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Inside this issue
Prolonged Shutdown Could Slow Auto Industry's Sales
NADA Convention: 21 Hotels in New Orleans Have Sold Out
Ford Spearheading Global Production Growth
Ohio Auto Dealers Association Endorses NADART as Preferred Retirement Plan Provider
For Service Contract Group, it's Wait and See on CFPB's F&I Reforms
Fiat Denies Report Marchionne Made Comments on Chrysler IPO
Smail Auto Group Strives to Inspire During Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Prolonged Shutdown Could Slow Auto Industry's Sales

With little sign of progress in Washington and a default deadline looming, there is growing unease in the automobile industry about the impact that a prolonged government shutdown could have on car and truck sales. So far, the effect has been minimal — perhaps a modest decline in sales in the greater Washington, D.C., region that analysts say will quickly be made up once Uncle Sam resumes signing paychecks to his workers. But if the Obama administration and lawmakers are unable to reach a compromise that gets the government back to work and avoids a default on the nation's debt, the impact on the auto industry could soon be far more serious. “The longer it drags on, the more serious it becomes. It potentially has the ability to derail the momentum the industry has built over the past couple of years,” said Jeff Schuster, vice president of vehicle forecasting at LMC Automotive. “It goes well beyond the furloughed federal employees. It's all about consumer confidence.”
Source: The Detroit News

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NADA Convention: 21 Hotels in New Orleans Have Sold Out

There's plenty to get jazzed about with the upcoming 97th annual NADA Convention & Expo in New Orleans next January. For one thing, the city has invested billions of dollars in major restoration projects, and the convention center was updated just this year. Plus, there's been a 55 percent increase in the number of restaurants over the past seven years, nearly $800 million in hotel upgrades and $77 million in street improvements, including a new streetcar line. “Twenty-one of 33 convention hotels have already sold out, so we're encouraging attendees to register as soon as possible,” said Desmond Roberts, chairman of NADA's convention committee. “Exhibit sales on the expo floor are also running higher than the past convention.”

The NADA convention runs Friday, Jan. 24, to Monday, Jan. 27. This will be the 10th time the convention has been held in the Big Easy since 1973. Considered the “Automotive Industry Event of the Year,” the convention includes dealer-manufacturer franchise meetings, educational workshops, hundreds of exhibits on the expo floor and numerous networking events.

“The city has a festive atmosphere you can't find anywhere else—from the amazing Creole cuisine and culture to the historic sites and music,” added Roberts, a Chevrolet dealer in Hodgkins, Ill. “New Orleans looks better today than it ever has.” Dealers and their managers who register in advance by Jan. 16 will receive a $75 discount from the on-site rate. For more information or to register, visit www.nadaconvention.org.
Source: NADAFrontPage.com
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Ford Spearheading Global Production Growth

Ford will increase light-vehicle output globally more than any other automaker over the next seven years and crack the Top 5 among the biggest producers in 2016, based on the WardsAuto/AutomotiveCompass forecast. The automaker will account for 8% of global output in 2020, compared with 7% in 2013. The 1-point gain in production share will outdistance increases by all other manufacturers. Even Volkswagen, forecast to overtake Toyota in 2016 as the No.1 global producer, will see its share increase by just 0.2 percentage points in the next seven years. Much of Ford’s gains will come from doubling output in Asia, especially in China, India and Thailand.
Source: WardsAuto

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Ohio Auto Dealers Association Endorses NADART as Preferred Retirement Plan Provider

NADART has served the dealer community for more than 55 years

The Ohio Automobile Dealers Association is the sixth state dealer group this year to select NADART as a preferred partner to provide customized retirement plans to its member dealers and dealership employees. “After a careful review of retirement benefit providers, we felt that NADART is not only an effective services provider, but its philosophy around quality service is in line with what our members have come to expect from an OADA endorsed company,” said OADA President Tim Doran, who added NADART's services to its list of membership benefits. This year alone, the state dealer associations in Louisiana, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania and California have endorsed NADART.
Source: NADAFrontPage.com
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For Service Contract Group, it's Wait and See on CFPB's F&I Reforms

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's crackdown on sales and marketing programs for extended service contracts and other F&I products to military members in recent months signifies its interest in reforms. Changes could include stricter consumer disclosures about costs, coverage limits and cancellation policies. But so far, the Service Contract Industry Council -- a trade group for automakers, captive finance companies and service contract administrators -- has kept a low public profile with regard to potential new regulations from the bureau. That's in sharp contrast to verbal fireworks over the CFPB and dealer reserve, the amount dealerships earn for acting as a middleman on consumer auto loans.
 
Since March, the CFPB has pressured auto lenders to either stop using dealer reserve to compensate dealers and switch to flat fees or else monitor loans originated at dealerships much more closely. The bureau says it is making sure legally protected groups such as minorities and women pay the same dealer reserve as everyone else. The National Automobile Dealers Association has objected. For starters, NADA denies that its members tolerate discrimination. The dealer group and auto lenders also dispute the CFPB's methodology for deciding whether an individual consumer belongs to a protected group and whether a "disparate impact" in dealer reserve is the right way to define discrimination.
Soure: Automotive News

Editor's note: The CFPB continues to threaten the ability of dealers' to discount the interest rate offered to consumers to finance vehicle purchases without providing justification. As a result, Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., are seeking signatures from other senators on a letter requesting transparency from the bureau on the issue. All dealers are strongly urged to contact both of their senators IMMEDIATELY to ask that they sign the “Portman-Shaheen Auto Finance” letter. Senators can be reached through the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
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Fiat Denies Report Marchionne Made Comments on Chrysler IPO

Fiat S.p.A. denied a report by broker Sanford C. Bernstein that CEO Sergio Marchionne had made comments discouraging investors from taking part in Chrysler Group's initial public offering. In a statement on Thursday, Fiat said the Bernstein report misrepresented the presentation CEO Sergio Marchionne gave at a Fiat investor meeting. "The report mischaracterizes Mr. Marchionne's presentation, which was made at a Fiat investor meeting and does not accurately record his comments," Fiat said in a statement without giving details of Marchionne's comments. Fiat also said that neither Fiat nor Chrysler nor any of its respective managers had authorized any articles or recommendations with respect to any investment in Chrysler.
Source: Reuters
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Smail Auto Group Strives to Inspire During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Hope. Strength. Courage. Faith. These are not typically words that you would expect to see scrolled across the buildings of your local car dealership. However, that is exactly what you will see driving past Smail Auto Groups' nine buildings. Smail Auto Group has embraced these words of inspiration this October in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. "It is our dearest wish that these words become a part of the lives of those who cling to hope and faith, have people around them who cherish, love and encourage them, to offer strength and support through each step," said Jim Smail, president of Smail Auto Group. For the third year in a row, the company is implementing the "Smail Auto Group Cares" campaign to raise awareness and funds for local breast cancer research, education and support charities. To date, Smail Auto Group has contributed more than $100,000 to this important cause.
Source: WPXI-TV (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

Editor's note: Clarence B. “Bud” Smail, Jr., represents new-car dealers in Western Pennsylvania as a member of the National Automobile Dealers Association's board of directors.
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Quotable
"The longer it drags on, the more serious it becomes. It potentially has the ability to derail the momentum the industry has built over the past couple of years. It goes well beyond the furloughed federal employees. It's all about consumer confidence." 

   
-- Jeff Schuster, vice president of vehicle forecasting at LMC Automotive, commenting on the impact of the government shutdown on the auto industry, The Detroit News, Oct. 9
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NADA Webinars
(All webinars begin at 1 p.m. ET. Click webinar title to register.) 

- Oct. 16: What Bankruptcy Can and Cannot Do for Your Dealership

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- Oct. 30: The Four Service Sheets

- Nov. 6: Buy-Sell Transaction Tips and Tricks

- Nov. 13: U.S. Car Sales – The Year in Review and a Look Ahead

- Nov. 20: DMS Access Concerns (Part II)

For more information about the webinars, click here.

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