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Top Stories
More Guzzler Funds Flow to Dealers
NADA Answers Questions Raised During 'Clunkers' Webinar
Dealers Say 'Clunker' Rebates Drawing in Buyers
Used-Car Sales Taken for a Ride by Cash-for-Guzzlers
Penske Aims to Complete Saturn Deal by September
McEleney Honored for Work on Behalf of Automobile Dealers
Opinion: The Auto Industry's Comeback
Online Registration for 2010 Convention in Orlando Now Open
Top Stories
More Guzzler Funds Flow to Dealers

Government ensuring dealers won't be left holding credits
WASHINGTON -- Federal refunds to dealers tripled on Tuesday, the third day of the cash-for-guzzlers program, as some dealers expressed concern that the program's $1 billion budget would soon be depleted. The U.S. Transportation Department is taking steps to ensure that if the program budget is exhausted, dealers will not be left holding the bag for credits they paid to customers but did not get reimbursed for, a spokesman said. "We will not, repeat will not, put those dealers at any risk in terms of transactions they may have in the pipeline," agency spokesman Rae Tyson said in an interview [Wednesday]. The U.S. Transportation Department approved $68.9 million in reimbursements as of early Wednesday morning, up from about $17 million the day before, Tyson said. The difference comes to $51.9 million in a 24-hour period, or triple the total refunded since the program began last Friday.
Source: Automotive News

Editor’s Note: The cash-for-clunkers program to stimulate auto sales has been a success. And as a result, it is clear that the $1 billion may run out well before the Nov. 1 expiration date. Accordingly, NADA is currently working with NHTSA to emphasize the importance that every dealer be reimbursed by NHTSA for a valid deal, and that the wind-down to this program is fair and orderly.

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NADA Answers Questions Raised During 'Clunkers' Webinar

More than 2,000 questions were raised during the NADA/NHTSA Webinar on the new "cash-for-clunkers" (CARS) program held July 27. Since then, NADA has consolidated and distilled those questions and added responses. Click here for the updated list of FAQs. For more information on CARS, visit www.nada.org/cashforclunkers and www.cars.gov/index.php/dealersupport. New questions may be submitted to clunkers@nada.org.
Source: NADA Newswire

Editor's Note: 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.

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Dealers Say 'Clunker' Rebates Drawing in Buyers

Government plan to boost sluggish vehicle sales, improve environment
On Friday, a visitor to McEleney Autocenter in Clinton, Iowa, turned in his old, rusty Ford truck and drove away with a brand new Hyundai Accent. Between the rebate he received through the federal government’s new cash-for-clunkers program and a sales incentive from Hyundai, the truck owner bought a car worth $14,000 for just $8,000. He also got a 100,000 mile warranty, said John McEleney, who runs a pair of automobile dealerships in the Clinton area, selling General Motors, Toyota and Hyundai vehicles. Auto dealers around the country are reporting that the first weekend of the government's $1 billion “cash for clunkers” program, officially titled the Cash Allowance Rebate System, or “CARS,” is already boosting vehicle sales, despite some small hiccups in its implementation and concerns that the rise in sales will be short-lived. Carroll Smith, owner of Monument Chevrolet in Houston, Texas, said the cash-for-clunkers program has surpassed his initial expectations. Foot traffic at his dealership doubled on Saturday, he said. “I thought the program’s narrow focus would mean limited participation, but I’ve seen people come in that qualify,” Smith said. “When you throw in a rebate, it creates more interest in people that wouldn’t have thought about buying a new car, so it has brought people into the showroom.” The potential for a deal is drawing car shoppers into showrooms, said John McEleney, who is also chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association. The clunkers program is also making financing for car purchases available to more Americans, McEleney said. Although the program runs until Oct. 31, McEleney expects the $1 billion in government money set aside for the program to run out before then ...
Source: msnbc.com

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Used-Car Sales Taken for a Ride by Cash-for-Guzzlers

Used-vehicle sales are hitching a ride on the cash-for-guzzlers bandwagon, some dealers say. Some consumers -- lured into new-car dealerships by a government check for $3,500 or $4,500 for trading in their car or truck for a new, more fuel-efficient one -- are realizing that their vehicles don't qualify for the government program. Many of those folks are driving away in a used vehicle. "When you get that many people coming into the dealership, even if they don't qualify, a lot are going to buy cars," says Bill Wallace, owner of Wallace Automotive Group in Stuart, Fla.
Source: Automotive News

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Penske Aims to Complete Saturn Deal by September

DETROIT -- Penske Automotive Group plans to complete a deal to buy Saturn from General Motors Co. by the end of September, the chairman of the No. 2 auto dealership chain said on Wednesday. "I think that we're past midfield with GM. There are always issues that you have to deal with, but I think we're progressing well," Roger Penske told analysts on a conference call to discuss quarterly financial results on Wednesday. Penske said the new Saturn, which would be set up as a stand-alone company that could include other investors, would offer contracts to all of the 200 or so dealers that the GM brand currently has. "We do not expect to buy any of the existing retailers," he said. "As you know, Saturn has a world-class dealership network and we hope that most of them will join the new company."
Source: Reuters

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McEleney Honored for Work on Behalf of Automobile Dealers

CLINTON, Iowa — For his work representing the automobile dealers’ industry during one of its toughest periods, John McEleney, of Clinton, was honored by the Iowa Automobile Dealers Association Tuesday at the Clinton Country Club. McEleney, who owns McEleney AutoCenter Inc. in Clinton and McEleney Autoplex Inc. in Iowa City, has served as chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association since February. "He has been at the center of many storms and he’s truly been rock solid,” said Ray Scarpelli, owner of Raymond Chevrolet & Olds, Inc., in Antioch, Ill. [and NADA director from Metro Chicago.]
Source: Clinton Herald (Clinton, Iowa)

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Opinion: The Auto Industry's Comeback

When new car sales hit 15 million in 2012, savvy companies will make a bundle.
The true indicator of health in the automotive market is what is happening at retail. By that measure, the industry has been hurting for nearly a decade. But the prospect of oblivion has a curious way of focusing the mind. The right steps are now being taken. Can the industry bounce back? J.D. Power believes it can and will. If we are right that the market will be at 15 million units by 2012, the companies that have sized their expense structure anticipating a 10 million unit market should do very well. These companies have the potential for a new golden age. Those who don’t will likely wind up on the automotive rust heap.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Editor's Note: O'Neill is president of J.D. Power and Associates.

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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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Quotable
 
"It's important for customers to act because we don't know when the curtain is going to fall on this thing."

   
-- John McEleney, NADA chairman, on the "cash-for-clunkers" program, which some say could run out of money as soon as the end of August, The Wall Street Journal, July 30



"When you throw in a rebate, it creates more interest in people that wouldn’t have thought about buying a new car, so it has brought people into the showroom."

   
-- Carroll Smith, NADA director from Texas, who says the clunkers program has surpassed his initial expectations, msnbc.com, July 29



"He has been at the center of many storms and he's truly been rock solid."

   
-- Ray Scarpelli, NADA director from Metro Chicago, referring to NADA Chairman John McEleney, who was honored by the Iowa Automobile Dealers Association for his work representing the industry during one of its toughest periods, Clinton Herald, 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.

 


Orlando 2010 - Go to Know

Save Instantly on HP Laptops

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


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