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Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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At a Glance...
Top Stories
NADA, SBA and NAMAD Launch Campaign on Dealer Eligibility for SBA Guaranteed Loans
Chrysler Announces Alliance with Fiat
U.S. Expands Aid to Auto Industry
UAW: Auto Plans Need More Time
Plummeting Sales, Tightening Credit Speed Up Detroit 3 Dealership Cuts
Dealers: Bailout Hasn't Opened Spigot at GMAC
Grandson of Toyota Founder Will Lead
Committed to Community: Auto Dealers Hailed for Outreach
NADA Update
Tough Times, Tougher Dealers: Saving Your Dealership's Assets
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
HP's Inventory Closeout Sale
Top Stories
NADA, SBA and NAMAD Launch Campaign on Dealer Eligibility for SBA Guaranteed Loans

NADA, the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD), and the Small Business Administration (SBA) have developed a joint Motor Vehicle Dealer Loan Guaranty Campaign to inform small new-car and -truck dealers about their eligibility for SBA 7(a) guaranteed loans. Small dealers who’ve been affected by recent economic conditions may benefit from the program. The SBA guarantees loans made by local lenders for small business applicants who cannot obtain credit on a conventional basis. SBA staff will be available at NADA’s Federal Regulatory Outreach Pavilion at the NADA Convention to answer dealers’ questions about the program. Questions may also be directed to the NADA Hotline at (888) 672-5147 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. When calling, mention that you are seeking assistance in applying for or obtaining a SBA-guaranteed loan. Click here for the campaign fact sheet.
Source:  NADA Newswire

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Chrysler Announces Alliance with Fiat

WASHINGTON -- Chrysler LLC said today it was striking an alliance with Fiat S.p.A. that will give the Italian carmaker 35% of Chrysler in return for sharing technology, manufacturing and management. The deal must be approved by regulators, including the U.S. Treasury, which oversees a $4-billion rescue loan of Chrysler. Fiat did not commit any cash to the deal, and made no vows to do so in the future. Chrysler said the deal would give it access to Fiat’s engine and other vehicle technology that Chrysler would build in its plants. Fiat will help sell Chrysler vehicles in foreign markets, where Chrysler lags its competitors today. And Chrysler said Fiat would “provide management services supporting Chrysler’s submission of a viability plan” to federal regulators. "This transaction will enable Chrysler to offer a broader competitive line-up of vehicles for our dealers and customers that meet emissions and fuel efficiency standards, while adhering to conditions of the government loan,” Chrysler Chairman and Chief Executive Bob Nardelli said in a statement.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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U.S. Expands Aid to Auto Industry

Chrysler Financial Gets $1.5 Billion From Treasury; Ford Credit in Talks
The government expanded its bailout of the nation's troubled auto industry yesterday, announcing a new $1.5 billion loan for Chrysler Financial while Ford Credit said it was in talks to obtain federal aid. The money for Chrysler Financial will come from the government's $700 billion financial rescue program. Senior officials from the Treasury and Federal Reserve are hoping the assistance, combined with earlier support for General Motors' chief lender GMAC, will keep auto loans flowing until the two agencies can make more funds available for credit cards, student loans and small business loans. The developments came on a frantic last work day at the Treasury Department, as officials pushed out the door several key deals and announcements related to the rescue program, known as the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP. To date, the government has committed TARP money to provide $17.4 billion for General Motors and Chrysler, $6 billion for GMAC, and now the new loan to back Chrysler Financial.
Source:  Washington Post

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UAW: Auto Plans Need More Time

Gettelfinger says GM, Chrysler restructurings by Feb. 17 is unfeasible
WASHINGTON -- United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger said Monday that a Feb. 17 deadline for General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC to complete restructuring plans may be "unattainable." Last month, the U.S. Treasury Department agreed to loan the two cash-strapped automakers up to $17.4 billion to keep them afloat, but the money is contingent on the companies' filing detailed restructuring plans that include sacrifices from key stakeholders, including the UAW and bondholders, among others. "Honestly, most people that have looked at this from a realistic standpoint would say this timeline is almost unattainable," Gettelfinger told reporters at an event hosted by Michigan lawmakers ahead of today's presidential inauguration. "I said to myself that I hope this wasn't set up to intentionally fail. ... People have no idea of the magnitude of what they were asking these companies to do." GM and Chrysler declined to comment specifically on Gettelfinger's remarks. Gettelfinger said the union is reviewing documents but there have been "no formal discussions" with the automakers and no real progress has been made toward concessions with less than a month before the deadline.
Source:  The Detroit News

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Plummeting Sales, Tightening Credit Speed Up Detroit 3 Dealership Cuts

Detroit 3 dealers, already weakened by years of eroding market share, got socked in 2008 by a brutal sales slump and a credit crunch. The dire economy is accelerating — and sometimes distorting — the domestic automakers' retail consolidation plans. But not just Detroit 3 dealers are plagued by depressed sales, frozen credit and reduced profitability. As domestic and import-brand dealers gather in New Orleans this week for the annual convention of the National Automobile Dealers Association, they are less likely to be in a mood to party in the French Quarter — and more likely to swap horror stories. In recent years, the Detroit 3 have worked to trim their retail networks, sometimes paying dealers hundreds of thousands of dollars in incentives to merge or surrender their franchises. Dealership brokers say those incentives dried up as the Detroit 3 ran low on operating cash. Still, dealers who once refused to sell are throwing in the towel. GM ended 2008 with an estimated 6,426 dealerships, down from 6,653 at the start of the year. Ford Motor estimates it ended the year with 3,790 domestic brand dealerships, down from 4,056 on Jan. 1, 2008. Chrysler spokesman Stuart Schorr says the company's Project Genesis consolidation plan is making progress. As of November 2008, Schorr says, the number of Chrysler LLC dealerships had dropped to 3,360 stores from 3,585 at the start of the year.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Dealers: Bailout Hasn't Opened Spigot at GMAC

GMAC Financial Services is greeting phone callers these days with a cheery welcome to "the new GMAC." But General Motors dealers complain that even after GMAC got a $5 billion federal bailout last month, the lender has yet to loosen most of its old restrictions on retail and wholesale auto finance. GMAC keeps rejecting credit applications... After it got federal aid, GMAC lowered from 700 to 621 the minimum credit score a customer must have to qualify for a loan. The average score is about 680 on a scale of 300 to 850. GMAC spokeswoman Sue Mallino declined to say how much of the federal money the company is applying to vehicle lending. But she says reducing the credit score cutoff has "allowed us to resume about 90 percent of our traditional spectrum of auto financing." GMAC has cut some rates on consumer auto loans. But [one] dealer says GMAC's rates remain as much as 1.5 percentage points higher than those of commercial banks he uses. And dealers note that GMAC still is not making loans to subprime buyers with blemished credit ratings. "GMAC is making a difference, but it's not substantial at this point," says John Phelan, a Chevrolet dealer in Chicago. "Consumer confidence has to be built up."
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Grandson of Toyota Founder Will Lead

TOKYO — Toyota Motor on Monday named as its next president Akio Toyoda, the grandson of the company’s founder, returning leadership to the founding family to steer the Japanese auto giant through its roughest downturn in more than 70 years. The appointment of Mr. Toyoda, 52, was widely expected as part of a management reshuffling at the company, which faces its first full-year operating loss since his grandfather started the company in 1937. The last family member to lead the company was his uncle, Tatsuro Toyoda, who stepped down in 1995. Mr. Toyoda will take over as the company vies with General Motors to become the world’s largest automaker, but also as it struggles to overcome the sudden and steep drop in the global auto market. He must also convince skeptics that a member of the Toyoda family, which now owns less than 2 percent of the company, should even hold the post. The younger Mr. Toyoda will succeed Katsuaki Watanabe, who will become vice chairman. Fujio Cho will remain as chairman.
Source:  New York Times

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Committed to Community: Auto Dealers Hailed for Outreach

Todd and Scott Spitler have donated to the Brighton Area Schools district and community in multiple ways, including paying for a $15,000 scoreboard. The auto dealers' generosity is being recognized with a prestigious award from Ford Motor Co. The owners of Brighton Ford Mercury in Brighton will receive a Salute to Dealers award for corporate citizenship from Ford at the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention this week in New Orleans. They are the third generation of their family to own a Ford dealership. They are among six North American dealers who will receive the ninth annual tribute. Honorees were selected from among nearly 6,000 Ford dealers across the United States and Canada. "Our family has a tradition of sharing our success by giving back to the areas we serve," Scott Spitler said. "If we do business in a community, we should keep resources there."
Source:  Livingston County Daily Press & Argus (Michigan)

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NADA Update
Tough Times, Tougher Dealers: Saving Your Dealership's Assets

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 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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HP's Inventory Closeout Sale

HP is offering up to 65 percent off select business desktops while supplies last. Call 1-800-888-0365 and mention passcode "NAD1" to receive the NADA discount. To see more "Specials and Promotions" and "Smart Deals," visit NADA's PC Purchase program online (member login required) and click www.hp.com/go/promos/nad1.

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



More Video Highlights

Quotable
 
"This transaction will enable Chrysler to offer a broader competitive line-up of vehicles for our dealers and customers that meet emissions and fuel efficiency standards, while adhering to conditions of the government loan."

   
-- Chrysler Chairman and Chief Executive Bob Nardelli, referring to Chrysler's recently announced alliance with Fiat, Detroit Free Press, Jan. 20


"GMAC is making a difference, but it's not substantial at this point. Consumer confidence has to be built up."

   
-- John Phelan, a Chevrolet dealer in Chicago, explaining why bailout funds haven't helped free up  credit for consumers and dealers, Automotive News, Jan. 19


The auto industry is facing a "crisis that is brutal, global and of an exceptional size."

    -- Renault SA's chief Carlos Ghosn, calling on the European governments to save the auto industry from collapse, Associated Press, Jan. 20


"Our family has a tradition of sharing our success by giving back to the areas we serve. If we do business in a community, we should keep resources there."

    -- Scott Spitler, co-owner of Brighton Ford Mercury in Brighton, Mich., on giving back to the community, Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, Jan. 20
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.