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Highlights from 2011 NADA Chairman Stephen Wade’s speech:


Stephen Wade
Stephen Wade

• “It finally feels like we’re headed in the right direction. Manufacturers are producing great product. Sales are picking up. And consumer credit is improving.”


• “When we are persistent … all pulling together on the legislative front, marshalling our grass-roots efforts around the nation, we can achieve the impossible.”


• “We need to push legislation that helps boost the economy, encourages auto sales and creates jobs.”

• “And even though we succeeded last year in protecting dealer-assisted financing from the new burdensome and unnecessary rules of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, auto loans are still very much under attack. Going forward, we’ll work with Congress and the regulators to structure the bureau’s rules in a way that works in the real world and in a way that works for our customers.”


SAN FRANCISCO (Feb. 7, 2011) – In his first speech as chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), Utah auto dealer Stephen Wade said today that he is looking forward to working with manufacturers, regulators and Congress to ensure that the nation’s economic recovery continues as vehicle sales rebound this year.


Wade, a multi-franchise dealer from St. George, Utah, took the helm of NADA at the association’s annual Convention & Expo in San Francisco. The convention, which began Saturday and ends today, is expected to draw about 18,000 total attendees.


“It finally feels like we’re headed in the right direction,” Wade said. “Manufacturers are producing great product. Sales are picking up. And consumer credit is improving.”


As the association’s vice-chairman in 2010, Wade had a front-row seat for the many legislative and regulatory battles that NADA and its grass-roots network waged on behalf of dealers.


Those successes, including NADA’s fight to keep dealer-assisted financing affordable and available for consumers, have poised dealers to thrive in 2011, Wade said, as sales pick up and consumers who have put off new-vehicle purchases head back to dealerships.


And even though NADA succeeded last year in protecting dealer-assisted financing from the new “burdensome and unnecessary” rules of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Wade says auto loans are still very much under attack.


“Going forward, we’ll work with Congress and the regulators to structure the bureau’s rules in a way that works in the real world and in a way that works for our customers.”


“When we are persistent … all pulling together on the legislative front, marshalling our grass-roots efforts around the nation with one common goal, we can achieve the impossible,” Wade said. “We need to push legislation that helps boost the economy, encourages auto sales and creates jobs.”


Still, dealers face a flurry of new challenges in 2011, Wade said, such as facing the possibility of a new program to raise the fleet-average fuel economy standard to as high as 62 mpg by 2025, a plan Wade called “a stretch.”


As dealers come back from one of the industry’s toughest periods, Wade said, “We need fewer pressures on profitability, not more.”


Wade takes the helm of NADA from 2010 Chairman Ed Tonkin, whose term ended today.


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TIME Magazine
's Dealer of the Year Award is one of the most prestigious awards a new-car dealer can receive. TIME Magazine, in association with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and in cooperation with the National Automobile Dealers Association, proudly names the Dealer of the Year at NADA's annual Convention & Exposition.

The Dealer of the Year award: calls attention to new-car dealers in America who exhibit exceptional performance in their dealerships, combined with distinguished community service; creates a positive public relations forum for all new-car dealers; and provides a representative spokesperson for Dealer of the Year.


Click to enlarge
From left to right, Kim Kelleher, vice president and publisher of TIME, Castriota and Johann Finkelmeier, vice president-OE Tires, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.

Thomas Castriota Wins National Recognition for Community Service and Industry Accomplishments at NADA Convention

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 5 – Thomas Castriota of Castriota Chevrolet in Hudson, Fla., was named the 2011 national TIME Dealer of the Year, sponsored by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.

Castriota received this highest honor out of a select group of dealers from across the country recognized at the 94th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in San Francisco on Saturday.

The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted awards for new-car dealers. Recipients are among the nation’s most successful auto dealers, but they must also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to effective community service.

Castriota, 57, was chosen to represent the Tampa New Auto Dealers Association in the national competition--one of only 52 automobile dealers, from 17,000 nationwide,nominated for the 42nd annual award.

Regional finalists included:

  • Rick Jensen, president of Jensen Motors, Inc. in New Ulm, Minn.;
  • Buzz Rodland, president and general manager of Rodland Toyota-Scion in Everett, Wash.; and
  • Charles "Chip" Miller, president of Miller Ford Lincoln Subaru in Mount Holly, N.J.

Toyota's Jim Lentz

Toyota's Jim Lentz

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 5 — Jim Lentz, COO of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, says auto dealers need to pay attention to two groups: women, and the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S., Hispanics.

“Women have $200 billion worth of purchasing power,” Lentz told attendees of the NADA Convention & Expo in San Francisco Saturday.

They buy more than half of the new cars in the U.S. and influence up to 80 percent of all purchases; they also request 65 percent of service work at dealerships, he said. “Yet, according to a recent article in Forbes, women continue having poor experiences when trying to buy a car,” Lentz said.

“Women say the most important thing dealerships can do to bring in more women buyers is to listen,” Lentz said. He said men tend to interrupt and cut to the chase.

“It’s important to listen, not only because it’s polite,” he said, “but because real listening will sell more cars.”

Lentz cited Pew Research Center reports that by mid-century the number of U.S. Hispanic households would triple to 29 percent of the U.S. population. Hispanic households’ buying power continues to grow, too, he said. “Hispanic households spent nearly $22 billion on new vehicles five years ago, and that amount was expected to nearly double to $40 billion last year.”

Lentz, the keynote speaker of the conference’s opening session, said he expected a bright future for auto dealers.

“There are a record number of drivers in the market and more on the way; lots of vehicles going to the scrap heap; cars on the road are aging like never before; and the supply of used cars is dwindling fast,” he said.

Volkswagen CC
$289.00*/Month. 36-month lease. $2,999.00 due at signing. (Excludes title, tax, options and dealer fees.)

Lease a 2011 CC Sport with automatic transmission for $289.00* a month. 36-month lease, $2,999.00 due at signing. (Excludes title, tax, options and dealer fees.). See your local VW dealer for this limited time offer or for one of many other great lease deals available on CC models. More about the CC.

National Offer | Offer ends March 31, 2011

Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
1.9% APR* for 60 months. Excludes TDI models.

2011 Jetta SportWagen models are available with financing as low as 1.9% APR for 60 months. Excludes TDI models. So what are you waiting for? See your local VW Dealer for this and other great Jetta SportWagen deals. More about the Jetta SportWagen.

National Offer | Offer ends March 31, 2011

Volkswagen Routan
$299.00*/Month. 36-month lease. $2,499.00 due at signing. (Excludes title, tax, options and dealer fees.)

Lease a 2011 Routan S with automatic transmission for $299.00* a month. 36-month lease, $2,499.00 due at signing. (Excludes title, tax, options and dealer fees.). See your local VW dealer for this limited time offer or for one of many other great lease deals available on Routan models. More about the Routan.

National Offer | Offer ends March 31, 2011

Volkswagen Eos
0% APR* for 60 months. Komfort models only.

2011 Eos models are available with financing as low as 0% APR for 60 months. Komfort models only. So what are you waiting for? See your local VW Dealer for this and other great Eos deals. More about the Eos.

National Offer | Offer ends March 31, 2011

The 2012 CC APR Special.

Volkswagen CC
1.9% APR* for 60 months. Excludes VR6 4Motion models.

2012 CC models are available with financing as low as 1.9% APR for 60 months. Excludes VR6 4Motion models. So what are you waiting for? See your local VW Dealer for this and other great CC deals. More about the CC.

National Offer | Offer ends March 31, 2011

Volkswagen Eos
2.9% APR* for 60 months. Komfort Models Only.

2012 Eos models are available with financing as low as 2.9% APR for 60 months. Komfort Models Only. So what are you waiting for? See your local VW Dealer for this and other great Eos deals. More about the Eos.

National Offer | Offer ends March 31, 2011

Volkswagen Jetta
0% APR* for 60 months. Includes TDI models.

2010 Jetta models are available with financing as low as 0% APR for 60 months. Includes TDI models. So what are you waiting for? See your local VW Dealer for this and other great Jetta deals. More about the Jetta.

National Offer | Offer ends March 31, 2011

Volkswagen Routan
0% APR* for 72 months.

2010 Routan models are available with financing as low as 0% APR for 72 months. So what are you waiting for? See your local VW Dealer for this and other great Routan deals. More about the Routan.

National Offer | Offer ends March 31, 2011

Volkswagen Passat
0% APR* for 60 months.

2010 Passat models are available with financing as low as 0% APR for 60 months. So what are you waiting for? See your local VW Dealer for this and other great Passat deals. More about the Passat.

National Offer | Offer ends March 31, 2011

The 2010 CC APR Special.

Volkswagen CC
0% APR* for 60 months.

2010 CC models are available with financing as low as 0% APR for 60 months. So what are you waiting for? See your local VW Dealer for this and other great CC deals. More about the CC.

National Offer | Offer ends March 31, 2011

Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
0% APR* for 60 months. Includes TDI models.

2010 Jetta SportWagen models are available with financing as low as 0% APR for 60 months. Includes TDI models. So what are you waiting for? See your local VW Dealer for this and other great Jetta SportWagen deals. More about the Jetta SportWagen.

National Offer | Offer ends March 31, 2011

Volkswagen New Beetle
0% APR* for 72 months.

2010 New Beetle models are available with financing as low as 0% APR for 72 months. So what are you waiting for? See your local VW Dealer for this and other great New Beetle deals. More about the New Beetle.

National Offer | Offer ends March 31, 2011

Volkswagen golf
0% APR* for 60 months. Includes TDI models.

2010 Golf models are available with financing as low as 0% APR for 60 months. Includes TDI models. So what are you waiting for? See your local VW Dealer for this and other great Golf deals. More about the golf.

National Offer | Offer ends March 31, 2011

I models.

2010 Golf models are available with financing as low as 0% APR for 60 months. Includes TDI models. So what are you waiting for? See your local VW Dealer for this and other great Golf deals. More about the golf.

National Offer | Offer ends March 31, 2011

Volkswagen Eos
0% APR* for 72 months.

2010 Eos models are available with financing as low as 0% APR for 72 months. So what are you waiting for? See your local VW Dealer for this and other great Eos deals. More about the Eos.

National Offer | Offer ends March 31, 2011

Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible
0% APR* for 72 months.

2010 New Beetle Convertible models are available with financing as low as 0% APR for 72 months. So what are you waiting for? See your local VW Dealer for this and other great New Beetle Convertible deals. More about the New Beetle Convertible.

National Offer | Offer ends March 31, 2011

Volkswagen GTI
0% APR* for 60 months.

2010 GTI models are available with financing as low as 0% APR for 60 months. So what are you waiting for? See your local VW Dealer for this and other great GTI deals. More about the GTI.

National Offer | Offer ends March 31, 2011

Volkswagen Passat Wagon
0% APR* for 60 months.

2010 Passat Wagon models are available with financing as low as 0% APR for 60 months. So what are you waiting for? See your local VW Dealer for this and other great Passat Wagon deals. More about the Passat Wagon.

National Offer | Offer ends March 31, 2011

Certified Pre-Owned APR Special

All U.S. certified, pre-owned Volkswagen vehicles are available with special APR financing, with rates as low as 1.99% APR* for 48 months to approved credit through Volkswagen Credit. Rates of 2.99% APR* for 60 months are also available to approved credit. So what are you waiting for? See your local VW Dealer for details.

National Offer | Offer ends March 31, 2011

  • Volkswagen Touareg 2
  • 0% APR* for 60 months. Includes TDI models.

    2010 Touareg models are available with financing as low as 0% APR for 60 months. Includes TDI models. So what are you waiting for? See your local VW Dealer for this and other great Touareg deals. More about the Touareg 2.

    National Offer | Offer ends February 28, 2011

Volkswagen CC
$319.00*/Month. 36-month lease. $2,999.00 due at signing. (Excludes title, tax, options and dealer fees.)

Lease a 2012 CC Sport with automatic transmission for $319.00* a month. 36-month lease, $2,999.00 due at signing. (Excludes title, tax, options and dealer fees.). See your local VW dealer for this limited time offer or for one of many other great lease deals available on CC models. More about the CC.

National Offer | Offer ends February 28, 2011

Volkswagen Eos
$399.00*/Month. 36-month lease. $2,999.00 due at signing. (Excludes title, tax, options and dealer fees.)

Lease a 2012 Eos Komfort with automatic transmission for $399.00* a month. 36-month lease, $2,999.00 due at signing. (Excludes title, tax, options and dealer fees.). See your local VW dealer for this limited time offer or for one of many other great lease deals available on Eos models. More about the Eos.

National Offer | Offer ends February 28, 2011

Volkswagen Eos
2.9% APR* for 60 months.

2012 Eos models are available with financing as low as 2.9% APR for 60 months. So what are you waiting for? See your local VW Dealer for this and other great Eos deals. More about the Eos.

National Offer | Offer ends February 28, 2011

All New Optima 2011

Kia has redesigned their mid-size Optima for 2011. The new Optima is a radical departure from the old Optima. Under the handsome styling, the Optima is similar to the Hyundai Sonata, also new for 2011, and it shares the Sonata's powertrain choices: 2.4-liter direct-injected four, 2.0 liter turbocharged four, and a gas-electric hybrid driveline.

“The 2011 Optima incorporates some of Kia’s most advanced safety technologies with head-turning style, performance and comfort to provide consumers with high value and peace-of-mind,” said Byung Mo Ahn, group president and CEO of Kia Motors America (KMA) and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG).


“As the first Korean-built vehicle to be awarded a five-star crash safety rating under NHTSA’s new, stricter guidelines, Optima creates a new benchmark in the segment and underscores Kia’s commitment to offering consumers the highest levels of quality and safety in all of our vehicles.”


optima.jpg

In all, 24 passenger cars, 20 sport utility vehicles, two vans, and nine 2011 model year pickups were rated under the new system that not only includes tougher crash tests, but, for the first time, provides consumers with a single overall safety score per vehicle.

Smart for Two Electric Drive

The Smart For two Electric Drive's second edition will have a limited production of 250 units for U.S. It's the test model that will be used to gauge consumer interest in these type of battery-powered vehicles. This model is available for leasing at $599 a month for 48 months, plus $2,500 due at signing. The 2011 Smart ED is offered under the lease-only plan but the manufacturer has listed its MSRP at $44,387.

Ferrari FF at GenevaFerrari joined the Geneva Motor Show with its new model, the Ferrari FF. It's a pure Ferrari car but it is entirely different from the its other models. The Ferrari Four is a four-wheel-drive, four-seat shooting brake. Until now its shown in red and in beige but its also displayed at Pininfarina in white which is showed here.

Maybach Cruiserio CoupeXenatec is using the Geneva Motor Show to unveil its one-off Cruiserio Coupe, a customer-ordered hyper-luxury car based on the Maybach 57S. The coupe was designed by Fredrik Burchhardt to a customer's exact specs, then hand-built by the Xenatec team.

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