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Thursday, May 28, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top 10 Stories
U.S. Consumer Mood Lifts Despite Home Price Plunge
Congressional Hearings on Dealership Closings Now Set for June 3
U.S. Court Seen Clearing Chrysler Sale to Fiat
Chrysler Cures a Bankruptcy, but Tests Loom
Major GM Bondholders OK Revised Deal
U.S. to Wield Significant Sway Over Reorganized GM
As Chrysler Axes Dealers, 'A Lot of America Dying'
Auto Supplier Visteon Files for Chapter 11 in U.S.
Ex-GM VP McNabb Takes Job as President, CEO of Maserati
Village Offers Incentive to Buy From its Car Dealers
Top 10 Stories
U.S. Consumer Mood Lifts Despite Home Price Plunge

Level of people interested in buying a car rises to highest point in a year
NEW YORK -- The Conference Board, an industry group, said on Tuesday its index of consumer attitudes jumped to 54.9 in May from a revised 40.8 in April, well above forecasts centered around 42.0. The number [of Americans] who said they planned on buying a car over the next six months rose to 5.5 percent, its highest in at least a year.
Source: Reuters

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Congressional Hearings on Dealership Closings Now Set for June 3

The Senate Commerce Committee, which is looking into the mass dealership closures by General Motors and Chrysler, rescheduled their hearing with auto company executives and NADA Chairman John McEleney to 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 3. The full-committee hearing, entitled "GM and Chrysler Dealership Closures: Protecting Dealers and Consumers," gives senators the opportunity to dive deeper into the misguided reasoning behind closing more than 2,000 auto retailers. Uncovering who required the dealership closings and exposing the criteria used to determine which dealerships were targeted for closure and which were not will likely be the topics of greatest concern for the committee. Click here for more information on the hearing and to view the Web broadcast of the hearing next week.
Source: NADA Newswire

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U.S. Court Seen Clearing Chrysler Sale to Fiat

NEW YORK -- Chrysler LLC looks set to clear its last major hurdle in its sprint through bankruptcy court as soon as [today], when a judge is expected to overrule more than 340 objections and approve its sale to a group that includes Italy's Fiat. Those opposing the sale include the nearly 800 dealers Chrysler wants to shutter, as well as debtholders and retirees. The opponents of the sale may still appeal if it is approved, although there is a risk the sale may close during the appeal process.
Source: Reuters

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Chrysler Cures a Bankruptcy, but Tests Loom

... Chrysler is, in fact, hurtling through the [bankruptcy] process and appears on track to emerge soon as a new company, just one month after its Chapter 11 filing. Then the hard part begins. “We have to see the consumer supporting this company by buying their product, which hasn’t been happening,” said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with the research firm IHS Global Insight. “Just because they emerge from bankruptcy doesn’t mean that all of their problems will be solved, by any stretch of the imagination.”
Source: The New York Times

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Major GM Bondholders OK Revised Deal

GM reports that bondholders would get an increased stake in the company if they agree to not fight plans for a quick bankruptcy turnaround.
NEW YORK -- The Treasury Department and a committee of major bondholders at General Motors have reached a deal that could give creditors a larger stake in GM than previously offered as long as they agree not to fight the government's plans for a quick bankruptcy at GM. The agreement ... would essentially give the bondholders [which hold about 20% of GM's $27 billion in unsecured bonds] 10% of the company but also give them the rights to buy an additional 15% of the company's stock at a low price. The deal is unlikely to allow GM to avoid bankruptcy, however.
Source: CNNMoney.com

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U.S. to Wield Significant Sway Over Reorganized GM

Administration To Take Influential Role in Shaping Firm's Board
While President Obama has said he has no interest in running GM or Chrysler, into which the government has poured more than $20 billion combined, he has said officials have an interest in protecting the taxpayers' investment. "I don't think that we should micromanage," Obama has said. "But I think that like any investor, the American taxpayer has a right to scrutinize what's being proposed and make sure that their money is not just being thrown down the drain."
Source: The Washington Post

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As Chrysler Axes Dealers, 'A Lot of America Dying'

GERMANTOWN, Maryland — Woody Burriss took it hard when he learned that the car dealership he has worked for three-quarters of his life was being dropped by Chrysler. "The whole weekend I was thinking, 'If it closed down what would I do?'" 73-year-old Burriss told AFP as he washed and polished a customer's car at Montrose Dodge in this outlying suburb of Washington. "It's not that a bit of America is dying with this, a lot of America is dying," said Burriss.
Source: Agence France Presse

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Auto Supplier Visteon Files for Chapter 11 in U.S.

DETROIT -- Visteon Corp., a former division of Ford Motor Co. and one of the country's largest auto suppliers, confirmed it filed for bankruptcy protection for its U.S. operations Thursday ... Though expected for months, a Visteon filing could complicate matters for Ford ... Visteon is by far Ford's largest parts supplier, and the auto maker accounts for one-third of Visteon's $9 billion of annual sales.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Ex-GM VP McNabb Takes Job as President, CEO of Maserati

Mark McNabb, who was until recently vice president in charge of General Motors Corp.'s Cadillac and other premium brands, has taken a job as president and CEO of Maserati North America Inc., part of Italy's Fiat Group. McNabb, who previously held top management positions at Nissan Motor Co., resigned from his job as GM vice president for the Hummer, Saab and Cadillac brands last week ...
Source: The Detroit News

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Village Offers Incentive to Buy From its Car Dealers

Under the Shop Libertyville Gift Certificate Program, anyone who buys a new car from a Libertyville, [Ill.], auto dealer between June 15 and Sept. 7 will receive a voucher for a $100 gift certificate to spend at one of several participating businesses in Libertyville. Mayor Terry Weppler expressed enthusiastic support of the program, calling the car dealers "the backbone in our community" ...
Source: The Chicago Tribune

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Quotable
 
"It's not that a bit of America is dying with this, a lot of America is dying." 

    -- Woody Burriss, who took it hard when he learned that the car dealership he has worked for three-quarters of his life, Montrose Dodge in Germantown, Md., was being dropped by Chrysler, Agence France Presse, May 27


"We have to see the consumer supporting [Chrysler] by buying their product, which hasn’t been happening. Just because they emerge from bankruptcy doesn’t mean that all of their problems will be solved, by any stretch of the imagination."

    -- Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with the research firm IHS Global Insight, The New York Times, May 28

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-TV)
 McEleney Speaks at NADA Convention (NADA-TV)
 Demise of Dealerships Leaves Big Dent (NBC)
NADA on the Front Lines  (NADA-TV)


Click here for more video reports.

 

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