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Friday, April 10, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top 10 Stories
Signs of Revival In Retail, Banks
U.S. Squeezes Auto Creditors
Chrysler Ends Wholesale Incentive for Dealers
Toyota Plans a Major Overhaul in U.S.
In Boost for Detroit, Obama to Buy Fuel-Efficient Fleet for Uncle Sam
Buying a Car? With Lots of Incentives, Now Might Be Time
Chrysler's Press: Timetable Cloudy for Fiat Pact
Chrysler Owners at Odds
G.M. May Offer Only Stock to Bondholders
Rough Economy, Tough Market Dampen Mood
Top 10 Stories
Signs of Revival In Retail, Banks

The ailing financial and retail sectors showed tentative signs of strength yesterday, an encouraging shift for an economy whose prospects are tied to their recovery. Some of that cautious optimism has begun filtering through to Main Street, according to the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor, a monthly index. Compared with the February survey, twice as many consumers last month reported feeling the economy is getting better ... "We're seeing more surprises to the upside," Standard & Poor's senior economist Beth Ann Bovino said. "Less weakness is the new strength."
Source: The Washington Post

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U.S. Squeezes Auto Creditors

Treasury Seeks Billions in Concessions for GM and Chrysler From Banks, Bondholders
The federal government is taking an increasingly hard line with the creditors of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC ... The Treasury Department is pushing GM to offer its bondholders, who are owed $29 billion, a small portion of shares in the company. At Chrysler, the U.S. wants banks and investors who control its bank debt to give up about 85% of the nearly $7 billion they are owed.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Chrysler Ends Wholesale Incentive for Dealers

NEW YORK -- Chrysler LLC will stop giving dealers cash for meeting targets for wholesale vehicle orders -- at least for May. "We don't like paying for wholesale," [Steven Landry, executive vice president of North American sales] said in an interview Wednesday at the New York auto show. "We're going to try to get May orders without a wholesale program." Landry said Chrysler is cutting back on the number of vehicles it will ask dealers to buy for May to a target that is 10,000 units less than the company's own monthly sales projections.
Source: Automotive News

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Toyota Plans a Major Overhaul in U.S.

Toyota Motor Corp. is expected to announce as early as [today] a major overhaul of its U.S. operations, bringing engineering, manufacturing and sales under a single executive ... Yoshi Inaba, a former senior Toyota executive who left the auto maker in 2007, was formally asked by Toyota this week to oversee most of the key aspects of the U.S. business. "Toyota is having a lot of the same performance issues as GM, Ford and Chrysler," said Rebecca Lindland, an automotive analyst at IHS Global Insight. "It's not entirely surprising that you will have some scapegoats and some restructuring going on."
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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In Boost for Detroit, Obama to Buy Fuel-Efficient Fleet for Uncle Sam

President Obama announced plans [Thursday] to buy 17,600 American-made, fuel-efficient cars and hybrids for the government fleet ... By June 1, the government plans to spend $285 million in stimulus funds to buy fuel-efficient vehicles from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. "This is only a first step, but I will continue to ensure that we are working to support the American auto industry during this difficult period of restructuring," Obama said in a statement.
Source: The Washington Post

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Buying a Car? With Lots of Incentives, Now Might Be Time

Auto manufacturers and dealers are promising you the world right now in an effort to restart the industry's engine. Even the federal government is getting into the game with tax breaks and promises to cover repair warranties if automakers go bankrupt. So is now a good time to throw caution to the recessionary winds and buy? Many consumer experts think so — as long as you can afford it and do your homework.
Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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Chrysler's Press: Timetable Cloudy for Fiat Pact

In a report aired early today, Chrysler president Jim Press told NPR that it's difficult to say whether the partnership with Fiat will be completed by May 1, the deadline set by the Obama administration. "It's hard to predict because there are so many moving pieces and so many parties involved," Press said.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Chrysler Owners at Odds

Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche said Wednesday that demands from Chrysler LLC's majority owner, Cerberus Capital Management, are "making it difficult to reach an agreement" about Daimler's remaining 19.9% stake in Chrysler.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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G.M. May Offer Only Stock to Bondholders

General Motors is working on a new debt-exchange plan for its bondholders, one that would most likely offer only equity instead of cash or new debt, a person briefed on the proposal said on Thursday.
Source: The New York Times

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Rough Economy, Tough Market Dampen Mood

NEW YORK -- The steep drop in demand for cars and trucks pushed nearly 300 dealers out of business in the first three months of the year. After dismal car and truck sales in 2008, demand was off 36 percent in the first three months of 2009. The National Automobile Dealers Association said Thursday that 271 dealers closed in the same period, down from 20,009 at the end of 2008. The vast majority represented Detroit's Big Three with nearly 200 of them General Motors Corp. dealers.
Source: The Detroit News

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Quotable
 
"We're seeing more surprises to the upside. Less weakness is the new strength."

    -- Beth Ann Bovino, Standard & Poor's senior economist, The Washington Post, April 9

"Toyota is having a lot of the same performance issues as GM, Ford and Chrysler."

    -- Rebecca Lindland, an automotive analyst at IHS Global Insight, The Wall Street Journal, April 10

"This is only a first step, but I will continue to ensure that we are working to support the American auto industry during this difficult period of restructuring."

    -- President Obama, in a statement about plans to buy 17,600 American-made, fuel-efficient cars and hybrids for the government fleet, The Washington Post, April 9

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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