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At a Glance...
Top Stories
Toyota Passes GM as World's Largest Automaker
GM Gets $5.4-billion Loan Installment
Obama Plans Sweeping Action on Financial Bailout
Transportation Dept. Nominee Vows Higher Fuel Economy Standards by April 1
California Officials Urge Obama to Grant Emissions Waiver
Treasury Nominee Calls for Big Changes in Detroit 3
Gettelfinger Expects Federal Loan Deadline to be Met
Chrysler, Fiat Crafting Strategy
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
Toyota Passes GM as World's Largest Automaker

Toyota has snatched the title of world's largest automaker from General Motors, speeding past the Detroit front-runner for the first time in 77 years. Toyota outpaced its rival to sell 8.972 million cars and trucks around the world in 2008, about 616,000 vehicles more than GM's final tally of 8.356 million. The global economic meltdown tempered the race. Worldwide sales across the industry fell by 3.5 million vehicles. Toyota reported on Tuesday that its global sales slid 4 percent last year, its first such sales decline in a decade; GM posted an 11 percent decline yesterday. GM took the world's largest auto manufacturer title from Ford in 1931. Two years later, Toyota began making cars.
Source:  Washington Post

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GM Gets $5.4-billion Loan Installment

General Motors Corp. received the second piece of its government loan package today, a $5.4-billion installment that will allow the giant automaker to pay its bills and avoid running out of cash. The latest installment, which came five days later than scheduled, brings to $9.4 billion the amount that GM has received in loans from the U.S. Treasury Department. The company is to get another $4 billion Feb. 17 when it submits a plan to the government to show how it will become viable. Fritz Henderson, GM’s president and chief operating officer, said Tuesday night that without the second installment, the company would run out of cash. Henderson also disagreed with United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger who said on Monday that that a mid-February deadline for General Motors and Chrysler to complete their restructuring plans may be “almost unattainable” and that the automakers may have been set up to fail. “It’s a tight time frame. We’re confident we can achieve all our milestones. Not everything has to be done by Feb. 17,” he said. And he told the group that GM will have four core brands in the future: Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick and GMC. GM is reviewing the Saturn brand with its dealers, is studying Saab and Hummer for sale and will shrink Pontiac to a performance niche brand.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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Obama Plans Sweeping Action on Financial Bailout

WASHINGTON — U.S. Treasury secretary nominee Timothy Geithner said President Obama will send Congress a sweeping plan in the next few weeks to shore up banks and unlock credit markets, warning it will require action on a scale "not seen in generations" to address the worsening economic crisis. "We're at the beginning of this process of repairing the system, not close to the end of that process. And it is going to require much more substantial action on a very … dramatic scale," said Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. "The ultimate costs of this crisis will be greater if we do not act with sufficient strength now." Obama officials plan to use at least $50 billion of the $350 billion to tackle record home foreclosures. In addition, Geithner said officials are working on a plan to underpin struggling banks, and provide much more substantial support to credit markets to free up student loans, home and commercial real estate mortgages, auto loans and other products.
Source:  USA TODAY

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Transportation Dept. Nominee Vows Higher Fuel Economy Standards by April 1

WASHINGTON -- Ray LaHood, President Barack Obama’s choice to head the Department of Transportation, said today that Obama is “not going to have to push me very hard” to raise fuel economy standards for cars and trucks. LaHood told senators he would “do everything I can” to meet an April 1 deadline to adopt higher standards that would take effect 18 months later for 2011 model vehicles. During a confirmation hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee, LaHood said tougher rules would help U.S. automakers “get in the game here, with the reality that they need to be producing American cars that get much better standards.” LaHood, 63, is a former Republican House member from Illinois. Obama, a Democrat, nominated LaHood as transportation secretary to help fulfill his promise to name a bipartisan Cabinet. The full Senate is expected to confirm LaHood soon.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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California Officials Urge Obama to Grant Emissions Waiver

WASHINGTON -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the head of the California Air Resources Board are asking President Barack Obama to immediately grant the Golden State and at least 13 other states the right to impose their own tailpipe emissions standards. The Detroit News has learned that letters to Obama from the governor and board chairwoman Mary Nichols will urge the president to overturn a December 2007 decision by the Bush administration's Environmental Protection Agency to deny California a waiver under the Clean Air Act that would have allowed the state to impose a 30 percent reduction in vehicle emissions by 2016. The regulations were to take effect last fall, but have been delayed by the Bush administration's denial. Automakers argue the rules are unworkable, requiring them to meet different standards in different states. California wants to require passenger cars and other vehicles under 3,750 pounds to average 43.7 miles per gallon and light trucks 26.6 mpg by 2016. Under federal law, it may take the Obama EPA a few months to grant a waiver because of procedural requirements. Obama had committed during the campaign to granting California the waiver.
Source:  The Detroit News

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Treasury Nominee Calls for Big Changes in Detroit 3

Timothy Geithner told the Senate Finance Committee that any aid to automakers should be “in support of a comprehensive restructuring that will leave the industry in a stronger financial position where they can be profitable and healthy without government support.” “That’s going to require very, very substantial changes by all stakeholders,” he said. Geithner, who’s played a key role in the bailout of financial markets as president of the New York branch of the Federal Reserve, said the Obama administration was building a team with “expertise in manufacturing, in restructuring, who understand how these labor contracts work.”
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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Gettelfinger Expects Federal Loan Deadline to be Met

UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said Wednesday he expects that discussions about union concessions with General Motors Corp and Chrysler LLC will result in a plan by the Feb. 17 deadline set by Congress. "There are things we can do to assist the companies without taking too big of a hit," said Gettelfinger, who added that the UAW has been in touch with the Obama administration. "We know that additional sacrifices may be required to get these companies back on track. But all stakeholders will have to participate," Gettelfinger said. "Any attempt to single out one group to bear the brunt of the changes needed within our industry will fail, because no one group can solve the problem alone." He said that U.S. President Barack Obama, who was sworn into office Tuesday, would likely meet soon with the chief executives of the Detroit Three automakers.
Source:  Detroit Free Press

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Chrysler, Fiat Crafting Strategy

Executives work on plan to show U.S. government how they can bolster each other's profitability
DETROIT -- Fiat SpA executives are working with managers from Chrysler LLC to draft a plan demonstrating how the struggling Auburn Hills automaker can become a viable manufacturer with help from the Italian company, which is poised to take a stake in Chrysler. The cooperation includes work on product development, which is where the two automakers see opportunities to cut costs and bolster each other's profitability by expanding their vehicle lineups as well as global markets. All efforts are based on the assumption Chrysler will receive an additional $3 billion in federal assistance. Chrysler is required to submit its restructuring plan to the U.S. Treasury Department by Feb. 17 under the terms of a $4 billion federal loan it has already received. The government's approval of the recovery plan is one of the conditions that must be met for Fiat to proceed with a proposed alliance with Chrysler. The Italian automaker would take a 35 percent stake in Chrysler initially, but that figure could grow to as much as 55 percent.
Source:  The Detroit News

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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

Quotable
 
"It's a tight time frame. We're confident we can achieve all our milestones. Not everything has to be done by Feb. 17."

   
-- Fritz Henderson, GM’s president and chief operating officer, responding to the Feb. 17 deadline by which the company must submit its viability plans to the U.S. government, Detroit Free Press, Jan. 22


Obama is "not going to have to push me very hard" to raise fuel economy standards for cars and trucks.

    -- Ray LaHood, President Barack Obama’s choice to head the Department of Transportation, vowing to develop higher fuel economy standards by April 1, Automotive News, Jan. 22


"We know that additional sacrifices may be required to get these companies back on track. But all stakeholders will have to participate. Any attempt to single out one group to bear the brunt of the changes needed within our industry will fail, because no one group can solve the problem alone."

    -- UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, indicating that the entire industry must work together to develop viability plans to present to the U.S. government by Feb. 17, Detroit Free Press, Jan. 22
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.