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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top Stories
NADA's Lobbying Appears to be Taking Root
Chrysler Deal Delay Sought
GM Says Still Hasn't Made Deals With Treasury, UAW
Reaction Positive to Obama Fuel-Efficiency Proposal
Car Makers Expect to Hit Fuel Goals
New Auto Standards vs. Old U.S. Preferences
Dealers Aim to Join Saturn Bid
Ex-Chrysler President LaSorda Will Advise Penske on Saturn Bid
Bill Ford Says Shunning U.S. Bailout Serves 'National Interest'
Top Stories
NADA's Lobbying Appears to be Taking Root

Congressional lawmakers are starting to line up in opposition to the closing of so many dealerships
When 150 dealers and NADA officials did the rounds on Capitol Hill last week, initially there was little evidence that their pleadings had helped shape the debate. However, as the days pass, that list is getting longer. ... Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., has written a letter to both Chrysler and GM asking them to reconsider the announced dealership closings, specifically asking them to take into account the impact these closings will have on the local communities at a very difficult time. Durbin has been joined by Congressmen Blaine Luetkemeyer and John Shimkus in voicing their displeasure with the closing of so many dealerships nationwide.
Source: DealersEdge

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Chrysler Deal Delay Sought

Dealers on closure list want hearing put off
Nearly 800 Chrysler dealers facing the loss of their franchises asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzalez on Tuesday to delay a May 27 hearing on the automaker's proposed sale to Fiat. "The relief Chrysler seeks is unprecedented and improper," said Stephen Lerner, an attorney for 789 Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealers whose sales agreements Chrysler intends to terminate next month. "Termination of dealer franchises will destroy several hundred independent businesses, ruin livelihoods of their owners and cause the loss of thousands of jobs."
Source: Detroit Free Press

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GM Says Still Hasn't Made Deals With Treasury, UAW

General Motors says doesn't expect to reach deals with UAW, Treasury before May 26 deadline
DETROIT -- General Motors Corp. said Tuesday it does not expect to reach agreement on concessions with the United Auto Workers union or with the Treasury Department on its debt-for-equity exchange before a May 26 deadline. Both deals are part of the restructuring effort GM must complete by June 1, or it could be sent into bankruptcy protection.
Source: The Associated Press

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Reaction Positive to Obama Fuel-Efficiency Proposal

Reaction nationally was ... positive to the first national standard for greenhouse-gas emissions and an increase in the average fuel economy for new cars and light trucks to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016 - up about 10 mpg from current law. The National Automobile Dealers Association ... expressed concern that, once specifics are worked out, the plan does not restrict consumers' choice in vehicle size or result in a compromising of safety. "At issue is not whether manufacturers are capable of building cars and trucks that comply," the group said, "but, more importantly, whether the motoring public will want to buy them."
Source: Newsday

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Car Makers Expect to Hit Fuel Goals

The new policy will give the industry one target to hit by 2016, instead of different requirements for fuel economy and emissions they currently face from at least two federal agencies, as well as stricter standards imposed by California and some other states. "We were dealing with three different sets of rules," Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Alan Mulally said on the sidelines of the White House announcement by President Barack Obama. "We now have a really clear path."
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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New Auto Standards vs. Old U.S. Preferences

Mileage Rules To Add to Price, Shrink Engines
The cars of the near future will be lighter, more expensive and maybe smaller. Those aren't qualities that American consumers have rushed to embrace in the past. Many analysts worry that without boosting gasoline taxes to make fuel efficiency a priority for consumers, the administration may be setting a standard for new cars that won't match motorists' tastes.
Source: The Washington Post

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Dealers Aim to Join Saturn Bid

Allies could bolster Penske plan to secure distribution network
The dealers, Joe Serra and David Fischer, both of whom oversee vast auto retail operations in Michigan and several states, would strengthen a Michigan-based bid for Saturn, which will be sold or eliminated by the end of the year as part of GM's restructuring plan.
Source: The Detroit News

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Ex-Chrysler President LaSorda Will Advise Penske on Saturn Bid

Former Chrysler LLC President Tom LaSorda has joined Penske Automotive Group to advise the retailer on a possible bid for General Motors' Saturn brand. Penske Corp. Chairman Roger Penske said two weeks ago that his company is "looking at the future opportunities of the Saturn brand" but hadn't made a bid.
Source: Automotive News

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Bill Ford Says Shunning U.S. Bailout Serves 'National Interest'

“It’s in the country’s interest that Ford remain free of taxpayer money,” [Executive Chairman Bill Ford, great-grandson of the company’s founder] said yesterday in an interview in his Dearborn, Michigan, office ... His comments reinforced the company’s efforts to distance itself from Chrysler and GM, which received $19.4 billion in emergency loans to stave off collapse.
Source: Bloomberg

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Quotable
 
"The way to achieve higher fuel efficiency is to make cars lighter and put in smaller engines. Unfortunately, those tend to be the cars people don't want to buy."

   
-- Jeremy Anwyl, chief executive of Edmunds.com, responding to President Obama's new fuel-efficiency and tailpipe-emissions standards unveiled yesterday at the White House, The Washington Post, May 19


"They bring financial heft, so you take the three together and you've got a lot of credibility at the banking level. They run pretty first-class operations."

   
-- Analyst Joe Phillippi of AutoTrends Consulting Inc., on dealers Joe Serra and David Fischer, who are in talks about partnering with Detroit auto tycoon Roger Penske to acquire Saturn, The Detroit News, May 20


"The relief Chrysler seeks is unprecedented and improper. Termination of dealer franchises will destroy several hundred independent businesses, ruin livelihoods of their owners and cause the loss of thousands of jobs." 

   
-- Stephen Lerner, an attorney for 789 Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealers whose sales agreements Chrysler intends to terminate next month, Detroit Free Press, May 20

Video Highlights
 
 
Cutting Dealers a Mistake (Fox Business Network)


Vice Chairman Tonkin on Chrysler Closures (Bloomberg)


 
Should Government Decide Dealers' Fate? (CNBC)



The Case Against Closing Dealerships (CNBC)



In-Depth Look - Pent Up Auto Demand (Bloomberg)



NADA on Cash for Clunkers (NADA-TV)



NADA on Floorplan Credit Crisis (NADA-TV)



Senate Testimony on Floorplan Loans (NADA-TV)



Banks Turning on American Car Dealers? (WTNH-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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