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Friday, Aug. 14, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top Stories
'Clunkers' Plan Needs a Tuneup
Some Auto Dealers Still Await Reimbursement from Uncle Sam Despite Refueled Clunkers
Dealers Can Reserve Vehicles to Cover Clunker Trade-Ins
'Cash for Clunkers' Exhausts Car Lots
Trade-In Program Drives Ford to Boost Production
Text Messaging: Regulations for Dealer Communications with Customers
Top Stories
'Clunkers' Plan Needs a Tuneup

The Department of Transportation ... indicated to auto dealers Thursday that it would add staff to address the backlog of unpaid applications for clunker vouchers. But dealers say payments have been slow to arrive. "We've got 155 clunkers on the ground and no money in the bank," says Earl Stewart, owner of the Earl Stewart Toyota dealership in North Palm Beach, Fla. "We're selling ourselves into a very negative cash-flow situation." The Transportation Department blames delays in part to dealers submitting incomplete applications. In many instances, the official said, dealers haven't submitted documentation that the vehicle was insured continuously for a year, as required. In others, dealers failed to write "Junk Automobile" on the title of the trade-in, a step necessary to prevent fraud.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Editor's Note: NADA’s number one priority is to ensure that dealers are paid for pending clunker deals. NADA recognizes that the program must, of course, be rigorous enough to prevent fraud, but also has to be flexible enough that deals can be processed and dealers are reimbursed.

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Some Auto Dealers Still Await Reimbursement from Uncle Sam Despite Refueled Clunkers

Auto dealers across the country are reporting that reimbursement issues continue to stall the wildly popular incentives program.
Although the cash for clunkers program has been refueled with a $2 billion cash injection by Congress, some auto dealers' bank accounts are still running on fumes, waiting to get reimbursed by the government. "While problems with application submissions for the clunkers program have been significantly reduced, getting approval for dealer reimbursement requests is still facing significant hurdles," John Lyboldt, vice president for dealer operations for the National Automobile Dealers Association, said in a written statement Thursday. Lyboldt said 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 said. "It is critical that before submitting the paperwork to NHTSA that every dealer double and triple check that every 'i' is dotted and every 't' is crossed."
Source: Fox News

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Dealers Can Reserve Vehicles to Cover Clunker Trade-Ins

Car shoppers who are running into shortages of certain vehicles at dealerships will still be able to use the cash-for-clunkers program, the Transportation Department said Thursday. The department said that consumers who want to buy a vehicle not available on a dealer lot would be eligible if they ordered it from the manufacturer through the dealer. Dealers can now reserve a vehicle from an automaker by using a vehicle identification number and submitting it with the paperwork to the government. “Allowing consumers to order vehicles and qualify for the rebate will expand buyers’ choices and keep production lines running,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. He said the department was “trying to make sure that everyone who wants to can participate in this wildly successful program.”
Source: The New York Times

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'Cash for Clunkers' Exhausts Car Lots

Plan to let buyers reserve vehicles pleases dealerships as inventory sags
Here's a problem Houston auto dealers haven't had in awhile: They can't keep enough new cars in stock. The federal Cash for Clunkers program is so popular that many of them haven't been able to meet the demand. Dale Early, owner of Deerbrook Forest Chrysler Jeep, said his inventory is the lowest it has been since he opened in 1987. For Early, one of the best things about the program is that “it's gotten people back into the marketplace that normally wouldn't have been.” One of his customers, for example, came for a new Chrysler Sebring convertible. She didn't qualify for the clunker rebate, “but we gave it to her anyway,” Early said.
Source: Houston Chronicle

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Trade-In Program Drives Ford to Boost Production

Focus, Escape output to rise in quarter
Ford Motor Co., benefiting from the Obama administration's cash-for-clunkers program, is boosting production of its Ford Focus compact car and its Ford Escape small crossover so it can replenish dealership inventory. On Thursday, Ford said it plans to build 495,000 cars and trucks during the July-September period. That's 35,000, or 18%, more than the same period last year and 10,000 more than Ford was planning for in June. Ford also said it plans to build 570,000 cars and trucks during the last three months of this year, or 141,000 more than last year. "We had the right product at the right time," Ford sales analyst George Pipas said during a media event Thursday. Both the Focus and Escape are among the 10 most-popular vehicles purchased under the cash-for-clunkers program.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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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

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Quotable
 
"While problems with application submissions for the clunkers program have been significantly reduced, getting approval for dealer reimbursement requests is still facing significant hurdles."

    -- John Lyboldt, NADA vice president for dealer operations, adding that NADA is currently working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to streamline the process and help dealers get paid in a timely manner, Fox News, Aug. 13


"We've got 155 clunkers on the ground and no money in the bank. We're selling ourselves into a very negative cash-flow situation."

    -- Earl Stewart, owner of the Earl Stewart Toyota dealership in North Palm Beach, Fla., The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 14


"We had the right product at the right time."

    -- Ford sales analyst George Pipas, speaking at a media event Thursday on the Focus and Escape, which are among the 10 most-popular vehicles purchased under the cash-for-clunkers program, Detroit Free Press, Aug. 14

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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