For optimal viewing through your web browser or PDA, click here.

SPONSORED BY
Click Here
NADA.org
Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
nada.orgAdvocacyAffiliates | Convention | Jobs | Programs | Publications | Services | Training
Top Stories
Dealers Frustrated by Lack of 'Clunkers' Payments
No Cash Flow for Clunkers
Clunkers Program Clears Out Car Lots
Lawmakers Seek 'Clunker' Vouchers for Out-of-Stock Cars
G.M. Hopes New Lineup Brings Back Excitement
Honda Backs Hydrogen as U.S. Favors Battery Vehicles
Text Messaging: Regulations for Dealer Communications with Customers
Opinion: Thank Goodness for Dealer Optimism
Top Stories
Dealers Frustrated by Lack of 'Clunkers' Payments

NADA is working with DOT to fix dealer reimbursement issues
Auto dealers from around the country are reporting that reimbursement issues continue to plague the popular “Cash for Clunkers” program.

“While problems with application submissions have been significantly reduced, getting approval for dealer reimbursement requests is still facing significant hurdles,” says John Lyboldt, NADA vice president for Dealer Operations. “NADA is currently working with transportation department officials to streamline the process and help dealers get paid in a timely fashion.”

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has reported that it’s individually reviewing every “clunkers” application with a staff of 225 people. NADA has learned that there are still a significant number of “clunkers” transactions that have yet to be approved.

Lyboldt added that the burdensome amount of documentation required for submission is causing many applications to be rejected.

“Resubmitted applications are making a bad situation worse by adding to the backlog,” Lyboldt added. “It is critical that before submitting the paperwork to the DOT that every dealer double and triple check that every ‘i’ is dotted and every ‘t’ is crossed,” Lyboldt said.
Source: NADA Newswire

[back to top]

No Cash Flow for Clunkers

Dealers caught in middle as paperwork slows rebates
Car buyers and dealers say they’re hitting big potholes trying to use the government’s heavily publicized “cash for clunkers” rebate program. “‘Cash for clunkers’ is probably one of the most successful mismanaged programs ever,” said car baron Ernie Boch Jr., who’s sold some 400 vehicles under the initiative, but is awaiting $1.5 million in government reimbursements. “It’s a win/win/win for customers, dealers and the environment,” New England car czar Herb Chambers said. Government computers, into which dealers must input data, have also repeatedly crashed, while few car sellers have gotten reimbursed for rebates so far. “It’s just been a ‘Keystone Kops’ rollout,” said Robert O’Koniewski of the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association. “Dealers are very excited to get customers through the door and get metal moving off of their lots, but the bureaucratic implementation has left a lot to be desired.”
Source: Boston Herald

[back to top]

Clunkers Program Clears Out Car Lots

Surge in demand is welcome change for automakers that had idled plants
Car buyers flocking to trade in their clunkers have stripped dealerships of inventory over the past two weeks, giving automakers a signal they have eagerly awaited: It's time to make more cars. Customers who have heard accounts of overflowing showrooms have been frustrated to find few cars when they show up ready to buy, but auto industry experts said this is exactly what automakers need. Before the government's Cash for Clunker program sparked demand, Chrysler dealers had piled up unsustainable inventories to last roughly 100 to 120 days... Now ... the supplies average 45 to 60 days in large part because of the clunker program. About 18 months ago, General Motors inventory was running at about 1 million... Now after the company cut back production and furloughed workers at some plants, inventory is hitting historically low levels at 466,000 vehicles. GM plans to increase production by 35 percent in the third quarter. Hyundai said it has gone to a five-day workweek from four ... to keep up with a surge in orders for its smaller, fuel-efficient models. Honda ... was already increasing production...
Source: The Washington Post

[back to top]

Lawmakers Seek 'Clunker' Vouchers for Out-of-Stock Cars

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is reviewing a congressional request to allow consumers to use "cash for clunkers" vouchers toward future vehicle purchases as a way to cope with dwindling supplies of many popular, fuel-efficient clunker replacements. Customers trading in older cars under the program are getting vouchers worth $3,500 or $4,500, depending on the fuel-economy standards of the trade-in, to buy a new car. But if a buyer wants a particular model or color that isn't in stock, the voucher can't be used. Under the change requested by Reps. Candice Miller and Fred Upton, Michigan Republicans, the voucher could be redeemed even if the dealer has to order the new car from the manufacturer. In that case, the trade-in transaction wouldn't be completed until the new car arrives. The lawmakers requested the change amid concern that lean stocks of cars and trucks could slow sales and damp the program's impact. The Department of Transportation is reviewing the proposal... Through early Tuesday, dealers had requested reimbursement for 292,447 vouchers issued under the clunkers program totaling about $1.23 billion.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

[back to top]

G.M. Hopes New Lineup Brings Back Excitement

WARREN, Mich. — General Motors is focusing on smaller cars and more fuel-efficient vehicles to lure back consumers who had given up on the struggling auto giant. On Tuesday, G.M. showed off a lineup that was decidedly leaner and greener than what the company offered in the months leading to its bankruptcy filing on June 1. And just as G.M. has shed jobs, plants and operations, the company has plans to shrink its portfolio of gas-guzzling trucks and big cars in favor of smaller vehicles. But while the Obama administration helped clean up G.M.’s balance sheet, the company’s management team is faced with the tall task of bringing some excitement back to dealer showrooms. The company’s core brands — Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC — will be broadened to appeal to younger buyers who value fuel economy and technology more than size and horsepower. G.M.’s strategy is similar to that employed by its largest domestic rival, the Ford Motor Company — the only American automaker that has not needed federal money to survive. Ford is introducing a series of passenger cars that it hopes will ease its long dependence on pickup trucks and S.U.V.’s for profits.
Source: The New York Times

[back to top]

Honda Backs Hydrogen as U.S. Favors Battery Vehicles

Honda Motor Co. is backing hydrogen power for the cars of the future, waving aside a decision by the Obama administration to drop the so-called fuel-cell technology in favor of battery-run vehicles. “Fuel-cell cars will become necessary,” said Takashi Moriya, head of Tokyo-based Honda’s group developing the technology. “We’re positioning it as the ultimate zero-emission car.” Honda, the only carmaker to lease hydrogen-powered autos to individuals, opened a production line last year ... to make 200 fuel-cell FCX Clarity sedans, the model being leased in a trial in Los Angeles. The Obama administration sought to eliminate hydrogen-station funding and instead lend $1.6 billion to Nissan Motor Co. and $465 million to Tesla Motors Inc. to make electric cars, and give $2.4 billion in grants to lithium-ion battery makers. Toyota Motor Corp., Daimler AG, General Motors Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co. say hydrogen, the universe’s most abundant element, is among the few options to replace oil as a low-carbon transportation fuel.
Source: Bloomberg

[back to top]

Text Messaging: Regulations for Dealer Communications with Customers

Communications with prospective customers or others via “text messaging” may be subject to a number of federal regulations. A text message may be deemed to be a phone call, an email or perhaps even both under federal law. At the request of NADA's IT Committee, NADA Legal Affairs has prepared a summary of the legal issues that dealers should consider before "texting."  Click here for the summary.
Source: NADA Newswire

[back to top]

Opinion: Thank Goodness for Dealer Optimism
By Keith Crain

It was a while ago that the editor of Automotive News was asked what the headline would be if the world were going to end the next day. Without a pause, he suggested, "World to end, dealers optimistic." I am always cheered by the optimism of automobile dealers. When they were facing a long spell of less-than-great business, there always seemed to be someone who could see a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, once it had stopped raining. Well, I'm not sure it has stopped raining, but I am pleased to note that many car dealers see the cash-for-clunkers program as the beginning of an automotive revival. It is the only part of the economic stimulus program that has been received enthusiastically by the American people. It isn't perfect, but it's better than nothing. In any event, let's hope that the cash-for-clunkers incentive will be the engine that pulls the U.S. economy out of the malaise of the past year.
Source: Automotive News

Editor's Note: Keith Crain is publisher and editorial director of Automotive News.

[back to top]

 
Quotable
 
"We're selling cars as fast as they can come."

   
-- Bill Oakes, a Prius salesman at Koons Toyota in Vienna, Va., referring the popular "cash for clunkers" program, The Washington Post, Aug. 12


"Cash for clunkers is probably one of the most successful mismanaged programs ever."

   
-- Ernie Boch Jr., president of Boch Automotive in Norwood, Mass., who's sold 400 vehicles under the initiative, but is awaiting $1.5 million in government reimbursements, Boston Herald, Aug. 12


"The inventories of some automakers and dealers have been so depleted that the program's extension may be limited in its effectiveness."

   
-- U.S. Reps. Candice Miller and Fred Upton, in a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood urging that "clunker" rules be modified to allow consumers to purchase the vehicle they want even if it is not presently on the dealer's lot, Reuters, Aug. 12

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.

 
Click Here



Orlando 2010 - Go to Know

Save Instantly on HP Laptops

Save up to 44% on Lenovo PCs

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


Search Back Issues | Unsubscribe | Subscribe | Manage your subscription | email us
NADA For more information on NADA, visit www.nada.org or contact NADA, 8400 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102. This email may contain an advertisement of NADA products and services. Any opinions or statements contained herein do not necessarily reflect the views of NADA. Factual errors are the responsibility of the listed publication. If you are a franchised new-car or -truck dealer and would like to become a member of NADA, please visit the Join NADA section of www.nada.org. Questions or comments concerning NADA Headlines content may be directed to media@nada.org.