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Top Stories
U.S. Lawmakers Consider Help for Autos in Stimulus
Wagoner: GM Will Assess Need for Additional Bailout Funds
Besieged Car Dealers Are on Their Own
Lawmaker Prefers Help for Auto Buyers, Not Companies
Nissan Rises After Report It May Buy Chrysler Assets
NADA Used Car Guide to Unveil New Appraisal Tool
Gas Engines Get Upgrade in Challenge to Hybrids
NADA Update
NADA Insurance to Offer Long-Term Care Insurance
Convention Hotel Rooms Still Available at NADA Rate
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
STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About Internet Content Systems
Lenovo Offers New Year Savings
Top Stories
U.S. Lawmakers Consider Help for Autos in Stimulus

WASHINGTON -- Democrats are considering incentives for car buyers and millions of dollars more in financing to develop better batteries and alternative fuels as part of a U.S. economic stimulus package, officials say. Domestic automakers ... are keeping a low profile as the recovery initiative takes shape. Foreign rivals are quietly supporting incentives to help them weather the sharp downturn in North American sales with forecasts bleak. According to auto executives and lobbyists, industry has discussed options with congressional and Obama officials for the stimulus bill that would spark new credit, reinvigorate showrooms and boost technology development to keep car companies on track to sharply improve fuel economy. "The stimulus is about creating jobs. If the automakers are able to sell the cars they make, they will be able to put people to work. Better technology requires more people," said Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign at the Center for Auto Safety. Lobbyists for big automakers believe stimulus legislation can help industry shake its historic sales slump, reduce U.S. oil dependence and cut tailpipe emissions. For instance, they back a plan for government to finance a new car credit when consumers trade in older, less efficient models. The "[cash] for clunkers" cash voucher would be awarded at sale and the old vehicle would be scrapped. Dave McCurdy, chief executive of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers ... suggested voucher amounts be tied to the age and performance of the older vehicle and the efficiency of the model purchased. Benefits could reach $5,000. "This gets people back in showrooms," McCurdy said. "It helps dealers and the industry and helps states and local communities. We're a big part of their revenues, which are down dramatically." Also, the proposal would clarify that lenders benefiting from bailout money ensure that credit flow to consumers and dealers, which need help financing floor plans.
Source:  Reuters

[Editor’s Note: NADA’s Legislative Office is urging all dealers to immediately contact their members of Congress to ensure that support for an auto stimulus provision becomes a priority and is included in the broader economic stimulus package. NADA wants members of Congress to talk to their Democratic and Republican leadership to include the Mikulski-Pascrell auto deductibility measure and any other auto stimulus measures that would increase consumer demand for cars and trucks. Members of Congress can be reached through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. For more information, call NADA’s Legislative Office at (800) 563-1556.]

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Wagoner: GM Will Assess Need for Additional Bailout Funds

NADA will push for tax writeoffs on auto loan interest
DETROIT -- General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner says the company won't know how much more in government loans it will need until March 31. Wagoner, speaking on a nationwide radio show Tuesday night, said GM has enough money to fund its business operations through the first quarter. "At that point, we'll be in a better position to asses the industry. Wagoner would not give a range of how much more GM will need. "I've seen a lot of different figures," he said. Wagoner appeared on a national call-in radio show broadcast from WJR AM 760 in Detroit along with Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally, Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger and National Automobile Dealers Association Chairwoman Annette Sykora. The panel fielded questions via calls and e-mails. Wagoner acknowledged that GM will get smaller in terms of models and brands, but he didn't provide specifics. Sykora said the NADA is working to get a bill passed that would enable consumers to write off the interest on car loans. She said it could be part of the Obama administration's economic stimulus package. Said Sykora: "Credit is the lifeblood of our industry."
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Besieged Car Dealers Are on Their Own

Big Three executives feel the franchisees’ pain — but offer no plan for buyouts or rescues.
DETROIT -- News flash to auto dealers, from the floor of the North American International Auto Show: If you think General Motors, Chrysler or Ford will rescue your franchise, you might be in for a rude awakening. Executives with the nation's Big Three automakers say they love you. They sympathize with you. But they think there are too many of you out there, and they're not about to come to your rescue if you're hanging on by a thread. When pressed about the plight of dealerships during media sessions this week, executives from the Big Three were resolute about what they saw as the need to reduce the number of dealerships as the recession grinds on. The restructuring plans of all three companies include reducing the number of dealers in communities across the country. But rather than forcing the reduction through corporate strong-arming, which could lead to costly lawsuits or buyouts, executives this week suggested it would be achieved through natural selection: The weakest would go; the strongest would survive. "When you take a third of the market out, a third of the dealers don't really have a business to go forward with," Jim Press, president of Chrysler L.L.C., said Sunday, referring to how the Big Three have lost sales to foreign competition. Striking what was perhaps a diplomatic note, Press said Chrysler was trying to "thin the dealers out in a natural way that really is a win-win for both the dealer that's leaving and the dealer that's going to continue the business." General Motors chairman and chief executive Rick Wagoner expressed empathy, along with a similar conviction that some dealers, after nearly a century in business, had simply reached a crossroads. Each dealership holds a contract with manufacturers that cannot be broken at will by the automakers. The men and women who own dealerships hold franchise agreements and have invested millions in opening the businesses. Many state laws are protective of their contractual rights.
Source:  Philadelphia Inquirer

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Lawmaker Prefers Help for Auto Buyers, Not Companies

WASHINGTON -- A veteran Republican lawmaker says it would be better for the federal government to give $5,000 to every new-vehicle buyer than to pour more taxpayer money into struggling companies. If more people buy new cars and trucks, “the economy will restart itself,” Rep. Donald Manzullo, R-Ill., said today. Manzullo made his remarks during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on the progress the Bush administration has made in using $350 billion in federal funds approved last October to help rescue financial institutions. Manzullo, a member of the House committee, said simpler measures such as money for car buyers would do more to get the economy moving. The bill would provide $2,000 tax credits to buyers of used vehicles. The new- and used-vehicle tax credits would be reduced to $2,500 and $1,000 respectively in 2010. There are tall odds against the proposal becoming law...
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Nissan Rises After Report It May Buy Chrysler Assets

Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s third-largest automaker, rose for the first time in four days on the Tokyo Stock Exchange after a report that the company and partner Renault SA are in talks with Chrysler LLC to buy assets and the yen weakened. Renault and Nissan may bid for Chrysler’s Jeep brand among other assets, Reuters reported yesterday, citing three people with knowledge of the talks. Nissan spokeswoman Pauline Kee declined to comment on the report. Chrysler spokeswoman Shawn Morgan declined to comment as did Peter Duda, a spokesman for Cerberus Capital Management LP, which owns Chrysler.
Source:  Bloomberg

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NADA Used Car Guide to Unveil New Appraisal Tool

McLEAN, Va. — NADA Used Car Guide will be showcasing a new Web-based solution at the upcoming National Automobile Dealers Association Convention that can help dealers more accurately appraise used vehicles in order to make the most educated buying and selling decisions. Basically, NADA AppraisalPRO can give dealers a timely and complete view of the used-vehicle market by offering data from six industry sources via the Web: NADA Used Car Guide (for guide values), AutoTrader.com (for retail asking prices), Experian (for AutoCheck vehicle history reports), J.D. Power and Associates/Power Information Network (for retail sales transactions data), Manheim Market Report (for auction sales transactions data) and vAuto (for used-vehicle market days supply). Essentially, dealers can gather data on different pieces of the used-vehicle market from each source. What's more, AppraisalPRO is designed to allow dealers greater flexibility by letting them add more information about vehicles, as well as customize each appraisal and make appropriate adjustments. "This is an industry first Web-based appraisal product designed to give dealers a complete picture of their used-vehicle market by combining the resources of industry giants like AutoTrader.com, Experian, J.D. Power and Associates, Manheim, vAuto and NADA," explained Mike Stanton, vice president and chief operating officer for NADA Used Car Guide. Dealers can check out AppraisalPRO at the NADA Used Car Guide exhibit during the convention, which will be held in New Orleans from Jan. 24-27. Product demonstrations are also available on-site. For more information, visit www.nada.com/b2b.
Source:  Auto Remarketing

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Gas Engines Get Upgrade in Challenge to Hybrids

Hybrids and electric cars are generating the buzz this week at Detroit's North American International Auto Show. But thanks to new technology, the century-old internal-combustion engine appears poised to make a significant leap in fuel efficiency. While car makers are showcasing gas-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids and concept cars powered by fuel-cell batteries, they also are rolling out vehicles with advanced gasoline engines that rely on a technology known as direct fuel injection. Analysts say sales of vehicles with such engines -- which deliver greater fuel economy and power than today's similarly sized gas engines -- will far exceed those of hybrids and electrics for years to come. All auto makers are under pressure to boost fuel economy to meet stricter governmental standards. But consumers are fickle when it comes to buying superefficient vehicles. "On the journey to electrification of vehicles, we think we're going to need to make significant improvements in gasoline engines," said Sam Winegarden, GM's executive director of engineering. GM and other makers are also trying to develop a gas engine using a technology called homogenous-charge compression-ignition, or HCCI. The technology is believed capable of providing as much as a 30% boost in fuel economy by burning gas faster at lower temperatures and reducing some of the energy lost during the combustion process.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal

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NADA Update
NADA Insurance to Offer Long-Term Care Insurance

To help dealers protect their loved ones and financial assets, NADA will be offering a new, long-term care insurance program with exclusive discounts to members. Through a partnership with CoolLTC, NADA members can work with long-term care specialists to design a protection program for their individual needs. Along with a choice of eight insurance companies, members can create a free living will – a savings of $350. Members can also access Care Options OnLine, which is the most comprehensive Web-based care planning and resource center designed to assist members in finding services they need to cope with disabilities or other challenges of assisted living.

“Now more than ever, wealth preservation is a major issue for our members,” said Lin Peacock, vice president of NADA Insurance. “A Wall Street Journal columnist recently cited the 10 biggest mistakes that investors make with their retirement savings. Number one on the list is failing to prepare for long-term care. Long-term care insurance is a crucial part of any sound financial plan,” Peacock added. “After all the hard work dealers put into building a business and other investments and savings, protecting assets and family welfare is the next critical step.” By partnering with CoolLTC, NADA members now have access to a choice of carriers and valuable planning tools.

“During this time of unprecedented concern over retirement savings and the financial viability of social programs such as Medicare and Social Security, we are honored to be the group that NADA has chosen to assist their members with understanding the role long-term care insurance can play in protecting them and their families against the devastating costs associated with long-term care,” said David Schaeffer, managing director of CoolLTC. The program will launch at the NADA Convention & Exposition in New Orleans Jan. 24–27.

BENEFITS FOR NADA MEMBERS -- Exclusive Discounts on Long-Term Care Insurance

  • Choice of LTC insurance plans from eight top-rated carriers that provides flexibility and a wide array of benefits and options
  • Plans that allow cash payments to family and friends for providing care
  • Discounted premiums for members and their families
  • The most accurate and up-to-date information available with all of the facts necessary to make an informed decision
  • Easy to navigate, intuitive Web site resource to answer all of your questions related to long-term care needs

For more information on the latest innovations in long-term care insurance solutions, contact Scott Lilja, NADA Insurance, (703) 749-4711 or David Schaeffer, CoolLTC, (866) 966-6558.
Source:  NADA Newswire

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Convention Hotel Rooms Still Available at NADA Rate

Advance registration for the NADA convention in New Orleans has closed, but hotel reservations are still available at the NADA rate. If you need hotel reservations for the convention, contact the hotels directly and ask for the NADA rate. The city has assured NADA that most of the hotels will comply. If you would like to register for the convention, you may do so on site beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 23. Registration will be located in Hall D of the Morial Convention Center.

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

Now that U.S. automakers are receiving 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

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

NADA has assembled a lineup of leading political figures, industry 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 McEleney will outline his priorities Monday, Jan. 26 for the coming year.
Source: NADA Newswire

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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

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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
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

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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

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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.

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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.

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



More Video Highlights

Quotable
 
"... for people who have been in business so long, for generations ... it's difficult when [dealers] close down."

   
-- General Motors chairman and chief executive Rick Wagoner, expressing empathy that some dealers after nearly a century in business had simply reached a crossroads, Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 13


"There's not enough money to buy out everybody. The real thing is the businesses deciding where it makes sense to consolidate. And we just help with that."

   
-- Alan Mulally, president and chief executive of Ford Motor Co., when asked about dealers' concern over whether Ford could produce the cash needed to ease their exit, Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 13


"Credit is the lifeblood of our industry."

   
-- NADA Chairwoman Annette Sykora, during a national call-in radio show broadcast from WJR AM 760 in Detroit Tuesday night along with General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner, Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally, Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli and UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, Automotive News, Jan. 13


"This gets people back in showrooms. It helps dealers and the industry and helps states and local communities. We're a big part of their revenues, which are down dramatically."

   
-- Dave McCurdy, chief executive of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, referring to a need for an economic stimulus package to spur auto sales, Reuters, Jan. 13  


If more people buy new cars and trucks, "the economy will restart itself."

   
-- Rep. Donald Manzullo, R-Ill., referring to his proposal, which would give $5,000 to every new-vehicle buyer rather than pouring more taxpayer money into struggling companies, Automotive News, Jan. 13
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 Powerful Principles to Reshape Your Strengths in Service

(2) How to Instantly get High Survey Scores, High Customer Retention, and Outstanding Product

(3) Blueprint for Hiring Top Performers

Powerful Principles speaker Ted Ings of Auto University will identify principles for strengthening service and delivering a superior customer experience. Participants will learn timely, easy-to-implement processes, best management practices and real-world solutions for boosting service profits under all retail conditions.

Survey Scores speaker Jeff Cowan of Jeff Cowan’s Pro Talk, Inc. will teach dealership personnel how to build rapport and establish long-lasting relationships with customers. Attendees will learn what product benefits interest customers most, when and how to present these benefits to them and what type of close works best.

Blueprint speaker Ricky Wolfe of EFG Companies will cover the behavioral traits of top performers in the retail automotive industry and outline a 7-step system to identify, recruit, hire and retain top performers.

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.

 
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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.