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Top Stories
NADA Urges Members to Take Survey Today on Status of 'Clunker' Reimbursement
Dealers Await Reimbursements for Clunkers
Rejected Chrysler Dealerships Lose Appeal in Bankruptcy Court
Auto Inventory at 24-Year Low May Spur Profit, Output
Clunkers Sales Hangover May Be Less Severe, Analyst Says
Big Three Get Image Boost
Saab Pursuers Say They Have the Money
Top Stories
NADA Urges Members to Take Survey Today on Status of 'Clunker' Reimbursement

To better determine the current status of the "cash for clunkers" claims review and payment process, NADA has issued its fourth Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) dealer survey to members this morning. The survey closes at midnight tonight, Thursday, Sept. 3. Previous meetings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to review NADA's dealer survey data have resulted in positive improvements for the program, such as:

• NADA's most recent survey, which showed low rates of reimbursement, prompted NHTSA to add thousands of examiners and improve the claims review process.
• NADA's second survey alerted NHTSA that the program risked going over budget, which triggered a wind-down of the program.
• NADA's first survey warned the federal government that the initial $1 billion in CARS funding was being rapidly depleted. Congress responded by passing an additional $2 billion in program funding.

Throughout the clunkers program, NADA has stressed the importance that the federal government meet its obligation for prompt claims review and payment for clunker deals, and that continues to be NADA's priority. Dealer responses to the survey will enable NADA to keep the pressure on the federal government with the latest information on the pace of clunker reimbursements. Click here to take the poll today.
Source: NADA Newswire

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Dealers Await Reimbursements for Clunkers

John Londoff Jr. is waiting for the government to reimburse his Chevrolet dealership in St. Louis, Missouri for 142 of the 153 cars it paid rebates for under the Cash for Clunkers program that ended more than a week ago. But Londoff isn't complaining. The bigger picture, he said Tuesday, is that Johnny Londoff Chevrolet and other dealerships across the country sold almost 700,000 cars and trucks in a bad economy, thanks to the economic stimulus initiative. "People sold through 90 or 120 days of inventory in 40 days," Londoff said. "It gave us a June and July that none of us expected." He acknowledged that the government reimbursements are slow but added, "If you do this story in 30 days, the dealers will say, 'Hey, I got my money.'"

[NADA] said Tuesday that the pace of government reimbursements remained unchanged despite Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's promise last week to bolster staff for processing claims. In a newsletter to its members, the association described the process of reviewing reimbursement claims as flawed. "The association is pushing the Department of Transportation to improve the claims review process, since currently a rejected clunker claim with a corrected error must still go through another complete review with a new examiner," the newsletter said. "Simply adding more personnel will not change the fundamental problems with the review process."
Source: CNN

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Rejected Chrysler Dealerships Lose Appeal in Bankruptcy Court

A New York bankruptcy judge has rejected attempts by 11 rejected Chrysler dealerships to get their lost franchises back under state franchise laws. Judge Arthur Gonzalez ruled in favor of Chrysler Group and Old Carco, the name for the assets Chrysler left behind when it emerged from bankruptcy June 10. The dealerships -- eight from Wisconsin -- had filed lawsuits trying to get Chrysler to honor their dealership agreements under state franchise laws. Gonzalez ruled against the dealerships because “state franchise laws are pre-empted by the Bankruptcy Code,” according to the ruling document issued Monday.
Source: Automotive News

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Auto Inventory at 24-Year Low May Spur Profit, Output

General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC may be able to boost production and cut profit-sapping incentives as unsold vehicles at dealers plunged to the lowest level since at least 1985. Inventory at the end of August stood at 39 days for GM, 35 days for Ford and 28 days for Chrysler, Himanshu Patel, a JP Morgan Securities analyst in New York, wrote in a research note [Wednesday] ... Having fewer cars and trucks available makes it easier for automakers to win sales without offers such as rebates and discount loans. Ford, after reducing inventory all year, said the average price buyers paid for its vehicles rose $2,000 in the second quarter.
Source: Bloomberg

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Clunkers Sales Hangover May Be Less Severe, Analyst Says

The falloff in the sales rate this month after the cash-for-clunkers program may be less than expected, an industry analyst says. About 14 to 22 percent of the 690,000 cash-for-clunkers deals submitted to the government did not appear in July or August light-vehicle sales totals, said Jeff Schuster, an analyst with J.D. Power and Associates. That means about 100,000 to 150,000 cash-for-clunkers units may pad September sales, he said in an interview [Tuesday]. Still, 100,000 vehicles would account for only about 10 percent of the 962,200 vehicles sold in September 2008. Analysts are predicting demand this month will fall to between 9 million and 10.5 million.
Source: Automotive News

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Big Three Get Image Boost

An overwhelming percentage of new-car buyers said they would consider a vehicle made by Detroit's Big Three, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. The nationwide survey found that 81 percent of new-car buyers said they were likely or very likely to consider an American brand; 47 percent said they were likely or very likely to consider an Asian brand; and 46 percent said they were likely or very likely to consider a European brand. "The number really stood out as surprisingly high," said Jeff Bartlett, Consumer Reports deputy editor for online autos. "The domestic brands are poised to succeed if they can deliver; the deck is stacked in their favor."
Source: The Detroit News

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Saab Pursuers Say They Have the Money

Swedish investors aiming to buy automaker Saab from General Motors Co. have funds to complete the purchase, a source close to the deal said. [A] Swedish news agency ... reported Wednesday that the Koenigsegg Group had found new investors and that GM would finance $412 million to complete the deal. "Koenigsegg Group no longer needs additional financing from the Swedish state due to securing financing with the help of GM and new investors," the source said.
Source: United Press International

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Quotable
 
"People sold through 90 or 120 days of inventory in 40 days. It gave us a June and July that none of us expected. If you do this story in 30 days, the dealers will say, 'Hey, I got my money.'"

   
-- John Londoff Jr., a Chevrolet dealer in St. Louis, acknowledges that government reimbursements for clunker deals have been slow, but he isn't complaining, CNN, Sept. 2


"The domestic brands are poised to succeed if they can deliver; the deck is stacked in their favor."

   
-- Jeff Bartlett, Consumer Reports deputy editor for online autos, responding to a nationwide survey that found that 81 percent of new-car buyers said they were likely or very likely to consider an American brand, The Detroit News, Sept. 3

Video Highlights
 

NADA Chairman on Success of 'Clunkers' (Fox Business)


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)



NADA on Floorplan Credit Crisis (NADA-TV)


 Senate Testimony on Floorplan Loans (NADA-TV)
 Banks Turning on American Car Dealers? (WTNH)
 NADA Tackles Industry Crisis (NADA-TV) 
 Demise of Dealerships Leaves Big Dent (NBC)
NADA on the Front Lines  (NADA-TV)


Click here for more video reports.
2010 Convention
 
 

Did you know?

As a bonus for attending the NADA convention, you can attend two workshop sessions on Friday afternoon before the convention starts at no extra charge!

Click here for more money saving ideas or visit www.nada.org/convention and click the $$$ Savings icon. And for airline discounts, check out our airfarewatchdog in the money saving section.

Be in the know at the 2010 NADA Convention & Expo in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 13-15.

 
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