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Monday, July 20, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top Stories
Axed Dealers' Best Bet: U.S. Aid
Feds Want Auto Task Force Data
US Sen Reid Signals He Is Open To Auto-Dealer Bill
Opinion: Shouldn't The Dealers Get Something?
Owners Ready to Cash in Their Clunkers
You Call That a Clunker?
Tight Credit a Blow to Hopes of Auto Recovery
VW, Porsche Slide on Reported Possible Dealbreaker
AP Sources: GM Plans Battery Plant Near Detroit
Top Stories
Axed Dealers' Best Bet: U.S. Aid

House bill shows clout, but restored franchises unlikely
WASHINGTON — It has been an impressive show of power. But probably the best that rejected General Motors and Chrysler dealers can hope to gain from all the congressional maneuvering on their behalf is federal compensation for lost franchises. Legislation to reverse thousands of franchise terminations passed the House of Representatives last week. But the bill, aimed at helping dealers jettisoned during the Chrysler and GM bankruptcies, faces tougher going in the Senate. But there is some possibility of federal aid to closed auto dealers, who showed their grass-roots clout by pushing the legislation through the House as part of a spending bill.
Source: Automotive News

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Feds Want Auto Task Force Data

WASHINGTON -- The auto industry continued to be a hot topic in Congress on Friday, with members continuing to raise questions about dealership closings and House members asking the White House for auto task force e-mails outlining how decisions were made in the General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC restructurings. A group of terminated auto dealers sought a meeting Friday with the auto task force. But the National Automobile Dealers Association said it was still assessing what to do next. "NADA will be working with congressional leadership to discuss the next steps on the issue of dealership closures. Our objective remains the same: to do what is best for all dealers," said NADA Chairman John McEleney.
Source: The Detroit News

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US Sen Reid Signals He Is Open To Auto-Dealer Bill

WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid signaled a willingness Friday to consider a bill to reinstate dealers cut by General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC, after the House passed similar legislation Thursday. Friday, Reid said through a spokesman that the bill had gained bipartisan support and that he would closely follow its progress. "Senator [Charles] Grassley has introduced legislation in the Senate that has attracted bipartisan support," the spokesman, Jim Manley, said. "Given this and the importance of the issues it addresses, Senator Reid will be monitoring closely the legislation's progress through the Senate."
Source: Dow Jones Newswires

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Opinion: Shouldn't The Dealers Get Something?
By Keith Crain

About the only thing Congress can do for Chrysler dealers is to have the company compensate them. But it can force GM to unwind its termination plans without creating chaos. American automobile dealers are a powerful force in Washington, and they are going to demonstrate that fact to the two manufacturers. One way or another, it's going to cost the new GM and the new Chrysler. Never underestimate the power of the American car dealer.
Source: Automotive News

Editor's Note: Keith Crain is publisher and editorial director of Automotive News.

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Owners Ready to Cash in Their Clunkers

ST. PAUL, Minn. — On Friday, auto dealers will start selling cars under the federal government's cash-for-clunkers program. The federal government has set aside $1 billion to encourage owners of old gas-guzzlers to trade them in for new fuel-efficient vehicles. Consumers can get a trade-in credit of up to $4,500 for vehicles that get 18 miles per gallon or less. The cash-for-clunkers program has enough money to help car dealers sell about 250,000 vehicles nationwide.
Source: Minnesota Public Radio

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You Call That a Clunker?

Even a classic might qualify for federal program
The Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act of 2009 -- also known as "Cash for Clunkers" -- will offer vouchers of up to $4,500 for car owners who trade in their old fuel-slurping cars for new models that can really stretch a tank of gas. But if you imagine a clunker as that old, rusted piece of junk that can barely accelerate on the interstate, think again. The list of potential clunkers includes a zippy 1997 Lexus SC 400 coupe and even a luxury 1998 Mercedes-Benz M-Class sport-utility vehicle.
Source: The Washington Post

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Tight Credit a Blow to Hopes of Auto Recovery

Despite billions in bailout funds for banks, the credit market remains tougher than ever for would-be car buyers looking for auto loans. The tough credit market might be dampening hopes of a recovery in the auto market, which has plummeted from an annual selling rate of about 16 million vehicles in recent years to less than 10 million. “Consumer credit is so tight that the annual selling rate is between 1.5 to 2 million lower than it would normally be,” General Motors Co.’s chief sales analyst Michael DiGiovanni said earlier this month.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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VW, Porsche Slide on Reported Possible Dealbreaker

FRANKFURT - Any deal to sell Porsche SE's sportscar business to Volkswagen could be scuppered by potential tax liabilities, a German newspaper reported on Monday, knocking shares in the two German companies. German magazine Der Spiegel reported over the weekend that the Porsche and Piech families would agree on Thursday to accept an offer by Volkswagen to buy Porsche AG for roughly 8 billion euros.
Source: Reuters

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AP Sources: GM Plans Battery Plant Near Detroit

General Motors Corp. will assemble battery packs for its new rechargeable electric car at a facility south of Detroit, creating about 100 jobs, two people briefed on the plans said Friday. The new factory ... will take batteries made by LG Chem in South Korea and assemble them into packs that will power the new Chevrolet Volt, said one of the people. The battery pack factory will be highly automated and won't employ a huge number of people, but it will be able to weld the battery packs together quickly, GM officials have said.
Source: The Associated Press

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Quotable
 
"This was a chance for Congress to say you don't get to crush state franchise laws, and you don't get to put thousands of dealers out of business because you feel like it."

   
-- Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio, who proposed a plan in Congress that seeks to force GM and Chrysler to restore agreements with dealerships shed during the automakers’ bankruptcy proceedings, The Detroit News, July 20



"American automobile dealers are a powerful force in Washington, and they are going to demonstrate that fact to the two manufacturers. Never underestimate the power of the American car dealer."

   
-- Keith Crain, publisher and editorial director of Automotive News, July 20


"Consumer credit is so tight that the annual selling rate is between 1.5 to 2 million lower than it would normally be."

   
-- Michael DiGiovanni, General Motors' chief sales analyst, Detroit Free Press, July 18

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)



Fighting the Dealers' Fight (CNBC)



Cutting Dealers a Mistake (Fox Business)



Vice Chairman Tonkin on Chrysler Closures (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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