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Top Stories
'Cash for Clunkers' Program Still Powering Sales
As 'Cash for Clunkers' Ramps Up, New Cars Sell Out
Looking Up At Last?
Clunkers Program Could Drive Used Car Prices Up
Auto Plan Probably Boosted Retail Sales: U.S. Economy Preview
Toyota to Raise Annual Output Target by 3%, Report Says
Ex-Chrysler Dealers Burned on Parts
G.M. to Try Selling New Cars on eBay
GM Eyes 2010 Stock Offering
Top Stories
'Cash for Clunkers' Program Still Powering Sales

Car buyers flock to local dealerships to get the rebate, but traffic slows after last week's frenzy.
Car buyers throttled back from the mad dash last week, but sales were still brisk over the weekend as the "cash for clunkers" program continued to attract crowds to Southern California dealerships. Although car sales didn't double like the weekend before, they were still 25% to 50% higher than usual at many dealers in Los Angeles County -- a surge attributed to the clunkers rebate. "The program has been fantastic for us," said Sammy Kobeissi, sales manager at Power Ford in Valencia. "It's not quite at last week's level, but it's still carrying over. There are a lot of people coming in." So far, more than 220,000 vehicles have been sold through the program, giving a welcome boost to the struggling auto industry.
Source: The Los Angeles Times

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As 'Cash for Clunkers' Ramps Up, New Cars Sell Out

The nation's car dealers have a new worry: they're running out of vehicles. As the "cash-for-clunkers" program reaches its next chapter, and consumers pour into showrooms, some dealers say their stock of new cars — especially for fuel-efficient smaller models — is waning. At Larry Miller Honda in Boise, Idaho, about two-thirds of the car lot is empty. The dealership is nearly out of 2009 models — something that usually doesn't happen until the late fall. However, industry officials say shoppers now searching for deals may need to be more flexible, given the dwindling number of cars on many lots. Customers hoping for a blue vehicle, for instance, may need to settle for a white one instead, said John McEleney, the chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association. "People are having to maybe make a second or third choice," he said. The association's chief economist, Paul Taylor, said in a statement Friday that "the overall inventory of passenger cars and light trucks can support another month of robust new vehicle sales" as automakers ramp up production.
Source: The Associated Press

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Looking Up At Last?

Don't celebrate yet, but the clunker frenzy just magnified a bunch of good signs for a re-sized auto industry
Cash-for-clunker deals lit up vehicle sales like gasoline thrown on a sputtering fire — and the showroom action wasn't the only sign that the economy is struggling toward recovery. The collapse of the gross domestic product has stopped, financial markets are rallying and even the unemployment rate fell a tad in July. Despite the bumps in the early stages of recovery, dealers, automakers and suppliers have a much better set of problems today, says Rebecca Lindland, IHS Global Insight's top automotive analyst. "This is the real deal," she says. "It's not too good to be true. It is true."
Source: Automotive News

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Clunkers Program Could Drive Used Car Prices Up

Hundreds of thousands of "clunkers" headed for scrappers may cause already rising prices for used cars to head even higher, dealers and market analysts warn. Used car prices have risen about 5% on average in the last year, says Tom Webb, economist for Manheim Consulting, a branch of a major used car wholesale operation. Now, the clunker program could cause prices to rise 5% to 10% more, especially for vehicles worth $4,500 or less, says Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst for Kelley Blue Book.
Source: USA TODAY

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Auto Plan Probably Boosted Retail Sales: U.S. Economy Preview

The Obama administration’s cash-for-clunkers plan probably gave auto dealers a boost in July, while other retailers struggled to lure customers constrained by ongoing job losses, economists said before reports this week. “This is a cash-for-clunkers story, but consumers are still not looking great,” said Carl Riccadonna, an economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York. Industry data showed sales of cars and light trucks rose to an 11.2 million annual unit pace in July, the highest since September ... Other retailers haven’t had as much success. The projected increase in non-auto retail sales would be the smallest in three months.
Source: Bloomberg News

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Toyota to Raise Annual Output Target by 3%, Report Says

TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. plans to raise its global output target for the fiscal year ending in March 2010 by three percent to 6.5 million units, the Yomiuri newspaper said, in the latest sign of a nascent recovery in auto demand. The Yomiuri report comes five days after Toyota, the world's largest automaker, trimmed its annual operating loss outlook by 100 billion yen ($1 billion) and edged up its group-based global vehicle sales forecast for the current financial year by 1.5 percent to 6.6 million units.
Source: Reuters

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Ex-Chrysler Dealers Burned on Parts

Many report big losses, trouble finding buyers
Many of Chrysler Group's rejected dealers say they are losing money trying to sell large inventories of unused parts and tools. When the dealers are able to find buyers, they report getting 50 to 70 percent of what they paid for the items. The rejected dealers say Chrysler has been little help. The automaker says it has lined up buyers for 86 percent of the parts being sold by the 590 dealerships that signed up for redistribution. But some dealers say the matchmaking has been of little use.
Source: Automotive News

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G.M. to Try Selling New Cars on eBay

General Motors and eBay are expected to announce Monday that hundreds of G.M.’s California dealers will let consumers haggle over the prices of new cars and trucks through the online marketplace. About 225 of California’s 250 G.M. dealers are set to take part in the program, which will begin on Tuesday. They will be selling Buick, Chevrolet, GMC and Pontiac vehicles on eBay’s online auto marketplace, eBay Motors.
Source: The Associated Press

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GM Eyes 2010 Stock Offering

Salaried retirement decision day arrives
General Motors Co., in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, said it plans to register 3.5 billion shares of stock to prepare for a public offering sometime next year. Proceeds from the sale of stock would be used to repay at least part of what it owes the U.S. government and other stakeholders. GM said in the filing that the $50 billion it received from the U.S. government is adequate for the short term, but its medium- and long-term financial health depends on its plan to continue cutting expenses as well as car and truck sales. The company has predicted a gradual recovery after the first quarter of next year.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Quotable
 
"The program has been fantastic for us. It's not quite at last week's level, but it's still carrying over. There are a lot of people coming in."

    -- Sammy Kobeissi, sales manager at Power Ford in Valencia, Calif., on the "cash-for-clunkers" program, which continues to draw crowds, The Los Angeles Times, Aug. 10


"We're at the bottom of a very deep hole. We've stopped falling, but it'll take a long time to climb back out of the hole."

   
-- George Magliano, director of North American automotive research for IHS Global Insight, Automotive News, Aug. 10


"The overall inventory of passenger cars and light trucks can support another month of robust new vehicle sales."

   
-- NADA Chief Economist Paul Taylor, The Associated Press, Aug. 8

Video Highlights
 

Keep or Scrap Cash for Clunkers? 
(CNBC)


Dealers, Detroit Look for Boost From 'Clunkers' (PBS)



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)



Cutting Dealers a Mistake (Fox Business)



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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