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Top Stories
Convention to Host 21 Automaker Franchise Meetings at Critical Time for the Industry
Tough Times, Tougher Dealers: Saving Your Dealership's Assets Workshop Offered at Convention
NADA Insurance to Launch Long-Term Care Insurance Program at Convention
NADA Convention Features Former U.S. Presidents and Industry Leaders
Convention Hotel Rooms Still Available at NADA Rate
NADA Convention to Focus on Future of the Industry
Carville and Matalin to Headline AFSA's Vehicle Finance Conference in New Orleans
New FMLA Rule in Effect
Understanding the TALF
Opinion: America Needs a Single National Fuel Economy Standard
Top Stories
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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Tough Times, Tougher Dealers: Saving Your Dealership's Assets Workshop Offered at Convention

In response to the challenges facing dealers during uncertain times, NADA is offering a workshop on dealership survival, Tough Times, Tougher Dealers: Saving Your Dealership’s Assets, at the 2009 NADA Convention & Exposition in New Orleans. Hundreds of dealers have already participated in virtual seminars presented on the topic in December and January.

The first virtual seminar, held Dec. 18, drew more than 250 participants and lasted more than an hour, followed by a lively and informative Q&A session. Participants were not identified by name or dealership, which resulted in candid discussion. More than 150 people participated in the second session, held Jan. 13.

The convention workshop, presented by Michael Charapp, Esq. of Charapp & Weiss, LLP and Bradley Nicklin, CPA of Beers + Cutler, will discuss 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.

Tough Times, Tougher Dealers: Saving Your Dealership’s Assets will be held Saturday, Jan. 24 at 11 a.m. and Monday, Jan. 26 at 8:30 a.m. in rooms 208–209 of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Dealers, managers and other dealership personnel attending the NADA convention are encouraged to attend one of the two sessions. The workshop will offer up-to-date economic information and peer interaction, as well as Q&A for all participants.

For more information on this and other workshops at the NADA convention, visit www.nada.org/convention or call NADA Management Education at (800) 252-NADA, ext. 2.
Source: NADA Newswire

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NADA Insurance to Launch Long-Term Care Insurance Program at Convention

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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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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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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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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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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New FMLA Rule in Effect

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires covered dealers to provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period for a variety of reasons. A final rule, adopted by the Department of Labor in November, extends FMLA leave in certain circumstances to care for family who serve or served in the armed forces. The final rule takes effect today, Jan. 16. Other changes include:

  • Employees claiming “chronic” illness must visit a health care provider twice yearly and those claiming incapacity must visit a health care provider twice within 30 days of the incapacity.
  • Employees seeking intermittent leave must try to schedule leave so as not to disrupt the employer’s operations. Generally, employees must give at least 30 days’ notice for foreseeable leave.
  • Although health care providers may not disclose employee health information without the employee’s consent, dealers may use an employee’s refusal to provide permission as a basis for questioning certification. When a serious health condition exists for more than a year, dealers may require annual medical certification.

The final rule also contains new requirements governing holidays, bonuses, and employer notification requirements. Dealers covered by the FMLA must post the revised mandatory FMLA poster in the workplace where it can be read by employees.

Click here for more info, including how to determine employer coverage and employee eligibility. NADA’s A Dealer Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act (L.33) will be updated later this year to reflect these new changes. If you have questions, call Regulatory Affairs at (703) 821-7040 or email regulatoryaffairs@nada.org.
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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Opinion: America Needs a Single National Fuel Economy Standard
by Norman Mineta

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced that as a result of the automobile industry’s current financial difficulties it will leave to the Obama administration the task of reviewing and finalizing national fuel economy standards under the Energy Independence and Security Act. The last thing the American car industry needs right now is more uncertainty. Automakers are uncertain not only about the federal fuel economy standards they will soon be asked to comply with but also about which agency or government entity ultimately will be responsible for implementing the new standards. The United States has not one but three voices on fuel economy and carbon emissions: NHTSA, the EPA and the state of California. All three suggest different standards and require different strategies and products for compliance. For the good of our economy and the auto industry, we need a single national standard set by the federal government. Anything else sets automakers up for failure. I hope our new leaders can find a way to bridge the differing federal and state programs in innovative ways. As we look at solutions to securing a strong, viable auto industry and achieving our environmental goals, we should eliminate costly, complex burdens and choose a single fuel economy standard.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

[Editor's Note:  Mineta, a Democrat, is a former secretary of commerce for a Democratic president, a former secretary of transportation for a Republican president, and a former member of Congress from California.]

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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.

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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.