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Top Stories
Toyota Employees Hit Washington to Help Automaker
Toyota Says It's Repairing 50,000 Vehicles a Day
Majority of Scrapped GM, Chrysler Dealers File Appeals
GM: Dealer Disputes a Top Priority
Toyota Takes Another Hit: Prices Drop
GMAC Courts Dealers of All Makes
Top Stories
Toyota Employees Hit Washington to Help Automaker

Alesia Murdoch has spent 11 years building transmissions at the Toyota Motor Corp. plant in Buffalo, West Virginia. (Tuesday), she got a new job: Lobbyist. Murdoch was one of 23 U.S. employees of the Toyota City, Japan-based carmaker to visit lawmakers’ offices in advance of congressional hearings into millions of vehicles recalled for sudden acceleration. The automaker sent people from eight states with company plants to Washington and covered their expenses, said Martha Voss, a company spokeswoman. The visits were timed to be a day ahead of the first hearing, which was scheduled for today and then postponed to Feb. 24 because of a snowstorm. Some employees said they hoped to return then. Toyota employs 33,400 people in the U.S. and accounts for an additional 163,700 jobs at suppliers and dealers, according to the company’s Web site.

The McLean, Virginia-based National Automobile Dealers Association also weighed in on Toyota’s side. “Recalls are quite common in the auto industry and involve virtually every manufacturer at one time or another,” the group’s chairman John McEleney, who owns Toyota, General Motors Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. dealerships in Clinton, Iowa, said in a statement. “We are convinced that this is a problem for which Toyota engineers have developed the proper remedy.”
Source: Bloomberg

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Toyota Says It's Repairing 50,000 Vehicles a Day

A Toyota executive said Wednesday that dealers have so far reinforced the sticking accelerator on more than 220,000 recalled vehicles, with repairs continuing at a rate of about 50,000 vehicles a day. Some dealers have been open around the clock while others are carrying out the repairs at offsite facilities, he said. Carter added that the voluntary recall of the 2010 Prius and Lexus HS 250h models to update braking software, in response to complaints about braking problems, also is proceeding.
Source: The Associated Press

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Majority of Scrapped GM, Chrysler Dealers File Appeals

NEW YORK -- Toyota isn't the only auto manufacturer taking heat right now. More than half of the auto dealers Chrysler and General Motors terminated in May have filed notice that they will appeal and try to regain their franchise. Roughly 1,100 of an estimated 2,000 eligible dealers from General Motors filed to appeal, representing 55% of the scrapped franchises. The Detroit giant wasn't shocked at the response. "We did not forecast a specific number, but we knew it would be substantial," said Ryndee Carney, spokeswoman for General Motors. Chrysler also had a strong appeal turnout: As of Tuesday, 418 of the manufacturer's 789 terminated dealers filed for arbitration, representing 53% of the franchises. "Chrysler is readying itself to actively participate in the arbitration procedure and looks forward to the expeditious completion of the process," said a company representative, who declined to speak for attribution.
Source: CNNMoney.com

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GM: Dealer Disputes a Top Priority

CHICAGO -- Settling disputes with the 1,160 General Motors Co. dealers who have filed for arbitration to have their franchises restored should be complete in about two months and is a top priority, Mark Reuss, General Motors Co.'s North America president, said (Wednesday) morning. GM wants to deal with each case individually even though it would probably be simpler to try and apply a single policy to resolve the disputes, Reuss told reporters following a speech to open media days at the Chicago auto show (Wednesday). By law, the arbitrations must be completed by June. But Reuss said he sees actual arbitration as a last resort and is hoping many cases will be settled before going to a third-party ruling. Following the Chicago auto show, Reuss is travelling to the National Automobile Dealers Association convention where his goal is to make peace with dealers. GM's stance is to treat arbitration with the "utmost respect," Reuss said, because dealers "are the most important interface we have with customers," and a buyer will not return no matter how good the product is, if the service is not there.
Source: The Detroit News

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Toyota Takes Another Hit: Prices Drop

Last weekend, Robert Boch sold a new Camry sedan with a sunroof and alloy wheels for $21,691, and the customer got a 0% loan on the deal as well. Just a month ago, a similar model sold for $500 more, with a 2.9% interest rate on the loan, said Mr. Boch, a co-owner of Expressway Toyota in Boston. "We have to do what it takes to keep things moving," said Mr. Boch. "There is blood in the water and that sharks are out. We have to protect our turf." The prices Toyota Motor Corp. gets for its vehicles may be one of the most significant casualties in the recall and quality crisis that has engulfed the car maker. To attract customers and jump-start sales, some Toyota dealers have been slashing prices, a tactic they rarely have been forced to use in the past.
Source: Dow Jones/The Wall Street Journal

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GMAC Courts Dealers of All Makes

GMAC Financial Services, once the financing arm for General Motors before the automaker’s 2009 bankruptcy reorganization, on Wednesday said it is offering its retail finance programs to dealers of all makes through an alliance with the DealerTrack credit application network. GMAC’s new CEO Mike Carpenter has told Automotive News the financier wants to broaden its dealer network and grow its auto finance business. The DealerTrack agreement gives GMAC access to retail credit applications from 17,000 dealerships -- a vast majority of the dealerships in the United States and Canada. The agreement “will diversify our auto business while helping dealers and their customers obtain broader financing opportunities,” Tim Russi, executive vice president for GMAC’s North American Operations, said Wednesday in a statement.
Source: Automotive News

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Quotable
 
“Recalls are quite common in the auto industry and involve virtually every manufacturer at one time or another. We are convinced that this is a problem for which Toyota engineers have developed the proper remedy.”

    -- John McEleney, NADA chairman, in a statement Wednesday, Bloomberg, Feb. 10


"My No. 1 priority this year is working to repair the relationships with our dealers."

    -- Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, in a speech Wednesday at the Chicago Auto Show, Detroit Free Press, Feb. 10

Video Highlights
 

NADA Launches Trucks for Haiti Campaign
(NADA-TV)

Chairman McEleney: Dealers Prepared to Repair Toyota Accelerators (Fox Business)
2010 Convention
 


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

On-Site Convention Registration Opens Feb. 12

On-site registration for the NADA convention opens at 10 a.m., Friday, Feb. 12 in the Registration Concourse of the West Building, Orange County Convention Center. Keep in mind that three hours of “bonus” workshops, beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12, have also been added, so plan to arrive early. NADA will provide dealers and their managers with a $200 voucher at registration to spend on goods and services on the expo floor. Click here for more information.


CLICK HERE FOR MORE CONVENTION STORIES.


 

DealerTrack Ramps Up Incentive on Its Leading Inventory Management Solution at NADA Expo 

Dealers who use NADA’s $200 voucher to subscribe to DealerTrack AAX inventory management software solution and services at the NADA Convention & Expo will receive an additional $800 bonus from DealerTrack for a total savings of $1,000. DealerTrack AAX helps dealers manage their inventory while accelerating turns and increasing profits. Visit www.dealertrack.com/NADA for more information or call (888) 600-8760.


REGULATORY UPDATES


Enter to Win a New HP Laptop at NADA Convention



Register for a chance to win a new HP laptop at the NADA convention in Orlando! Just stop by the NADA Pavilion (Booth #1801) to register. While you're there take a look at the other HP products offered at a discount to NADA members. To take advantage of this discount, visit NADA's PC Purchase Program site (member log in required).



Save Up to 48% Off Select Lenovo Notebook Computers

Don't miss this opportunity for incredible savings on select Lenovo products during February with this eCoupon. Use the eCoupon USXSWEETDEALS at checkout to maximize your discount. Enjoy up to 48% off select notebooks, such as the ThinkPad T500 with integrated graphics for only $652.02. Power through graphics, presentations, personal e-mails and more with your new Lenovo products. To learn more about these and other specials for NADA members, visit NADA's PC Purchase Program site (member log in required).

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