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Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top Stories
More Workers to Handle Car Rebates
NADA Hosts 4th 'Clunkers' Webinar on Common Pitfalls of Submitting Claims for Reimbursement
Dealers, Buyers Struggle With Clunker Rebate Rules
Auto Dealers Looking for 'Cash for Clunkers' Reimbursement
GM Said to Add Overtime, More Shifts as 'Clunkers' Boosts Sales
U.S. Carmakers Make Strides in Customer Satisfaction Survey
GM, Koenigsegg Sign Deal on Saab Sale
With Credit Tight, Fed Extends Consumer Loan Plan
Top Stories
More Workers to Handle Car Rebates

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is tripling the number of workers processing Cash for Clunkers transactions as some dealers complain the government has been slow to reimburse them for the car incentives of up to $4,500 per vehicle. An administration official said Monday the Transportation Department hoped to have 1,100 public and private sector workers processing the vouchers by the end of the week, up from a work force of about 350 through the end of last week. The National Automobile Dealers Association applauded the boost in staff reviewing the dealer claims. "Anything that will speed up the dealer reimbursement process is welcome news," NADA spokesman Charles Cyrill said.
Source: The Associated Press

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NADA Hosts 4th 'Clunkers' Webinar on Common Pitfalls of Submitting Claims for Reimbursement

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has asked NADA to hold another Webinar as soon as possible in order to help dealers handle the rejections and submit claims successfully for reimbursement. "Cash for Clunkers, Part Four, Tips on Inputting Successful Transactions into the CARS System" will be held Wednesday, August 19, at 1 p.m. EDT. Part Four will feature Scott Addison of Fitzgerald Auto Mall and Kevin Reilly of Alexandria Hyundai – two dealers who have successfully entered applications and received payments – as well as NHTSA and NADA staff, to explain the leading causes of rejections and how to avoid them.

The speakers will walk participants through successful 'clunkers' transactions and some that are unsuccessful and will answer questions. This will be a practical, nuts-and-bolts session. To register, visit www.nada.org/seminars or call (888) 672-5147 or (800) 252-6232, ext. 2. All participants in Part One, Part Two and/or Part Three of the Webinar series will be automatically sent an e-mail link for Part Four at no additional charge. If this is your first "clunkers" Webinar, the special member rate of $199 ($225 for non-members) includes Wednesday’s live Webinar and the archived Webinars for Part One (July 7), Part Two (July 27) and Part Three (August 3). For more information, visit www.cars.gov/dealersupport or www.nada.org/cashforclunkers.
Source: NADA Newswire

Editor's Note: At the suggestion of NADA to help dealers address submission claims issues for reimbursement, NHTSA has published "Quick Guide to Updating Rejected and Saved Invoices," which is also located on the www.CARS.gov Website.

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Dealers, Buyers Struggle With Clunker Rebate Rules

For a program that everyone seems to like, "cash for clunkers" sure has made a lot of people cranky. The latest trouble for the program has to do with a rule issued by NHTSA last Wednesday stating that new cars bought under the program have to be delivered to consumers immediately. While some dealers still are holding onto new cars pending government approval of each clunker deal, some have stopped participating in the program altogether. And some are delivering new cars immediately, hoping the government will keep its promise to pay the rebates.
Source: The Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, Wis.)

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Auto Dealers Looking for 'Cash for Clunkers' Reimbursement

Most Maryland auto dealers participating in "Cash for Clunkers" have yet to be reimbursed by the federal government, raising concerns about the financial pressure the program is putting on dealers. Dealers essentially front the money for the cash incentive, and the government promises to reimburse them. As of last week, Maryland dealers had submitted claims for $34.4 million in reimbursements. But few of those dollars have made their way back to Maryland. "It's getting to the point where we can't keep sustaining this thing," said Peter Kitzmiller, president of the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association. "We can't afford to keep putting out money."
Source: The Baltimore Sun

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GM Said to Add Overtime, More Shifts as 'Clunkers' Boosts Sales

General Motors Co., benefiting from the Obama administration’s “cash for clunkers” program, is boosting production at car plants in Ohio and Michigan, people familiar with the matter said. GM has added Friday shifts at its car plants in Orion Township, Michigan, where it assembles the Chevrolet Malibu and Pontiac G6 sedans, and Lordstown, Ohio, where GM makes the Pontiac G5 and Chevrolet Cobalt compact cars, Chris Lee, a GM spokesman, said. The automaker will announce more production plans “mid-week,” Lee said.
Source: Bloomberg News

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U.S. Carmakers Make Strides in Customer Satisfaction Survey

DETROIT — The scores for all three Detroit companies rose in the 2009 American Customer Satisfaction Index, which is being released [today]. In terms of improvement, the Ford Motor Company, the only domestic carmaker to avoid bankruptcy and elect not to take emergency government aid, rose 5 percent, second only to Volkswagen. And in the rankings by brand, G.M.’s Cadillac tied for first place with its chief competitor, Lexus, while Buick and Lincoln-Mercury placed third and fourth, meaning that domestic brands accounted for three of the top four.
Source: The New York Times

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GM, Koenigsegg Sign Deal on Saab Sale

General Motors Co. reached a deal [today] to sell its money-losing Swedish subsidiary Saab to Koenigsegg Group AB. The companies signed a stock purchase agreement that would give the tiny Swedish supercar maker 100 percent of Saab's shares, GM Europe said in a statement. The agreement comes after weeks of uncertainty concerning the level of support for the bid from Koenigsegg's backers, after a preliminary deal for the sale was struck in June.
Source: Automotive News

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With Credit Tight, Fed Extends Consumer Loan Plan

WASHINGTON -- With banks limiting the availability of auto, student and other consumer loans, the Federal Reserve said Monday it would extend a program intended to help spur more lending at low rates. But private economists said the program, Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF, has so far provided little benefit for consumers and businesses still struggling to get credit. Many economists said the market for securities backed by consumer and business loans has improved only slightly with TALF. Still, they say the Fed should continue the effort.
Source: The Washington Post

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Quotable
 
"It's getting to the point where we can't keep sustaining this thing. We can't afford to keep putting out money."

   
-- Peter Kitzmiller, president of the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association, on the nearly $34 million in "cash-for-clunkers" reimbursements owed to Maryland dealers, The Baltimore Sun, Aug. 18


"It's ridiculous. Everybody's screaming. Consumers, they're just as frustrated as we are."

   
-- Jim Griffin, an auto dealer with locations in Waukesha, Menomonee Falls and Milwaukee, Wis., on the struggles dealers and consumers are encountering under the "clunkers" program, The Journal Sentinel, Aug. 18

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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