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Tuesday, April 14, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top 10 Stories
Ford Seen on Brighter Path Despite Rough Road
Chrysler Lenders Expected to Counter Treasury
U.S. May Swap GM Debt for Equity
GM Shares Slump as Bankruptcy Fear Grows
Commentary: Politics Rule General Motors Run to Bankruptcy
Leaning on Fiat's Sense of Direction To Guide Chrysler
Crash Tests Show Small Car Ratings Are Misleading
GM Recalling 1.5M Vehicles Over Potential Fires
Rating Raised on Ford Debt
Car Sales Out of Neutral
Top 10 Stories
Ford Seen on Brighter Path Despite Rough Road

The carmaker's stock is up, helped by the perception that it can go on without a government bailout.
Ford Motor Co. has long maintained that a bankruptcy filing by one of its Detroit competitors could have disastrous effects on it as well. Wall Street seems to think otherwise. [Its] stock is up 169% from its $1.58 close Feb. 20. "Ford's image is now that of a company that can stand alone and doesn't require outside assistance," said Michael Robinet, vice president of auto industry consulting firm CSM Worldwide.
Source: The Los Angeles Times

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Chrysler Lenders Expected to Counter Treasury

The senior lenders to Chrysler are planning to make a counteroffer to the Treasury Department this week, pushing back on a debt-reduction plan they say is too coercive ... The banks contend the Treasury’s plan offers no concessions in exchange for a nearly 86 percent reduction in the value of their holdings.
Source: The New York Times

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U.S. May Swap GM Debt for Equity

Possible move would improve automaker's shaky balance sheet
The federal government may agree to swap some of its $13.4 billion in General Motors Corp. debt for new equity in the company in a move to help boost GM's balance sheet ... GM plans to unveil a harsher offer to bondholders this week than it proposed last month. "This development makes us think that a bankruptcy is more likely," [Himanshu Patel, an auto analyst for JPMorgan] wrote of the new harsher offer.
Source: The Detroit News

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GM Shares Slump as Bankruptcy Fear Grows

DETROIT -- General Motors shares plunged 16 percent [Monday] as traders shed positions out of fear the U.S. government will push the automaker into a bankruptcy that could wipe out existing equity. Shares of GM closed the day down 16 percent, or 33 cents, at $1.71 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has lost more than a third of its value since March 30, when President Barack Obama rejected GM's turnaround plans and warned it could be put through bankruptcy to slash debt.
Source: Reuters

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Commentary: Politics Rule General Motors Run to Bankruptcy
By Daniel Howes

The solution for GM (and Chrysler, some two weeks from its government-imposed deadline to do a deal with Fiat or go bankrupt) is more likely to be a political decision made in the Oval Office than a series of tedious rulings by a bankruptcy judge in New York.
Source: The Detroit News

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Leaning on Fiat's Sense of Direction To Guide Chrysler

U.S. Looks to Italian Firm's CEO For Model to Help Repair Detroit
After taking the wheel at the Italian automaker in 2004, [Fiat's chief executive Sergio Marchionne] promised analysts he would do "radical surgery" ... Now the Obama administration is wondering whether Marchionne can do for Chrysler what he did for Fiat.
Source: The Washington Post

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Crash Tests Show Small Car Ratings Are Misleading

Buyers choosing the smallest cars for low price and high gas mileage could be endangering themselves and their passengers, says a major auto-safety researcher.
Source: USA TODAY

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GM Recalling 1.5M Vehicles Over Potential Fires

WASHINGTON -- General Motors Corp. is recalling 1.5 million vehicles because of potential engine fires. The recall includes the 1998-1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue, the 1997-2003 Pontiac Grand Prix, 1997-2003 Buick Regal, and the 1998-2003 Chevrolet Lumina, Monte Carlo and Impala.
Source: The Associated Press

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Rating Raised on Ford Debt

But S&P says carmaker may need U.S. aid
Standard & Poor's raised Ford's credit rating to CCC+ -- which is four notches below investment grade -- after temporarily putting the company under default status on April 6.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Car Sales Out of Neutral

Business finally revving up for area auto dealers
Things are looking up. Really. That's the word from a sampling of area automobile dealers in early April as they are seeing not only a great increase in traffic but sales of both new and used cars. "We sold twice as many cars in March and February than we did in November and December," said Matt Helmkamp, president of Gates Chevy World in Mishawaka, [Ind.] "It is mostly new cars that are doing better in our situation."
Source: South Bend Tribune (South Bend, Ind.)

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Quotable
 
"Ford's image is now that of a company that can stand alone and doesn't require outside assistance."   

    -- Michael Robinet, vice president of auto industry consulting firm CSM Worldwide, The Los Angeles Times, April 14


"I made 2.2 million cars last year and made [$1.3 billion], more than GM with 8 million car sales. Size is important if done well ... If you're doing it for ego, that's worth nothing."

    -- Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, in an interview a few weeks ago, The Washington Post, April 14

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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