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Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top 10 Stories
Senate to Consider $2 Billion 'Clunkers' Refill
Clunkers Success Boosts Auto Production as Suppliers Ramp Up
GM Has Sold the Most Cars Under 'Cash for Clunkers' Program
Corolla Earns Top-Selling Spot in 'Clunkers' Program
U.S. 'Clunkers' Add 0.5 Percentage Point to GDP
Study Predicts Rise in Global Sales in 2010
One-Hundred House Members Ask Senate to Help Auto Dealers
GM Will Let Dealers Terminate Early Without Penalty
Obama Says Grants Will Spur Innovation, Create Jobs
Caldwell Toyota-Scion Receives Gold LEED Certification
Top 10 Stories
Senate to Consider $2 Billion 'Clunkers' Refill

The Senate is poised to add $2 billion to the popular "cash-for-clunkers" program after lawmakers agreed to vote on the government car incentives and give shoppers until Labor Day to visit their local dealerships and make a deal. Administration officials have estimated the tripling of the $1 billion program could fund an additional 500,000 new car sales, giving automakers a late summer boost after months of ragged sales. The Obama administration has said the program would go broke by Friday without congressional approval of the extension. Wrapping up lengthy talks, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Democrats and Republicans had agreed to vote on the plan [today] while considering a series of potential changes to the bill, which was passed by the House last week. Senate passage would send the legislation to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature and assure consumers there will be no interruption in the program that has led to packed car dealerships nationwide.
Source: The Associated Press

Editor's Note: NADA sent a Legislative Alert to dealers this morning urging them to contact their Senators immediately and ask them to vote "Yes" to H.R. 3435, the $2 billion clunkers bill, and "No" to all amendments. With the House out of session until September, any amendment will force the Department of Transportation to suspend the popular program. Senators can be reached through the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or by visiting www.senate.gov.

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Clunkers Success Boosts Auto Production as Suppliers Ramp Up

Dealers start pressuring factories for orders
DETROIT -- Auto production is ramping up as dealers clamor to refill inventories thinned out by the unexpected success of the federal cash-for-clunkers program. Suppliers say they are being asked for sharp increases in parts production, especially on small and mid-sized cars and other popular models. "It's smoking-hot -- a home run," [GM sales boss Mark] LaNeve said after July sales cut GM's inventory to a 64-day supply Aug. 1 from 82 days July 1. "We effectively don't have anything on the ground."
Source: Automotive News

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GM Has Sold the Most Cars Under 'Cash for Clunkers' Program

General Motors Co., the largest U.S. automaker, has the most sales under the “cash-for-clunkers” program, according to Transportation Department data released [Wednesday]. Detroit-based GM sold 18.7 percent of the cars purchased under the plan. The top three U.S. automakers had 45 percent of the sales so far, with the Focus being one of four vehicles made by U.S. automakers in the top 10 types sold. The average fuel economy of the vehicles purchased is 25.3 miles-per-gallon, a 60 percent improvement over the 15.8 miles- per-gallon average of the trade-ins.
Source: Bloomberg News

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Corolla Earns Top-Selling Spot in 'Clunkers' Program

The Toyota Corolla bumped Ford's Focus out of the top spot as the number-one selling new car under the U.S. government's popular "Cash for Clunkers" program, according to figures released Wednesday ... Transportation officials said that 184,304 trades had occurred as of Wednesday, eating up $775.2 million of the $1 billion originally appropriated. After the Corolla, the top-selling new vehicles are the Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Toyota's Prius and Camry. Of the trade-ins, the government said more than 80 percent are trucks, with Ford's Explorer and F150 pickup topping the list.
Source: The Washington Post

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U.S. 'Clunkers' Add 0.5 Percentage Point to GDP

The U.S. economy is poised to emerge from the worst postwar recession as early as this quarter, with manufacturers boosted by the government’s “cash-for-clunkers” program, according to the two biggest U.S.-owned automakers. “Cash for clunkers came at a very, very good time to jump-start the economy,” Mike DiGiovanni, sales analyst at Detroit-based General Motors Co., said at a teleconference. “If the cash-for-clunkers program is extended by the additional $2 billion that passes the Senate, it could boost third-quarter GDP by 0.5 percentage points."
Source: Bloomberg News

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Study Predicts Rise in Global Sales in 2010

Starting next year, global auto sales are expected to start climbing out of the trough they sank into this year, a new study shows. But the pace of the recovery will vary dramatically from one region to another, according to the forecast from CSM Worldwide. ... the United States and Europe will need five years to recover their recent peaks, according to CSM. "The U.S. market is not going to rebound as it has in the past," when vehicle sales could expand by 4 million or 5 million from the lowest point in the cycle to the highest, said CSM's North American market analyst George Augustaitis.
Source: The Detroit News

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One-Hundred House Members Ask Senate to Help Auto Dealers

One-hundred House members today sent a letter to key Senate leaders encouraging them to retain House-passed language that will protect the economic rights of automobile dealers harmed during bankruptcy proceedings. The bipartisan letter ... was sent to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and top lawmakers on the Senate Appropriations Committee -- Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) The House passed the financial services spending bill, H.R. 3170, which included the congressman’s auto dealer amendment, on July 16 by a vote of 219-208. Section 745 of the bill prohibits the federal government from spending funds to provide for dealership closures and requires that franchise agreements be restored for automakers that are at least partially owned by the government. House members led by Rep. LaTourette are voicing their support for the provision as Congress looks toward conference negotiations with the Senate this fall.
Source: Congressman Steven C. LaTourette

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GM Will Let Dealers Terminate Early Without Penalty

DETROIT -- Dealers who signed the termination agreements were offered a lump-sum payment. In return, the dealers agreed not to order new vehicles and to remain in business until at least Jan. 1. [Wednesday], GM decided to let dealers who want to terminate before Jan. 1 to do so without jeopardizing the payment. [GM spokeswoman Susan Garontakos] said about 50 to 60 dealerships have asked to terminate before Jan. 1 for various reasons. "We won't go out there and ask them or pressure them," [Garontakos said]. "But if they request it, we are working with them on that."
Source: Automotive News

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Obama Says Grants Will Spur Innovation, Create Jobs

President Barack Obama said 48 projects will share in $2.4 billion worth of government grants to spur development of electric vehicles as part his plan to put the U.S. economy on firmer footing. “We’re making a historic commitment to innovation,” Obama told workers at an Indiana manufacturing plant. “These grants will create tens of thousands of jobs all across the nation.” The grants will go to companies in more than 20 states, including $299 million to Johnson Controls Inc. and $249 million to A123 Systems Inc. for battery projects at facilities in Michigan and Oregon.
Source: Bloomberg News

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Caldwell Toyota-Scion Receives Gold LEED Certification


Jack Caldwell (left) and his son, Jay Caldwell, (right) accept an award from Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe for their dealership's gold LEED certification.

CONWAY, Ark. -- Going green has earned a Conway car dealership high honor, and Caldwell Toyota-Scion is a first of its kind. Gov. Mike Beebe presented Jay and Jack Caldwell with the official Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification [on August 5]. It's for the dealership's "green" facility. "Every type of innovation you can imagine that can conserve water, and can conserve energy, has been implemented in new technology in this beautiful, wonderful facility," said Gov. Beebe before handing over the award. Caldwell Toyota-Scion is the first "LEED" retail store of any kind in Arkansas.
Source: KARK-TV 4 News (Little Rock, Ark.)

Editor's Note: Jack Caldwell is NADA's director from Arkansas. The LEED Green Building Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. To receive LEED certification, green buildings are evaluated in six categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation and design process. The LEED system is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council.

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Quotable
 
"It's smoking-hot -- a home run. We effectively don't have anything on the ground."

   
-- GM sales boss Mark LaNeve, after July sales helped by the "cash-for-clunkers" program cut GM's inventory to a 64-day supply Aug. 1 from 82 days July 1, Automotive News, Aug. 5


"Every type of innovation you can imagine that can conserve water, and can conserve energy, has been implemented in new technology in this beautiful, wonderful facility."

    -- Gov. Mike Beebe praising Caldwell Toyota-Scion, owned by NADA Director Jack Caldwell, for becoming the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) retail store of any kind in Arkansas, KARK-TV 4 News, Aug. 5

Video Highlights
 

Chairman McEleney on Success of "Cash for Clunkers" (CNBC)


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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