NADA Headlines (Sept. 8, 2010)
Auto Industry Could Get Boost from Obama Tax Credits
President Barack Obama is expected to ask Congress to let businesses write off 100 percent of their spending on new equipment through 2011 at a speech in Cleveland today. The president also wants to make permanent the tax break for research and development to encourage more long-term spending. While representatives of Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. say they want more details, Obama's call to fix the R&D credit got an enthusiastic response from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents Detroit's Big Three, Toyota Motor Corp. and other automakers. "The auto industry is one of the leading centers of R&D in all industries -- even higher than computers and pharmaceuticals," (alliance spokeswoman Gloria Bergquist) said. "Making a permanent R&D tax credit sends us a strong signal that we should invest in a lot of the technology. To the extent it can encourage R&D and generate investment, that translates into jobs." The idea behind the tax breaks is to encourage business owners to part with some of the $1.8 trillion sitting in corporate coffers -- or to tap the millions in bank capital waiting to be lent -- and spend it on everything from new computers to new factories. The question is whether manufacturers need new plants and, even if they do, does a tax break now offset the risk of spending in such a weak economy? Read more from The Detroit News.
Housing is filling up quickly; Five hotels already sold out
Discounted “early” registration rates for the 2011 NADA Convention & Expo in San Francisco will be available only until midnight (central time), Friday, Sept. 10. After this date, advance/pre-registration rates will go into effect and increase $25 in each category. "Book your hotel rooms today," says Steve Pitt, vice president of NADA conventions and expositions. The Fairmont, W, Westin Market Street, InterContinental and Ritz-Carlton hotels have already sold out and others are filling up quickly. Keynote speakers include Toyota’s Jim Lentz, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, heroic airline pilot Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, III, and NADA’s Ed Tonkin and Stephen Wade. The NADA Convention, which is considered the "industry event of the year," provides franchise meetings, multiple workshops and hundreds of exhibits. It also offers dealers and their managers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to stay informed on industry issues and trends, to understand the changing economy, and to ensure future success at the dealership. Click here for more information or to register. Read more from NADA.
NADA Offers Webinars to Provide Compliance Guidance on New Regulatory Notices that Take Effect at the End of the Year
NADA attorneys and representatives from federal agencies will highlight dealer compliance obligations under the new Model Privacy Notice and Risk-Based Pricing Rule in a series of webinars starting next month. One webinar will be held in October and the other in November. Each is part of NADA University's Learning Hub webinar series. In “Transitioning to the New Model Privacy Notice,” guest presenter Loretta Garrison, an attorney with the FTC Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, will explain and answer questions about the new model privacy notice issued in late 2009 by the FTC and the federal banking agencies. Dealers and other financial institutions may deliver this notice to their finance and lease customers as required by the 2001 FTC Privacy Rule. The new notice, while optional, is the only notice that will afford dealers safe harbor protection for the form and content of the notice beginning December 31, 2010. Dealers need to transition to the new model privacy notice by the end of the year if they wish to avail themselves of this protection. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 1 - 3 p.m. Eastern. Moderating the discussion will be NADA attorneys Paul Metrey, Chief Regulatory Counsel for Financial Services, Privacy, and Tax, and Brad Miller, Counsel and Assistant Director, Legal and Regulatory Affairs.
In “The New Risk-Based Pricing Rule,” attorneys from the Federal Reserve and FTC will explain what dealers must do beginning January 1 to comply with the new rule, which generally requires creditors who pull credit reports to issue a new notice to customers who receive credit from them but on terms that are less favorable than the terms received by most of their other credit customers. Because of the difficulty in determining which customers fit into this category, NADA sought and the Federal Reserve and Federal Trade Commission approved, permitting dealers and other initial creditors to issue an "exception notice" to all of their credit customers. The exception notice must include the customer's credit score and other information that puts the score in context. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, November 3, 2010, 1 - 3 p.m. Eastern. The Federal Reserve Board’s Mandie Aubrey will be guest presenter, along with a representative from the Federal Trade Commission. NADA's Metrey will moderate the discussion.
The EPA's proposal to put bold letter grades on Monroney stickers to show fuel economy and emissions comparability among models misses the mark. The agency needs to go back to the drawing board and devise a more useful system. Though well-intentioned, the EPA's grading system goes too far in establishing a lowest common denominator for car buyers. It is too pejorative and potentially too emotional. There is no doubt that consumers need more information. Currently, Monroney labels carry miles-per-gallon ratings and annual fuel-consumption estimates. Now that electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are on the road, comparing fuel efficiency is even more challenging. Consumers deserve to have the facts when shopping. The solution is to provide ample clear data so car buyers can rank the cars for themselves. Read more from Automotive News.
The results are not definitive, but a preliminary report on sudden acceleration from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has some good news for Toyota Motor Corp. Of the 58 data recorders analyzed by the agency and the company, 35 showed that the brake pedal was not depressed at the time of the crash. Partial braking was involved in 14 other cases. Drivers were hitting the gas pedal instead of the brake. In short, electronics was not the issue. Human error was. But the recalls and accompanying hysteria that ensued with the congressional hearings, while exposing a too-close-for-comfort relationship between NHTSA and the industry it regulates, failed to provide clarity on what went wrong. That remains the case. NHTSA got NASA and the National Academy of Sciences involved in its electronic-electromagnetic interference research because Congress wanted answers. So far, the only answer is that the customer is not always right. Read more from The Washington Post.
NADA University is sponsoring the second annual Driving Sales Executive Summit (DSES) slated for Oct. 18-20 at the Encore Wynn Las Vegas. The summit aims to help dealers clarify their online business goals and carve out the best paths to achieve them. “DSES is a uniquely collaborative event modeled on the best practices shared among dealers on DrivingSales.com,” says Jared Hamilton, a third-generation auto dealer and founder of the car dealer social network DrivingSales. The event will bring together the most successful and innovative dealers in the U.S., along with world-renowned speakers, all to focus on dealership innovations and profitability, Hamilton says. NADA and ATD members are encouraged to register. Dealers who register now will receive an “early bird” discount. For more information or to register, visit http://drivingsalesexecutivesummit.com.
BRECKSVILLE, Ohio – Since 1991, the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers Association has awarded 10 scholarships a year valued at $1,000 each to dealership employees and their children for post-secondary education. This year, the association’s educational assistance foundation doubled the number of annual scholarship awards from 10 to 20. Winners are chosen based on a combination of points awarded for an essay contest, grade point average and other scholastic activities. Read more from the Greater Cleveland Auto Dealers Association.
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