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Top 5 Stories
NAD Charitable Foundation Mobilizes Emergency Relief Fund to Help Dealership Employees Recover from Tornadoes
Consumer Confidence in U.S. Falls as Fuel Costs Squeeze Household Budgets
Automakers Are Putting Their Cars on a Diet
Owners of Defunct Brands Ride Off
Foundation: 'Ambassador' Gift Keeps on Giving
For comprehensive auto industry news, visit the online news magazine NADAFrontPage.com
Top 5 Stories
NAD Charitable Foundation Mobilizes Emergency Relief Fund to Help Dealership Employees Recover from Tornadoes

McLEAN, Va. – The National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation has mobilized its Emergency Relief Fund to aid dealership employees recovering from the tornadoes that devastated parts of Iowa and Alabama last week. Already, six people have received grants from the foundation to help them get back on their feet after losing their homes and most of their possessions. And the foundation continues to seek donations to help more dealership employees in the South, as the need for aid rises.

Jack Leigh, former NADA director from Alabama and president of Leigh Automotive Inc., says the tornadoes on April 27 left thousands in his community of Tuscaloosa, Ala., either without homes or with severe damage. Those whose homes were spared from total destruction have been without power and hot water for more than a week.

At least two dealerships in Tuscaloosa suffered substantial damage, Leigh says, and many dealership employees are struggling to re-establish safe housing for their families. Leigh's own dealership was unharmed, he says, but at least one of his employees was temporarily left without a place to live.

"I've got this great employee who had an apartment in one of the hardest-hit areas of Tuscaloosa," Leigh says. "He's managed to find another apartment, but he's really got nothing else, so money like this is extremely important at this time."

The foundation's emergency relief fund aids recovery efforts after natural disasters, such as flooding, hurricanes and tornadoes. Since the program started in 1992, the fund has provided more than 7,500 dealership employees with financial assistance totaling almost $5 million. In 2008 more than $600,000 was distributed to dealership employees who suffered losses as a result of hurricanes Gustav and Ike and flooding in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa.
Source: NADA

Editor's note: To make a donation to the Emergency Relief Fund of the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation, click here to download a contribution form. To contact the foundation, call (703) 821-7233 or e-mail foundation@nada.org.

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Consumer Confidence in U.S. Falls as Fuel Costs Squeeze Household Budgets

Consumer confidence dropped last week to the lowest level in more than a month as rising fuel costs squeezed American household budgets. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed young adults and single Americans were among the groups losing the most confidence over the past two weeks. “Surging gasoline prices and a difficult labor market are likely to dampen demand and serve as an impediment to growth in the second quarter,” said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York. “Lower-income groups are caught in the vise of rising fuel costs and elevated unemployment.”
Source: Bloomberg

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Automakers Are Putting Their Cars on a Diet

Given American car drivers’ tastes, aim is to improve fuel economy in midsize models

With gas prices pushing past the $4-per-gallon mark, fuel economy has become a big issue for car buyers and carmakers alike. Yet many U.S. motorists still seem reluctant to embrace the sort of pint-sized vehicles that have become commonplace in markets like Europe and Japan. “People don’t necessarily want to drive small cars,” stressed George Peterson, an automotive analyst with AutoPacific. “They want to drive bigger, more fuel-efficient cars.” Given American car drivers’ tastes, some experts suggest that the challenge for automakers today isn’t to come up with a subcompact car that does 50 mile to the gallon. Instead, the challenge is to build a midsize model that can deliver 40 mpg.
Source: MSNBC.com

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Owners of Defunct Brands Ride Off

GM struggles to convince Saturn, Pontiac, Hummer customers to remain loyal

Tina Shaw and people like her are a big worry for General Motors Co. Ms. Shaw is one of more than three million Americans who are driving vehicles produced by the three GM divisions that were shuttered in the auto maker's 2009 bankruptcy reorganization—Saturn, Pontiac and Hummer. GM is racing to hold onto those customers. GM dealers also are contributing to the effort. At Harry K Chevrolet Buick, in Chamberlain, S.D., every time a Pontiac owner drives in for service, the repair shop called the sales department. A salesperson then arrives to pitch the owner on purchasing a GM car or truck. "Hopefully with the breadth of the Chevrolet line and new vehicles from Buick, we can bring those owners into the fold," said owner H. Douglas Knust. "The onus is on us now to convert those owners, or else we're going to lose market share," he said.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Foundation: 'Ambassador' Gift Keeps on Giving

HARRISBURG, Pa. – It’s only been a few months since Paul McMillen retired as president of the Pennsylvania Automotive Association, but he’s already adjusting to his new life as a charitable organizer for the dealers in his state as well as becoming a new Ambassador of the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation. In recognition of his 31-year career, McMillen’s state dealer association made a $10,000 donation in his name to the foundation’s Ambassadors program. He was presented with the ambassadorship as a retirement gift last month. But unlike any other token of appreciation he received, McMillen says becoming an Ambassador is truly a gift that keeps on giving. As an Ambassador, McMillen chose the National Alliance of Mental Illness in Harrisburg, Pa., an organization of personal importance, to receive grants up to $1,500 every three years in perpetuity.
Source: NADA

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For comprehensive auto industry news, visit the online news magazine NADAFrontPage.com

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NADA Used Car Guide Redesigns Website
Follow along as editors of the NADA Used Car Guide blog about changes in the used-car and -truck markets on the guide's revamped website, www.nada.com/b2b.

Enroll Now for Spring Dealer Academy 2011 Classes
Spring 2011 classes include: Dealer Candidate Academy, starting May 9 and June 6; and General Dealership Management Academy, starting May 16.

Dealer Executive Education at Babson College August 2011 Class Forming Now
Babson College has the nation's No. 1 ranked MBA program for entrepreneurship, a distinction it has earned for 17 consecutive years.

May Discounts From Lenovo
NADA members can use eCoupon USXMAYSAVINGS2011 at checkout to get an additional 8% off IdeaPad Y Series and an additional 10% off IdeaCentre All in One Desktops.

HP's Inventory Blowout
NADA members can save $330 on HP's Compaq 6005 Pro Small Form Factor Desktop PC and $440 on HP's Compaq 800 Elite Small Form Factor PC with free U.S. ground shipping.

 
Quotable
"People don’t necessarily want to drive small cars. They want to drive bigger, more fuel-efficient cars."

    -- George Peterson, automotive analyst with AutoPacific, on American drivers' reluctant to embrace the pint-sized vehicles that have become commonplace in markets like Europe and Japan, MSNBC.com, May 5

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NAD Charitable Foundation Supports Wounded Veterans Initiative (NADA-TV)

Tornado Relief


Upcoming Webinars

Wednesday, May 11, at 1 p.m. (Eastern): “Rein in Out-of-Control Technology Costs,” with Paul R. MacDonald, president of TriMac Automotive Advisory Group

Wednesday, May 18, at 1 p.m. (Eastern): “One-Price Selling: In Sync with Today’s Auto Purchasers,” presented by Mark Rikess, CEO of The Rikess Group


NADA Used Car Guide

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and most comprehensive
used-vehicle values since 1933


Alert: Bogus Webpage Mimics NADAguides.com

A bogus website, http://nadaguides.zxq.net/
vehicle/purchase/protection
, has been set up to look like the legitimate website of NADAguides.com. The fraudulent Web page offers services for “Auto Purchase Protection” and facilitates the transfer of funds between buyers and sellers. This Webpage has no connection with NADA or NADAguides.com. NADA is attempting to shut down the site. It appears to be hosted overseas.
Source: NADA Legal Affairs

 
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