and the automaker’s leadership, as well as ask questions of their manufacturers directly."

“These meetings come at a critical time,” Sykora said. “Automotive retailing is going through historic changes, and there is no better place for dealers to meet and discuss the future of their industry than at the NADA convention." Information and a complete list of scheduled franchise meetings can be found at www.nada.org/convention.
Source:  NADA Newswire

[back to top]

NADA Convention Features Former U.S. Presidents and Industry Leaders

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has assembled a lineup of leading political figures and inspirational speakers—including former U.S. presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton—to deliver remarks at its 92nd annual Convention & Exposition in New Orleans Jan. 24-27. “This year’s lineup is one of the most impressive in NADA’s history,” said Convention Chairman and auto dealer Jeff Carlson. “In line with NADA’s convention theme of ‘Committed to Community,’ former U.S. presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton join us in highlighting nationwide efforts to give back to the New Orleans community.” Last year, the NADA Charitable Foundation made a $400,000 contribution to the Brees Dream Foundation—founded by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and wife, Brittany—to help rebuild the athletic fields at the largest public high school in New Orleans. Ford Motor Co. President and CEO Alan Mulally will deliver the keynote address during the General Assembly on Saturday, Jan. 24, following NADA Chairman Annette Sykora. Archie Manning, former Saints quarterback and NFL Most Valuable Player, and Christopher Gardner, the inspiration for the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness,” will offer motivational talks. Incoming NADA Chairman John P. McEleney will outline his priorities Monday, Jan. 26 for the coming year.
Source: NADA Newswire

[back to top]

Carville and Matalin to Headline AFSA's Vehicle Finance Conference in New Orleans

Political commentators James Carville and Mary Matalin will give the keynote presentation at the American Financial Services Association’s (AFSA) 13th Vehicle Finance Conference and Exposition scheduled Jan. 21-23 at The Sheraton New Orleans. The husband and wife duo, who have sharply different political views, will discuss the new presidential administration during a presentation on Friday, Jan. 23. The vehicle finance conference, held just prior to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) annual convention, also will feature a panel of top industry leaders who will share their views about the current market environment as well as the traditional “Straight Talk with Dealers” session featuring the NADA leadership: John McEleney, incoming chairman; Ed Tonkin, incoming vice chairman; and Mike Martin, director from Virginia. Michael Brown from the Atlantic Auto Group will also speak. Additional sessions and round tables will focus on Risk Management, Legal and Legislative Issues, Maximizing Human Capital, the New Generation of Auto Finance Companies, Profitability Management Analytics and Operational Effectiveness and Dealing with Fraud. To register for AFSA’s meeting, visit www.vehiclefinanceconference.com.
Source:  AFSA

[back to top]

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
Economic turmoil and uncertainty form the backdrop to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention in New Orleans. "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.

“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

[back to top]

Understanding the TALF

A new Web page on nada.org explains in greater detail what the Federal Reserve Board's Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) program means to dealers and how they will benefit from the action taken on Dec. 19 to include securities backed by dealer floorplan loans as a qualifying asset class. The information is helpful in explaining this action to dealers and the media. Click here for "Understanding the TALF."
Source:  NADA Newswire

[back to top]

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 new seminar on dealership survival, Tough Times, Tougher Dealers: Saving Your Dealership’s Assets. The seminar is being presented both as a virtual seminar and as a convention workshop at the 2009 NADA Convention & Exposition in New Orleans.

The first virtual seminar, held Dec. 18, drew more than 200 participants and lasted more than an hour, followed by a lively and informative Q & A session. As participants were not identified by name or dealership, discussion was extremely candid. NADA is offering only one more virtual seminar to be held Jan. 13 from 1–3 p.m. EST. The registration fee is only $50 per computer connection. Don't miss out! Register now at www.nada.org/seminars.

This seminar, presented by Michael Charapp, Esq. of Charapp & Weiss, LLP and Bradley Nicklin, CPA of Beers + Cutler, discusses the tough issues facing dealers today. It is intended to help dealers and managers understand the steps required to protect their dealerships’ assets during tough economic times.

In Tough Times, 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 the tough environment, both legally and financially.

[back to top]

STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About Internet Content Systems

Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR) has developed new guidelines to help dealers evaluate their dealership data security. Visit STAR's Dealer Infrastructure Guidelines (DIG) publication to learn more. To read the answer to the question "What are the things that a dealer should look for when considering any type of Internet Content System?" click here.

[back to top]

Lenovo Offers New Year Savings
NADA members can now save up to 34 percent on select notebooks and all ThinkPad and IdeaPad notebooks along with all computing accessories. The discounts are available to dealership employees too. This is a limited-time offer. 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. Enter eCoupon USXNEWYEAR at checkout to receive the NADA discount. Free ground shipping is available on all Web orders.

[back to top]

 
Featured Video
 
  
Click here to see why New Orleans is still America's premier convention city.



More Video Highlights

Quotable
 
"December this year we sold more vehicles and saw more people than in December last year. GMAC's credit easing certainly helped, no doubt about it."

   
-- Jim Gee, vice president and general manager of RK Auto Group in Vineland, N.J., says the government-funded GMAC financing helped give his Chevrolet-Cadillac dealership a better month than a year ago despite the overall slump in auto sales, The Press of Atlantic City, Jan. 7


"The U.S. Treasury's $13.4 billion bridge loan to GM, coupled with the separate transaction for GMAC, meets our liquidity needs under the scenarios outlined in our December plan to Congress."

    -- GM spokesman Greg Martin, Bloomberg, Jan. 7


"I'd like to see (the financing offers) really take hold over the next 30 to 45 days. Hopefully, we'll start seeing some real upticks."

   
-- Michael Martin, owner of Chevrolet and Saturn dealerships in Manassas, Va., said he saw customer traffic and phone calls pick up almost immediately after the Treasury Department announced last week that it would give $5 billion in federal aid to GMAC, Associated Press, Jan. 6


"Automotive retailing is going through historic changes, and there is no better place for dealers to meet and discuss the future of their industry than at the NADA convention."


    -- Annette Sykora, NADA chairman, NADA Newswire. NADA's Industry Relations group has announced that 21 separate manufacturer franchise meetings have been confirmed at the upcoming convention in New Orleans.
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) How Smart Dealers are Changing the Way they Advertise

(2) Creating Superstar Salespeople

(3) Maximize Service Advisor Performance: Four Easy Steps to Enhance Performance

Smart Dealers speaker Dorthy Miller Shore of the Miller Agency will present a 360-degree approach to advertising that integrates all forms of media to drive business. Participants will learn a new media model that applies in today’s Internet world.

Superstar Salespeople speaker Mark Tewart of Tewart Enterprises, Inc. will give specific examples of sales skills, people skills, life skills, and marketing skills that can transform average sales performance to great performance.

Service Advisor speaker Jim Phillips of NADA will present dealers with a clear-cut plan for improving the performance of service advisors. Participants will learn the best approaches to the appointment process, the pre-work process (including homework), the walk-around and write-up and interactive delivery.

Advance registration for the 2009 NADA Convention & Exposition is now closed. Register onsite beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 23.

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



NADA's New Orleans Project: Lusher Charter School
NADA's Return to New Orleans


Click here for more NADA-TV reports.

 
Search Back Issues | Unsubscribe | Subscribe | Manage your subscription | email us
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.