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Top Stories
'Clunkers' Program Draws Car Buyers in First Days
Cashing In That Clunker Is No Easy Ride
Automakers Craft Diverse Game Plans to Capture CARS Customers
GM Plans a Return to Car Leasing
FTC Delays Enforcement of 'Red Flags' Rule to Nov. 1, 2009
A Record Number Participate in Clunkers Webinar-Part Two
Honda, Nissan Earnings Beat Estimates on Government Incentives
Online Registration for 2010 Convention in Orlando Now Open
Opinion: Car Dealerships Helped to Track Life's Journeys
Top Stories
'Clunkers' Program Draws Car Buyers in First Days

Dealers across the country are finding innovative ways to advertise the cash-for-clunkers program, like the display above at the Lujack Northpark Auto Plaza in Davenport, Iowa.

Car and truck owners looking to junk their gas guzzlers are flocking to dealerships to take advantage of the government's "cash for clunkers" program and buy more fuel-efficient vehicles, boosting sales in showrooms across the country. "It's water to thirsty people," said Dave Kelleher, owner of two Chrysler dealerships outside Philadelphia. Kitty Van Bortel, who owns a Ford and a Subaru dealership in Victor, N.Y., said she normally sells about 50 to 60 cars and trucks a week, but last week sold well over 100. "Everybody is just panicked that they're not going to get the deal because the money is going to be gone," she said.
Source: The Associated Press

Editor's Note: NADA has issued a helpful set of tips to try to resolve implementation issues with the clunkers program that have led to rejected transactions and other areas of concern. Click here for "Cash-for-Clunkers Update and Tips."

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Cashing In That Clunker Is No Easy Ride

The government’s cash-for-clunkers program appears to be reviving the moribund car market. But even with Uncle Sam providing the trade-in allowance on junky old gas guzzlers, consumers still have to shop aggressively. And the program’s complicated rules can be an obstacle. Still, dealers say they are able to work out deals because the clunker money functions as a customer’s down payment. “We have seen a lot of cases where people have never bought a new car. They can get a loan because there’s equity in the deal” in the form of the government voucher, says John McEleney, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association and a multifranchise retailer based in Clinton, Iowa.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Automakers Craft Diverse Game Plans to Capture CARS Customers

WASHINGTON — After months of planning, legislation and debate, the Car Allowance Rebate System finally made its official debut this week, and automakers across the board have implemented unique strategies to spread the word about the program and win customers for their brands. Mazda, for instance, is taking a rather interesting social-media approach to have some fun with the program. The automaker is asking dealers and customers to send photos of their old clunkers to post in Mazda's "Ugliest Clunker" photo album on Facebook.com. "Times are tough, and consumers need all the help they can get right now to purchase a new, fuel-efficient, safe, yet, still fun-to-drive vehicle," suggested Mazda president Jim O'Sullivan.
Source: AutoRemarketing

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GM Plans a Return to Car Leasing

After Yearlong Hiatus, Funding by GMAC and Others Will Let Company Restore an Important Sales Tool
General Motors Co. and its financing affiliate GMAC Inc. are eyeing an Aug. 1 return to the auto-leasing market, according to people familiar with the matter, after massive government bailout packages allowed both companies to get back on their feet. A GM executive working on the plans said the auto maker has talked with several banks as well to obtain financing for leasing. "Credit is easing, banks have capacity and [resale] values have been steadily increasing," the executive said.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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FTC Delays Enforcement of 'Red Flags' Rule to Nov. 1, 2009

The FTC has announced another delay in the enforcement of the "Red Flags" Rule until Nov. 1, 2009. The Commission has announced that it will “redouble its efforts to educate [small businesses and others] about compliance with the 'Red Flags' Rule and ease compliance by providing additional resources and guidance to clarify whether businesses are covered by the Rule and what they must do to comply.” The Commission further states that the delay in enforcement is to “give creditors and financial institutions more time to review this guidance and develop and implement written Identity Theft Prevention Programs." For a news release, click here.
Source: Federal Trade Commission

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A Record Number Participate in Clunkers Webinar-Part Two

More than 1,900 individuals, plus state association groups, participated in Monday’s NADA/NHTSA “Cash for Clunkers” Webinar. Presenter Daniel Smith, Associate Administrator for Enforcement, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), reviewed CARS program details, focusing on the information dealers need to engage in “clunkers” transactions and comply with the program. Greg Walter, NHTSA Senior Associate Administrator for Policy and Operations, joined Smith in the presentation, as did NADA attorneys Michael Harrington and Douglas Greenhaus, dealer Scott Addison of Fitzgerald Auto Mall, and Special Agent Eileen Vidal-Codispot, a criminal investigator with the Office of the Inspector General. All Webinar registrants will receive a link to the archive of the Webinar, which they’ll be able to view and hear in its entirety. Those who were unable to attend the Webinar may order the archive at www.nada.org/seminars (click Webinar Archives) or call (800) 252-6232, ext. 2. The special member rate of $199 includes Monday’s archive and the archive for Part One of the “Cash for Clunkers” Webinar, held July 7. For additional information on the “Cash for Clunkers” program, visit www.cars.gov/index.php/dealersupport or www.nada.org/cashforclunkers.
Source: NADA Newswire

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Honda, Nissan Earnings Beat Estimates on Government Incentives

Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s second- and third-largest carmakers, posted earnings that beat estimates as costs fell and governments offered drivers incentives to buy new autos. Honda President Takanobu Ito, 55, expects sales to recover in the second half of the year and is raising funds in anticipation of an increased demand for car loans. “2009 continues to be a tough year,” [Nissan Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn] said in a statement. “We remain cautious in our outlook.”
Source: Bloomberg News

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Online Registration for 2010 Convention in Orlando Now Open


Registration and housing for NADA’s Convention & Exposition in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 13-15, 2010, is now open. 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. 12, will take place at the Orange County Convention Center in 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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Opinion: Car Dealerships Helped to Track Life's Journeys
By Kevin B. O'Neill

Give pause for those about to be shut down.
In just a few weeks, one of America's great industrial migrations will be under way: The new 2010 car models will begin rolling into the nation's car dealerships. While this is typically accompanied by a figurative flourish of trumpets, this year's fleet arrives to the funereal drumbeat of dealerships slamming shut. Throughout most of the 20th century, from Bangor to Beverly Hills, car dealerships have served as a kind of storefront for the American dream, with each new model year capturing the nation's simmering aspirations in chrome, steel and tinted glass. They've also been a compass for the American journey, offering the Comet and the Galaxy as we headed to the moon; the Tahoe and the Expedition as we lamented the lost woods; and, more recently, the Prius, Eos and Ion - computer-generated names that speak to our current digital obsessions.
Source: The Philadelphia Enquirer

Editor's Note: Kevin B. O'Neill is an associate professor at Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications.

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Quotable
 
"It's water to thirsty people."

    -- Dave Kelleher, owner of two Chrysler dealerships outside Philadelphia, on the "cash-for-clunkers" program, The Associated Press, July 29

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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