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Friday, April 17, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top 10 Stories
GM to Keep GMC, Pontiac; No Plans to Quicken Dealer Consolidation
GM Said to Plan All-Equity Offer for Bondholders
U.S. Consumer Sentiment Rebounds in April
GM, Chrysler in Line for More Federal Aid
Nardelli Sees New Leaders at Chrysler if Pact Clears
Chrysler Financial Has Adequate Capital, Withdraws TARP Request
Saab Said to Attract Half a Dozen Serious Bidders
Volkswagen Q1 Sales May Overtake Toyota as World Leader
U.S. 'Cash-For-Clunkers' Proposal May Cover Cars From Overseas
NADA Praises Obama Pick to Head NHTSA
Top 10 Stories
GM to Keep GMC, Pontiac; No Plans to Quicken Dealer Consolidation

DETROIT -- A senior General Motors executive [on Thursday] denied reports that President Barack Obama's automotive task force has pressured the automaker to dump GMC and Pontiac. Company sales chief Mark LaNeve also denied rumors that GM plans to terminate the franchise agreements of poorly performing dealers before June 1 to accelerate its dealership consolidation campaign. LaNeve confirmed that GM will target metro markets to consolidate dealerships, but the company does not have a June 1 timetable to do so.
Source: Automotive News

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GM Said to Plan All-Equity Offer for Bondholders

General Motors Corp. is planning to make a formal offer to all bondholders by April 27 to exchange their $27.5 billion in claims for equity ... The Detroit-based automaker is planning to announce the offer within 11 days, because the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requires that investors have a month to decide whether to participate. Bondholders also may be offered accrued interest in cash.
Source: Bloomberg

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U.S. Consumer Sentiment Rebounds in April

NEW YORK – U.S. consumer confidence rebounded in April to the highest levels since September before investors panicked about the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the global banking system's near implosion, a survey showed. The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said its preliminary April reading of consumer sentiment rose to a level of 61.9, up from 57.3 in March and was the highest since 70.3 recorded in September.
Source: Reuters

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GM, Chrysler in Line for More Federal Aid

Chrysler in line for $500M more; GM weighs fate of Pontiac, GMC
WASHINGTON -- The Obama auto task force is preparing to loan General Motors Corp. about $5 billion in additional federal short-term aid, and Chrysler LLC $500 million, an Obama administration official familiar with the matter said Thursday. The official said the decision was expected to be announced next week -- though the precise amounts were still the subject of talks between the government and the automakers.
Source: The Detroit News

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Nardelli Sees New Leaders at Chrysler if Pact Clears

DETROIT -- Chrysler LLC will likely get a new chief executive and board of directors appointed by Italy's Fiat SpA and the U.S. government, if Chrysler and Fiat follow through on their plans to form an alliance, Chrysler's current CEO told employees in a letter. "Upon successful completion of the alliance, a board of directors for Chrysler will be appointed by the U.S. government and Fiat," Mr. Nardelli said in the letter ... "The majority of the directors will be independent (not employees of Chrysler or Fiat). The board will have the responsibility to appoint a chairman. The board also will select a CEO with Fiat's concurrence," he said.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Chrysler Financial Has Adequate Capital, Withdraws TARP Request

Chrysler Financial, the lending arm of Chrysler LLC, said it has withdrawn its request from the Troubled Asset Relief Program for more aid because it has sufficient capital to make loans. The withdrawal may mark a milestone for its automaker partner, Chrysler, which must show that it is connected to a finance company with adequate capital to qualify for more U.S. aid.
Source: Bloomberg

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Saab Said to Attract Half a Dozen Serious Bidders

The bidders include an individual investor, a consortium of Swedish companies and at least two private equity firms, said the person, who didn’t want to be named because the talks are private. None of the most likely bidders are automakers.
Source: Bloomberg

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Volkswagen Q1 Sales May Overtake Toyota as World Leader

TOKYO/FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen's global vehicle sales fell by 11.4 percent in the first quarter but its market share gains may have let it overtake Toyota Motor as the world's top-selling automaker. VW's first-quarter group sales of 1.39 million vehicles ... gave it a global market share of 11 percent, up from 9.7 percent a year earlier, it said in a statement. Toyota has given no forecast for retail sales, but its latest estimate for shipments for the 2009 first quarter is 1.23 million vehicles, down 47 percent from a year earlier.
Source: Reuters

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U.S. 'Cash-For-Clunkers' Proposal May Cover Cars From Overseas

U.S. lawmakers may let cars made overseas qualify for a proposed “cash-for-clunkers” program in a bid to secure passage of the measure ... An option under consideration would distribute subsidies to new-car buyers based on manufacturers’ U.S. market share ... “What I have been looking for is a solution that would treat all manufacturers fairly,” Representative Edward Markey, the Massachusetts Democrat who crafted the market-share idea, said in an e-mail.
Source: Bloomberg

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NADA Praises Obama Pick to Head NHTSA

WASHINGTON – The following is a statement by John McEleney, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, regarding the nomination of Chuck Hurley to lead the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): “America’s auto dealers support President Obama’s choice to lead NHTSA. Chuck Hurley’s career has been dedicated to reducing fatalities and injuries on our nation’s roads. Chuck’s passion and knowledge for highway safety issues is well known, and his experience will benefit the nation..."
Source: NADA Newswire

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Quotable
 
Reports that "GMC is going away are just unfounded, unsubstantiated and untrue."

   
-- Mark LaNeve, GM's vice president of vehicle sales, service and marketing, Automotive News, April 16


 "What I have been looking for is a solution that would treat all manufacturers fairly. I am hopeful that this could prove to be a constructive way forward that all sides could agree on."

   
-- Rep. Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, referring to a proposal that may let cars made overseas qualify for a "cash for clunkers" program, Bloomberg, April 16


"While consumers believe the economy may have hit bottom, most consumers believe that when the rebound starts the economy will gain ground very slowly."

   
-- Richard Curtin, director of The Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers, which showed consumer confidence rebounded in April to the highest levels since September, Reuters, April 17

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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