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Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top Stories
NADA Convention Offers Nearly 100 Workshops; Focus on Managing Cash Flow, Inventory and Service Productivity
New GM Exec Plans to Improve Ties with Dealers
GMAC Says 93% of Chrysler Dealers Have Financing Agreements
GM Tries to Rebuild Clout on Capitol Hill
U.S. Automakers Rev Up Lobbying
Warranty Woes Take Toll
FTC Issues Guidelines on Endorsements and Testimonials
Top Stories
NADA Convention Offers Nearly 100 Workshops; Focus on Managing Cash Flow, Inventory and Service Productivity

Save $50 to $75 if you pre-register by this Friday, Jan. 15
Next month’s NADA Convention & Expo in Orlando (Feb. 13-15) couldn’t come at a better time to help dealers and their managers plan for the year ahead. It’s the perfect time for dealers to look for ways to improve their businesses and prepare for an economic rebound. “It’s been a tough year for everyone. Now it’s time to focus on the future, and that’s where the NADA convention comes in,” says John McEleney, NADA chairman. “We’ve got a strong lineup of expert speakers and outstanding workshops. We already have 440 exhibitors and more are signing up every day.”

The convention is fast approaching, but there’s still time to pre-register and choose from nearly 100 workshops on topics such as driving profitability, managing cash flow, improving inventory ROI and increasing service productivity. Four new “Executive Track” workshops, geared to high-level dealership managers, will also be offered. Be sure to arrive at the convention early on Friday, Feb. 12, to take advantage of three hours of “bonus” workshops beginning at 1:30 p.m.

To save $50 to $75 on convention registration fees, dealers and their managers are encouraged to pre-register by Friday, Jan. 15. Click here to register. For more information, send an e-mail to expo@nada.org. Walk-in/on-site registration opens Feb. 12 at the Orange County Convention Center.

Click here for the complete list of convention workshops with dates, times and locations. Here are just a few workshop highlights:

  • Update on Federal Regulatory Developments Impacting Automobile Dealerships (Presented by NADA attorneys Doug Greenhaus and Paul Metrey)
  • Appraisal Process: Best Practices to Boost Revenue (Presented by Stu Zalud, NADA Used Car Guide and Les Abrams, NADA Academy)
  • Advanced Online Thinking for Dealer Leaders (Presented by Jared Hamilton, DrivingSales.com)
  • The Four Essentials to Achieving 100% Service Absorption (Presented by Don Reed, DealerPro Training Solutions)
  • The Eight Critical Concerns on the Balance Sheet (Presented by George Grabowski, NADA Academy)
    Source: NADA Newswire

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New GM Exec Plans to Improve Ties with Dealers

In advance of his meeting with General Motors’ board of directors Wednesday, Mark Reuss, fresh into his new job overseeing North American operations, has made a list of "Mark’s major challenges for 2010." The top of the list, he told an audience of industry insiders at the Automotive News World Congress Tuesday night, involves rebuilding relationships with dealers and dealing with the arbitration process set up to give axed dealers another chance at keeping their franchises. “I welcome this as an opportunity for GM and the dealership network to go through a change in our network with integrity,” Reuss said.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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GMAC Says 93% of Chrysler Dealers Have Financing Agreements

DETROIT -- GMAC Financial Services says it has now approved or is near final approval of 93 percent of the 1,474 Chrysler Group dealers who applied for wholesale financing credit lines. As Chrysler went into bankruptcy last spring, the Obama administration named GMAC to replace Chrysler Financial as the captive finance company for Chrysler dealers. The change meant that Chrysler dealers who had been floorplanned by Chrysler Financial had to negotiate new floorplan lines with GMAC or find other banks. GMAC said it declined the applications of 83 Chrysler dealers for “failure to meet credit standards. Most of these dealerships were previously on ‘finance hold’ with Chrysler Financial and were notified by GMAC in June of 2009. Many have been in liquidation for some time.”
Source: Automotive News

Editor's note: NADA has worked with GMAC, Chrysler Financial and others for a number of months to ensure that as many Chrysler dealers as possible are able to obtain floorplan financing from GMAC. NADA is encouraged that the vast majority of Chrysler dealers have obtained financing, but will continue to work to enable all Chrysler dealers to obtain floorplan financing and to expand access to floorplan credit for all dealers.

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GM Tries to Rebuild Clout on Capitol Hill

General Motors Corp., transformed by a government-led restructuring and battered by a congressional backlash on behalf of auto dealers, is trying to reassert its influence on Capitol Hill. The process began with the new year as GM Chairman Edward E. Whitacre, the former head of AT&T Inc. who took the reins at GM last summer, reshuffled the company’s team in Washington. Whitacre said his company, which began the process of paying back its loans to the government last month, needs to revamp its relationships with Congress and the administration. “I think our relationship with a lot of folks has been strained there for the past few months — or many months,” Whitacre said during a Jan. 6 briefing in Detroit. “We just need to re-do how we approach our public policy, and that’s what we’re going to do. And that goes out into the states, too.”
Source: Congressional Quarterly

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U.S. Automakers Rev Up Lobbying

WASHINGTON -- U.S. automakers will again benefit from government programs in 2010 despite bailout fatigue and uncertain prospects for some of the industry's legislative priorities on trade and energy. ... the Energy Department (announced Monday at the Detroit auto show) that Chrysler, Ford and General Motors were among companies sharing $187 million in new government funding to improve fuel efficiency and create up to 500 near-term jobs. President Barack Obama has committed to making the United States a leader in auto battery technology for the next generation of gasoline-electric hybrids and all-electric vehicles. To bolster prospects for more technology and other aid to create jobs, lobbyists and other insiders agree there will be a push to illustrate the impact on the wider economy of the more than 1 million jobs at domestic automakers, suppliers, dealers, finance companies, and research firms. David Cole, director of the Center for Automotive Research, said ... Chinese and other overseas investors are interested in acquiring U.S. industry assets. This introduces a new dynamic for Washington to frame policy and legislation to help Detroit and other parts of the domestic business on terms that would be most favorable to domestic political interests.
Source: Reuters

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Warranty Woes Take Toll

Auto dealers struggling with sluggish sales are facing a new challenge in a difficult market, and some are blaming direct-marketing companies — many based in the St. Louis area — that industry leaders accuse of poisoning consumers' attitudes about extended auto-service contracts. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is suing 11 St. Louis area direct marketers — including US Fidelis — for allegedly violating state telemarketing and consumer-protection laws. The suits allege that the companies made false claims about the factory warranty status on consumers' vehicles; failed to pay refunds owed to consumers; misrepresented the terms of service contracts; and suggested a relationship with automakers and dealers that doesn't exist. The St. Louis Better Business Bureau, which has waged a national crusade against the service-contract marketing companies based here, distinguishes between contracts sold by direct marketers and coverage sold by dealers. Although the watchdog group doesn't endorse any aftermarket coverage, consumers' complaints about dealer-sold contracts "are very minimal in comparison to those sold by third-party brokers," said Christopher Thetford, a BBB spokesman.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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FTC Issues Guidelines on Endorsements and Testimonials

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced guidance for advertisers regarding the use of endorsement and testimonial ads. The guidance addresses endorsements by consumers, experts, organizations and celebrities, as well as the disclosure of important connections between advertisers and endorsers. Dealers should consult this guidance before using a celebrity or consumer endorser in their advertisements. Also, the revised guides add new examples to illustrate the principle that "material connections," such as employment, payments or free products between advertisers and endorsers -- connections that consumers would not expect -- must be disclosed. As a result, dealers, dealership employees or anyone who receives any payment or free product from the dealer must consult these guides before "blogging" about their own dealership or competitors, or perhaps even commenting on a "blog" or other online forum about their own business or their competitors. Click here for details on the new guidelines. 
Source: NADA Newswire

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Quotable
 
"It's time to focus on the future, and that's where the NADA convention comes in. We've got a strong lineup of expert speakers and outstanding workshops. We already have 440 exhibitors and more are signing up every day."

   
-- John McEleney, NADA chairman, on the NADA convention helping dealers and their managers plan for the year ahead, NADA Newswire, Jan. 13
2010 Convention
 


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

Did you know?

Pre-Registration Ends in 2 Days!

Register today! For more information, contact expo@nada.org.

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


 

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