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Tuesday, July 21, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top Stories
Obama Auto Adviser to Testify on Dealer Closings
GM, Chrysler Seeking Dealer Settlement
Opinion: 'Disgraceful and Un-American'
Cash-for-Clunkers Webinar, Part Two, Scheduled for July 27
NHTSA Launches New 'Dealer Support' Section on CARS Web site
GM's LaNeve to Retain N.A. Sales, Service Responsibilities
Toyota Says It's No Longer Profitable in North America
Suzuki Hits the Skids in the U.S.
Obama Seeks Ways to Aid Auto-Parts Makers, Locke Says
Top Stories
Obama Auto Adviser to Testify on Dealer Closings

WASHINGTON -- Ron Bloom, the new top White House adviser on autos, will testify [today] before the House Judiciary Committee. Bloom will defend the administration's role in the restructuring of General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC. The committee is reviewing Chrysler's decision to close 789 dealers on June 9 and GM's plans to shutter more than 2,500 dealers by the end of 2010. On Wednesday, lawyers for GM and Chrysler will defend their closing plans at a second day of hearings.
Source: The Detroit News

Editor's Note: Dealers scheduled to testify tomorrow include: John J. Fitzgerald, president, Fitzgerald Auto Malls; Jim Tarbox, president, Tarbox Motors, Inc.; Greg Williams, president, Huntington Chevrolet, Inc.; and Robert G. Knapp, owner of Knapp Chevrolet. Louann Van Der Wiele, vice president and associate general counsel, Chrysler Group LLC, and Michael J. Robinson, vice president and general counsel of North America, General Motors Company, will also testify along with several other witnesses at tomorrow's hearing. Click here to watch the hearing live.

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GM, Chrysler Seeking Dealer Settlement

General Motors and Chrysler are seeking a negotiated settlement on dealer closures as congressional hearings continue and bipartisan support for the dealers grows. "We're looking forward to working with House leaders for a resolution with the dealers that allows us to move forward with our restructuring plan," GM spokesman Greg Martin said Monday. Mr. Martin said the dealers' main lobbying group, the National Association of Automobile Dealers (NADA), has not responded to requests for talks. NADA spokesman David Hyatt denied that. "We're open to talk, we want to first talk with congressional leaders and we need to find out what they think are the best steps to take next," Mr. Hyatt said.
Source: The Washington Times

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Opinion: 'Disgraceful and Un-American'
By Steven C. LaTourette

Dealers aren't 'bad assets.' They deserve better treatment.
What's happened to auto dealers in every corner of the country is disgraceful and un-American. Chrysler gave 789 of its dealers less than a month to pack up, and GM wants another 2,000 dealerships to vanish, with closings translating to 200,000 job losses. I won't apologize for using the legislative process to try to reach a fairer outcome for those who were so wronged. Our president likes to say that with the tough issues confronting the nation, we can't just kick the can down the road anymore. Likewise, we shouldn't kick thousands of dealers and 200,000 workers to the curb, especially in this economy.
Source: USA TODAY

Editor's Note: Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, is the author of a measure to bar GM and Chrysler from closing targeted dealerships.

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Cash-for-Clunkers Webinar, Part Two, Scheduled for July 27

On the heels of completing its rulemaking on the CARS Act, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will join NADA on July 27 to offer guidance to dealers on implementation of the highly anticipated cash-for-clunkers program. Part Two of the NADA/NHTSA Webinar on the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) will be presented on Monday, July 27, from 1-3 p.m. (ET). The presenters, Daniel Smith, NHTSA Associate Administrator for Enforcement, and Michael Harrington, NADA Chief Legislative Counsel, along with Douglas Greenhaus, NADA Director of Environment, Health and Safety, and Scott Addison of Fitzgerald Auto Malls, will review CARS program details and suggested compliance strategies.

While the first Webinar was an opportunity for NHTSA to provide an overview of the program and to hear dealers’ questions, this Webinar aims to provide the information dealers need to engage in “clunkers” transactions, which allow for credits of up to $4,500 for eligible used vehicles toward the purchase of certain new vehicles. NADA members are strongly encouraged to participate in the second Webinar. The special rate of $199 includes both Part Two and Part One of the “Cash for Clunkers” Webinar. All participants in the first Webinar (and those who purchased the archive) will be emailed login information for the second Webinar automatically. Registrants for the second Webinar will receive a link to the archive of the first Webinar, which they’ll be able to view and hear in its entirety, as well as login instructions for the second. For more information, visit www.nada.org/seminars or call (800) 252-6232, ext. 2.
Source: NADA Newswire

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NHTSA Launches New 'Dealer Support' Section on CARS Web site

NHTSA has dedicated a new page on its Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) Web site dedicated to dealer support and addressing issues and concerns on the cash-for-clunkers program. It’s the only approved gateway for dealer participation in the CARS program. Dealer registration will begin through this Web site on Friday, July 24, while transactions must wait until Monday, July 27. On Friday, July 17, NHTSA began mailing separate letters to all new-car dealers for each franchise they operate indicating their eligibility to register and participate in the program. Each letter contains an Authorization Code that must be used to separately register each vehicle franchise. Dealers who do not receive their letter(s) by July 24 (the date dealer registration begins) should immediately contact the CARS Hotline at (888) 327-4236.
Source: NADA Newswire

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GM's LaNeve to Retain N.A. Sales, Service Responsibilities

DETROIT -- General Motors' Mark LaNeve, 10 days after losing responsibility for GM's marketing efforts, will remain the company's North American chief of sales and service. LaNeve, 50, had been vice president of vehicle sales, service and marketing since 2005. On July 10, the day GM emerged from bankruptcy protection, Henderson transferred the marketing duties to former global product chief, Bob Lutz, 77, who postponed his retirement to steer marketing and communications.
Source: Automotive News

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Toyota Says It's No Longer Profitable in North America

In an hour-long interview with reporters at Toyota's Washington office, Yoshimi Inaba, [president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor America,] said Toyota is not profitable in North America despite cost cutting in the organization, but he said he hopes the company could be profitable in its next fiscal year in North America.
Source: The Detroit News

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Suzuki Hits the Skids in the U.S.

How a maker of small, fuel-efficient vehicles got on the wrong track
Why would an Asian brand that builds small, fuel-efficient vehicles — the recipe for Detroit's rebirth as envisioned in Washington — be at the bottom of the heap? Blame it on a shrunken product lineup, skimpy marketing and an ineffective captive finance company, which have made Suzuki all but invisible among the Asian players. "Suzuki had momentum, but they lost it," says a Northeastern dealer who declined to be named.
Source: Automotive News

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Obama Seeks Ways to Aid Auto-Parts Makers, Locke Says

The Obama administration is seeking ways to aid auto-parts suppliers unable to obtain credit, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “We are holding discussions with the White House about this liquidity issue,” Locke told a Commerce Department advisory panel of factory owners [Monday] in Washington. “We just need a bridge so that we can pay our suppliers,” James McGregor, the president of Morgal Machine Tool Co. in Springfield, Ohio, said [Monday]. “We have all been put through some very, very trying times from the financial standpoint.”
Source: Bloomberg

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Quotable
 
"What's happened to auto dealers in every corner of the country is disgraceful and un-American. I won't apologize for using the legislative process to try to reach a fairer outcome for those who were so wronged."

   
-- Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, the author of a measure to bar GM and Chrysler from closing targeted dealerships, USA TODAY, July 21
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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