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Top Seven Stories
Senators to Obama: Expand Dealer, Consumer Access to Credit
White House Presses Plan on Car Swaps
Auto Suppliers to Get $3.5 Billion in Federal Aid, Not $5 billion
$6-Billion Loan May Not Cut it For Chrysler
GM, Chrysler Miss Benchmark for $25 Billion Loan Program
Miami Car Dealer Is Upbeat, but Admits Something Has Changed
Editorial: Cash for Clunkers
Top Seven Stories
Senators to Obama: Expand Dealer, Consumer Access to Credit

WASHINGTON -- A broad, bipartisan and influential group of senators sent a clear message to President Barack Obama Tuesday that he should turn his attention to the impact of the credit crisis on auto retailing and the need to expand dealer access to credit. The letter initiated by NADA and led by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) urges the President to expand access to Small Business Administration lending for auto dealers and restore liquidity for retail auto and floorplan lenders. "Unless the dealer credit problem is fixed, efforts to revitalize the auto industry will not work," said NADA Chairman John McEleney. Shaheen recently visited a New Hampshire dealership to see first hand how access to credit is essential to keeping dealers in business and purchasing new vehicles. Click here to read the Shaheen Auto Credit letter.
Source: NADA Newswire

[Editor's Note: During the two week congressional recess, dealers are urged to thank their senators who signed the Shaheen Auto Credit letter. Click here for the list of senators who signed the letter. Dealers are also encouraged to reach out to all members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate to explain retail and floorplan credit problems and the urgency of correcting the problem.]

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White House Presses Plan on Car Swaps

WASHINGTON -- The White House is pressing lawmakers to move ahead with a "cash for clunkers" program ... Meetings with Senate and House Democrats Monday provided more details and signaled the president's commitment to pushing forward. The White House is proposing a compromise that would provide a voucher to anyone who buys a car with better mileage. But the amount of the voucher would increase the more mileage is being improved.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Auto Suppliers to Get $3.5 Billion in Federal Aid, Not $5 billion

Cash-strapped auto suppliers will be able to tap only $3.5 billion in federal aid, not the $5 billion previously thought, because Ford Motor Co. won't take its allocation of the funds. The remaining $1.5 billion was earmarked for suppliers to Ford Motor Co., said Neil De Koker, president of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association in suburban Detroit. But Ford said last month that it had enough cash for suppliers so that it did not need to participate.
Source: Automotive News

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$6-Billion Loan May Not Cut it For Chrysler

Automaker and Fiat burning through cash fast
As Chrysler continues burning through its reserves, with sales off 46%, the U.S. Department of the Treasury might lend it another $6 billion if Chrysler and Fiat come up with a viable partnership by May 1. But even that might not be enough to keep Chrysler afloat, considering low sales, Fiat's low cash reserves and the costs of running factories and R&D centers or launching new vehicles, such as the 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee to be unveiled today in New York.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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GM, Chrysler Miss Benchmark for $25 Billion Loan Program

Next month, $25 billion in loans aimed at producing more fuel-efficient cars will start flowing to suppliers and automakers -- just not to the two companies most in need of funding, General Motors and Chrysler. The Energy Department program dictates that companies must be "financially viable" to receive the loans. And last week, the Obama administration ruled that, at least for now, both GM and Chrysler cannot meet that benchmark.
Source: The Washington Post

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Miami Car Dealer Is Upbeat, but Admits Something Has Changed

MIAMI — Ralph W. Sifford wears a gold Rolex and keeps his tie tight, and his seven General Motors dealerships in New York and Florida carry a distinctly American name: Grand Prize. Mr. Sifford ... admits that something has changed from when he started out full of “excitement and vinegar.” On his desk sits a scale model of his first car: a 1958 powder blue Chevy Impala convertible. Back then, Chevy was as cool as James Dean, he said, and its dealerships were as beloved as mom and apple pie. “We’re not that any longer,” he said. “And now to bring the American image back it’s going to be a lot of work.”
Source: The New York Times

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Editorial: Cash for Clunkers

President Obama’s rescue plan for the automotive industry has given the presidential seal of approval to a little-noticed movement in Congress to clear the roads of gas-guzzling clunkers and replace them with more fuel-efficient cars. It’s an excellent idea, with clear benefits for the environment ... But there’s a right and wrong way to do it. The right way is embodied in a bipartisan bill sponsored in the Senate by, among others, Charles Schumer ... with a companion bill in the House whose main sponsors include Steve Israel ... The Schumer-Israel approach would provide vouchers worth up to $4,000 to drivers who turn in an older car that gets 18 miles per gallon or worse and buys a new or used car that exceeds the corporate average fuel economy for vehicles in its class by 25 percent.
Source: The New York Times

[Editor's Note: NADA is urging Congress to expand the current fleet modernization (Cash for Clunkers) proposals to include all automakers so that the initiative would create a broader economic recovery. NADA supports an industry-wide consensus approach and one with incentive voucher amounts that are significant enough to actually prompt owners to replace their older vehicles.]

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Quotable
 
"Credit is the lifeblood of the franchised dealer's economic model. Since more than 94 percent of vehicle [sales] are financed, adequate retail credit is essential."

    -- Members of the U.S. Senate in a letter to President Obama urging him to restore credit to dealers, April 7


"Unless the dealer credit problem is fixed, efforts to revitalize the auto industry will not work."

   
-- NADA Chairman John McEleney, NADA Newswire, April 8 


" ... a well-designed cash-for-clunkers program could go a long way toward cleaning up America's automotive fleet."

   
-- The New York Times (Opinion), April 7

Video Highlights
 
 
GM Bankruptcy Not Inevitable (msnbc.com)

 
Senate Testimony on Floorplan Loans (NADA-TV)



NADA and the Obama Auto Task Force  (NADA-TV)


 
Banks Turning on American Car Dealers? (WTNH-TV)


 
EPA Hearing on Fuel Economy (NADA-TV) 


 NADA Tackles Industry Crisis
 NADA Chairman Speaks at the Convention in New Orleans
NBC: "Demise of Local Dealerships Leaves Big Dent"
2009 Convention in New Orleans
NADA on the Front Lines


Click here for more video reports.

 
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