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Friday, June 19, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top Stories
Congress OKs 'Cash for Clunkers'
A Closer Look at the 'Cash-for-Clunkers' Plan
Momentum for Dealer Rights Bill Grows with Senate Introduction
General Motors Will Keep 60 Dealers Earlier Slated for Closure
Fiat CEO Sets New Tone at Chrysler
GM to End Pontiac Vibe Production at Plant Shared With Toyota
Toyota Books 180,000 Prius Orders Month After Debut
Proposed Tire Label Could Improve Gas Savings
Top Stories
Congress OKs 'Cash for Clunkers'

WASHINGTON -- Last-minute intervention from the White House on Thursday swayed a crucial Democratic senator to rescue a $1 billion "cash for clunkers" plan to boost battered auto sales. The full bill ... cleared the Senate on a 91-5 vote and was sent to the White House for Obama's signature, likely next week. The program, which is expected to go into effect in late July or early August, would give consumers cash incentives to trade in gas guzzlers for new models with higher fuel efficiency. The program "will boost consumer confidence, get the economy going again and reduce our dependence on foreign oil," said John McEleney, [chairman] of the National Auto Dealers Association.
Source: The Detroit News

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A Closer Look at the 'Cash-for-Clunkers' Plan
  • The $1 billion program is authorized from July through November. It is expected to be implemented by early August.
  • Passenger car owners could receive a voucher worth $3,500 if they traded in a passenger car getting 18 miles per gallon or less for a new car getting at least 22 mpg.
  • Owners of SUVs, pickups or minivans that get 18 mpg or less could receive a voucher for $3,500 if their new SUV, truck or minivan gets at least 2 miles per gallon more than their old vehicle.
  • SUV, pickup or minivan owners who get 18 mpg or less could receive a voucher for $4,500 if the mileage of the new truck or SUV is at least 5 mpg higher than the older vehicle.
  • Participating dealers can access electronic vouchers from the government for consumers to purchase or lease qualifying vehicles.
  • Dealers are directed to ensure that older vehicles are crushed or shredded to get the clunkers off the road.
    Source: The Associated Press

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Momentum for Dealer Rights Bill Grows with Senate Introduction

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has introduced S. 1304, the Senate version of a bill that seeks to strengthen dealers rights under state franchise laws. Dealers are strongly urged to contact both of their senators and request they co-sponsor S. 1304 as soon as possible. Dealers should also contact their Representatives and ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 2743. Both bills would prevent automakers from using bankruptcy proceedings to terminate dealerships without recognizing state franchise laws. The “Automobile Dealer Rights Restoration Act” has 168 cosponsors (109 Democrats, 59 Republicans) in the House. Now the Senate bill needs co-sponsors.

Franchise law protections were established for all dealers in all 50 states to create a balance between the inherently one-sided nature of the manufacturer-dealer relationship. Because of recent bankruptcy filings of two major automakers, state motor vehicle franchise laws were undermined. Legislation in both the House and Senate is needed to ensure that the rights of all dealers are not trampled in a court-supervised reorganization. Both House and Senate members can be reached through the Capitol switchboard at (202) 225-3121. Click here for the fact sheet in support of H.R. 2743/S. 1304.
Source: NADA Newswire

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General Motors Will Keep 60 Dealers Earlier Slated for Closure

General Motors Corp. said it has reversed decisions to end franchise agreements with 60 dealers ... Some franchise owners were able to show that GM used inaccurate financial information in placing them on the list for closing, Susan Garontakos, a company spokeswoman, said [Thursday]. For dealers slated to close, GM offered financial aid to help wind down their franchises, if they agreed to the company’s terms. Accords have been reached with 98 percent of the about 1,270 dealers that remain on the list, the automaker said.
Source: Bloomberg

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Fiat CEO Sets New Tone at Chrysler

Marchionne Shuns Executive Suite for Office Near Engineers; 2010 Jeep Model Highlights Challenges
Just hours after taking over as chief executive of Chrysler Group LLC last week, Sergio Marchionne settled into a new office at the company's Auburn Hills, Mich., headquarters -- and signaled that he is setting a different tone at the struggling car maker. Rather than take the top-floor suite that his predecessors occupied in the company's 15-floor executive tower, Mr. Marchionne opted for a fourth-floor office in its adjoining technical center, people familiar with the matter said. A big part of Mr. Marchionne's prescription for the company is a rapid flattening out of its management ranks to speed decision-making and move top executives closer to the business of making and selling cars and trucks.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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GM to End Pontiac Vibe Production at Plant Shared With Toyota

General Motors Corp., shrinking its operations in bankruptcy, said it will halt production of the Pontiac Vibe hatchback by the end of August at the California plant it shares with Toyota Motor Corp. The end of production will come earlier than GM Chief Executive Officer Fritz Henderson indicated in April, when he said Vibe output might continue into next year. The two companies “remain in active discussions” regarding the plant, GM said [Thursday].
Source: Bloomberg

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Toyota Books 180,000 Prius Orders Month After Debut

Toyota Motor Corp., Japan’s biggest automaker, said it booked 180,000 domestic orders for the new Prius gasoline-electric hybrid within a month of the car’s debut. The company had set a sales target of 10,000 units a month in Japan, it said in a statement today. The tally includes 80,000 orders placed before the car went on sale on May 18. Customers placing orders for a Prius as of today face a seven-month wait before taking delivery, Paul Nolasco, a spokesman for the Toyota City, Japan-based company said today.
Source: Bloomberg

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Proposed Tire Label Could Improve Gas Savings

The government on Thursday proposed a simplified new tire label that would show potential gas savings for buyers of that tire, as well as safety and tread life ratings. "Today's proposal takes the guesswork out of buying the best tires for your vehicle," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a statement. The removable label would be affixed to the tire, but since many consumers never see replacement tires that go on their cars, it would be available online, as well.
Source: USA TODAY

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Quotable
 
"[The 'cash-for-clunkers' program] will boost consumer confidence, get the economy going again and reduce our dependence on foreign oil."

    -- NADA Chairman John McEleney, The Detroit News, June 19


"The simple fact is that we need to get Americans into car showrooms, and this is the bill that will do it."

    -- Rep. Candice S. Miller (R-Mich.), a co-sponsor of the "cash-for-clunkers" initiative, The Washington Post, June 19

Video Highlights
 

Media Coverage on Dealership Closings (NADA-TV)


NADA's new Buy Now PSA, 'No Kidding' 



Car Dealers Trying to Buy More Time (NBC)



Fighting the Dealers' Fight (CNBC)



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)


John McEleney's Testimony to Senate Committee (CNBC)
 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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