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Thursday, July 16, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top Stories
Obama 'Strongly Opposes' Dealer Termination Legislation
Auto-Dealer Talks Continue
Obama Auto Task Force Shifts to Automaker Owner
'Cash for Clunkers' Riddled With Question Marks
Rental-Fleet Demand May Boost U.S. Auto Sales, Spur Production
Toyota Climbs on Parts Tie-up Report With Mazda
Fed Sees Heightened Joblessness Drawing Out Recovery
Lawmaking is Not So Different From Selling Cars
Chairman's Column
Auto Sales: Small Signs of An Upturn?
Top Stories
Obama 'Strongly Opposes' Dealer Termination Legislation

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration said [Wednesday] it “strongly opposes” legislation to reverse terminations of thousands of General Motors and Chrysler auto dealerships by bankruptcy courts. The provision, which has 243 sponsors and co-sponsors in the 435-member House, is due to come up for a House vote [later today or tomorrow] as part of the fiscal 2010 financial-services spending bill. Spokesmen for both GM and Chrysler said Tuesday that the automakers are open to nonlegislative alternatives. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., a participant in the negotiations, said the White House also is open to a deal. [Rep. Steven] LaTourette, [R-Ohio], said [Wednesday] that a settlement would be preferable to the legislation he has sponsored. “The purpose of my bill was to keep the pressure on the parties to work something out,” he said in an interview. “I always think an agreement is best.”
Source: Automotive News

Editor's Note: The LaTourette amendment is on track for passage in the House. NADA supports the amendment and similar legislation that will restore dealer rights. NADA’s legislative office is urging all dealers to contact their Members of Congress and ask them to support the amendment and H.R. 2743/S. 1304. 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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Auto-Dealer Talks Continue

WASHINGTON -- The White House is fighting congressional efforts to force General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC to offer more compensation to more than 2,000 dealerships the car makers cut as part of their government-backed bankruptcy restructurings. Talks continued Wednesday among auto makers, dealers and lawmakers aimed at reaching a compromise. An offer by auto makers to hold another round of appeals for rejected dealerships went nowhere, said Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, ...  an author of one proposal to help reinstate dealers.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Obama Auto Task Force Shifts to Automaker Owner

When it brokered the restructuring of Chrysler and General Motors, President Barack Obama's auto task force repeatedly pledged that it would steer clear of running a car company. The plight of hundreds of shuttered auto dealers offers a window into the pressures the administration could face. "This whole notion is that some brainiac down at the task force came up with the idea that Toyota sells a lot of cars and they have less dealers and therefore we should make GM and Chrysler look like Toyota. It's stupid," said Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio.
Source: The Associated Press

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'Cash for Clunkers' Riddled With Question Marks

Dealers hope to rev up sales, but government first has to supply the details
The bill signed into law by President Barack Obama on June 24 harbors a simple idea promising to clear the air a bit and aid the ailing auto industry by giving consumers a break. What is dogging dealers, though, is what happens after the transaction. For example, how will the government get the rebate money into the dealer's hands? Who is liable for the old car while it is on its way to the scrap yard? Who makes sure the yard cuts up the old cars? Are there enough scrap yards to handle a sudden surge of old autos?
Source: The Indianapolis Star

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Rental-Fleet Demand May Boost U.S. Auto Sales, Spur Production

U.S. auto sales probably will rise to an annual rate of more than 10 million in this year’s second half as fleet operators finally replace their aging vehicles, helping to revive production, analysts said. Fleet purchases, along with the federal government’s “cash for clunkers” program to encourage people to replace older, less fuel-efficient vehicles, may push the annual rate to more than 9.9 million, the highest in any month so far this year.
Source: Bloomberg

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Toyota Climbs on Parts Tie-up Report With Mazda

TOKYO -- Shares of Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. rose 2.9 percent today after the Nikkei business daily reported that it plans to supply core components for hybrid vehicles to smaller rival Mazda Motor Corp. The components will be used in a hybrid vehicle Mazda is planning to launch as early as 2013, with a sales target of some 100,000 units a year, the Nikkei said.
Source: Reuters

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Fed Sees Heightened Joblessness Drawing Out Recovery

A new forecast raised fresh doubts yesterday about how strong any economic recovery might be, as the Federal Reserve projected that the unemployment rate may surpass 10 percent by year's end and warned that the economy may not return to full health for at least five years. "The bottom line is that the economy is still very weak and very fragile," said Bill Hampel, chief economist of the Credit Union National Association. "We're talking about a recovery beginning in the third or fourth quarter, but that's just barely a recovery."
Source: The Washington Post

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Lawmaking is Not So Different From Selling Cars

Before coming to Washington, members of Congress typically build their reputations — and often their fortunes — on respected professional work in the private sector. Many, like Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), are lawyers. But there’s a small contingent hailing from a vocation that might be just the right prelude to politics: Reps. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and John Campbell (R-Calif.) represent the tiny-but-proud car salesman caucus.
Source: Politico

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Chairman's Column
Auto Sales: Small Signs of An Upturn?
By John McEleney

We still have quite a ways to go before we can use the word “recovery” with respect to auto sales, but we are starting to see some positive signs that indicate the industry has moved beyond the bottom. The “Cash for Clunkers” program is just one example of how NADA is doing its part to help boost auto sales. We’ve also just launched the second phase of NADA’s “Buy Now” campaign.
Source: AutoExec

Editor's Note: John McEleney is NADA chairman and a General Motors, Toyota and Hyundai dealer in Iowa.

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Quotable
 
"They could not tell me why shutting down any of those dealers" would save money for the carmakers.

   
-- House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer at a news conference Tuesday in support of restoring dealer rights said he had asked members of the president’s auto task force why these franchises should be closed. The response was silence, Hoyer said, The New York Times, July 14


"We are not trying to be Warren Buffett here. We are not trying to squeeze every last dollar out. We do want to do well for the taxpayers but the most important thing is to get the government out of the car business."

    -- Steven Rattner, former Obama administration senior adviser, on the auto task force's repeatedly pledges that it will steer clear of running a car company, The Associated Press, 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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