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Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top Stories
NADA Commends Congressional Leaders for Extending 'Cash for Clunkers' Program
Dealers Scramble to Find Fuel-Efficient Cars
Clunker Spinoff: Used Cars Boom
Would You Buy a New Car on eBay? GM Hopes So
GMAC to Offer Lease-Financing Expansion
Chevrolet Volt Said to Get 230 Miles Per Gallon in City Driving
Clunker Computer Glitches Easing for Most Dealers, Officials Say
U.S. Automakers Need to Leave Survival Mode, Look to Future
Opinion: A Stimulus Program That Works
Top Stories
NADA Commends Congressional Leaders for Extending 'Cash for Clunkers' Program

Both the House and Senate leadership were critical to keeping the “Cash for Clunkers” program up and running. And NADA, recognizing that the popular “clunkers” program was almost out of cash, was first to notify government officials and Congress that something needed to be done to keep the program operating. Before leaving Washington for the August recess, both the House and Senate worked at an unusually fast pace to approve an additional $2 billion “clunkers” extension. 

Within hours of learning the program was running out of money, the House voted 316-109 in favor of H.R. 3435 to approve the additional funding. “House leaders, both Democrat and Republican, including Appropriations Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., deserve special recognition for getting the measure quickly through the House,” said David Regan, vice president of legislative affairs.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., worked diligently to clear a packed pre-recess agenda, so there could be a vote on H.R. 3435. Within days, the Senate responded by defeating six amendments which would have ended the program, and instead approved the House’s $2 billion addition. Republican support in the Senate was essential. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., the lead Republican on the bill, helped shore up votes.

With members of Congress now back in their districts for the August recess, NADA’s Legislative Office is recommending that dealers be sure to thank their members who voted for the program’s extension. “The passage of the ‘clunkers’ extension assures that this successful stimulus will continue during one of the most important auto retail sales periods of the year,” Regan added.

To see how your members of Congress voted on the "clunkers" extension, click here for the House and Senate.
Source: NADA Newswire

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Dealers Scramble to Find Fuel-Efficient Cars

DETROIT -- With the "cash for clunkers" program generating more than 245,000 vehicle sales in two weeks, car dealers intensified pressure on auto makers Monday to ramp up production. "I am trying to buy new cars wherever I can find them," said Alan Helfman vice president of River Oaks Chrysler Jeep in Houston. "Any bump in production would be fantastic." While Ford and GM are still weighing whether to boost production, Chrysler is taking a more aggressive approach. The auto maker, which is being managed by Italian auto maker Fiat SpA, notified workers at its Warren, Mich., pickup-truck assembly plant that they will work overtime on three Saturdays starting August 29.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Clunker Spinoff: Used Cars Boom

Here's one unexpected consequence of cash for clunkers: Dealers are selling lots of late-model used cars to customers who couldn't get in on the clunkers deal. Some dealers say they're paying sky-high prices for used cars just to have something for all that traffic to look at. "Late-model used-car prices are on the roof," says Bill Wallace, owner of Wallace Automotive Group in Stuart, Fla. About half the customers who didn't buy a new car under cash for clunkers bought a used vehicle, he says. "Two out of three people don't qualify for the program," Wallace says. "You might as well show them what they can get for their money."
Source: Automotive News

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Would You Buy a New Car on eBay? GM Hopes So

Automaker Launches Sales Program for New Cars on Online Auction Site
After closing hundreds of dealerships, General Motors, the troubled car maker that emerged from bankruptcy last month today opened a virtual car lot, selling cars online through eBay. Bidding for up to 20,000 new GM vehicles started at 12:01 a.m. PT today, a GM spokesman said. About 225 of GM's 250 dealerships in California will participate in the test, which is set to run through Sept. 8. The dealerships will sell new Buick, Chevrolet, GMC and Pontiac vehicles on co-branded Web sites, including gm.ebay.com, Chevrolet.ebay.com and gmc.ebay.com.
Source: ABC News

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GMAC to Offer Lease-Financing Expansion

GMAC Financial Services announced plans to provide lease financing on various 2009 and 2010 models in 45 states and will consider expanding the program to other vehicles. GMAC President Bill Muir said Monday the company doesn't expect leasing "to return to its hey-dey levels across all models, but it remains an attractive financing tool for certain segments" particularly new models and some luxury models.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Chevrolet Volt Said to Get 230 Miles Per Gallon in City Driving

General Motors Co. expects its Volt electric car to earn a fuel-economy rating of at least 230 miles per gallon for city driving, more than four times that of Toyota Motor Corp.’s Prius hybrid. “Many Chevy Volt drivers may be able to be in pure electric mode on a daily basis without having to use any gas,” Chief Executive Officer Fritz Henderson said in a statement today. The automaker is counting on unproven technology to leapfrog the Prius, the world’s best-selling hybrid, which starts at $22,000. GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said in May that the Volt would probably cost about $40,000.
Source: Bloomberg News

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Clunker Computer Glitches Easing for Most Dealers, Officials Say

WASHINGTON -- Dealers who dip into the next $2 billion of the cash-for-clunkers program should have an easier time filing claims and getting paid. Systems improvements made by contractors Oracle Corp. and Citigroup Inc. to cope with the unexpected popularity of the program are speeding dealer filings, said spokesmen for the Transportation Department and National Automobile Dealers Association. About 1,600 reimbursement payments were made to dealers as of late last week, [NADA Spokesman Bailey] Wood said, based on data given to NADA by the government. Another 14,000 rebate applications had been approved but not yet paid.
Source: Automotive News

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U.S. Automakers Need to Leave Survival Mode, Look to Future

Emerging from financial and market chaos not seen for decades, [U.S. automakers] now have to shift from crisis mode to their real business: building and selling vehicles buyers want now, while making multibillion-dollar bets on what they'll want later. And their future-business alchemy must get underway now, even though it's the worst U.S. sales market in modern history. "Even though we probably are past the most acute point in the crisis, the industry still is in a period of massive change," says John Casesa, co-founder of auto consultancy Casesa Shapiro Group and before that, a longtime Wall Street industry analyst.
Source: USA TODAY

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Opinion: A Stimulus Program That Works
By Tim Jackson

When it comes to the federal stimulus package, it's often been hard to point to concrete and immediate benefits. Not so when it comes to the so-called "cash for clunkers" program, officially known as the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS). Coming during the longest downturn in automobile industry history, this was just what the economy needed in order to stem the tide of massive job losses and start turning the corner toward positive results. Cash for clunkers has proven its value - to the economy, to the environment, to Colorado.
Source: Denver Post

Editor's Note: Tim Jackson is president of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association.

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Quotable
 
"GM has emerged from bankruptcy, but that doesn't mean it's ready to fly. It's still taxiing on the runway, getting up to speed, but at least it's out of the hangar."

   
-- Umesh Ramakrishnan, vice chairman at CTPartners, a global executive-search firm, USA TODAY, Aug. 10


"If you had to put it on a bumper sticker for the U.S. auto industry, it would be, 'We must lead again.'"

   
-- Jim Kessler, vice president for policy at Third Way, a not-for-profit Washington think tank, USA TODAY, Aug. 10

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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