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Wednesday, July 22, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top Stories
Key Lawmaker Urges NADA to Join Dealer Termination Talks
Administration Opposes Aid to Auto Dealers
Bailouts Prompt Bipartisan Outcry
Cash for Clunkers Program Starts Monday
Chrysler Doubles Cash-for-Clunkers Incentive
Worst is Over, Ford Exec Says
Government Ends Warranty Program for GM, Chrysler
Online Registration for 2010 Convention in Orlando Opens Monday
'Chrysler Made a Big Mistake' - One Dealer's Story
Top Stories
Key Lawmaker Urges NADA to Join Dealer Termination Talks

WASHINGTON -- The lawmaker who sponsored a bill to reverse dealer terminations by General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group is urging the National Automobile Dealers Association to join settlement talks aimed at seeking an alternative to legislation. "I don't see how we can get an agreement otherwise," [Rep. Dan Maffei, D-N.Y.,] said in an interview during a break from a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing [Tuesday]. "Without them, it's shuttle diplomacy." "We intend to join the settlement talks," NADA spokesman David Hyatt said Monday in an interview. "But we first want to consult House members this week on what they think are the best steps to take." Hyatt noted "the huge distinction" between Chrysler's swift termination of its 789 dealers without appeal and GM efforts to wind down dealers over 17 months and set up an appeal process.
Source: Automotive News

Editor's Note: Dealers scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary subcommittee 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. Click here to watch the hearing live.

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Administration Opposes Aid to Auto Dealers

President Obama's new auto task force chief told Congress on Tuesday that proposed legislation to aid closed auto dealers would hamper the government's ability to recoup money invested in General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC. [Ron Bloom, the former investment banker who now heads the president's auto team,] said even the [National Automobile Dealers Association] (NADA) agrees there are too many domestic dealers. A group spokesman called that a "mistatement of our position." "NADA is on record as consistently disagreeing with the idea of drastic cuts in the number of auto dealers. Since dealers cost automakers next to nothing in overhead expenses, cutting dealers at this time does nothing to make either GM or Chrysler more viable," the group said in a statement after Mr. Bloom's testimony.
Source: The Washington Times

Editor's Note: The characterization by the head of the White House Auto Task Force with regard to the position of NADA on the question of dealer cuts is inaccurate. NADA’s position on the issue of dealer cuts has been outlined on numerous occasions, including in multiple meetings with the Auto Task Force. These positions were also stated publicly in an Open Letter to President Obama that was published in major newspapers around the country. For a partial list of other occasions when NADA voiced its strong opposition to dealer cuts, click here.

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Bailouts Prompt Bipartisan Outcry

GOP Lawmakers Assail Federal Meddling on Autos; Dealers Defended in Both Parties
The government bailout of General Motors and Chrysler was roundly criticized by both Republicans and Democrats on Tuesday as a House subcommittee heard testimony from the chief of the Obama administration's auto task force. The driving political force behind much of the congressional criticism of the bailout ... arises from the auto dealers who say they have been wrongly targeted by the automakers for closing. The dealers' supporters reject the administration's position that all must accept sacrifices for the companies' survival. "It isn't just about a business. It's about a vital piece of the community," said Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.).
Source: The Washington Post

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Cash for Clunkers Program Starts Monday

Sign Up Now for Clunkers Webinar Part Two
On Friday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) intends to issue the specifics of its Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) program and to allow dealers to begin registering for it. On Monday, July 27, NHTSA intends to begin allowing dealers to start sending in CARS reimbursement claims. NHTSA will join NADA on Monday to offer guidance to dealers on implementation of the highly anticipated cash-for-clunkers program. Part Two of the NADA/NHTSA Webinar on the CARS program 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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Chrysler Doubles Cash-for-Clunkers Incentive

Chrysler says it will double the $4,500 government incentive for people to trade in their old gas guzzlers for new vehicles under the cash-for-clunkers program. The automaker announced today that it will offer up to $4,500 cash or 0% financing for six years on most of its 2009 Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep models. The incentive begins Thursday and lasts until Aug. 31. Chrysler Group LLC says in a statement that buyers are eligible even if they don’t qualify for the clunkers program.
Source: The Associated Press

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Worst is Over, Ford Exec Says

DEARBORN, Mich. -- Ford Motor Co. says the U.S. car market has bottomed out, but warned that the recovery could still be months away. "Things have stopped getting worse," Ford Americas President Mark Fields told reporters at a product event at the automaker's proving grounds Tuesday. "The question is, at what point does it start to turn positive?"
Source: The Detroit News

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Government Ends Warranty Program for GM, Chrysler

Executive pay levels to be reviewed by compensation czar
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration's automotive task force, after successfully moving General Motors and Chrysler Group out of bankruptcy protection, is ending the government-financed warranty program for the two automakers. Ron Bloom, the new head of the task force, informed a House Judiciary subcommittee about the decision in testimony here [Tuesday]. Bloom said that the $641 million invested by the United States in the program has been returned to the Treasury along with interest payments. He called this a "prudent short-term use of taxpayer funds."
Source: Automotive News

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Online Registration for 2010 Convention in Orlando Opens Monday


Registration and housing for NADA’s Convention & Exposition in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 13-15, 2010, opens Monday, July 27. In light of the tough economic environment, NADA is offering an “early bird” special to attendees who register online before Sept. 18. A selection of moderately priced hotels is also available on a first-come-first-served basis. All convention activities, including two full workshop tracks on Friday, Feb. 13, will take place at the Orange County Convention Center in downtown Orlando, unless otherwise noted. For more information about the 2010 convention or to register, visit www.nada.org/convention.
Source: NADA Newswire

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'Chrysler Made a Big Mistake' - One Dealer's Story

An 80-year old auto dealership pushes on, without Jeep.
After filing for bankruptcy, Chrysler in May notified almost 800 dealers around the U.S. that they would lose their franchise licenses and be kicked out of the restructured automaker's dealer network. Steve Biegler, who runs the dealership his grandfather started, was one of those targeted. Last week, Chrysler sent out representatives to finish dismantling his store's branding.
Source: CNNMoney.com

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Quotable
 
"We intend to join the settlement talks. But we first want to consult House members this week on what they think are the best steps to take."

    -- NADA spokesman David Hyatt, responding to calls for NADA to get involved in settlement talks aimed at seeking an alternative to legislation to reverse dealer terminations by General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group, Automotive News, July 21


"We don't want a bailout of the auto industry to become a wash out for the auto dealers."

    -- Rep. Dan Maffei, D-N.Y., at a hearing Tuesday of the House Judiciary subcommittee, The Associated Press, July 22


"Viable companies don't ransack their dealerships based on a criteria that seems to range from arbitrary at best to overtly political at worst."

    -- Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., The Associated Press, July 22


"It isn't just about a business. It's about a vital piece of the community."

    -- Rep. Bill Delahunt, D-Mass., The Washington Post, July 22


"[I want] to understand to what extent the task force considered the impact of widespread dealership closures on the economy and on communities around the nation."
 
    -- Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee, The Detroit News, July 22

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.

 


Orlando 2010 - Go to Know

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NADA Insurance Gives Dealers Thousands in Hole-in-One Coupons


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