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Wednesday, July 15, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top Stories
Aid for Auto Dealers Gains Traction on Hill
Reid Shrugs Off Effort to Rescue Auto Dealers
GM, Chrysler Seek 'Non-Legislative' Agreement on Dealer Closings
Rolling Out 'Cash for Clunkers'
Kia Introduces Its First Hybrid Car With LPG Engine
Ford May Win Pontiac Buyers as GM Abandons Brand, Survey Finds
Bob Lutz, GM's New Image Chief, Says He'll 'Tell It Like It Is'
To Shrink a U.S. Car, Chrysler Goes to Poland
Top Stories
Aid for Auto Dealers Gains Traction on Hill

Under legislation that has rapidly gained support, GM and Chrysler would have to reinstate more than 2,000 dealerships that the companies had slated for closure. At a gathering of dozens of dealers who came to Capitol Hill yesterday to lobby their representatives, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) and several other congressmen spoke in support of the dealers. "We are going to stand with them for as long as it takes," Hoyer told an approving crowd. For now, it is unclear exactly what the full effect of the legislation would be, particularly since some of the affected dealers have already closed or agreed to. Both sides in the debate have signaled that they are open to compromise...
Source: The Washington Post

Editor's Note: Yesterday the LaTourette amendment to restore terminated dealers survived Rules Committee consideration and was kept in the Financial Services' spending bill. The full House will consider the larger Financial Services bill as early as tomorrow.

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Reid Shrugs Off Effort to Rescue Auto Dealers

As car salesmen press their case on Capitol Hill this week, House and Senate Democratic leaders are at odds over whether Congress should intervene in the restructuring of the auto industry to prevent hundreds of dealerships from being closed or downsized. House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., wants to keep pressure on General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC to change their plans ... by advancing a proposal to help the dealers in the Financial Services appropriations bill (HR 3170) that the House is expected to consider Thursday. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., threw cold water on the idea Tuesday. “When you have a bankruptcy, there are winners and losers,” Reid said. “That’s unfortunate, but that’s the way bankruptcy courts operate.”
Source: Congressional Quarterly

Editor's Note: NADA is working with Majority Leader Reid's office to explain the special circumstances regarding the GM and Chrysler restructurings. NADA has also met with other Congressional leaders as part of the dealer fly-in this week.

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GM, Chrysler Seek 'Non-Legislative' Agreement on Dealer Closings

WASHINGTON -- General Motors and Chrysler Group are in talks with lawmakers to try to fashion a new agreement on dealer closings and avoid legislation that would unwind the shutdown of thousands of these stores, spokesmen for the two companies said. The National Automobile Dealers Association, which has pushed for the legislation, is not interested in cutting a deal because congressional support for the legislation continues to grow...
Source: Automotive News

Editor's Note: NADA’s legislative office is urging dealers to contact their Members of Congress to ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 2743/S. 1304 and support legislative efforts to restore dealer rights. H.R. 2743 now has 242 co-sponsors, and its Senate companion, S. 1304, has 24 co-sponsors. Click here for the full list of co-sponsors. Lawmakers can be reached through the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

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Rolling Out 'Cash for Clunkers'

Car Dealers Set Up Hotlines, Web Sites but Fret That Strict Rules Will Hurt Trade-Ins
Auto dealers are starting to ramp up advertising built around the government's "cash for clunkers" program, even as they are growing more concerned that the incentives won't provide enough of a spark to revive U.S. auto sales. "We like the idea behind the program; however, the eligibility could be a little too strict and may keep some of my people away," said Alan Helfman, vice president of Houston's River Oaks Chrysler-Jeep. The National Automobile Dealers Association is encouraging dealers not to make any offers until the final details of the program are known so they don't put their own money at risk.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Kia Introduces Its First Hybrid Car With LPG Engine

Kia Motors Corp., South Korea’s second-biggest automaker, began selling its first hybrid car as customers opt for fuel-efficient vehicles. Seoul-based Kia aims to sell 2,000 units of Forte liquefied petroleum gas-electric hybrid model domestically this year, the company said in an e-mailed statement today. Sales may rise to 5,000 units in 2010. Kia plans to introduce a gasoline-electric hybrid midsize sedan in 2011 and to develop a plug-in hybrid vehicle by 2013, the statement said.
Source: Bloomberg

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Ford May Win Pontiac Buyers as GM Abandons Brand, Survey Finds

Ford was the choice of 38 percent of consumers interested in GM’s Pontiac models, CNW Marketing Research found in a survey in June, before GM finished its bankruptcy restructuring. “Ford has really started to gain some attention,” CNW President Art Spinella said in an interview yesterday from Bandon, Oregon, where the auto-research company is based. “Pontiac owners have gotten older, and they’re looking at Ford’s mainstream vehicles, like the Taurus and the Fusion.”
Source: Bloomberg

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Bob Lutz, GM's New Image Chief, Says He'll 'Tell It Like It Is'

DETROIT — General Motors is trying to change its image, fast. So they chose the only person on hand that made sense as its image czar: an old car guy with some new ideas. Bob Lutz, 77, was going to retire at the end of 2009, but decided to stick around and help GM revamp its advertising, internal communications and public relations. Lutz is the same guy who propelled GM's product design into the 21st century, and most critics say his tenure has helped the company turn out some pretty good vehicles. Now, Lutz says, GM has to move fast to convince consumers it's changed.
Source: USA TODAY

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To Shrink a U.S. Car, Chrysler Goes to Poland

TYCHY, Poland — Since Fiat effectively took over Chrysler this year, engineers from Detroit have been making monthly pilgrimages here to see something they can only envy: an auto plant that is hiring workers and earning a profit. The mammoth Fiat plant here, which churned out nearly half a million cars last year, may hold some of the answers for Chrysler (as well as Ford Motor and General Motors), as it struggles to regain its footing after its bankruptcy and reduce its dependence on muscle-bound trucks and sport utility vehicles.
Source: The New York Times

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Quotable
 

"We are going to stand with [the dealers] for as long as it takes."

   
-- House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), who spoke in support of a bill that would restore dealer rights, The Washington Post, July 15

Video Highlights
 

GM Still Government Motors? (Fox Business)


Helping Dealers Left Out of New GM (Fox Business)



Media Coverage: The Tragedy of Dealer Closings (NADA-TV)



NADA's New Buy Now Campaign



No Dent in Demand for Some U.S. Cars (NBC)



Car Dealers Trying to Buy More Time (NBC)



Fighting the Dealers' Fight (CNBC)



Cutting Dealers a Mistake (Fox Business)



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 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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