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Top Stories
U.S. Dealers to Meet Auto Task Force [Today]
Groups Work to Keep Carmakers Out of Bankruptcy
GM, Chrysler Must Avoid Liquidation, Lawmakers Say
GM Considers Shutting Factories for Nine Weeks
Ford Seeks Dealer Concessions
AutoNation Posts $34.6 Million Profit as Sales Plunge
Report: Fiat in Talks on Opel
Top Stories
U.S. Dealers to Meet Auto Task Force [Today]

DETROIT -- U.S. auto dealer representatives will meet with the government task force charged with retooling the auto industry [today] to make the case that a bankruptcy for General Motors Corp. should not be an option, a dealer group said on Wednesday. The National Automobile Dealers Association ... also plans to tell the autos task force that a "radical cut" in the number of GM's dealers would make the struggling automaker less viable, its chairman told Reuters. "We don't think bankruptcy will work either for GM or Chrysler," NADA Chairman John McEleney said... "It could be that the surgery is successful but the patient still dies." During the talks with the task force, the dealer representatives will also argue that the Obama administration's focus should be restoring credit availability for consumers and dealers, McEleney said.
Source: Reuters

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Groups Work to Keep Carmakers Out of Bankruptcy

DETROIT — President Obama's auto task force will meet in the next two days with two groups that are pushing to keep General Motors and Chrysler out of bankruptcy court. ... NADA is also pushing for the task force to help open up credit markets... "Bankruptcy will not work, and I don't think it's a viable option," says John McEleney, chairman of the NADA. Dealers are hearing from customers that they won't buy a vehicle from a carmaker in bankruptcy, even if the bankruptcy is supposed to be quick. A bankruptcy filing "would be a self-fulfilling prophecy, and would probably end up being a liquidation."
Source: USA TODAY

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GM, Chrysler Must Avoid Liquidation, Lawmakers Say

General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC must take steps to avoid liquidation should efforts to restructure the companies outside of bankruptcy fail, U.S. Democratic lawmakers from Michigan said in a statement [Wednesday]. The lawmakers, who met with Rahm Emanuel, White House chief of staff, and Larry Summers, director of the National Economic Council, said the administration “spoke frankly” about continued efforts to avoid bankruptcy. The Democratic delegation said it voiced “very serious concerns” about a GM or Chrysler bankruptcy...
Source: Bloomberg

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GM Considers Shutting Factories for Nine Weeks

General Motors might halt production at some of its U.S. factories for up to nine weeks this summer to combat slumping auto sales, according to people familiar with the plan. GM typically closes its facilities for two weeks in July to change production lines for new models. Much like over the winter holidays, the automaker might extend that scheduled shutdown at unproductive plants to help bring down the growing stockpile of unsold cars and trucks, particularly if sales remain at their depressed levels. GM has yet to decide what factories it would close and for how long.
Source: The Washington Post

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Ford Seeks Dealer Concessions

Carmaker seeks to save $600M a year toward goal of slashing $300 from cost of each vehicle
Ford Motor Co. is asking its dealers to make a series of concessions that could save the company $600 million a year. The goal is to cut $300 out of the cost of each car and truck sold in the United States over the next five years. That might not sound like a lot, but for a company that considers 2 million sales a bad year, it adds up. Last month, the Dearborn automaker established two dealer committees to explore ways it could reduce the cost of vehicle sales. "I'm not happy, but I'm not shocked either," said Kent Ritchey, who owns Lander Ford-Lincoln-Mercury of Memphis. "They've gone to the bondholders, they've gone to their own employees, they've gone to the union. We'll see how much pain we have to share with them."
Source: The Detroit News

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AutoNation Posts $34.6 Million Profit as Sales Plunge

AutoNation Inc., the largest U.S. dealership group, today said it posted first-quarter net income of $34.6 million, despite U.S. light-vehicle sales rates at more than quarter-century lows. The company ended the first quarter with $400 million of cash and revolving loans available. It also reduced its debt by about $500 million, bringing its cumulative debt reduction to about $1.25 billion since the start of 2008, CEO Mike Jackson said in a statement. The company said it exceeded the $200 million in annualized budget cuts it announced last quarter.
Source: Automotive News

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Report: Fiat in Talks on Opel

FRANKFURT -- Italy's Fiat Group SpA is close to an agreement to take a majority stake in General Motors Corp.'s European business, according to a report [today] in the online version of Germany's Der Spiegel magazine. Fiat, in the meantime, is in well-publicized talks to take a minority 20-percent stake in the U.S. automaker Chrysler LLC in exchange for small car and other technology. Fiat has until an April 30 deadline to reach a deal with Chrysler. The U.S. government has made a deal with Fiat a condition for Chrysler to receive funds it needs to keep operating, or be sold off in pieces.
Source: The Associated Press

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Quotable
 
"Bankruptcy will not work..."

   
-- NADA Chairman John McEleney says dealers are hearing from their customers that they won't buy a vehicle from a carmaker in bankruptcy, even if the bankruptcy is supposed to be quick, USA TODAY, April 22



"Eliminating dealers at a rapid rate does nothing to save GM any money in the near term."

    -- John McEleney, NADA chairman, plans to urge the Obama administration today not to eliminate any dealers or force GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy, Automotive News, April 22


 "Dealers are the only customers auto manufacturers have. The marketplace determines who's going to survive..." 

    -- NADA Chairman John McEleney, on proposed plans to reduce dealerships, Reuters, April 22


 "... in this environment [and] in this economy, bankruptcy would accelerate the problem and push the country deeper into recession."

   
-- John McEleney, NADA chairman, The Washington Post, April 23



"There are dealers who have lost their homes, and surviving dealers who are just barely hanging on. Dealers are sacrificing every day, and ... the ultimate sacrifice is losing your business."

   
-- NADA Chairman, John McEleney, says he's not sure how much more dealers can do, while President Obama calls on a variety of groups to do more to cut costs, USA TODAY, April 22
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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