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Friday, May 8, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top 10 Stories
[NADA] Dealers Launch PR Campaign
U.S. Auto Dealers Lobby Obama on Cuts in GM, Chrysler Outlets
GM, Chrysler Dealers Unwilling to Hit the Road
NADA Launches Campaign Against Dealership Consolidations
Chrysler Hedges on Dealer Cuts
Massive Ford Dealer Cuts Not Needed, Mulally Says
N.H. Car Dealer Protections Become Law
WJLA-TV Stimulates Auto Economy
Toyota Stung by Strong Yen, Global Slump
Preparing for the Worst: NADA Webinar on Bankruptcy Offered to Dealers
Top 10 Stories
[NADA] Dealers Launch PR Campaign

GM, Chrysler cuts fought
The National Automobile Dealers Association, fearing the elimination of more than 3,000 Chrysler and General Motors dealerships employing at least 150,000 people, launched a public relations offensive Thursday, arguing that such draconian cuts are excessive. "Cutting dealers at this time would do absolutely nothing to make either GM or Chrysler more viable," reads an ad NADA is running in selected publications. "So why is your automotive task force demanding drastic cuts in the number of dealers?" The dealer group also is calling on its members to lobby Congress next week. NADA leaders are to meet with President Barack Obama's auto task force May 14.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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U.S. Auto Dealers Lobby Obama on Cuts in GM, Chrysler Outlets

General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC won’t be more likely to survive if the automakers’ dealer ranks are “drastically reduced,” the retailer’s trade group is telling President Barack Obama. [NADA Chairman John] McEleney, a retailer in Iowa for GM, Toyota Motor Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co., said in the trade group’s letter that “manufacturers need revenue, and the only way to get it is to sell more cars to dealers.” A “radical reduction” in outlets would put 150,000 people out of work... Dealers plan to fly to Washington to confer with members of Congress on May 13.
Source: Bloomberg

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GM, Chrysler Dealers Unwilling to Hit the Road

The two imperiled automakers, which have borrowed $20 billion from taxpayers, say cuts are needed to reduce costs and return to viability. But it amounts to a blood bath for dealers, who employ hundreds of thousands of people nationwide and pump billions of dollars into their area economies. "This is going to be the biggest week in the history of the U.S. auto industry as far as dealers are concerned," said Scott Silverman, an attorney at law firm McCarter & English who specializes in dealer contract law.
Source: The Los Angeles Times

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NADA Launches Campaign Against Dealership Consolidations

Washington lobby effort set for next week
The National Automobile Dealers Association is planning to run full-page ads in the Washington Post, Politico and Automotive News to protest the presidential auto task force’s push for General Motors and Chrysler to make drastic dealership cuts. The ad is an open letter from NADA’s Chairman John McEleney to President Obama. It reads in part: “The idea that dealer numbers should be rapidly and drastically reduced apparently comes from Wall Street advisers. Mr. President, we urge you to choose Main Street over Wall Street.” The ad will run May 11 in Automotive News and Politico and May 12 in the Post.
Source: Automotive News

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Chrysler Hedges on Dealer Cuts

Chrysler LLC has "no active plan" at this time to drop any of its 3,200 dealers in the U.S., although the company is working on "contingencies" to do so as part of its restructuring in bankruptcy court, a senior executive said Thursday. Jim Press, vice chairman of the Auburn Hills, Mich., auto maker said in a telephone interview, "We have contingencies but they are not active now." Documents submitted to bankruptcy court indicated Chrysler aims to drop about 800, shrinking its network to about 2,400 stores.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Massive Ford Dealer Cuts Not Needed, Mulally Says

WAYNE, Mich. – Ford Motor Co. is not looking to significantly reduce its U.S. dealer network, which currently stands at 3,770 stores, the auto maker’s top executive says ... President and CEO Alan Mulally says the auto maker has no intentions of keeping pace with rivals General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC as they trim thousands of dealers across the country as part of their ongoing restructurings. “Ford does not have to match dealer cuts,” Mulally says.
Source: WardsAuto.com

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N.H. Car Dealer Protections Become Law

Car dealers facing shutdown by auto manufacturers got what they wanted from the New Hampshire Legislature: a quick updated bill of rights designed to provide a “soft landing.” Shortly after the House and Senate approved Senate Bill 153, Gov. John Lynch signed it into law, saying, “As the auto industry goes through these difficult economic times, I believe it is important that we do what we can to help auto dealers and their employees and customers when manufacturers close dealerships.” The new law, in essence, will permit dealers to jump ship before it sinks – allowing a sale to either another dealer or to set up an independent used car operation – without getting stuck with unsold inventory. The bill passed, 295-66, in the House, and on a voice vote without objection in the Senate.
Source: New Hampshire Business Review

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WJLA-TV Stimulates Auto Economy

Car Partner Program Leads to $2 Million in Auto Purchases
Arlington, Va. -- WJLA Television announces that $2 million has been injected into the national automobile industry due to the WJLA Car Partner program. The program which was launched on March 11, 2009 granted every company employee $2,000 toward the purchase of a new car and $1,000 for the purchase of a used car. "This is our way of providing a stimulus and we urge other companies to do the same." said Fred Ryan, President of Allbritton Communications which owns WJLA.
Source: WJLA-TV (ABC affiliate, Washington, DC)

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Toyota Stung by Strong Yen, Global Slump

TOKYO -- Crippled by stagnant demand and a strong yen, Toyota Motor Corp. Friday posted its first net loss in 59 years for the just-ended fiscal year, and said it expects more red ink in the year to come. The automobile giant booked a net loss of ¥765.8 billion ($7.7 billion) in the fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31, slumping from ¥316.8 billion profit a year earlier, and amounting to one of the biggest quarterly losses recorded by a Japanese manufacturer.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Preparing for the Worst: NADA Webinar on Bankruptcy Offered to Dealers

“Bankruptcy in the Automobile Industry: It Never Hurts to be Prepared” will be presented by attorneys Michael G. Charapp and Jason Gold on Tuesday, May 12 from 1-3 p.m. EST. The presenters will discuss general bankruptcy concepts and procedures and how they apply in a manufacturer bankruptcy or in any filing that a dealer may have to make. The Webinar is offered at a discounted fee of $50 per computer connection. Register online or call (800) 252-6232, ext. 2.
Source: NADA Newswire

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Quotable
 
"Cutting dealers at this time would do absolutely nothing to make either GM or Chrysler more viable. The idea that dealer numbers should be rapidly and drastically reduced apparently comes from Wall Street advisers."

   
-- NADA Chairman John McEleney, in an open letter to President Obama, which is part of a PR campaign against drastic cuts in the number of U.S. dealers, Bloomberg, May 7


"This is going to be the biggest week in the history of the U.S. auto industry as far as dealers are concerned."

   
-- Scott Silverman, an attorney at law firm McCarter & English who specializes in dealer contract law, The Los Angeles Times, May 7


"The automotive sector was among the first to feel the impact of the recession. We believe that the economy will not recover until the automobile dealers are back on their feet and cars are being sold. This is our way of providing a stimulus and we urge other companies to do the same." 

   
-- Fred Ryan, president of Allbritton Communications, which has injected more than $2 million into the auto industry with its Car Partner program, WJLA-TV, May 7

Video Highlights
 
 
NADA on Cash for Clunkers (NADA-TV)


NADA on Floorplan Credit Crisis (NADA-TV)


  
NADA and the Obama Auto Task Force (PBS)



NADA: Legislative Options for Floorplan and Retail Credit (NADA-TV)



GM Bankruptcy Not Inevitable (msnbc.com)


 
Senate Testimony on Floorplan Loans (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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