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Wednesday, April 15, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top 10 Stories
Obama: Economy Gaining Traction
Obama Holds Out 'Fervent Hope' for Chrysler and GM
Fiat Says It Could Abandon Chrysler Due to Unions
Fiat Races to Strike Chrysler Deal
GM Creditors May Seek Different Strategies vs. Bankruptcy
U.S. Goal: Spare Auto Retirees' Health Care
KeyBanc Predicts Resurgence in New-Vehicle Sales Over Next Several Months
Chrysler Financial Lifts Rates
Auto Dealers Benefit from City's Efforts
Allbritton Employees Inject $1.4 Million into Local Economy with Auto Purchases
Top 10 Stories
Obama: Economy Gaining Traction

Weak Retail Data Signal Confidence Remains Off-Kilter
The president and the Federal Reserve chairman voiced cautious optimism yesterday that the economy could be beginning to stabilize. The administration's actions "are starting to generate signs of economic progress," the president said at Georgetown University, noting that some lending markets are recovering along with other sunny signs. "This is all welcome and encouraging news," he said.
Source: The Washington Post

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Obama Holds Out 'Fervent Hope' for Chrysler and GM

NEW YORK -- U.S. President Barack Obama offered a "fervent hope" for Chrysler LLC and General Motors' survival [Tuesday] as GM bondholders said completing the automaker's restructuring outside bankruptcy has become increasingly less likely. "It is our fervent hope that in the coming weeks, Chrysler will find a viable business partner and that GM will develop a business plan that will put it on a path to profitability without endless support from the American taxpayer," he said.
Source: Reuters

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Fiat Says It Could Abandon Chrysler Due to Unions

TURIN, Italy -- Fiat S.p.A. CEO Sergio Marchionne said he is ready to abandon plans to form a partnership with Chrysler LLC unless the U.S. carmaker's unions accept substantial labor cost reductions by the end of the month. "Absolutely we are prepared to walk," Sergio Marchionne said ... "We cannot commit to this organization (Chrysler) unless we see light at the end of the tunnel."
Source: Automotive News

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Fiat Races to Strike Chrysler Deal

But Italian carmaker's lack of cash raises doubts
Fiat is Chrysler's last hope to avoid bankruptcy, but the Italian automaker is constrained in its ability to help because it is also burning through cash, analysts say.
Source: The Detroit News

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GM Creditors May Seek Different Strategies vs. Bankruptcy

NEW YORK -- The prospect of General Motors avoiding bankruptcy is becoming "less likely," and that may be pushing bondholders to pursue separate bankruptcy strategies, two sources close to government talks said [Tuesday]. "The goal is to have an honest negotiation and that's what we're holding out for," [one] source said ... "An out-of-court scenario is becoming less and less likely with each passing day."
Source: Reuters

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U.S. Goal: Spare Auto Retirees' Health Care

UAW could get better protections than banks and bondholders
WASHINGTON -- Whether General Motors Corp. or Chrysler LLC file for bankruptcy, the Obama administration wants to protect retiree health care to a greater degree than the debt of banks and bondholders ... The union remains on track to receive a substantial ownership stake in the automakers if deals can be hammered out. In return, the UAW would forgive the automakers part of the $30.6 billion they owe the union to start a retiree health care fund that takes huge liabilities off the automakers' books.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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KeyBanc Predicts Resurgence in New-Vehicle Sales Over Next Several Months

CLEVELAND — The rising demand for used vehicles and loosening of financing will soon translate into increased demand for new-vehicle sales, according to the latest report from KeyBanc.
Source: SubPrime Auto Finance News

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Chrysler Financial Lifts Rates

Chrysler Financial raised some of its lending rates to vehicle buyers Tuesday an average of more than a full percentage point, according to a number of Chrysler LLC dealers. The move likely will prompt the dealers to seek financing for some of their customers elsewhere, such as from credit unions.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Auto Dealers Benefit from City's Efforts

The 10 dealerships that occupied [the San Bernardino, Calif.] Auto Mall just a few years ago have shrunk to three. But city officials and the surviving local dealerships are working hard to ensure long-term viability. In February, the city's Economic Development Agency approved up to $150,000 in marketing campaigns and tax breaks for all remaining new-car dealerships in the city.
Source: The Business Press (San Bernardino, Calif.)

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Allbritton Employees Inject $1.4 Million into Local Economy with Auto Purchases

60 employees have taken money in program that helps dealerships
Allbritton has injected $1.4 million of economic fuel into local auto dealerships, one of the staples of local TV ad sales. Launched at WJLA-TV Washington, the program was meant to help local dealers by giving each Allbritton employee $2,000 so long as they spent it on a car at one of those dealerships. "We have long had close relationships with our local advertisers and we know they have been hit especially hard during this downturn," said Allbritton President Fred Ryan at the time of the program's launch.
Source: Broadcasting & Cable

[Editor's Note: NADA's "Buy Now" ad campaign has been picked up in more than 350 markets on TV, radio and newspapers. Media organizations are running the ads for free as part of their effort to help the auto industry recover.]

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Quotable
 
"A few months ago, the economy was in its deepest, darkest hours. It's not dawn, yet, but it's better than it was. That's what Bernanke and Obama are responding to."

   
-- Diane Swonk, chief economist of Mesirow Financial, The Washington Post, April 14


"Absolutely we are prepared to walk. We cannot commit to this organization (Chrysler) unless we see light at the end of the tunnel."

   
-- Fiat S.p.A. CEO Sergio Marchionne, Automotive News, April 15



"Barring any ... shock to the U.S. new- and used-vehicle market, improving retail automotive financing and automotive asset-backed securities issuance trends should ultimately result in an increase in new-vehicle sales."

   
-- KeyBanc, in a report predicting a resurgence in new-vehicle sales in the next several months, SubPrime Auto Finance News, 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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