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Top Stories
Opinion: Carmakers Putting Out 'Disingenuous' Figures on Dealer Closings
Chrysler Sends Letters to 789 Rejected Stores, In First of Arbitration Steps
Democrats Say Final Health-Care Bill Will Look Like Senate's
JD Power Sees US Auto Sales Gain in December
Car Dealers Want to Keep Buyers of Dying Brands
NADA Convention
NADA University Set to Launch at Convention in February
NADA Offers Dealers $200 Voucher as an Extra Incentive for Attending Convention
NADA Enhances Convention Experience Through Social Media
Year-End Reminders
COBRA Benefits Expanded
Dealer Notification for Body Shop Air Emissions Rule Due Jan. 11, EPA Says
Don't Forget Recent Changes to the Net Operating Loss Carryback Rules
Tax Break Reminder: Only Days Left to Take Advantage of New Vehicle Sales Tax Deduction
FTC Issues New 'Optional' Model Privacy Notice
Top Stories
Opinion: Carmakers Putting Out 'Disingenuous' Figures on Dealer Closings

Editor's note: The following letter to the editor of The Washington Post by David Hyatt, NADA vice president of public affairs, was published Dec. 25 in response to the Dec. 13 editorial, "A leak in the transmission," which criticized congressional efforts to thwart auto dealership closings.

Regarding the Dec. 13 editorial "A leak in the transmission," which criticized congressional efforts to thwart auto dealership closings: The editorial cited manufacturers' estimates of $2 million in savings per shuttered dealership, but these estimates have been discredited. In a Nov. 9 editorial, Automotive News, the leading industry trade publication, noted that the estimates were based on "variable costs that depend on the number of vehicles sold -- not the number of dealerships selling vehicles. Or, in many cases, they are expenses for which the dealer ultimately is billed. To claim otherwise is disingenuous and the worst kind of new math." Congress intervened in this issue for two main reasons: to prevent more job losses in lawmakers' communities and to oversee the spending of billions of federal dollars. The dealer rights provision, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama, provides for a fair and open arbitration process for dealers whose dealerships were closed or are in the process of being closed.
Source: The Washington Post

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Chrysler Sends Letters to 789 Rejected Stores, In First of Arbitration Steps

DETROIT -- The dealers have until Jan. 25 to notify Chrysler they intend to seek arbitration, the letter said, reiterating terms of a measure signed into law on Dec. 16. The letter does not contain Chrysler's list of criteria for rejection. Chrysler, as required by the law, will outline those terms in individual letters to be sent before Jan. 16, spokeswoman Kathy Graham said. Spokesman Greg Martin said GM is working on its “administrative next step. We plan to communicate with dealers soon.” The law requires that arbitration must be wrapped up in six months.
Source: Automotive News

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Democrats Say Final Health-Care Bill Will Look Like Senate's

Any health-care legislation that reaches President Barack Obama’s desk will be close to the version the Senate passed last week, top Democrats said yesterday. The Senate garnered the minimum 60 votes needed to overcome Republican objections and pass its measure overhauling health care, and any major changes would jeopardize final approval, said Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, chairman of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. “If we are going to have a final law, it will look a lot more like the Senate version than the House version,” Menendez said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I’m sure there’ll be some compromises, but at the end of the day, I would expect that it will look very much like the Senate version.” Both versions would require Americans to get insurance or pay a penalty, offer expanded government aid and online purchasing exchanges to help buy policies and impose new rules on insurers, requiring them to accept customers regardless of pre-existing conditions. Both measures would reduce the federal deficit, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Source: Bloomberg

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JD Power Sees US Auto Sales Gain in December

DETROIT -- Auto forecasting firm J.D. Power and Associates on Wednesday said it expected U.S. December vehicle sales to rise to 11.2 million units on an annualized basis, up 9 percent from a year earlier. J.D. Power said it expected December sales of cars and light trucks in the United States to reach 1,029,600 units, up 7 percent from a year earlier before adjusting for the number of sales days in the month. "The market is continuing to improve, with the relative strength of December sales supporting a year-end rally," Gary Dilts, senior vice president at J.D. Power said in a statement.
Source: Reuters

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Car Dealers Want to Keep Buyers of Dying Brands

DETROIT -- This Christmas and New Year, the auto industry is worried about the orphans. There are about 3 million of them: Customers who either lost their dealer because of closings in 2009 or whose current car brand is going out of business. And it's pitting carmakers and car dealers against one another as they fight for who'll win that business. "The challenge for us is to grab those customers by the hand and make sure they know where to go," said Susan Docherty, GM's vice president of U.S. sales, in a recent conference call.
Source: USA TODAY

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NADA Convention
NADA University Set to Launch at Convention in February

Initiative Includes Four 'Automotive Centers of Excellence' Delivered by Leading Interactive Training Systems Provider LightSpeed VT
McLEAN, Va. -- In February 2010, NADA and ATD will launch NADA University – an unprecedented online education and cutting-edge technology resource for NADA’s dealer members to enhance business performance in a complex marketplace. The launch, which will include substantial training and services at no charge for dealer members, will take place at NADA’s annual convention in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 13-15. Demos and member access credentials will be provided onsite at the NADA University booth (#1801) and the NADA University studio. NADA and ATD have teamed up with LightSpeed VT, a global leader in interactive-based training systems focused on the auto industry, to deliver NADA University to users in a convenient one-source format, combining both online and classroom-based solutions.

Leveraging the expert resources of NADA, ATD and LightSpeed VT, NADA University encompasses four “automotive centers of excellence” that complement each other, including:

  • NADA/ATD Academy – To build leadership skills and improve critical decision-making through executive education using such resources as the NADA and ATD Dealer successor, general management and large dealer group academies, and the highly acclaimed Babson College Executive Education program;
  • Learning Hub – To train your staff in key business functions using a wide selection of online and instructor-led courses, Webinars and workshops focused on business management, legal compliance, customer relations, human resources, and fixed and variable operations;
  • 20 Group – To improve business performance and profitability through access to 20 Group expert consultants, Lifeline to Profits in-dealership consulting and workshops, and the best-in-class online make-specific financial composites with programs tailored for executives, managers, and sales and service staffs;
  • Resource Toolbox – Online, on-demand, and the only place to access valuable member resources such as Driven dealer management guides on the latest developments, regulations, trends and other essential information in the auto industry affecting key business decisions and Market Insight monthly Webinars with the latest data, analysis, and industry-expert panel discussions. Get breaking news, NADA product support, and other custom services -- all to help drive your sales, performance and profits.
    Source: NADA Newswire

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NADA Offers Dealers $200 Voucher as an Extra Incentive for Attending Convention

As an added incentive to attend NADA's upcoming Convention & Expo, all dealers and their managers will receive a $200 voucher when they check in at the convention in Orlando. The $200 voucher can be used to purchase any product or service from any exhibitor on the expo floor during the three-day convention, February 13-15, 2010. "During these challenging times, this is our way of showing our support for dealers around the country and the future of their businesses," says Steve Pitt, NADA vice president of conventions and expositions.
Source: NADA Newswire

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NADA Enhances Convention Experience Through Social Media

Follow the latest convention developments and interact with attendees, workshop presenters and exhibitors on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
To enhance the experience for attendees, NADA—for the first time—has launched a social media campaign using the popular LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube platforms. “By using these social media sites, dealers and exhibitors can get a head start on what to expect at the convention,” says Steve Pitt, NADA vice president of conventions and expositions. “Attendees will receive breaking news announcements. Dealers and their managers will also be able to interact online with instructors before workshops begin and get a jump-start on reviewing exhibitor products and services that can improve their businesses.” To follow convention developments on the social media sites, visit www.nada.org/convention and click on the icons.
Source: NADA Newswire

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Year-End Reminders
COBRA Benefits Expanded

President Barack Obama on Monday signed a measure to extend a federal subsidy for continued health-insurance coverage for involuntarily terminated workers under employer group plans. The law extends the subsidy an additional six months for a total of 15 months, up from the current nine. The subsidy applies only to workers let go by employers. Under COBRA, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, severed workers can stay on their employer's group health plan for up to 18 months, or longer in some circumstances, provided they pay the full premium plus an administrative fee. With the subsidy, terminated workers pay 35% of the premium. Eligibility for the subsidy had been due to expire on Dec. 31 but has been extended to workers laid off between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28, 2010, in addition to those let go between Sept. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2009, under the original program. The bill requires employers to notify current and future COBRA participants of the extended 15-month eligibility. For questions about COBRA, call the U.S. Department of Labor at (866) 444-3272 or visit www.dol.gov/cobra.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Editor’s note: Dealers with former employees and certain beneficiaries eligible for continuing health insurance coverage may need to issue a new COBRA notice indicating that they may be eligible for a 65 percent reduction in premiums and that the subsidy was extended. Individuals who reached the end of the reduced premium period before the legislation extended it to 15 months will have additional time to pay the reduced premiums related to the extension. To continue their coverage, they must pay the 35% of premium costs by the later date of Feb. 19, 2010, or 30 days after notice of the extension is provided by their plan administrator. Click here for the NADA COBRA fact sheet.

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Dealer Notification for Body Shop Air Emissions Rule Due Jan. 11, EPA Says

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule governing hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) requires existing body shops to file an Initial Notification Form by Jan. 11, 2010. Full compliance, due by Jan. 11, 2011, requires that dealership body shops:

1.  Paint only inside filtered, ventilated paint booths or prep stations.
2.  Use high transfer efficiency application equipment.
3.  Clean guns with non-hazardous solvents, in gun-enclosed washers, or using a method that does not involve atomized spraying to the open air. 
4.  Have painters trained and certified every five years.
5.  Keep basic records demonstrating compliance.

The rule also:
1.  Allows a shop to petition for an exemption if it does not spray coatings with any of the above-listed HAPs of concern.  
2.  Excludes the spraying of coatings from hand-held guns with paint cups of 3.0 fluid ounces or less.

Also, paint stripping involving methylene chloride (MeCl) is significantly regulated for shops using more than one ton of MeCl per year. Where possible, body shops should avoid the use of strippers containing MeCl.

For more information, see the bulletin and forms at www.nada.org/bodyshop (login required). Additional info will be available at NADA University early next year. Questions on the new rule may be directed to NADA Regulatory Affairs at regulatoryaffairs@nada.org or (703) 821-7040.
Source: NADA Newswire

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Don't Forget Recent Changes to the Net Operating Loss Carryback Rules

As previously noted, Congress expanded the Net Operating Loss carry-back in November. As the end of the year approaches, dealers are reminded to review these recent changes with their tax professional. For details, click here.
Source: NADA Newswire

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Tax Break Reminder: Only Days Left to Take Advantage of New Vehicle Sales Tax Deduction

Dealers are reminded that there are only a few days left in 2009 for car shoppers to take advantage of the new-vehicle sales tax or excise tax deduction. The Internal Revenue Service issued a reminder to taxpayers that they only have until Dec. 31. Click here for the IRS bulletin and visit www.nada.org/stimulustaxguide for more details and other important 2009 end-of-year tax considerations.
Source: NADA Newswire

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FTC Issues New 'Optional' Model Privacy Notice

As part of a statutory mandate to develop a more understandable template for privacy notices issued by dealers and other financial institutions, the Federal Trade Commission and the federal banking regulatory agencies have jointly issued a new model privacy notice that, beginning Dec. 31, 2009, will serve as a safe harbor for the language used in the notice for financial institutions that choose to adopt it. Dealers who continue to provide their finance and lease customers with a privacy notice that uses language from the sample clauses contained in Appendix A to the text of the original Privacy Rule (which required compliance by July 1, 2001) will lose safe harbor protection for the language used in those notices after Dec. 31, 2010. Accordingly, dealers should consider transitioning to the new notices before the end of 2010. For additional information, see NADA's announcement of this amendment to the FTC Privacy Rule at www.nada.org/regulations (click on "Search Regulatory Topics by Government Agency" and then click on "GLB Act: Privacy Rule" under Federal Trade Commission).
Source: NADA Newswire

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Quotable
 
"The dealer rights provision, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama, provides for a fair and open arbitration process for dealers whose dealerships were closed or are in the process of being closed."

    -- David Hyatt, NADA vice president of public affairs, in a letter to the editor of The Washington Post in response to the Dec. 13 editorial, "A leak in the transmission," which criticized congressional efforts to thwart auto dealership closings, The Washington Post, Dec. 25
Video Highlights
 

Crisis Timeline: NADA in High Gear (NADA-TV)


Media Coverage: The Tragedy of Dealer Closings (NADA-TV)


 Senate Testimony on Floorplan Loans (NADA-TV) 
 NADA Tackles Industry Crisis (NADA-TV) 
NADA on the Front Lines  (NADA-TV)

Click here for more video reports.
2010 Convention
 


NADA Chairman: Convention is the 'Must-Attend Event'

Did you know?

NADA’s new online matchmaking program networkNOW! can connect you to nearly 400 exhibitors in 30 product categories, set up appointments and even create your own floor plan route at the convention. Access networkNOW! with the “Ecode” and Web address you received after registering. Once your profile is submitted, networkNOW! works 24/7 to match you with products and services that can help improve your business. And don’t forget, dealers and managers will receive a $200 voucher to spend on the expo floor. Register today! For more information, contact expo@nada.org.

Be in the know
at the NADA convention Feb. 13-15.


Lenovo's ThinkPad Year End Blow Out Sale


NADA members and their staff can now save up to 50 percent on select ThinkPads and other items. Lenovo has extended their Holiday Special until Dec. 30. Start the New Year with a laptop that you really want! To take advantage of this offer, visit NADA's PC Purchase Program site (member login required.) Enter eCoupon USPYEAREND at checkout.

Ultra-portable laptops starting as low as $792:

IdeaPad S12 - List Price: $449; Sale Price: $389
Lenovo G450 - List Price: $669; Sale Price: $439
Lenovo G450 - List Price: $699; Sale Price: $489
IdeaPad Y550 - List Price: $1,043; Sale Price: $559


 

Get More from Your Technology in 2010 with HP

• 5 percent off select desktop, notebook, and workstation purchases over $299
• 10 percent off select desktop, notebook, and workstation purchases over $999
• $1,000 in free solutions, services, and software with every hardware purchase
• 0 percent HP financing -- keep your cash and still update your technology

And, for a limited time, upgrade to free two-day shipping. Offer expires Jan. 31. Terms and conditions apply. To learn more about these and other specials offered to NADA members, visit NADA's PC Purchase Program site (member login required).

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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.