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NADA launches 'Japan Relief' campaign

April 1, 2011
By Mark Scarpelli, Chicago Metro NADA Director
 
The NADA is urging its 16,000 members to support the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami fund of the American Red Cross.
     
To jumpstart the campaign, the NADA Charitable Foundation on March 15 donated $100,000 to the Red Cross’s special Japan fund. The Red Cross set up the fund to support disaster relief efforts in Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami.
     
To facilitate dealer donations to Japan relief efforts, the NADA and the American Red Cross launched a microsite dedicated to NADA contributors. Checks also can be mailed to: American Red Cross, Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief, P.O. Box 37242, Washington, DC 20013.
     
“The magnitude of the disaster in Japan keeps growing. Relief needs are staggering,” said Stephen Wade, NADA chairman. “We’re reaching out to dealers and their employees across the country to help support the international relief efforts in Japan.”
     
In other NADA news . . .
     
• Alabama NADA Director Forrest McConnell testified before a House subcommittee on the perils of multiple fuel economy standards. McConnell spoke in early March on the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from tailpipes.
     
McConnell told a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee that a redundant set of three fuel-economy standards could hurt auto sales by increasing costs and restricting vehicle availability, thus directly affecting the nation’s fragile economic recovery and hurting job creation.
     
Currently, automakers must comply with three different programs administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the EPA and the California Air Resources Board.
     
McConnell urged Congress to return to a single standard that considers national factors, such as jobs, safety and consumer demand because that would more effectively increase fuel savings, enhance economic growth and protect the environment.
     
“Auto dealers support fuel-economy increases, but federal regulators must realize the health of the U.S. economy and job growth hinges on the success of auto manufacturing and auto retailing,” said McConnell.
     
“Allowing the auto industry to offer new vehicles that are affordable and in demand—and most important, more fuel-efficient—will increase fuel savings, cut greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs.
     
“Duplicative and sometimes conflicting rules could increase the cost of a new car or truck and may limit the availability of certain models. How is that good for the consumer? If car buyers delay new-vehicle purchases and choose to hold onto their older car longer, how is that good for the environment? How is that good for job creation?”
     
The NADA endorses legislation currently under review by the House Energy and Commerce Committee that will better balance fuel and emissions reductions without needlessly increasing the cost of new cars and trucks.
     
In a letter to committee chairman Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), David Regan, NADA vice president for legislative affairs, urges support for H.R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, because beginning in Model Year 2017 it “would return regulation of motor vehicle fuel economy to a single national standard,” with rules set by Congress under the Corporate Average Fuel Economy program.
     
• NADA Guide predicts rising fuel costs will impact used-vehicle prices and trade-in values across all vehicle segments, said Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst for the NADA Used Car Guide.
     
“The upward trend in gasoline prices will have an impact on consumer preferences for vehicles and will impact used-vehicle prices. But it will pale in comparison to the situation in 2008, when gasoline prices last spiked,” Banks said.
     
Gasoline prices climbed more than 35 cents in March, driven by speculation that the country will experience a shortage in oil supply because of disruptions in oil production in the Middle East and new concerns after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
     
“The impact to vehicle production from the earthquake in Japan is limiting the supply of many fuel-efficient cars like the Toyota Prius,” Banks added. “These vehicles were already tight on inventory. Over the next month, demand should easily outstrip supply in the new market, driving more consumer demand toward used cars and trucks.
     
“Historically, a sharp increase in fuel prices has been followed by a decline in large, used SUV prices and, conversely, resulted in an increase in prices for used compact cars,” Banks said.
     
• I am very excited as I begin my first three-year term as an NADA director representing dealers in Cook, Lake, and DuPage Counties. If you have a concern with which you think I can help, please contact me at my Antioch dealership, Raymond Chevrolet-Kia, at (847) 395-3600 or marks@raymondchevrolet.com.
 
 

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