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Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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At a Glance...
Top Stories
Chrysler to Dealers: Fiat Deal Will Return Us to Profitability
GM's Henderson: Future Rests on Chevy, Cadillac, Buick and GMC
Blacks Feel Auto Industry's Pain; It Was Road to Middle Class
U.S. January Auto Sales Pace Weakens
Toyota Poised to Take Biggest-Automaker Title from GM
Obama Cites New Fuels for Industry Among Challenges
NADA Update
NADA, SBA and NAMAD Launch Campaign on Dealer Eligibility for SBA Guaranteed Loans
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
Chrysler to Dealers: Fiat Deal Will Return Us to Profitability

DETROIT -- Chrysler LLC Vice Chairman Jim Press told dealers Tuesday that a Fiat SpA partnership is the "piece of the puzzle" the auto maker needs to return to profitability. "We see this as not only giving us a lot of solutions to make us viable, but also profitable," Press said during a call to dealers Tuesday. "This is a piece of the puzzle that makes the whole thing work. Fiat brings a ton of great products and technology." Chrysler and Fiat announced they have signed a non-binding agreement that would give the Italian company an initial 35% stake in the third-largest U.S.-based auto maker in exchange for access to Fiat's technologies. Fiat has the right to increase its ownership to as much as 55%. The deal still needs regulatory approval. Fiat will provide Chrysler with four-cylinder engine expertise needed to make more fuel-efficient vehicles, Press said. Chrysler will also have access to Fiat's full product line including Alpha Romeo and Lancia. Fiat's Ferrari brand is excluded. "If this doesn't happen for some remote chance, we do have other options," Press told the approximate 3,000 U.S. and Canada dealers on the call. "The thing we all got to do now is get our next loan approved and make Fiat feel confident by getting out there and getting some business going."
Source:  Dow Jones

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GM's Henderson: Future Rests on Chevy, Cadillac, Buick and GMC

DETROIT -- General Motors will go to market with four core brands in the future: Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC. Pontiac will be shrunk “significantly,” a senior GM executive told the Automotive News World Congress [Tuesday night.] GM COO Fritz Henderson said that GM is conducting a strategic review of its Saab and Hummer brands and that the “status quo” for the Saturn brand will not work. “We need to do something different with the Saturn brand,” he said. Henderson stopped short of saying GM would outright shutter the brand, but he made it clear that it would not remain in the same capacity and form it is today. Likewise, GM is working with the Swedish government on a plan to help the Saab brand. GM is working with its stakeholders to refine the viability plan it submitted to Congress on Dec. 2. In that plan, GM said it would direct most of its marketing and engineering resources toward Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Blacks Feel Auto Industry's Pain; It Was Road to Middle Class

Gregory Baranco, a new car dealer in Atlanta for 30 years, and George McGregor, a longtime union shop steward in Detroit, don't know each other. But their lives have a shared theme. The men, both African American, built and sustained lives of middle-class success in the nation's domestic automobile industry, and both took a route to prosperity increasingly unavailable to others. The financial crisis in the auto industry has been more devastating for African Americans than any other community, threatening a half-century's economic gains by the black middle class. From blacks who left behind subsistence jobs in the South for high-paying factory jobs in the North during the Great Migration, to entrepreneurs who translated hard work and the gift of selling into their own businesses — they're all getting hammered. "One of the engines of the black middle class has been the auto sector," says John Schmitt, an economist who studies the issue at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a liberal Washington think tank. In the late 1970s, "one of every 50 African Americans in the U.S. was working in the auto sector. These jobs were the best jobs. Particularly for African Americans who had migrated from the South, these were the culmination of a long upward trajectory of economic mobility." The picture is also bleak for black auto dealers. According to Damon Lester, president of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers, 150 to 200 minority dealers were among the about 800 U.S. auto stores that closed last year, and 300 more could shutter their doors this year. Lester says most minority dealers are first-generation owners, with more limited access to capital than more established dealers. He says the federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler won't help black dealers — or any dealers. "It gives another survival line to the manufacturers, but it does not assist the dealers in gaining access to capital," he says.
Source:  USA TODAY

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U.S. January Auto Sales Pace Weakens

DETROIT -- Industrywide U.S. auto sales have weakened a bit after being relatively strong in the first half of January, Ford Motor Co's marketing and sales chief said on Tuesday. "We did see a strengthening in the first week and a half or two weeks across the brands, but we have seen a little bit of weakening since then," Jim Farley told reporters on the sidelines of the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit. He said industrywide January sales appear to be tracking about where Ford expected -- an annual rate of about 10 million vehicles. Ford, the No. 2 U.S.-based automaker by sales volume behind General Motors Corp has sought a $9 billion line of credit from the U.S. government as insurance against the economy worsening.
Source:  Reuters

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Toyota Poised to Take Biggest-Automaker Title from GM

Toyota Motor Corp. is poised to end General Motors Corp.'s 77-year reign as the world's largest automaker when the U.S. company reports 2008 global sales today. Figures ... will complete a preliminary tally of 8.34 million vehicles, 628,000 behind Toyota. The final data will sweep in countries where GM sales totaled fewer than 15,000 units in 2007. Toyota's victory comes as the global recession hammers both companies. Japan's largest carmaker is cutting at least 5,000 jobs as it faces the first operating loss in 71 years, while Detroit-based GM turned to a federal bailout to pay its bills. Passing GM "puts a lot of pressure on Toyota,'' said Rebecca Lindland, an IHS Global Insight analyst in Lexington, Massachusetts. "Now everyone is chasing them.'' A GM spokesman, John McDonald, declined to comment before today's sales report. Toyota already has reported sales of 8.97 million cars and trucks for last year.
Source:  Bloomberg

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Obama Cites New Fuels for Industry Among Challenges

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama renewed his pledge [Tuesday] to invest tens of billions of taxpayer dollars in advanced technology and alternative fuels for future cars and trucks. In his inaugural address as the 44th president of the United States, Obama said his administration intends to “harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.” The promise is tied to Obama’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and U.S. reliance on imported oil.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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NADA Update
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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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

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.