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Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top Stories
Dealers Unite on Dealer Rights Proposal
AutoNation Processes More Than 13,000 'Clunker' Claims
Clunkers Swelled Dealer Profits
Opinion: Cash for Clunkers Worked; Now Let's Build on Its Success
NADA Convention: Only 11 Days Left to Save Money on Advance Registration
Volkswagen Targets Mainstream America
Banks Spurn SBA's Floorplan Program; Dealers Still Stuck
GM Chief Talks Tough as Board Is Set to Meet on Opel, New Marketing Push
Obama Fuel Rules May Tilt Field
Top Stories
Dealers Unite on Dealer Rights Proposal

As a result of discussions late last week, all of the dealer groups have united behind a common proposal to restore dealer rights. That includes NADA, ATAE (the organization that represents automotive trade association executives), NAMAD (National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers) and CRDR (the Committee to Restore Dealer Rights).

“We are pleased that all of the dealer groups are now on the same page,” says NADA Chairman John McEleney.

The proposal seeks to accomplish two goals:

1. A transparent process that offers a realistic opportunity for reinstatement.
2. Fair and proper financial compensation for the affected dealers who are not reinstated.

“We are encouraged by the fact that our Congressional supporters are aggressively seeking the meetings necessary to resolve this issue in a way that protects dealer rights with or without legislation,” says NADA’s Vice President of Legislative Affairs David Regan. “This is a positive development; it strengthens our position in Washington going forward,” Regan added.

This is one of the many critical issues facing dealers as the NADA leadership gathers for their annual Washington Legislative Conference next week.
Source: NADA Newswire

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AutoNation Processes More Than 13,000 'Clunker' Claims


 

AutoNation Chairman & CEO Mike Jackson, Chief Financial Officer Mike Short, Vice President of Shared Service Center Maura Berney, and Senior Vice President, Public Policy & Communications, Marc Cannon, joined with 275 members of the AutoNation Team to celebrate the success of processing more than 13,000 "cash for clunkers" claims for a total of $54 million in government rebates.


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Clunkers Swelled Dealer Profits

Retailers got a pile of August green, wrapped in red tape
For all of its hassles, red tape and late payments, cash for clunkers added dramatically to most car dealers' profits in August. Many cleared their lots, often at high-margin sticker prices. Others gave away margins but made up for that with higher volumes. "The bigger picture," says Paul Taylor, [NADA] chief economist, "is a return to health and profitability for dealers. That's been going on all year. The clunker program certainly helped." Cash for clunkers wasn't all gravy. Dealers had to absorb the profit-eating expenses of personnel overtime and added advertising costs -- plus the loss, in some cases, of lucrative used-car sales. Dealership profitability over the next 30 to 60 days will be affected by depleted new- and used-vehicle inventories, says NADA's Taylor. Floorplanning costs will drop, but so will revenues. "It's been rising profits from the used-car side of the business that has helped dealers make their way back to profitability this year," Taylor says. "Right now we estimate that there are about 5 million fewer used vehicles available in the system" compared with normal used-vehicle inventories.
Source: Automotive News

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Opinion: Cash for Clunkers Worked; Now Let's Build on Its Success

The August U.S. light-vehicle sales tally reported last week proves that the government's cash-for-clunkers program was a huge success. Now it's up to automakers and their dealers to be clever marketers and salespeople to maintain and build on the clunkers momentum. Better yet, dealers say cash for clunkers sparked a positive shift in consumer attitudes that will lift new-car sales in the months ahead, especially if economists are right about positive indicators. There were problems. Congress wrote a dense bill with too many restrictions and complicated procedures. The bill designated that the program be administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which proved ill-equipped and understaffed to do an efficient job. Still, cash for clunkers was an overwhelming success for the industry and the economy, proving that Americans just needed a reason to start buying vehicles again.
Source: Automotive News

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NADA Convention: Only 11 Days Left to Save Money on Advance Registration

There are only 11 days remaining to take advantage of the money-saving “early bird” registration rates for the upcoming NADA Convention & Exposition in Orlando, Fla. from Feb. 13-15. Fees will increase after Sept. 18, so don’t delay. Did you know a brand new Executive Track of speakers has been slated for the NADA convention? They will cover topics on the economy, financial markets, organizational change and managing the new generation and business growth. It’s another reason for you to “go to know!” Click here to register today.
Source: NADA Newswire

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Volkswagen Targets Mainstream America

German automaker hopes to broaden appeal while retaining its core base
Volkswagen has ambitious plans to directly challenge Toyota — and a cornerstone of the plan for global expansion is to boost sales in the U.S. by building products with more American flavor. The plan calls for the company to grow from 6.2 million sales worldwide in 2008 to 10 million cars by 2018, with American sales climbing to 800,000 cars a year. To accomplish this, VW hopes to expand the appeal of products outside its current base of European car enthusiasts, attracting more of the shoppers who reflexively buy Toyota Camrys and Honda Accords today. This means making cars that are bigger, but less expensive than today’s models, and expanding the model line into additional segments, such as seven-passenger crossover SUVs, where the company does not participate today, said Stefan Jacoby, president of Volkswagen Group of America. “We believe that the brand has a fantastic foundation to grow into segments where we are not present right now and where we are not competitive right now,” he said.
Source: MSNBC.com

Editor's Note: Stefan Jacoby, president of Volkswagen Group of America, is a keynote speaker at the upcoming NADA convention in Orlando, Fla.

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Banks Spurn SBA's Floorplan Program; Dealers Still Stuck

A federal program meant to guarantee floorplan financing for dealers is off to a rocky start. Even with the guarantee, banks aren't lending. After four months, only three small dealerships have been approved for a total of $4.2 million in floorplan loans, Small Business Administration spokesman Mike Stamler said last week. None of the loans has closed. The Obama administration, seeking to ease credit for struggling dealerships, launched the program in May. But banks have been reluctant to provide floorplanning under the program and fill a need once met by the car companies' retreating captive finance units. "It's clear that after four months, lenders aren't participating," Stamler said. About half of the 19,000 U.S. dealerships qualify as small businesses under the program, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association. Dozens of frustrated dealers have called NADA looking for a lender, said Doug Greenhaus, one the association's regulatory executives. "They say they've contacted SBA regional offices to ask who's doing floorplan financing," he said. "And the typical answer is 'We don't know' or 'no one.'" NADA is conducting a lender survey to recommend possible changes in the SBA program before it ends in September 2010, Greenhaus said.
Source: Automotive News

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GM Chief Talks Tough as Board Is Set to Meet on Opel, New Marketing Push

The board of General Motors Co. [today] kicks off a two-day meeting that is expected to determine the fate of the auto maker's ailing Opel unit in Germany. The meeting also is likely to solidify a major shift in the balance of power at GM. For years, GM management ran the company with little interference from the board. But after the company's reorganization in bankruptcy, and the emergence of the U.S. government as GM's largest shareholder, its new board under Chairman Edward E. Whitacre Jr. has become the dominant power.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Obama Fuel Rules May Tilt Field

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration's long-awaited proposed regulation setting fuel efficiency standards at 35.5 miles per gallon by the 2016 model year will be rolled out as early as this week. But the rules may give some automakers a competitive advantage. The regulation is expected to mirror a California provision that gives less-stringent tailpipe emissions requirements to automakers with annual U.S. sales of no more than 400,000 vehicles, mainly German and Asian manufacturers.
Source: The Detroit News

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Quotable
 
"We are pleased that all of the dealer groups are now on the same page."

   
-- NADA Chairman John McEleney, referring to a new consensus among groups fighting to restore dealer rights, NADA Newswire, Sept. 8



"August will be the best new-car profit results I've ever had as a car dealer. Ever."

    -- Earl Stewart, owner of Earl Stewart Toyota in North Palm Beach, Fla., who sold 462 new cars in August, beating his all-time best sales month in 2007. The 286 deals his single store made under the clunker program made it possible, Automotive News, Sept. 7


"We believe that the brand has a fantastic foundation to grow into segments where we are not present right now and where we are not competitive right now."

   
-- Stefan Jacoby, president of Volkswagen Group of America, on the automaker's ambitious plans to directly challenge Toyota and Honda for U.S. auto sales, MSNBC.com, Sept. 4.  Jacoby is a keynote speaker at the upcoming NADA convention in Orlando, Fla.

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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