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FEBRUARY 2011

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CEDAR VALLEY BUSINESS MONTHLY

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Volume 5 ● No. 3

BUSINESS MONTHLY COLUMNS Page 4

Jim Offner Automotive, energy issues a key to local economic health.

Page 6

Wartburg College President’s Convocation features thought-provoking speakers.

Page 9

University of Northern Iowa Sustainability more than just a buzzwod at UNI.

BUSINESS MONTHLY STAFF DIRECTORY EDITORIAL CONTENT Nancy Raffensperger Newhoff nancy.newhoff@wcfcourier.com (319) 291-1445

ADVERTISING Bret Danielson bretdanielson@wcfcourier.com (319) 291-1403

Jim Offner jim.offner@wcfcourier.com (319) 291-1598

Jackie Nowparvar jackie.nowparvar@wcfcourier.com (319) 291-1527 Sheila Kerns sheila.kerns@wcfcourier.com (319) 291-1448

Cedar Valley Business Monthly is published monthly. It is a free publication direct-mailed to more than 6,500 area businesses. For distribution, call Courier Communications at (319) 291-1527 Contact Cedar Valley Business Monthly at P.O. Box 540, Waterloo, IA 50704.

BUSINESS MONTHLY ON THE COVER DAWN J. SAGERT / Courier Staff Photographer

A 1971 Dodge Challenger, in Plum Crazy Purple, on display in the showroom at Coyote Classics in Greene.

DAWN J. SAGERT / Courier Staff Photographer

B.J. Summers, paint and body technician at Coyote Classics in Greene, rotates the body of a 1965 Buick Grand Sport convertible.

Marketing muscle Greene dealer an online hot spot for classic cars By JIM OFFNER jim.offner@wcfcourier.com

GREENE — Coyote Classics isn’t your standard used-car dealer. The machines displayed on the company’s coyoteclassics.com website — and a number of them on hand at the company’s shop in Greene — transcend the realm of “used cars,” said salesman Mike Sorensen. “A lot of them are being bought up as great investments,” Sorensen said. “They increase a little in value every year.”

Coyote Classics deals primarily in vintage Detroit iron, particularly “muscle cars” from the 1960s and ’70s. “They’re in great demand in this country, Canada and Europe.” The company averages about four sales per month to overseas customers, Sorensen said. “About three or four years ago we used to do two or three a year, which we thought was fabulous,” Sorensen said. Coyote takes a cue from Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Show

and Auction, which draws thousands of vintage automobile aficionados from all corners of the world to Scottsdale, Ariz., every January. “Barrett-Jackson has educated people on the great value of these cars,” Sorensen said. “They stress you’ve got to protect them and take great care of them. You can’t go to the factory and buy a 1968 Chevelle or a 1968 Firebird; there are only so many out there.”

See CLASSICS, page 4


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CEDAR VALLEY BUSINESS MONTHLY

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FEBRUARY 2011

Automotive, energy issues provide clues to health of local economy In last year’s annual automotive/energy issue, Cedar Valley Business Monthly gazed into the future, taking a preliminary look at the Chevrolet Volt and the plug-in hybrid technology that some observers Jim Offner say will revoluis the Courier tionize the autobusiness editor. motive industry. Contact him at This year we jim.offner@ glance into the wcfcourier.com. rearview mirror at Coyote Classics, a Northeast Iowa business built on a foundation of classic Detroit steel — vintage cars. There are a few things in life that draw people’s strong passions — religion, family, politics.

Automobiles often have that same effect. One’s car often is an expression of hopes and dreams, of personality and values. The adventurous are bonded to their sports cars; drivers who are frugal often migrate to the latest subcompacts. Some hybrid drivers are making a statement about their stewardship of the earth. Convertible aficionados love the freedom of open-air motoring. Cars and trucks draw out strong emotions. They are as expressive as they are utilitarian. This month, Cedar Valley Business Monthly looks at issues that touch on the automotive industry and the energy business. Look for insights on issues that affect consumers and businesses on a variety of fronts, whether pertaining to cars and trucks, the fuel that powers vehicles and

homes or the financial means to keep them running. This is a timely issue since fuel prices are beginning to spiral upward. Analysts talk of economic recovery. Investors see a 14 percent gain in last year’s stock market and wonder if now is the time to increase their activity in the market. Petroleum speculators bank on a stronger economy fueling higher prices and buy oil futures at higher rates. The auto industry appears to be beginning to find its traction. What does it all mean? Perhaps first and foremost, it implies that businesses will be looking to retool and rehire as further signs of economic recovery appear. Alternative fuels continue to make headlines. Wind and sun energy will play increased roles in powering the

CLASSICS

were doing 30,” Sorensen said. The company carries a stock of about 40 cars at all times. “Basically, Camaros, Mustangs, Chevy Novas and Mopars (Chryslers) are very popular muscle cars,” he said. Prices on vehicles in stock range from around $4,000 to nearly $32,000, but can go higher. “It’s a business that’s growing every year,” Sorensen said. “I think people have been burned on the stock market. We have had people take money out of their 401(k)s to buy. I know what they’re thinking.” The company gets calls daily from people with cars for sale. Some calls lead to prize finds, such as a 1969 Mustang Mach 1 with 48,000 original miles purchased from the family of the original owner, Sorensen said. The price? $50,000.

bile Cutlass convertible, a 1968 Chevrolet El Camino and a fullsize 1975 Pontiac convertible. The website draws plenty of interest. Charles King, principal analyst with Hayward, Calif.based e-commerce consulting firm Pundit-IT Inc., said that’s no surprise. “While numerous large sites and companies sell automobiles via the Web — eBay and CarMax are two good, though very different, examples — Coyote Classics specializes in a much narrower range of products, American ‘muscle’ cars,” King said. “The company’s location near cities with major airports — Omaha, Chicago and Minneapolis — makes it easy to accommodate prospective buyers who want to inspect a vehicle before buying, which is not unusual in products so singular and/or personalized.” King said the key to success in a vintage auto dealership like Coyote Classics is knowing the product, the customer and overcoming the complexities of acquiring stock and attracting buyers. “With some $4 million in sales during their first two years of business, Coyote Classics seems to have figured that out,” King said.

From page 3 That’s especially important for Iowa buyers, given the state’s car-eating winters. “They’re fun to own, to drive, polish and take great honor in owning,” he said. “If an Iowa buyer buys one, they’re always tucked away and not brought out until spring.” Sorensen bought his own vintage ride — a Cadillac Allante, of which General Motors produced only 29,000 between 1988 and 1992. “I keep it in storage,” he said. Coyote Classics is a new iteration of a 20-year-old business once known as Austin Motor Co. Chad and Lisa Austin, son and daughter-in-law of the founders, bought the business about five years ago, Sorensen said. Vintage cars always have been a specialty, he said. “We have a lot of people that will stop, and they sometimes think it’s a car museum,” Sorensen said. “They don’t realize it’s an active business.” The company sells between 20 and 25 cars each month. “Before the recession hit us, we

On the lookout Coyote also scours the market for vehicles. “We have a buyer on the road all the time,” he said. The company has more than muscle cars available. A recent scan of its website featured a couple of early to mid-1960s Ford Falcons, a 1965 Oldsmo-

planet. Investors have the final say in how far those efforts go. Look for thoughts and prediction about these issues — and how businesses will react to them —in the pages that follow.

What Cedar Valley business leaders have to say about these issues makes for worthwhile reading. What affects them affects everyone in the local economy.


FEBRUARY 2011

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VoIP spells exibility Voice over Internet Protocol technology has made it possible to “work where you areâ€? and offers myriad options for keeping in touch with customers. You can work from the traditional home office, but also from the branch office, Jeff Schmitt is eastern Iowa sales from a hotel and mobile manager with Hyde from devices. UtilizTelecom. Contact ing advanced him at 433-0111 or jschmitt@ capabilities of a hydetelecom.com. VoIP telephone system, highspeed Internet connections and cell phones or PDAs, users are now more accessible to customers and co-workers than ever before. Many workers want to work from home on either a full-time or part-time basis. Teleworker solutions provide integration to the corporate telephone system through home Internet connections. These home users enjoy all the capabilities office workers have, including voice mail with message waiting indication, visual indication of other phones in use, paging, conference calling, access to low-cost long-distance services, etc. Because home workers are an integrated part of the phone system, they can be members of a call center or work group, and their work can be monitored just as if they were taking up space in a cubicle. Many companies let employees work part-time from home rather than taking an extended full leave of absence for things like maternity leave or caring for a sick relative. This prevents overburdening others and cuts costs for temporary workers. Teleworker implementation allows expansion of the work force without expansion of the office. This technology can expand the pool of workers — if you don’t have to drive to the office to work, do you really need to live in the same town as the office?

Many times a teleworker is really just a mobile worker. Employees working on a customer site will use teleworker soft phone capabilities on a laptop to keep connected to the office. This, coupled with wireless Internet access, makes the office telephone accessible any time you are online. But mobility does not need to be tied to Internet access. Mobile extension technology allows you to take your office phone on the road. By “twinningâ€? a mobile device with your desktop extension, calls to the office may be answered from anywhere. Once you’ve answered the call on a mobile device, you can transfer to another extension, set up conference calls, etc. The phone system indicates to other users you are on a call. As both the desk set and the cell phone ring simultaneously, callers only need one number to reach you. This ensures all voice messages end up in a single mailbox. Many times, the best phone call is the one that is eliminated. A visitor to your website may have a question but won’t pick up the phone. Revation Web chat makes it possible for them to click a link and chat instantly with the appropriate people to get their questions answered. You can share documents, provide assistance with navigation of your website or provide remote support, through desktop sharing. Secure e-mail capabilities ensure conďŹ dential information can be shared without worry as all mail is encrypted. These capabilities can be added easily to an existing website, require no hardware investment or changing of website host, and are an affordable way to turn lookers into buyers. As with any technology decision, you will want to work with experts who have a proven track record, and can guide you to the best opportunities for your organization. The days of cookiecutter communications systems are gone, which makes front-end planning and back-end support an essential part of communications systems of today





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FEBRUARY 2011

Panelists will provide a thought-provoking convocation In my previous life as a newspaper editor I selected long-form articles from a major publication each Sunday for the front or editorial pages. One of my favorite reporters was Chicago Tribune reporter R.C. Longworth. Longworth, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, consistently crystallized Saul Shapiro complex issues is director of news and offered and community relations at Wartburg insights on posCollege in Waverly. sible solutions. Contact him at saul. Now, as shapiro@wartburg. Richard C. edu. Longworth, senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, he is the author of “Caught in the Middle: America’s Heartland in the Age of Globalism,” observing that “so far, the Midwest is failing the global challenge.” Longworth lauds the region as the driving force behind the nation’s growth in manufacturing, agriculture and education, but laments its failure to extricate itself from dying traditions and reform outmoded institutions. He offers possible solutions to be driven by business, education and community leaders on a regional basis — not politicians wrongheadedly catering to narrow constituencies trying to preserve the past. Longworth will share his thought-provoking ideas at the inaugural President’s Convocation at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 22 in Neumann Auditorium at Wartburg College. The convocation, sponsored by Waverly’s First National Bank and The Accel Group, also will include a 1:30 p.m. panel discussion featuring prominent leaders in key sectors: ■ Robert Koob, former University of Northern Iowa president. ■ Russ Wasendorf Sr., chairman and CEO of PFG Best. ■ Steve Dust, chief executive officer of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance.

■ Diane Johnson, general manager of Waverly Light and Power Longworth calls for greater regional cooperation modeled on the Southern Growth Policies Board in 1971 created by 13 state governments. That blueprint — drawing on the expertise of leaders in business, academia and other “power centers” — was a catalyst for a dramatic regional transformation. The Midwest, though, remains fragmented. Think of Iowa’s insistence on funding 99 county governments, despite a 1933 Brookings Institution report that only 25 are needed. Govs. Terry Branstad (1991) and Tom Vilsack (2000) appointed commissions that touted regionalism to little avail. Thanks in great part to the leadership of Bob Koob (and Pat Pinkston, then head of Deere’s Waterloo Works), the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance now promotes this area as a single entity, achieving successes that had been elusive. Not long ago Waterloo and Cedar Falls were engaged in self-destructive economic development “border wars.” Steve Dust and I recently compared notes on the need to break with the past as advocated by Joseph Schumpeter, the Austrian-born economist who popularized the concept of “creative destruction” — cycles of economic and cultural upheaval when breakthrough innovations presage the demise of mature industries. Consider the dramatic changes spurred by Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press; Britain’s abolition of slavery prompting greater use

of hydropower; Thomas Edison’s myriad inventions; David Sarnoff’s pioneering in mass communications (radio and TV) and the resulting mass consumerism, and now the Internet. Russ Wasendorf, a UNI graduate, is bucking one global trend — the migration of white-collar jobs to large cities — by moving much of his financial business from Chicago to Cedar Falls. His actions embrace a formula Longworth cites, advocated by George Mason University professor Richard Florida (“The Rise of the Creative Class”), that creative people drive the economy and need a place rich with culture to congregate. Wasendorf has made his presence felt locally as a patron of the arts and a restaurateur, a one-person Iowa Values Fund (Vilsack’s initiative to transform Iowa cities with more cultural and recreational opportunities). At Waverly Light and Power, Diane Johnson is building on the legacy of energy initiatives undertaken by her predecessor, Glen Cannon, an advocate of alternative sources. Longworth devotes much of his book to the fate of the family farm and the emergence of biofuels. He doesn’t put much stock in ethanol — sustained by both tariffs against Brazilian imports and taxpayer subsidies, while driving up corn prices (good for growers, not for livestock producers), but is intrigued with biomass as an abundant energy source. But biomass must become commercially viable. Most of the research is occurring on the coasts amid clusters of univer-

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sities and research institutions, not in the heartland. Longworth maintains Midwest regionalism needs to emulate that approach. Longworth is critical of the inability of educational institutions to adapt to the times; that K-12 should be K-10, offering technical skills for an everchanging economy in those last

two years, often in partnership with industry. Higher education, he adds, needs to be nimble and adaptive, too. The Inaugural President’s Convocation is guaranteed to stimulate discussion of these issues. Details about attending are in the Wartburg advertisement in Business Monthly on the next page.


FEBRUARY 2011

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CEDAR VALLEY BUSINESS MONTHLY

‘Green’ buildings more than a trend The buzzwords in the design and construction industry for the past three or four years has been “green buildings.â€? There is an endless array of products and energy savings options to choose from when considgreen Steph Weiand ering is co-founder of alternatives. Turnkey Associates Green is not LC in Waterloo. a trend that Contact him will be going at 232-4242. away soon; it is here to stay. The federal government has set precedents by establishing energy-efficient guidelines for virtually every federally funded project, and many municipalities are doing the same. Most states have passed some form of energy code that requires architects and builders to design and construct energy efficient buildings. Most newly constructed buildings already have green aspects built into them. They are being built with ever-improving products that utilize recycled and/ or renewable materials in their content. There are products for every application, from concrete mixtures to interior ďŹ nishes and everything in between that incorporate some type of environmentally friendly product. There are many beneďŹ ts and incentives to initiate green technologies. Conserving energy and using renewable resources are perhaps the two most popular. Both have a positive effect on the environment. Constructing buildings that are more energy

efficient is the norm. Utilizing alternative or renewable energy resources, such as solar, wind or geothermal, is not. Not yet. Cost is always a factor in selecting the appropriate systems and materials for any given project. There are an array of programs at the state and federal levels that encourage their usage. If you build a home and utilize a geothermal system you qualify for a federal tax credit that equals 30 percent of the total cost of the system. If a geo system costs $30,000, your tax credit would be $9,000. Now, take the actual cost of $21,000 and compare that to a standard forced air system with a cost of $15,000 to serve the same size home, the actual difference is $6,000. With the energy savings alone from heating and cooling, the payback period could be less than three years, which means that for every year thereafter, you would be saving $2,000 and perhaps more as fossil fuel costs increase. There are similar incentives when utilizing solar and wind. For private business owners and nonresidential projects, there is a 10 percent tax credit when utilizing alternative fuel/energy sources. There also are federal tax credits of $4,000 to $40,000 to purchase alternative motor vehicles and other programs that allow businesses accelerated depreciate and tax beneďŹ ts. There are incentives for designers and builders, as well. Refer to the following sites for additional information and examples: www.climatemaster. com/downloads/LC028.pdf and www.waterfurnace.com/literature/collateral/BR1507MW.pdf.

For breaking news coverage, photos and video updated all day

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Wartburg College

Inaugural President’s

C O N VO C AT I O N TUESDAY, FEB. 22 Featuring Richard C. Longworth, author of Caught in the Middle: America’s Heartland in the Age of Globalism, senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist as a Chicago Tribune reporter. A native of Boone, Longworth will discuss challenges facing a Midwest economy with manufacturing and the family farm in upheaval. He will offer ideas on how the region needs to change to survive. The recipient of numerous writing and reporting awards, Longworth is also author of Global Squeeze, one of the first books on globalization, and writer/host of the blog, “The Midwesterner.� A panel discussion features speakers on globalism’s effect on economic development, education, business, agriculture, and energy.

Sponsored by

Panelists: Dr. Robert Koob, former president, University of Northern Iowa Russ Wasendorf Sr., chairman and CEO, PFG Best Steve Dust, chief executive officer, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance Diane Johnson, general manager, Waverly Light and Power Moderator: Dr. William Withers, Wartburg associate professor of communication arts and assistant director, Institute for Leadership Education

11:30 A.M., CONVOCATION ADDRESS Neumann Auditorium

12:30 P.M., BOOK SIGNING Neumann Auditorium Lobby

1:30 P.M., PANEL DISCUSSION McCaskey Lyceum, Saemann Student Center

Leadership. Service. Faith. Learning. 8BSUCVSH#MWE 8BWFSMZ *PXBtXXXXBSUCVSHFEV


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CEDAR VALLEY BUSINESS MONTHLY

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FEBRUARY 2011

Obstructive sleep apnea has deadly consequences Sleep apnea is a deadly disease. Several studies have demonstrated that patients with sleep apnea have a mortality rate six to seven times higher than patients without. As many as 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, approximately one in every 15 or 6.62 Dr. M. Cameron percent of the population. Hodges can be contacted People with at 272-8992 or sleep apnea are six times more likely to be part of a traffic accident. A bedmate of a person with untreated obstructive sleep apnea can lose one to two hours sleep per night. According to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research, about 38,000 deaths occur annually that relate to cardiovascular problems caused or worsened by sleep apnea. These problems include high blood pressure, hypertension, stroke and heart failure. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by repetitive upper airway obstruction during sleep as a result of narrowing of the respiratory passages. Patients with the disorder are most often overweight, with associated throat infiltration of fat and/or increased size of the soft palate and tongue. These anatomic abnormalities decrease the cross-sectional

area of the upper airway. Initially, partial obstruction may occur and lead to snoring. As tissues collapse further or the patient rolls over on his or her back, the airway may become completely obstructed. The patient struggles to breathe and is aroused from sleep. Often, arousals are only partial and are unrecognized by the patient, even if they occur hundreds of times a night. The obstructive episodes often are associated with a reduction in oxygen saturation. Cycles of sleep, snoring, obstruction, arousal and sleep occur throughout the night. Patients with severe apnea may have episodes of upper airway obstruction 100 or more times in one hour. Patients often complain of restless sleep and may awake with intense headaches. Symptoms also may include falling asleep during daily activities such as eating or watching television. The physiologic impact of decreased oxygen levels and increased carbon dioxide levels are what cause the deadly side effects of sleep apnea. Chronic oxygen deprivation and increased carbon dioxide levels cause high blood pressure to develop. High blood pressure subsequently increases the risk of stroke or heart attack. Decreased oxygen also causes right heart strain that can lead to right heart failure and liver congestion or failure. The No. 1 cause of sleep apnea is morbid obesity. As weight

increases, the fatty deposition occurs in the neck and throat, which leads to the obstructive episodes. External devices known as CPAP machines actively blow air into the mouth and upper airways and hold the airways open to prevent the sleep apnea. In patients who tolerate the devices, the effects are noticed almost immediately with more restful sleep and better daytime energy levels. Unfortunately, around 30 percent of the patients can’t tolerate wearing the tight mask necessary for blowing air, or they develop dry mouth. Surgical procedures performed in the mouth or on the jaw are limited to patients who fit certain criteria and only have success rates of 50-70 percent at two years post procedure with success rates decreasing further after two years. The most effective treatment for patients with obesity and sleep apnea is bariatric weight loss surgery. Patients undergoing weight loss surgery can expect an 85 percent chance of cure for sleep apnea. As weight decreases, the fatty tissue around the neck and in the throat diminish, opening up the airway and completely eliminating the disease. In addition to alleviating sleep apnea, patients undergoing weight loss surgery also will see: 90 percent chance of cure of diabetes; 80 percent chance of cure of high blood pressure; 90 percent cure of heartburn; 90 percent cure of

Taking a phone call is top job interview blunder Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — If you receive a cell phone call or text message during your job interview, don’t answer it. Doing so ranks as job candidates’ most common mistake in an interview, according to a survey of hiring managers. Indeed, 71 percent of managers surveyed named it as the top blunder, according to a report released last month by career website CareerBuilder. Other

common mistakes: dressing inappropriately and appearing uninterested, each cited by 69 percent of managers, followed closely by appearing arrogant at 66 percent. Rounding out the list of what not to do is speaking negatively about a current or previous employer at 63 percent, chewing gum at 59 percent, not providing specific answers at 35 percent, and not asking good questions at 32 percent.

Harris Interactive conducted the survey for CareerBuilder among 2,482 U.S. hiring managers between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2. When asked the most outrageous blunders they have encountered interviewing job candidates, the hiring mangers came up with a long list from hugging the hiring manager at the end of the interview to eating all the candy from the candy bowl. At the top of the list of no-no’s: Wearing a hat that said, “Take this job and shove it.”

hypercholesterolemia; 50 percent decreased chance of most cancers as well as marked improvement in chronic joint and back problems. While bariatric surgery is a

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major surgery that has risks and requires significant work up and careful planning prior to surgery, the benefits are dramatic and lasting.


FEBRUARY 2011

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Sustainability more than just a buzzword at UNI Sustainability is a word that means drastically different things to each person. To some it’s about the environment and “going green.” To others it’s about social or fiscal responsibility. The fact is sustainability is used in so many different ways, many don’t necessarily know the meaning of being susEric O’Brien tainable. I’ve is sustainability e n c o u n te re d coordinator at the University of Northern this first-hand Iowa. Contact him at on multiple 273-7207 or eric. occasions when obrien@uni.edu. being introduced to a new group in the community or on the University of Northern Iowa campus. My introduction usually includes the title of sustainability coordinator for UNI. The raised eyebrows and blank looks tell the story. At UNI, the word sustainability isn’t necessarily something to be defined, but rather applied to the daily operations of the university. We realize the decisions we make, whether in good or bad economic times, create ripples down the road. The concept of sustainability means looking at the world through multiple lenses to ensure decisions made today are both efficient and responsible. Although UNI has taken great effort to be a more sustainable campus economically, socially and environmentally for decades, how we compare with our peer institutions has always been a question. During the last year, UNI has participated in a benchmarking project called the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System. This process is nearly complete. The STARS system is a transparent, selfreporting framework for colleges and universities to gauge relative progress toward all components of campus sustainability. It will help UNI to set and meet goals

while fostering collaboration and information sharing across our campus and with community partners. Participation in STARS requires substantial data collection in three main categories: planning, administration and engagement; campus operations; and education and research. In essence this benchmarking process impacts all areas of the UNI campus. The results of this project have been impressive. Many things often overlooked at UNI are areas of excellence. In many cases this is because these programs have been engrained into the culture at UNI and in the Cedar Valley. This is certainly the case when we look at the category of planning, administration and engagement. It’s staggering to think that during one academic year more than 8,500 UNI students dedicated 300,000 plus hours toward community service. Additionally, UNI has multiple programs and centers on campus that engage communities in areas ranging from sustainability planning to environmental and energy-education programs for youths. In the subcategories within campus operations, UNI has been ahead of the curve. More than 300 tons of materials were diverted from landfills through UNI’s recycling, composting or reuse programs in the past year. This not only saves landfill space, but also substantial amounts of energy. UNI also made the decision to to attain a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver designation for any new buildings or major renovations. LEED is an internationally recognized building certification system. It provides third-party verification that construction or renovations were completed using strategies to improve performance in areas such as energy savings, water efficiency and improved indoor environmental quality.

See UNI, page 10

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CEDAR VALLEY BUSINESS MONTHLY

Salaries expected to creep higher in the coming year NEW YORK (AP) — If you’re lucky enough to be employed, it’s likely that you’ll see a small salary increase in 2011. One survey from summer, done by HR consultancy Towers Watson, found that U.S. companies expect their budgets for salaries to rise about 2.9 percent next year. They had predicted a 3.1 percent increase for 2010, and actually granted a 2.7 percent raise. That doesn’t seem like much of a difference. But here’s the key: Those ďŹ gures only count companies that had planned an increase. They exclude companies that had stopped merit pay increases — 12 percent of all companies surveyed in 2010, and a startling 32 percent in 2009. For 2011, only 5 percent of companies say they expect they will keep pay frozen at current levels. “More people are going to be

receiving salary increases,� said Laurie Bienstock, Towers Watson’s North American practice leader for rewards in San Francisco. That’s borne out in recent moves by some corporations eager to keep their best employees in a slowly improving job market. Google Inc. said in November that it was giving all employees a 10 percent pay raise, and top executives would get a 30 percent salary increase. HewlettPackard Co.’s new CEO has committed to restoring salaries for most employees, who suffered a broad pay cut in February 2009. But some sectors may be cutting back on pay. Investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in October that the money it had reserved for compensation so far this year was down 21 percent from 2009.

UNI

re-circulate dollars into the local economy. The ďŹ nal component of STARS, educationandresearch,isanother area where UNI excels. Emphasis has been placed on what is taught on campus. This encompasses everything from the curriculum taught in the classroom to peer education programs. This process has revealed that nearly 200 courses in the UNI course catalog have a component dedicated to one of the pillars of sustainability. UNI students are given a tremendous amount of support in creating student organizations and co-curricular educational opportunities. With more emphasis being placed on organizational efficiency, continued progress in sustainability is going to remain a priority at UNI in the coming years. These efforts will make our campus more energy and operationally efficient, while ensuring that our students are educated and responsible. As an institution, UNI continues to promote a secure future for Iowa and its citizens.

From page 9 At ďŹ rst glance this may not seem to be a very big step; however, it encourages construction that creates even healthier workspaces for employees, supports local businesses and saves money through both reuse and recycling as well as expected lower utility costs. Also included under campus operation are categories related to dining options on campus. In this category UNI excels in offering a wide selection of foods that are both locally produced and intended to meet all dietary needs. Twenty-ďŹ ve percent of food served by UNI Dining Services in the 2009-2010 school year was purchased locally, with the majority of that percentage coming from within the Cedar Valley. These locally produced foods are much less energy intensive to move from farm to plate and in many cases are organically produced. Locally owned businesses in this venture also

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New year is great time to re-evaluate pricing The new year is an excellent time to re-evaluate the prices you are charging for your products and services. Many variables are involved in determining the price for a product. These variables include the type Katherine of competiCota-Uyar tive markets in is associate which the comdirector of the pany operates John Pappajohn domestically Entrepreneurial and internaCenter at the University of Northern tionally, market power and Iowa. Contact her at 273-5732 or co m p e t i t ive katherine.cota@ advantage. uni.edu. The first step to figuring out the price for your product or service is to determine the fixed cost

and variable cost for one unit of your product. Adding these will give you the total cost to produce one unit of your product. Knowing these costs will help you decide on a pricing strategy that will meet your objectives. The next step is to calculate the break-even point for the business. This is where the company’s revenues minus expenses equals zero. This is a situation of no profit and no loss. Once the company has done these two things, it now knows the cost of the product and the minimum price it must charge. At this point the company can apply a pricing strategy to the product. One of the most common pricing strategies is cost-plus pricing where the company calculates the variable cost of the product, adds an allocation for fixed costs and then adds a percentage for

profit or a mark-up on top of these costs. Keystoning, also known as the retailer’s rule of thumb, is a commonly used pricing strategy. If the company purchases the product for $10 from its supplier, the company doubles the cost of goods sold and sells the product to its customer for $20. Price skimming is a strategy wherein the seller can charge the absolutely highest possible price because the demand for the product is perfectly inelastic. This means the customer will pay any price for the product with no change in how much the customer buys. Many retail companies use certain products as loss leaders. These products are sold at or near cost to attract customers to the store. The stores know once the customer is there, sales of additional items at normal or

economic profit will occur. Third-degree price discrimination, where the company charges different prices to different market segments, is an effective strategy if the company can successfully segment the groups. An example of this is discounts for senior citizens. Price signaling and reference pricing, where a company sets the price to imply similar or higher quality than a competitor or similar or better value than a competitor, are effective for clothing and consumer products. Premium or prestige pricing involves setting a much higher price than competitors’ products when the product is considered a status symbol or is of higher quality than competing products. Captive pricing is effective if the company can sell a product for a lower price and its replace-

ment parts or items that complement or supplement it for a higher price. Other strategies that can be used to adjust prices and help induce or shift sales are: offpeak pricing (e.g. happy hour or late-night specials), bundling (grouping products or services together and charging for the bundle somewhat less than each would cost individually), coupons, rebates, loyalty programs and referral discounts. No matter which pricing strategy the company utilizes, the company needs to always be aware of the “value” of the product to the customer. Herein lies the basis for value pricing. Once the company has determined the costs and applied a pricing strategy, the final price needs to be adjusted up or down to account for the value of the product to the customer.


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CEDAR VALLEY BUSINESS MONTHLY

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FEBRUARY 2011

Is your company’s IT infrastructure leaking money? Whoever said “don’t sweat the small stuff” never managed an IT infrastructure — and certainly not during turbulent economic times. According to independent analyst Forrester Research, global IT purchases in 2008 will grow by only 6 percent, versus 12 percent growth in 2007. So, although you’re already doing more with less, it’s time to do even more with even less. Investing in management solutions to control infrastructure costs is one way to meet that challenge. Effective infrastructure management tools can lead to significant savings over time and help position your business to take advantage of the upside when the economic tide turns.

Curb power use

Prevent problems With remote management, IT administrators can diagnose and fix a problem on a server halfway around the world, saving travel costs, wear and tear, and time. Some solutions help IT employees collaborate and train more efficiently, too. For example, a database expert in Taiwan might collaborate with a storage guru in Singapore to work on a Hong Kong-based server — with both controlling the server in real time. And with recording and playback, other IT employees can see how the problem was fixed, click by click.

Analyze and optimize Capacity planning can be a complex, time-consuming and resource-consuming exercise if you’re using a patched-together spreadsheet to get the job done. Today’s sophisticated capacityplanning software can monitor a mixed physical and virtual environment with fluid workloads, real time. Look for a solution that can handle complexity: a combination of large and small servers, blades, virtual machines, hard partitions, variable workloads and global demand. You also want a solution that works continuously behind the scenes, analyzing each server’s utilization, performance and power consumption. It should incorporate significant quantities of historical data to help you make on-the-fly decisions.

The costs of cooling your data center can be as much as (or more than) the cost of powering its IT equipment. A study by HP and the Uptime Institute suggests 60 to 70 percent of power use is associated with cooling IT equipment in a majority of the world’s data centers. Management solutions that monitor, measure, regulate, cap and otherwise optimize power usage can keep power savings flowing. By moving computer power where it’s needed when it’s needed, you can cut expenses in your data center and help keep the data center energy crisis at bay. And, sometimes, plans for costly data center expansions or new construc- Automate tion can be postponed or even Hardware investments might abandoned. be slowing, but that doesn’t

istrator ratios. In fact, an IDC study of 12 enterprises using HP Systems Insight Manager, a management software solution, found that the companies were able to nearly double the number of servers managed per administrator, increasing the sever-to-administrator ratio by an average of 98 percent. With the right infrastructure management solution, your IT staff can accomplish numerous tasks-decreasing deployment times, speeding time to problem resolution and balancing workloads, just to name a fewusing a single console across United management multiple servers, both physical Unified infrastructure man- and virtual. agement software often results in all of the benefits cited Smart investment above, plus the natural result Investing in management of increasing server-to-admin- software to control infrastruc-

mean they’ll stop. Deploying and provisioning new systems is a time drain that can keep people away from more valueadded tasks. Look for management solutions that automate deployment and provisioning with a simple drag-and-drop interface; instant, out-of-the-box functionality; and integrated storage and server management. Features such as autodiscovery, on-the-fly server configuration and scheduling can allow your team to deploy dozens of servers in minutes.

ture costs is always important, never more so than during an economic crunch. A recent IDC study found HP Insight Control, which offers core management functionality for the full server life, provides financial benefits across the board, with three-year projected return on investment starting at more than 400 percent and payback periods of less than 10 months. Not only can smart management tool investments help you pull through an economic downturn, but they can put you in lean, fighting shape for the inevitable recovery. Scott Behrends is systems engineer with ACES in Cedar Falls. Contact him at 553-0840 or sbehrends@ acesiowa.com.


FEBRUARY 2011

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Cedar Valley Corp. understands value of sustainability The Cedar Valley Corp. was recently certified by the Green Cedar Valley Initiative as a leader in sustainable business. A forward-thinking construction company specializing in heavy highBrooke way construcBurnham tion, the CVC is is marketing and mindful of the communications long-term outdirector of the Waterloo Convention come and has & Visitors Bureau. taken numerous Contact her at 233- steps to make its 8350 or Brooke@ environmental TravelWaterloo.com. impact smaller and human capital more efficient. Sustainability first came about at the Cedar Valley Corp. in 2007 with a simple energy audit by MidAmerican Energy. The audit highlighted several areas where the company could make small improvements to lower its bottom line and reduce its energy consumption. “Subsequently, as we looked at future improvements we automatically reviewed them for

additional gains in efficiency. This, in turn, triggered additional motivations in our sustainability efforts,” said Jeff Bowers, safety director for Cedar Valley Corp. By implementing energy efficient and sustainable measures on both internal and external projects, CVC has reduced its environmental footprint and helped clients do the same. The company is constantly looking for new technologies, products and methods that will be both environmentally friendly and budget friendly, while also trying to keep its business local by purchasing from local suppliers. Within the business, the environmental steps include buying recycled or durable goods to reduce waste, reducing water consumption through purposeful landscaping and irrigation, lowering fuel consumption by utilizing E85 and flex-fuel vehicles, and reducing energy use by installing energy saving fixtures, CFL lights and motion sensors in place of switches. Bowers noted environmental responsibility has always been present in the company’s leadership. While it hasn’t focused on financially quantifying the

How to locate information about profit-sharing plans efit adviser there is (866) 4443272. You should be prepared to provide the name and location of the company sponsoring the Q. I worked for a company with profit-sharing and information from your latest account statea profit-sharing plan. I haven’t been able to get any information ment, an EBSA spokeswoman said. about where my money is. Can For more on retirement plans you help me? and EBSA, go to www.dol.gov/ A. The Employee Benefits Secu- ebsa/consumer—info—pension. html rity Administration, which has Carrie Mason-Draffen is a jurisdiction over private-seccolumnist for Newsday and the tor companies’ profit-sharing, author of “151 Quick Ideas to Deal 401(k), money-purchase and With Difficult People.” Readers employee-stock ownership may send her e-mail at carrie. plans, is the place to start. The toll-free number to reach a ben- draffen@newsday.com By CARRIE MASON-DRAFFEN Newsday

impact, the Green Cedar Valley Initiative has allowed the company to assess and evaluate overall sustainable efforts that span from environmental to employee sustainability. Employee sustainability has taken shape at CVC as Team WellPro, an employee-driven task force that has helped propel the company forward in providing preventative health care, smoking cessation assistance and wellness coaching, among other measures. By taking on health care mandates early, the company has been pro-active in creating a healthier work force which, in turn, is expected to lead to lower absenteeism, fewer injuries and stronger, healthier employees, which CVC sees as its most valued assets. “Our wellness philosophies

further reinforce to our employees the company’s belief that our employees are our most valued asset when they can see the benefits of the steps the company has taken on their behalf. Also, because our employees freely share positive thoughts of our company with family and acquaintances, we believe it results in our being an “employer of choice” and provides us with a larger and stronger pool of applicants when openings occur within our work force,” Bowers said. It is beneficial for companies to understand the positive impact a company can have on the environment, employees and the community at large also can help the bottom line by reducing costs and becoming a more competitive employer with a higher-skilled work force. All of

this helps a business to stay competitive, even through dips in the economy. As Bowers said, “There is nothing magical about being an environmentally responsible company. In most cases it is possible to make economically prudent decisions that can still be environmentally sound. As we continue to develop this culture in our corporate environment, it is our hope and expectation that this culture is adopted by our employees and their families. As we all become more aware, our communities become more conscious and accountable for the environment in which we live.” If you are interested in finding out more about the GCVI and how your business can move forward in sustainability, visit GreenCedarValley.com.


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CEDAR VALLEY BUSINESS MONTHLY

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FEBRUARY 2011

There’s a new type of medication for osteoporosis Prolia is the newest type of antiresorptive medication for osteoporosis. Like the other antiresorptive medications — Fosamax, Alendronate, Actonel, Boniva and Reclast — Prolia slows the Jay Ginther, cells that resorb M.D., or eat away is director of the bone. Prolia Cedar Valley Bone does it differHealth Institute. ently, avoiding Contact him at some potential 233-2663 or at www.CVBoneHealth. problems. Fo s a m a x , com. Alendronate, Actonel, Boniva and Reclast are all bisphosphonates. These medications accumulate in the bone, gradually building up. When the osteoclast cells come to eat away the bone, they eat up the bisphosphonate medication too. That disables the osteoclast cells or even kills them. Prolia works outside the bone. Think of it as “birth control” for the osteoclast cells that eat away bone.

Prolia mimics the hormone OPG which regulates the hormone RANK-Ligand. RANKLigand forms and activates the osteoclast cells. Bone health is based on a balance between OPG and RANK-Ligand. In osteoporosis this balance is disrupted by too little OPG. Prolia takes over the role of OPG to bring the system back to better balance. A big advantage of Prolia is that it is given in a shot under the skin once every six months. It is effective for about six to nine months. It is gone by 12 months unless another shot is given. It does not accumulate in bone, so there is no concern Prolia will still be in the bones years later as bisphosphonates are. Prolia was released for public use in June. Patients in the FDA required studies have taken it for as long as five years. The data for the first four years have been fully analyzed and were presented at the American Society for Bone Mineral Research meeting in October. Preliminary analysis of year five looks the same. Prolia is effective in preserving bone already there. Patients add

calcium to their bones and gain bone mineral density. They must consume 1,200 to 1,500 mg of calcium in diet and supplement combined every day. They also need enough vitamin D, which means taking about 2,000 units daily from September through April even if they are in the midday sun in the summer. Patients with heartburn or reflux disease can take Prolia. Patients with kidney disease and older patients can too. Prolia can be a good choice for patients who had no other options until now. Complications were common in the FDA required studies. Both patients taking Prolia and those taking the placebo shots had complaints. The problems occurred in similar numbers of patients among those taking and not taking the drug. Over half

of the patients taking Prolia and over half of the patients not taking Prolia reported problems in the first three years. The FDA requires only problems occurring more often with the medication be listed. If 1,000 patients on a medication have a specific problem and only 999 on the fake medication do, then that problem is listed. A full blood work-up is needed to be sure Prolia will be safe for you. Blood tests for 25-hydroxy Vitamin D level and PTH are both needed, as well as CMP. You must be sure you are getting and absorbing 1,200 to 1,500 mg of calcium daily in your food and as calcium citrate. It is important to have any dental work done before taking Prolia. Like Reclast, Fosamax, Alendronate, Actonel and

Boniva, Prolia will suppress bone turnover. Osteonecrosis of the jaw has been found in two patients who were on the placebo for the first trhee years and switched to Prolia for the fourth year. No ONJ was found in patients on Prolia for the full five years. There is no firm evidence that any of these meds actually causes ONJ. If you are over 80 or have renal disease — or have serious heartburn or reflux disease — Prolia is a good option to preserve bone you already have. Next month we will discuss a medication for individuals who have already had fragility fractures and need to do more than preserve their bone. See Dr. Ginther’s new blog at www.BoneDocBlog.com for further information about Prolia and other osteoporosis issues.

moreinformation informationononhow how ForFormore helpgive giveyou youanan ThePrincipal Principal® ®cancanhelp The edge,callcallMathew MathewororKelly Kellytoday. today. edge, ® ® Mathew Driscoll, CFPCFP Mathew Driscoll, Financial Services Representative Financial Services Representative Princor Registered Representative Princor Registered Representative Financial Advisor Financial Advisor driscoll.mathew@princor.com driscoll.mathew@princor.com

Kelly KellyChristensen Christensen Financial FinancialServices ServicesRepresentative Representative PrincorRegistered RegisteredRepresentative Representative Princor christensen.kelly@princor.com christensen.kelly@princor.com

(319) 266-6270 2302 W. First St., Suite 201E, Cedar Falls, IA 50613 ©2009 Principal Financial Services, Inc. “The Principal,” “Principal Financial Group,” the Edge design, “We’ll Give You an Edge” and the il ustrated character are registered service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc. Insurance products from the Principal Financial Group® are issued by Principal National Life Insurance Company (except in New York) and Principal Life Insurance Company. Securities offered through Princor Financial Services Corporation, 800/247-1737, member SIPC. Principal National, Principal Life, and Princor® are members of the Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, IA 50392. AD1793 | t100311001e

WE’LL GIVE YOU AN EDGE®


WORDS of WISDOM FOR THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY

What will cars be like in 20 years?

“I would certainly hope that they will not be fueled by gasoline in any way! I can’t imagine what the prices would be or the affect on the world economy and enviroment if we are still reliant on oil in 20 years.” Mary Carlson / Hampton Inn

“I believe that over the next five to ten years we as consumers can expect to see more hybrid or full electric cars. I do see many states starting to have roads that are designed to aid Smart cars to drive from point A to point B. Imagine a world where cars and highways working with each other, sharing information about road conditions and potential dangers further down the road. These smart roads may also help to relay the most cost effective route to travel. I do believe that this type of technology for these types of Smart car and Smart Roads are already available today.” Sid Harris / Aflac

“Cars will be Electric Hover Crafts. No need for a steering wheel-just program your aka:smartphone to take you to your desired location. You will have access to satelite tv, twitter, facebook, and of course itunes. The windshield would be a heads up display computer monitor and the seating would be comfortable reclining seats.” Crystal Olson / McKenna McNelly Photography

“I see vehicles in 20 years to basically function just like they do today. The areas that I believe we will see drastic improvements in are alternative fuel technology, passenger safety and increased fuel economy.” Jay Witham / Witham Autos

“We seem to have heard a lot about what cars may be like 20 years from now. Most images we see are of cars that are smaller in size with a very sleek looking design. We have also been hearing about electric powered cars for years now, and to date, they still have not taken a very strong position in the overall car market. Hybrid cars have been making steady progress and I think we will see that continue. When it is all said and done I think in 20 years we will see cars that have the sleek designs, with improved gas mileage and more features that consumers think they “need” such as parking assistance, GPS and Bluetooth as standard features. And they will be gas powered.” Jeff Schmitt / Hyde Telecom


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CEDAR VALLEY BUSINESS MONTHLY

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FEBRUARY 2011

Reducing energy use doesn’t have to be difficult Reducing energy usage is something almost every individual and business is looking to do today. Some easy ways we can do this are by turning off lights in a room that isn’t being used, openJames Pingel ing the blinds to is owner of Sound let the sun in to Advice Vac & Video warm a room in in Cedar Falls. the winter and Contact him at closing the blinds 266-5995. to keep the room cool in the summer, dimming lights, using programmable thermostats and taking shorter showers. I think we can all agree that most of these are pretty easy to do. The hard part sometimes is

doing it. With today’s technol- in the morning when the light ogy these energy saving habits switch is turned on it will turn can become automatic. off after 20 minutes. This is a great way to control time in the ‘Turn the light off!’ bathroom, which could also How often did we hear that lead to shorter showers. as kids, and how often do we say that to our kids? Studies Dim the lights suggest lighting accounts for Dimming lights is a great way 20 percent of all electricity to conserve electricity, save on consumed in the U.S., and 50 energy costs and extend the percent of that is wasted with life of light bulbs. Dimming a inefficient light sources or in light by 25 percent can save 20 unoccupied rooms. Occupancy percent in electricity and help sensors are a great way to save the bulb to last four times lonenergy. An occupancy sensor ger. Dimming the light to this can be located anywhere in a level is not noticeable to the room and to sense movement. If human eye. Today’s technology there is no movement the light enables dimmer switches to be is turned off. A timer is another programmed so they turn on at way to manage lights when no this energy-saving level. This one is in the room. Take the can be manually overridden bathroom light for example. when you really need the light A timer can be set up so that to be at 100 percent.

Heat smart Most of us already have programmable thermostats. We can program the temperature to be more comfortable when the building is occupied. Today’s technology allows remote access to thermostats so if we need to change our schedule we can override the thermostat and adjust the temperature accordingly. Take advantage of the sun to help heat rooms in the winter. Automated window treatments allow you to set a timer so that window shades are open to let sun in to a room in the winter and to draw the blinds in the summer. Technology also is enabling us to easily monitor how much energy we are consuming. An energy monitoring device is

installed in the circuit breaker panel and tracks power consumption. You can then view how much energy you are using. If you want to see how much it is costing you to have all of your lights on, you can. You can see your highest energy usage for the hour, day or month. This helps take the surprise out of your energy bill when it arrives each month and allows you to make changes to how you use energy. In some states utility companies have you contract for how much energy you are going to use for a given period. If you use more than what you contract for, you are charged a premium. These energy monitoring devices are becoming popular in those states. Reducing your energy consumption can be easy.

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FEBRUARY 2011

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Start saving for retirement early so you’re not sorry later Life between the ages of 20 and 40 can be interesting. The amount of life transitions an individual goes through between those years is staggering. Pursuing or finishing our education, getErica Feldick ting our first job, is a financial moving, getting adviser with married, starting Jacobson Financial a family, changing Services LLC jobs, going back in Cedar Falls. to school or even Contact her at getting a divorce 266-2445. or caring for a sick parent are changes many young adults encounter. We know that each life transition tends to bring with it financial issues and consequences. Each change and decision we make has consequences for later in life. While we’re in our 20s, we may not realize decisions we make now can impact the rest of our financial lives. Considering many of us had little financial education, the stage is set for critical financial mistakes early on in life. How can we avoid these mistakes and, if we’ve already made them,

how do we strive to find financial redemption? Here are some common financial pitfalls and ideas on how to try and redeem yourself if you’ve fallen into them already.

Don’t wait until tomorrow

The debt trap

Debt is the number one reason young people don’t invest. It can cause us to make lifestyle and financial decisions we wouldn’t normally make. Try tackling debt a little at a time. Start with the obligation that has the highest interest rate and pay that down first. When one debt is paid, move to the next debt until you are virtually debt-free. The longer it takes you to pay off the debt, the more money you will have paid to others instead of to yourself. Commit to this process. Put off buying your first home, splurging on entertainment items or purchasing a new car, until you have tackled the debt issue.

Many financial concerns press young adults. It’s easier to pay for the needs of the present rather than save for the future. Many young adults rationalize this behavior by thinking they’ll make up for lost time when they earn more money in later years. However, this is false thinking. If a 25-year-old saves $2,000 in an IRA with a 7 percent annualized rate of return between the ages of 25 and 35 only, she will have accumulated $210,349 by Prioritize the time she is age 65. A 35-yearWhat are your values and priold who begins investing the orities, and do your financial same amount at the same rate decisions reflect those values? of return each year until age 65 For many of us, this is an uncomwill only accumulate $188,922. Even if you can’t afford to save a lot each month, every little bit helps. Time is on your side when it comes to investing, so start early with a little bit each month and increase the amount when you can.

fortable question because our financial decisions often don’t reflect our priorities. Our money isn’t going to the places or people who are most important. Sometimes, we’re not sure where our money goes. Save a receipt for every transaction your family makes for 30 days. Take the time to go over what you spent, where and why. Assess your actions and see if they match your priorities. If not, it’s time to sketch out a budget that reflects who you are.

Too much too soon We’ve all heard our parents say, “You live in a fast-food society where you can get everything right now. We didn’t have (fill in the blank) when we were your age.” As much as it hurts to admit, they are probably right. Many of today’s young adults were raised in one of the wealthiest periods

in human history. We got much of what we wanted and we usually didn’t have to wait to get it. If we begin our financial lives with this mentality we pay for it later. Sometimes we cause financial stress for ourselves because we want too much too soon. Next time you’re faced with a possible financial commitment, be honest: Are you ready? Can you pay for it without altering your lifestyle, finding another job or taking out unreasonable debt? If not, maybe it’s best to wait. Most wealthy people are wealthy not because they experienced a windfall; they are wealthy because they made prudent choices with their money consistently over a period of years. They learned how to be patient. If we can master these behaviors early on, we may be able to put ourselves on the path to lasting wealth.


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CEDAR VALLEY BUSINESS MONTHLY

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What does low inflation mean to bondholders? If you’re like many people, you may pay a lot of attention to the day-to-day price movements of your investments. But to create and maintain an effective investment strategy, you also need to look at the “big picture” — specifically, the economic and Jana Eilderts market forces that is a financial can affect your adviser with investments’ perEdward Jones formance. One in Cedar Falls. Contact her at of those factors is 277-6583. inflation. Of course, inflation has been fairly tame lately. In fact, some consumer prices fell through much of 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Will the mild inflation envi-

ronment continue? It’s risky to try to predict the course of any economic development. Yet some key signs point to continued low inflation. For one thing, unemployment remains stubbornly high. Fewer people working means fewer people spending, which lowers the demand for goods and services. Also, we currently are not producing anywhere near as much as we could, given our productive capacity, according to the Federal Reserve. When this gap exists, the economy can typically expand without triggering higher inflation. If inflation does remain low for the near term, the Fed is unlikely to raise short-term interest rates significantly; it typically raises rates in an effort to “cool down”

an overheated economy. Consequently, if inflation stays low, you may be looking at continued low interest rates, at least for a while. This would affect all types of investments, but it’s especially relevant to fixedincome vehicles, such as bonds. Assuming short-term rates stay low for a while, what opportunities should you consider for your bonds? For one thing, you may want to expand your holdings beyond short-term bonds; longer-term bonds usually offer higher interest rates as compensation for inflation risk, which increases over time. If interest rates do rise, however, the value of existing bonds tends to fall; no one will pay you the face value of your bond when newer ones are issued at higher rates. But because they have a

long future stream of interest payments that wouldn’t keep up with current rates, long-term bonds typically adjust more than short-term ones. To protect yourself against interest rate risk — the risk that your bonds will lose value if rates rise — you may want to consider building a “ladder ” containing bonds of varying maturities. When rates rise, you might be able to reinvest the proceeds of your short-term bonds into new ones that carry the higher rates. And if rates fall, you’ll still collect larger interest payments from your longer-term bonds — which would also typically fetch a premium price if you needed to sell them before they matured. Keep in mind, though, that while a bond ladder may help protect you somewhat against

interest rate risk, you need to consider other factors, such as credit risk — the risk that the bond issuer will default or be unable to make principal or interest payments — and market risk — the risk that you could lose some or all of your principal as the value of your bonds fluctuates. You can help combat these risks by considering quality, investment-grade bonds. If it’s suitable for your investment objectives, risk tolerance and financial circumstances, a bond ladder may help you prepare for changes in inflation and interest rates. And by being prepared, you can avoid negative behaviors, such as hasty decisions and excessive trading, while you position your portfolio to help achieve your long-term goals.

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FEBRUARY 2011

Resurgent U.S. automakers aim to prolong momentum Los Angeles Times

DETROIT — Detroit’s on a roll. But can it last? American auto brands Chevrolet and Ford are outselling Toyotas in the United States for the first time in years, thanks to a new stable of better designed and more reliable cars. General Motors Co., meanwhile, has become the top foreign automaker in the fast-growing Chinese market. At the same time, painful cost cuts — including trimming employment and health expenses and rewriting union contracts — have fattened the bottom line for domestic automakers, with General Motors and Ford Motor Co. earning nearly $4 billion combined in their most recent quarterly reports. That’s a figure that was once “unimaginable” considering that total U.S. auto sales were only 11.6 million last year, still near historic lows, said David Cole, a longtime industry analyst and chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The mood was decidedly upbeat among the executives who gathered last month in Detroit for the North American International Auto Show. “The auspices are a lot better than they were a year ago,” said Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of Chrysler Group, which is gaining market share and expects to move back into the black this year after narrowing its losses steadily last year. Still, given Detroit’s long decline from its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, some wonder whether the turnaround is a momentary blip or a sustainable change. Rising oil prices could topple the economy into another recession. Upcoming United Auto Workers union talks could turn into a fight by workers to regain benefits lost during the restructuring. Foreign automakers, especially Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., could recapture their verve and attack the market with new models and attractive pricing. The Detroit Three could revert to bad habits and start producing more cars than can be reasonably sold.

“We have concerns,” said Rebecca Lindland, an automotive analyst at IHS Global Insight. “There is just so much competition in the marketplace, especially from fast-growing companies like Hyundai and Kia. And this fall the negotiations with the UAW could be very contentious.” But executives from the domestic companies, their overseas rivals and industry analysts say that the auto world has changed in the past two years and that American automakers will be much stronger competitors. “We have never seen such dramatic change in such a short period of time,” Cole said. One difference from years past is that the corporate chiefs of the U.S. automakers speak with seemingly one voice when it comes to operating tightly run businesses.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally, GM North America President Mark Reuss and Chrysler’s Marchionne all promise not to fall back into the trap of making too many cars and then slapping huge discounts on the vehicles to move metal off dealer lots. “This has been the heart of the problem in Detroit,” said Marchionne, who also heads up Fiat, the Italian auto company. Mulally said Ford has learned that it has to “deal with the current reality.” For Ford that meant going with a plan for massive restructuring to a consortium of banks and borrowing $23.5 billion, he said. For GM and Chrysler it meant bankruptcy filings and huge bailouts from the federal government. Such measures allowed the Detroit Three to cut employ-

ment, slash health expenses, rewrite union contracts, winnow out surplus factories and trim the cost of building a vehicle by several thousand dollars. GM and Chrysler reduced billions of dollars of debt through their bankruptcy restructurings. U.S. automakers also gained a competitive advantage from the fall in the dollar’s value, which made import brands from Europe and Japan less competitive. Cole calculates the “all-inclusive labor rate with health care and pensions at about $50 an hour in the U.S. and at over $100 an hour in Germany.” The Americans also got a boost from the damage Toyota suffered from its recalls of millions of vehicles over the last 18 months and the nearly $50 million in record fines the automaker paid to federal safety regulators.

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CEDAR VALLEY BUSINESS MONTHLY

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Volt wins Car of the Year; Explorer is top truck Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — The Chevrolet Volt has won yet another major award: The North American Car of the Year. The Volt beat out two other finalists, the Hyundai Sonata and the battery-powered Nissan Leaf. The North American Truck of the Year is the Ford Explorer, which beat out the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango. It was Ford’s third consecutive year to win Truck of the Year. The announcement was made at the 2011 North American International Auto Show last month, where General Motors first showed the Volt as a concept car four years ago. Tom Stephens, General Motors’ vice chairman of product development, declared that the automaker, which received assistance from the U.S. government as it went through bankruptcy restructuring in 2009, is able to produce the best cars with innovative technology. “When we announced this car several years ago at this show,

there was a lot of skepticism among all the press,” Stephens said. “And to be here today ... and have the honor of being named North American Car of the Year, I think, says it all.” After nearly four years of anticipation, many car critics are saying the Volt’s performance is impressive. With a starting price of about $41,000 before a $7,500 federal tax credit, the Volt travels between 25-50 miles on an electric charge before a gasolinepowered generator switches on to produce more electricity. Since its introduction in December, Chevrolet has sold 326 Volts. The extended-range plug-in car also has been named Motor Trend Car of the Year and Automobile Magazine’s Car of the Year. The North American Car and Truck of the Year awards are prestigious because they are given by a jury of 49 veteran automotive journalists from Canada and the United States. To be eligible, vehicles must be “allnew” or “substantially changed” from the previous model. “This kind of reception really

AP PHOTOS

Ford executive Mark Fields with a Ford Explorer.

The 2011 Chevrolet Volt. does humble me and General Motors,” Stephens said. “When we announced it, you could tell by the skepticism that it was really a moon shot. And in fact, I think today I would tell you that yes, it was a moon shot, but we landed it.”

The Truck of the Year, the 2011 Ford Explorer, was launched in December. A media drive late last year showed that it easily travels over deep sand ruts and steep hills even though it is built off of a car platform — the same one as the Ford Taurus sedan. Dealers

from California to Pennsylvania say the Explorer shows signs of being a hit with customers. The Explorer also gets 25 miles per gallon on the highway and 17 mpg in the city, putting it at the head of its class for fuel economy.

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PAGE 24

THE COURIER

CEDAR VALLEY BUSINESS MONTHLY

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FEBRUARY 2011

Ford unveils new hybrids, to hire 7,000 by 2013 DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. says it will add more than 7,000 workers in the U.S. over the next two years as it begins producing several new vehicles. The company plans to hire 4,000 manufacturing workers this year. Almost half those workers will be at the Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky that will make the new Ford Escape starting late this year. It expects to add at least 2,500 new manufacturing jobs in 2012. Ford also plans to hire 750 engineers with expertise in batteries and other areas to work on electric vehicles. The company said it is beginning a recruiting effort in Detroit and eight other cities. Ford introduced three future electric and hybrid vehicles last month at the Detroit auto show, including an electric version of the Ford Focus. Here is a closer look at the new cars and minivans Ford unveiled: FORD C-MAX HYBRID AND C-MAX ENERGI: Ford will build two five-passenger hybrid versions of its C-Max compact minivan: a conventional hybrid and a plug-in hybrid called the Energi. Both will feature a gasoline engine, electric motor and lithium-ion batteries and are expected to go on sale in 2012. Both will have car-type hinged rear doors, while a bigger seven-seat C-Max has sliding rear doors. The batteries fit under the floor behind their rear seat. Ford said the hybrid will beat the Fusion hybrid sedan’s EPA fuel economy rating of 41 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. The hybrid will be able to travel for short distances at up to 47 mph on battery power alone. The Energi plug-in hybrid will cover longer distances under electric power. Ford won’t say how far or fast its batteries will carry it, but promises a combined gasoline and electric range of more than 500 miles. FORD FOCUS ELECTRIC: Electric compact hatchback. The Focus Electric is Ford’s first battery-powered car for consumers. Ford said its electric Focus will cover up to 100 miles on a full charge — and recharge in about half the time of the Nissan Leaf. The Focus’ lithium-ion battery should recharge fully from drained in just three or four hours at a 240-volt outlet. The car’s top speed, however, is just 84 mph. The car will feature six air bags, a

able valve timing. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission promises good performance to match that high fuel economy. The base transmission will be a fivespeed manual. The Focus will offer many features not often seen in compact cars, including blind-spot alert, automated parallel

AP PHOTO

Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally stands next to a Ford Focus ST at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. push-button start and a voice-controlled navigation that displays blue butterflies to indicate how much range the batteries will have left after the Focus reaches its destination. Microsoft software will charge the car when electricity rates are lowest. Production of the Focus Electric will begin late this year at Ford’s assembly plant in Wayne, Mich., alongside a number of conventional and electrified cars and minivans. Ford is eventually expecting annual volume of 5,000 to 10,000 Focus Electrics annually. The Focus will be Ford’s first battery-electric car. The automaker has more than 140,000 hybrids. FORD C-MAX: Compact seven-seat minivan. The Ford C-Max is a compact, seven-seat minivan. It is about the size of the 1984 Plymouth Voyager that gave birth to the minivan craze. Ford’s new C-Max minivan aims to offer young parents a well-equipped, fuel-efficient family hauler for around $25,000. The C-Max — already on sale in Europe — has three rows of seats and theoretically seats seven people, but that assumes small children are riding in the rear seat. Power comes from a

2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or a more powerful and fuel-efficient turbocharged, direct-injection 1.6-liter fourcylinder engine. A six-speed automatic transmission should help the C-Max score an EPA highway fuel economy rating above 30 mpg. The C-Max will introduce a sensor that opens the tailgate when you wave your foot below the rear bumper — ideal for parents whose hands are full of kids, sports gear or groceries. Other available features will include blind-spot alert, automated parallel parking and a large sunroof. Ford will build the C-Max in Wayne, just west of the automaker’s headquarters in Dearborn, Mich.

2012 FORD FOCUS AND FOCUS ST: Compact sedan and hatchback. The sleek and technically advanced Focus will bring an unprecedented range of features to mainstream compact cars when it goes on sale this year. In addition to a sleek new look and European ride and handling, the Focus can count on an EPA rating of 40 mpg on the highway, thanks to the 160-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine’s direct fuel-injection and vari-

parking and a rear-view camera. The turbocharged Focus ST cranks the excitement up several notches with around 245 horsepower and a six-speed manual transmission. The suspension and stability control were re-tuned to provide better handling and control than is customary in high-powered frontwheel drive cars.


FEBRUARY 2011

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THE COURIER

Chrysler comes out crowing over rebound And in a September blog post, influential auto analysts at Consumer Reports, who have often been critical of Chrysler’s products, offered this relatively optimistic assessment: “Since the company rose from bankruptcy flames, elevated by a partner-

The Washington Post

DETROIT — A new portfolio of Chrysler cars and trucks was rolled out here last month with music by Eminem reverberating and images of ebullient executives broadcast onto mega-screens flanking the stage, a remarkable display for a company that just a year ago had been left for dead. Last year, no amount of glitz could cover up the emptiness in the Chrysler exhibit at the North American International Auto Show. Its lineup had been depleted by years of financial turmoil, and the company’s feeble marketing efforts, rather than piquing interest, cast a funereal pall. But Chrysler, still infused with $5.8 billion in U.S. loans and led by Sergio Marchionne of Fiat, has shown signs of life — 16 new or revamped cars and an operating profit. “There’s not a guy in the auto industry who thought we could do this,” Marchionne, the normally subdued chief of the company’s revived product lineup, said in an interview. “If I can’t sell these cars, I can’t sell anything.” Still, the U.S. rescue of Chrysler remains a gamble, and it is far too early to judge the success of the Obama administration’s decision in 2009 to invest in the company and to force it into a corporate marriage with Fiat. Chrysler was in key ways far worse off than its bailed-out rival, General Motors. GM pulled off a triumphant return to public stock markets in November and is well on its way to repaying its federal rescue after achieving a profitable 2010. By contrast, Chrysler is expected to report a net loss for the year, when accounting for its interest payments to the government. Its entire $5.8 billion federal rescue remains outstanding. The company is supposed to pay back the first $2.1 billion by the end of the year. It also is unclear whether consumers will take to its new portfolio of vehicles, which includes

ship with Fiat and financial support from the Canadian and U.S. governments, it has been moving at a blistering pace. . . . There is no question that Chrysler has been busy, and what it has accomplished in so short a time is laudable.”

A personal, more meaningful approach to financial planning. AP PHOTO

Models pose with the new Chrysler 300 at the North American International Auto Show on Jan. 11 in Detroit. revamped stalwarts such as the Town & Country and Grand Caravan minivans, as well as its “flagship” sedan, the Chrysler 300, which company officials said they hope will revamp Chrysler’s image. Perhaps as important is whether the company can successfully build and sell a fleet of smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. Fiat announced in January that it had been able to raise its stake in Chrysler to 25 percent from 20 percent after beginning production of a four-cylinder engine for a new small car called the Fiat 500. Building the engine had been one of the milestones set by the U.S. government as Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy in 2009. That leaves the United Auto Workers’ health-care trust with 63.5 percent of the company, the

U.S Treasury with 9.2 percent and a group of Canadian governments with 2.3 percent. Marchionne’s plan for this year is bold enough, especially for an executive who has chastised the industry for building too many cars. Chrysler sold 1.6 million vehicles last year, and his goal for 2011 is a 25 percent jump to 2 million. Counted among recent successes are the Jeep Grand Cherokee, sales of which were up 68 percent over last year, the Dodge Durango and the Dodge Charger. But even Marchionne warned of an excess of confidence. The company’s turnaround has garnered the attention of many former doubters. “I think they did better than anyone expected, including me,” said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with IHS Global Insight.

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PAGE 26

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CEDAR VALLEY BUSINESS MONTHLY

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FEBRUARY 2011

CEO says GM a year behind on product development DETROIT (AP) — A big cut in research and development spending while General Motors was in bankruptcy protection set the company’s new product plans back by about a year, its top executive said Jan 18. Chairman and CEO Daniel Akerson told reporters GM is working to accelerate vehicle plans that were postponed when R&D spending was cut to $5 billion per year as the company was trying to save money during its 2009 stay in bankruptcy protection. The spending has since been restored to $7 billion. GM executives have been scrambling to get the new products back on track, trying not to fall too far behind competitors such as Ford Motor Co. as they update cars and trucks on a more regular basis. Newly redesigned cars and trucks tend to sell faster because they take advantage of new technology and are quieter, handle better and generally are more efficient. Akerson wouldn’t identify which vehicles have been fasttracked for development. The company had delayed its nextgeneration Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks during its ďŹ nancial crisis, and its Impala full-size sedan also is among its older vehicles. The CEO also told reporters that new hatchback and small van versions of the Chevrolet Volt are in the works for 2012 or 2013. The Volt, a rechargeable electric car, is a hatchback. Akerson gave no more details about the new models. “With the bankruptcy we lost roughly a year in terms of development, so that’s why ’12 and ’13 are more pivotal here for us in the United States,â€? Akerson said. He said the company’s product lineup is competitive with the industry for now, with GM having introduced the Volt, Chevrolet Cruze compact and Chevrolet Sonic subcompact in the past few months. The delay affected engine development and other research, Vice Chairman Steve Girsky said.

GM has enough momentum with its new smaller cars to carry it through the product hole, but it faces tough competition from Ford and others in the pickup truck and midsize car segments, said Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting for J.D. Power and Associates. The Chevrolet Malibu, GM’s topselling entry in the midsize car market, is getting older than the competition, as are the pickup trucks, he said. “Those are big segments. I think that’s where the risks are,â€? Schuster said. “It’s absolutely necessary that they be competitive in those segments.â€? Joel Ewanick, GM’s chief marketing officer, said in an interview at the Detroit auto show that the lull in new products will actually help the company market its existing new cars and build awareness of its four remaining brands: Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac. GM, he said, has a lot of new vehicles in the pipeline, but the gap will let the company concentrate on the Cruze, the ďŹ rst credible compact car in GM’s history. The Cruze’s predecessor, the Chevrolet Cobalt, is described even by GM engineers as mediocre, with numerous compromises made to cut costs. The Cruze has a far nicer interior than the Cobalt, is much quieter and handles better. GM engineers say the handling is comparable to a BMW 3-Series sedan, which is far more expensive. Ewanick said GM will spend a lot of money advertising the Cruze, including during the upcoming Super Bowl, because the company needs to convince people to look at a GM small car and establish itself in a market now controlled mainly by the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. Without the gap, Ewanick said he would have had to spend advertising dollars on additional new products. “It’s somewhat fortunate the way things shook out,â€? he said. “What would have happened is you would have launched the car

and moved on to the next launch. We are going to be able to concentrate on that car, and that’s going to pay dividends for years to come,� he said of the Cruze. New products from GM were noticeably absent from the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this year. In past years, the company has rolled out several new products and concept cars that turn into new vehicles. The Volt was unveiled in 2007 as a concept car due in showrooms in three years. This year GM’s only truly new AP PHOTO car was the Buick Verano, a luxury version of the Cruze that will General Motors Executive Director and Vehicle Chief Engineer Jim Federico unveils the 2012 Buick Verano in Detroit last month. be in showrooms later this year.

          !

  

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FEBRUARY 2011

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Toyota’s biggest problem: An aging lineup of cars DETROIT (AP) — It would be easy to think Toyota’s biggest problem is its damaged reputation caused by sudden acceleration recalls, millions in government fines and massive lawsuits and settlements. But what’s hurting the company most is an aging lineup of boring cars. Over the past decade, Toyota and its U.S. dealers had it easy. Cutting edge design wasn’t required because the cars sold themselves on reputation. Everyone knew Toyotas held their value, were safe and got drivers from point A to point B with little drama. Then came the recalls, which called all of that into question. Ending 2010 on a low note, Camry sales fell 10 percent in December from a year earlier. Corolla sales plunged 35 percent. Unless things turn around quickly, Camry is in danger of losing its 10-year crown as the nation’s top-selling car this year to the Honda Accord. Toyota was the only major automaker to sell fewer trucks and cars in the U.S. last year compared to the previous year. Ho hum cars are “probably the worst problem for them,” says Jessica Caldwell, director of pricing and industry analysis for Edmunds.com. “They always had their (safety) reputation to fall back on, but now that’s not the case.” CEO Akio Toyoda acknowledges that Toyota is at a design crossroads. He has told dealers several times that he’s working to improve Toyota’s exterior styling, pushing designers to come up with something more exciting. The company is “intent on making Toyota cars better looking,” he told reporters during his firstever visit to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. After becoming the world’s largest automaker in 2007, Toyota reversed course and resumed giving executives in Japan the final say on design decisions for the U.S. market. Some question whether that change left Toyota

if they want to keep up with the competition. “Their big mantra before the recalls flurry was that their customers liked predictability and reliability, and they

AP PHOTO

A Lexus CT200h is displayed during a press event in Tokyo as Toyota Motor Corp. released the new hybrid compact car Jan. 12. at a disadvantage as Hyundai, Ford and General Motors moved quicker to tailor new designs specifically for U.S. car buyers. Toyota has been more aggressive than Japanese rivals Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. to keep production in Japan. It controls a bigger share of the domestic market and also exports more vehicles out of Japan. Mike Jackson, CEO of Autonation, the country’s largest car dealer network, says that in the past, sedans sold based primarily on their quality, reliability and resale values. Automakers believed “the styling should be conservative enough to not put people off,” he said. “I don’t think that’s the future. Now you have to differentiate yourself.” Company insiders dispute the notion Toyota is facing anything approaching a design crisis. “Styling is subjective,” said Bob Carter, vice president and general manager of the Toyota division. Outsiders may say Toyota cars are boring, but that’s the downside of being so popular, he said. “When you see so many of them on the road, they start to look familiar.” The first peek at the next generation of Camry won’t come until the New York Auto Show in April. They’ll be in showrooms this fall. Early reviews of the next Corolla model were not enthusiastic when it was unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show in November. People at the show couldn’t tell

it from the 2010 Corolla unless they read a sticker Toyota put on the newer model. Toyota focused most of its attention at the Detroit show on an expanded Prius lineup. The centerpiece is a Prius MPV, a minivan-like car. It’s also showing a five-seater that is smaller than the current Prius sedan. It will be sold in the U.S., although the timing is unclear. And it’s bringing a plug-in electric Prius to compete with the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt. The minivan goes on sale this summer, the plug-in this spring. But even if the Prius debuts are hits at the auto show, hybrids aren’t the company’s bread and butter. They were outsold 4-to1 by the Camry and Corolla in 2010, when Toyota was the only automaker to sell fewer cars and trucks than in 2009. Even after piling on incentives, it lost 2 percentage points of market share and slipped behind Ford as the runner up to GM in sales. Working in Toyota’s favor is that about 60 percent of its customer base have owned Toyotas in the past and are loyal. “The recall crisis is hurting them, but it’s not like they are in dire straits,” says David Whiston, an auto analyst with Morningstar investment research firm. “But they may never get back to that halo status they had a few years ago.” Toyoda says the company is focusing on consumers and on styling, but needs to move fast

gave them that more than any other manufacturer,” says Peter DeLorenzo, editor of auto blog AutoExtremist. “But the game has changed.”


FEBRUARY 2011

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PAGE 28

Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Preparing for 2011 Annual Celebration

Jim Waterbury Master of Ceremonies

Ron Steele Awards Presenter

Thursday, March 10th, 6:00 p.m. at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center, Waterloo "Mark your Calendar" for the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Annual Celebration. Social hour is from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m., followed by dinner from 7:00 - 7:45 p.m.; annual awards presentation from 7:45 - 8:45 p.m. and dessert bar/social/networking at 8:45 p.m. The Master of Ceremonies will be Jim Waterbury, and the evenings award presenter will be Ron Steele. The Annual Celebration has one major theme - recognition. The Alliance & Chamber offer this yearly gathering to recognize individuals, businesses, and organizations. A special thanks to the following members for their support of the Annual Celebration: Gold Sponsor -Lost Island, Social Hour Sponsor-The CBE Group and StruXture Architects; Dessert Sponsors-MidWestOne Bank and Ramada Convention Center; Program Sponsor-Tyson Fresh Meats; and Production Sponsor-KWWL Television. For ticket or corporate table information, please contact Bette Wubbena, 232-1156 or bette@greatercedarvalleychamber.com. Reservation deadline is March 3rd. It promises to be a great evening! See you there!

Business Education Series: Part Two Customer Service Thursday, March 10th, 7:30 - 9:00 a.m. at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center Sarah Lloyd, Training Supervisor, Hy-Vee Inc, will present tools to keep the culture of friendliness and service strong within your business. She will talk about the WCST (Welcome and Customer Service Training) program that Hy-Vee puts all of their employees through. Sarah will address issues and ways to handle customer complaints from the corporate perspective. We hope you can join us for this informative and beneficial presentation. To make your reservation, please contact the Alliance & Chamber office at 232-1156 or contact Bette Wubbena at bette@greatercedarvalleychamber.com. Cost is $20 for Alliance & Chamber members and $40 for non-members. Reservation deadline is March 3rd. Parking will be available in the blocked off parking lot, just mention that you are attending the Alliance & Chamber event. A continental breakfast will be served. Thank you to our sponsors! Premier Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Interested in joining the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber? &RQWDFWRQHRIRXUPHPEHUVKLSUHSUHVHQWDWLYHVWRGD\WROHDUQKRZ\RXUEXVLQHVVZLOOEHQH‫ۋ‬W Molly Brown - molly@greatercedarvalleychamber.com or Bette Wubbena - bette@greatercedarvalleychamber.com. Call us at (319) 232-1156 or visit us online at www.GreaterCedarValleyChamber.com


PAGE 29

WWW.GREATERCEDARVALLEYCHAMBER.COM

FEBRUARY 2011

Good Morning Cedar Valley The next Good Morning Cedar Valley is scheduled for March 31, 7:30 a.m., at Beaver Hills Country Club, 8230 Hills Country Club, Cedar Falls. Good Morning Cedar Valley is a quarterly networking breakfast, educating Alliance & Chamber investors on current events. The brief progam includes the Cedar Valley Mayors and a county board of supervisors representative. Updates are also given by other community business leaders. Each breakfast attracts more than 125 member/investors from across the Cedar Valley. There is no cost to attend. RSVP is required. Email Bette Wubbena at bette@greatercedarvalleychamber.com or call 232-1156. Alliance & Chamber networking events are open to all Alliance & Chamber members and their employees. Thank you to the following sponsors for their support! Premier Sponsor

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) 2010-2011 Edition

Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa C O M M U N I T Y

Fact Sheet Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum aterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa, metro population totals over 163,000 people located in Northeast Iowa. We are within a day’s drive of all major dwest markets – only 180 miles south of the Twin Cities, 263 miles west of Milwaukee, and 265 miles west of Chicago. Additional mographic information on the metro and surrounding economic areas are available online at: www.cedarvalleyalliance.com QPopulation

New York

Q Location Highway distance from Waterloo-Cedar Falls to:

Atlanta, GA .................................. 960 miles Chicago, IL .................................. 265 miles New York, NY ........................... 1,125 miles Dallas, TX .................................... 845 miles Kansas City, MO .......................... 295 miles Los Angeles, CA ....................... 1,855 miles Minneapolis, MN ......................... 180 miles St. Louis, MO .............................. 345 miles Denver, CO .................................. 790 miles *MSA defined as Black Hawk, Bremer, and Grundy Counties **Cedar Valley Region defined as Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Chickasaw, and Grundy Counties

2000

2010

2015

Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA (MSA)*

163,706

165,025

165,231

Black Hawk County Cedar Falls Waterloo Evansdale Hudson

128,012 36,145 68,747 4,526 2,117

129,110 38,455 67,019 5,043 2,153

129,434 39,399 66,181 5,264 2,174

23,325 8,968

23,749 9,377

23,791 9,485

12,369

12,166

12,006

Bremer County Waverly Grundy County Cedar Valley Region**

213,199

212,740

211,981

Source: Claritas Market Place

QLabor Market Population

248,248

Source: Cedar Valley Laborshed Analysis, 2008

QWork Force

Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA MSA*

Cedar Valley Region**

94,800

120,680

Total Unemployment

5,300

7,080

Unemployment Rate

5.4%

6.1%

Total Civilian Labor Force

Source: Iowa Workforce Development, 2009 Annual Average

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Visit the Alliance & Chamber website: www.GreaterCedarValleyChamber.com to view the new Waterloo-Cedar Falls Community FACT sheet! On the home page, click on Resource Documents. on the home page

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The Alliance & Chamber is on FACEBOOK! Visit us today at Greater Cedar Valley Chamber of Commerce! Have you visited this FACEBOOK account? - I Love the Cedar Valley! For more great information about the Cedar Valley visit www.CedarValleyAlliance.com Follow our Tweets on Twitter at CedarValleyofIA!

FEBRUARY CALENDAR OF EVENTS Feb. 1 Tues. TechWorks Board Mtg. 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Alliance Board Mtg. 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Feb. 2 Weds. Cedar Valley Leadership Institute Feb. 3 Thurs. TechBrew, Voodoo Lounge, Cedar Falls, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Feb. 8 Tues. Alliance IT Committee Mtg., Cedar Falls Office, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. Ambassador Mtg., Clarion Inn University Plaza, Cedar Falls, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. Feb. 9 Weds. Strictly Business Task Force Mtg., Cabin Coffee Co., 7 :30-9:00 a.m. Finance Commitee Mtg., Waterloo Office, 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Feb. 11 Fri. Government Relations Mtg., Cedar Falls Office, 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. Feb. 15 Tues. Annual Celebration Task Force Mtg., Ramada Convention Center, 4:00 p.m. Feb. 16 Weds. Legislative Reception in Des Moines, Savery Renaissance Hotel, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Feb. 17 Thurs. Investor Relations Meeting, Cedar Falls Office, 8:00 - 9:30 a.m. Feb. 22 Tues. Wartburg President's Convocation, Neumann Auditorium, Wartburg College, 11:30 a.m. Feb. 24 Thurs. Chamber Board Mtg., Clarion Inn University Plaza, Cedar Falls, 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

Please note: The Alliance & Chamber no longer has a P.O. Box address. Please send all payments and invoices to: 10 West 4th St., Suite 310 Waterloo, IA 50701


FEBRUARY 2011

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PAGE 30

Welcome New Members!

Ribbon Cutting Buckingham Companies 941 N. Meridian St. Indianapolis, IN 46204 Phone: 317-554-6784 Contact: Leslie Featherson Category: Apt/Condos

Liberty Tax Service 2812 University Ave., Waterloo

First Children’s Finance 501 Sycamore St., Ste. 502 Waterloo, IA 50703 Phone: 612-279-6512 Website: www. firstchildrensfinance.org Contact: Karla Organist Category: Associations/ Organizations

McDonald Supply 3310 University Ave. Waterloo, IA 50701 Phone: 319-833-2920 Fax: 319-234-0205 Contact: Courtney Frey Category: Kitchen & Bath Showroom

R.J. McElroy Trust 425 Cedar St., Ste. 312 Waterloo, IA 50701 Phone: 319-287-9102 Website: www. mcelroytrust.org Contact: Stacy Van Gorp Category: Associations/ Organizations

New location for 2011 Strictly Business Expo Tuesday, April 5, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo - 2nd Floor Strictly Business is the annual Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber business expo. This event is an opportunity for Alliance & Chamber business owners and professionals to showcase their products and/or services in a tradeshow format. The event attracts 750 community business representatives. Attendees gain a wealth of knowledge while learning and viewing the newest products and services offered by the 50 vendors. Networking during Business After Hours concludes the evening. There will be free valet parking available. Thank you to our sponsors! Premier Sponsor: Community National Bank, Gold Sponsor: Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, Exhibitor Exchange: Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau, Business After Hours: Bridges Senior Living, Beverage Sponsor: Matt Parrott/Storey Kenworthy. Exhibitors this year will be: Advanced Systems, Allen Health System, AmericInn Lodge & Suites, Bridges Senior Living, Cedar Falls Utilities, Cedar Valley Hospice, Clarion Inn University Plaza, Comfort Suites, Community National Bank, Copyworks, Country Inn & Suites, Courier Communications, Cover-All Advertising & Promotions Inc., Dalton Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Inc., Dynamic Impressions, Express Employment Professionals, Family Health Chiropractic, Farrell's Extreme Body Shaping, Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa, Inc., Hampton Inn of Waterloo, Hawkeye Community College, Home Instead Senior Care, Humble Travel Service, Iowa Sports Supply, Kaplan University, Liberty Bank, Lincoln Savings Bank, Livingston Aviation, Manpower, Inc., Maple Lanes/Valley Park Lanes, Matt Parrott/Storey Kenworthy, MCG Biocomposites LLC, MidAmerican Energy, Mount Mercy College, Nagle Signs, Next Generation Wireless, Peoples Savings Bank, Print Innovations LLC, Spielman's Event Services, St. Ambrose University, UNI- MBA Program, University of Northern Iowa, US Coffee & Tea Company, Veridian Credit Union, Waterloo Center for the Arts, Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau, Waterloo Exchange Club, Waterloo Rotary Club - Downtown, and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare. Premier Sponsor

Gold Sponsor


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WWW.GREATERCEDARVALLEYCHAMBER.COM

Thank you to all of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Premier Members. ACES Adams, Wilbur & Eloise AEA 267 All Smiles Family Dentistry American Red Cross AmericInn Lodge & Suites ATC Associates, Inc. Sandy Benak State Farm Insurance Benton's Ready Mixed Concrete Benton's Sand & Gravel, Inc. Black Hawk County Gaming Association Black Hawk Economic Development, Inc. Care Initiatives Hospice Cedar Falls Community Schools Cedar Falls Lutheran Home Cedar Falls Utilities Cedar Valley Hospice Cedar Valley IT Services Cedar Valley Networking Cervetti, D.P.M, Ronald Chase Auto Parts Paul G. Christensen Construction Drs. Christensen, Christensen & Freeseman, P.C. Clean Cut Blade, L.L.C. Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa Con Agra Foods Covenant Foundation Cover-All Embroidery, Inc. Cunningham Construction Days Inn & Suites, Evansdale

Days Inn & Suites, Waterloo Denso International America, Inc. Elements Therapeutic Massage Energy Systems of Iowa, Inc. Facets by Susong Fahr Beverage, Inc. Fairfield Inn Far Reach Technologies First Security State Bank Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute & Museum Gosling & Company, P.C. Grainger Greenwood Drug Co. Hellman Iowa Network Services Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo J's Homestyle Cooking Jenkins, Willard & Kay John Deere Engine Works John Deere Waterloo Works Junior League of Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Inc. KNWS Radio Koch Construction Kremer Kehe Inc. Laser Designs & Graphics, Inc. Liberty Tax Service Life Serve Blood Center Lindgren Glass Products, Inc. Locke Funeral Home Loy & Associates, L.L.P. Magellan Midstream Partners Matthias Landscaping, Inc.

Metropolitan Transit Authority Midrange Consulting Services MidWestOne Bank Miller, Lee Money & More Mount Mercy University My Verona Nagle Signs, Inc. Greg Nicoll Agency Oakridge Realtors Office Express Operation Threshold Oster Partners L.P. Paramark Corp. Parkview Nursing & Rehab Center Pease, Roger Peregrine Charities Perkins Restaurant, Inc. Point Builders, L.L.C. Port 'O' Jonny, Inc. Potter's Hearing Aid Service Prairie Winds Rehabilitation Precieux Art Jewelers R.C. Management Rabo AgriFinance, Inc. Ridgeway Place Riley's Floors Roth Jewelers Rydell Chevrolet Sartori Memorial Hospital Schofield Chiropractic Schoonover, Ross Schumacher Elevator Company Secure It Storage

Service Signing L.C. ServiceMaster 380 Shoff Consulting Engineers, Inc. Skogman Homes The Solution Standard Distribution Co. Stifel Nicolaus Sturgis Falls Celebration, Inc. Sunnyside Country Club Super 8 Cedar Falls The Supervisors' Club Taco John's Restaurant Target Food Distribution Center Target Regional Distribution Center TnK Health Food Store Tri-County Child & Family Development Council, Inc. Tropical Interiors United Concrete, Inc. Upper Iowa University Van Meter Co. Wartburg College Waterloo Black Hawks Waterloo Community Schools Waterloo First United Methodist Church Waterloo Warehousing & Service Co., Inc. Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Iowa, Inc. Winnebago Council Boy Scouts of America The World's Window

Lisa Parsons named new Administrative Assistant We are pleased to announce that Lisa Parsons will be filling the Administrative Assistant position for the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, Waterloo location. She has lived in the Cedar Valley all of her life and is very familiar with the services that the Cedar Valley has to offer. She is involved in the community as a member of the Cedar Falls Jaycees and was previously employed part-time at Veridian Credit Union. She looks forward to helping the current, and future, citizens of the Cedar Valley.


FEBRUARY 2011 MARCH 2010

WWW.GREATERCEDARVALLEYCHAMBER.COM

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Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Legislative Reception in Des Moines on February 16th All state legislators and administration leaders are invited to enjoy our personal hospitality while we discuss issues of importance to the Cedar Valley. It's important that our investors be there to indicate broad-based support for pro-market, pro-business policies and the projects and programs that will make the Cedar Valley an even better place to live and operate a business.The reception will be held from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel, 401 Locust Street. To register, call Lisa Parsons at the Alliance & Chamber office at 232-1156 or parsons@cedarvalleyalliance.com

Alliance & Chamber offers Business Showcase Would you like to highlight your business or event? The Business Showcase offers members internet advertising, print advertising, direct mail labels and a FAX Blast. This includes a 2" X 3" color advertisement on the Alliance & Chamber pages of this publication (circulation of 6,500); two promotions in the Cedar Valley EXTRA e-newsletter (maximum 50 words, circulation of 1,600); one set of mailing labels for all Alliance & Chamber representatives (approximately 1,600); and one 8.5" X 11" advertisement sent by FAX to approximately 900 Alliance & Chamber members. To get your business promoted, contact Amy B. Anderson at 319-232-1156 or anderson@cedarvalleyalliance.com. Time to venture into the Cedar Valley and experience all it has to offer - now at 40% savings! Call the Cedar Falls Tourism & Visitors Bureau at 319-268-4266 or the Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau at 319-233-8350 to find out how you can save 40% on your next Cedar Valley adventure!

Harold Brock Industrial Leader The Industrial World Lost Harold Brock by Steve Dust, President and CEO Greater Cedar Valley Alliance

Perhaps the man, who most epitomizes the concept of Knowledge Spillovers in industrial operations in the Cedar Valley and beyond, has died. The Cedar Valley is very fortunate to have the legacy of Harold Brock as part of our industrial and higher education history. Harold is memorialized as the man who had Henry Ford as a personal mentor, which allowed him to meet Ford’s colleague and mentor Thomas Edison, working with Edison Workshop engineers. He’s the guy who led engineering for Mr. Ford’s 9N tractor. He joined Deere when Ford refused to meet Harold’s exacting quality standards, and became key to the creation of the milestone Deere 4020 tractor. He led the effort to organize Hawkeye Community College, and he was key to start up of Junior Achievement in the Cedar Valley. He authored several books.

Today, the Harold Brock Student Center on HCC campus honors the regard he had for education and collaboration. I am appreciative to have known Harold. The Alliance began awarding the Harold Brock Innovation Award last year at the annual dinner, and Harold attended. Personally, I’m thrilled that I was able to sit next to Harold at Hawkeye’s 2010 Christmas dinner, have a wide ranging conversation, and learn even more about his experience and view of the world over nearly a century of life. To be reminded of Harold’s accomplishments and contributions, watch and read the transcript at this IPTV profile http://www.iptv.org/mtom/story. cfm/feature/626 , and his obituary http:// wcfcourier.com/lifestyles/announcements/ obituaries/article_2b3fbd40-1aaa-11e08e68-001cc4c002e0.html .


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THE COURIER

When others choose to say

3T AP PHOTO

The Honda Civic concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last month.

Honda will offer natural gas, hybrid models for 2012 Civic DETROIT (AP) — Honda Motor Co. plans to sell a nearly emission-free, natural gas-powered version of its new Civic sedan in all 50 states starting this year. The company also plans a hybrid version of the 2012 Civic, which it debuted at the Detroit auto show. The Civic is set to go on sale later this spring. The 2012 Civic is the ninth generation of the popular sedan, which first went on sale in 1972. It has a more sophisticated look than its predecessor, with chiseled lines and a more aerodynamic roof. Honda will offer two-door and four-door versions. It wouldn’t reveal a price, but the current Civic starts at $15,805. The last generation of the Civic, which went on sale in late 2005 as a 2006 model, has been a perennial best-seller in the U.S. But sales began to taper off as competitors like the redesigned Toyota Corolla came on the market. Honda Civic sales were flat last year compared to the year before. The small-car segment is expected to heat up in 2011 as gas prices rise and more new models come on the market, including the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra. John Mendel, executive vice president for sales for Honda in the U.S., said he welcomes the competition.

Mendel dismissed concerns about the pace of Honda’s U.S. sales in 2010. Honda’s sales were up 7 percent over 2009, but the overall industry’s sales were up 11 percent. He said Honda’s sales didn’t dip as far as some other companies in 2009, and it relied less on sales to daily-rental and commercial fleets in 2010 than some of its competitors. Honda sells around 1,500 natural-gas Civics each year, mostly to government fleets. Until now, it only sold natural-gas Civics to individual buyers in California, Oklahoma, New York and Utah. But the company wants to widen access to the vehicle, which has a traditional internal combustion engine but produces almost no emissions. Ninetyeight percent of natural gas used in the U.S. also comes from North America. There are around 1,000 natural gas fueling stations in the U.S., and 500 of them are open to the public, according to Natural Gas Vehicles for America, a lobbying group. The traditional gas-powered Civic will get around 40 miles per gallon, according to Mendel. For the hybrid version, Honda will use a lithium-ion battery for the first time. Previously, it used a nickel-metal hydride battery, similar to the one used in the Toyota Prius.

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THE COURIER

If Korea can do this, watch out for China BYD’s motto, backed by hunies, charged by wind power and other renewable energy sources, dreds of millions of dollars in research and development, is Austin said. “Build Your Dreams.” Don’t laugh.

By WARREN BROWN Special to the Washington Post

DETROIT — The traditional global automobile industry has two three-letter threats. One is Kia. The other is BYD. Kia, the other half of South Korea’s HyundaiKia Automotive Group, poses an immediate threat. BYD, a Chinabased energy company aspiring to produce the world’s most efficient and affordable electric cars, threatens to dominate the industry’s future. In the course of a few years Kia has become an impressive rival to Honda, Toyota, Nissan and other companies producing midsize family automobiles. Consider, for example, the 2011 Kia Optima SX. The Optima’s debut in 2001 was greeted with a global yawn. The car was beyond dull. It was depressing in design, engineering and performance. Its attraction lay in its low price. Now, a decade later, the new Optima sedan is poised to take market share from every other manufacturer selling midsize family cars in America. That includes Volkswagen of Germany, which has mounted an expensive campaign to topple Toyota from its No. 1 spot as the world’s biggest manufacturer and retailer of automobiles — a goal Volkswagen hopes to reach largely through the sale of midsize family sedans such as the Jetta and the Passat. But Volkswagen will have to deal with Kia in climbing to the top of that commercial Mount Olympus. Dealing with Kia won’t be easy. Let’s examine value for dollar, a category in which Kia beats Volkswagen and practically everyone else. The base Kia Optima LX starts at $18,995. The top-of-the-line Optima SX, driven for this column, is priced at $25,995. For 2011, pricing for the base Jetta starts at $14,995. The top-notch, diesel-powered Jetta TDI carries a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $22,995.

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The 2011 Kia Optima SX midsize family sedan drew rave reviews for its design and its ride was surprisingly smooth. If value for dollar were based only on pricing, the Jetta would have an edge. But the “value” part of the pricing equation speaks to what you get for what you pay. In the 2011 Kia Optima, you get more. Its exterior and interior styling surpass that of the 2011 Jetta. The Optima offers more standard equipment. The new Jetta TDI, for example, has a torsion-beam rear suspension, which is less favorable in vehicle handling. The new Optima SX offers as standard equipment a more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension, which greatly enhances handling. Volkswagen’s strategy is to assuage consumer price sensitivity by removing content from its vehicles, which can be viewed as a common-sense approach in economically hard times. At Volkswagen, you pay for what you get, and what you get meets consumer expectations. Kia may have a better idea. You pay a bit more. But what you get vastly exceeds consumer expectations. It is a favorable shock, one that elicited joy and surprise from nearly everyone who got behind the wheel of the Optima SX. “Wow!” said Ria Manglapus, who works on vehicle evaluations. “What a car! I can’t believe this is a Kia. Wow! Wow!”

No one expressed that kind of joy over the 2011 Jetta. People were just happy that Volkswagen had reduced the car’s price. But that happiness was tempered by the realization of the “decontenting” that Volkswagen employed in getting to that price. At the media preview at the North American International Auto Show, the Kia stand was swarming with journalists excitedly examining the new Optima. Over at the Volkswagen display, journalists were deciding that the new Passat is going to have to be priced just right and offer much more than consumers expect to top the Optima and its sibling Hyundai Sonata sedan. A decade ago, hardly anyone would have said anything like that about anything from Kia. It causes one to wonder about the prospects of China-based BYD in the automobile business. The company has spent millions on elaborate displays at the Detroit show in the past four years. But it has yet to offer one car in the United States. But that day will come soon, possibly sometime in 2012, said Michael Austin, vice president of BYD America Corp. And when that day comes, BYD will offer all-electric and hybrid electric vehicles powered by the world’s most advanced batter-

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Despite green talk, SUVs lead sales growth This is true even when the govsumers to get a return on their investment in fuel-saving tech- ernment offers as much as $7,500 nologies, such as hybrids and in incentives, as it is doing for the Leaf and Volt. plug-in vehicles.

The Washington Post

If U.S. consumers are in the midst of a green revolution, the news hasn’t reached car buyers. With the end of the recession, bigger vehicles have made a comeback, sales figures show, and it has come at the expense of smaller, more efficient cars. Leading the growth were sales of midsize sport-utility vehicles, which jumped 41 percent through the first 11 months of 2010, led by vehicles such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Honda Pilot, each of which get about 18 miles per gallon. Sales of small cars, by contrast, remained flat. Sales of the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic declined, and even the fuel-sipping Toyota Prius, the hybrid darling of the eco-conscious, dropped 1.7 percent. “You have about 5 percent of the market that is green and committed to fuel efficiency,” said Mike Jackson, the chief executive of AutoNation, the largest auto retailer in the country. “But the other 95 percent will give up an extra 5 mpg in fuel economy for a better cup holder.” Overall, car and light-truck purchases climbed 12 percent from January to November, led by the consumer tilt toward SUVs and pickups, according to recent numbers from Autodata. The rise in SUV sales comes as the auto industry, governments officials and advertisers have been agog this year with environmental sentiment and boasts about the fuel efficiency of new battery plug-in cars, such as the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf, which recently went on sale. General Motors ads have touted the Volt, which runs on a battery for the first 40 miles, as “something we can all be proud of.” Nissan has pitched the all-electric Leaf with an ad about a polar bear displaced by global warming. It calls the car “innovation for the planet.” And President Barack Obama,

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Mike Manley, president and CEO of Chrysler’s Jeep brand, talks about the 2011 Grand Cherokee at the North American Auto Show in Detroit. following the government rescue of GM last year and investment in battery plants around the country, has predicted a “new beginning” for a domestic industry that would manufacture “the fuel-efficient cars and trucks that will carry us towards an energy-independent future.” But building more-efficient cars and getting consumers to buy them are different issues. Consumers’ tastes are a critical factor in determining the extent to which the nation can reduce its gasoline consumption and, in turn, greenhouse gas emissions and dependency on foreign oil. In one sense, automakers have been improving fuel efficiency for years, selling cars with evermore-efficient engines. In fact, a car purchased today is able to extract nearly twice as much power from a gallon of gas as its counterpart did 25 years ago. But those gains in efficiency have been used to build bigger cars with more power, not save gas. The average mileage of the cars and light trucks on the road has barely budged since 1985. “We have the technology, but what consumers choose is another matter,” said Gloria Bergquist, a vice president with the indus-

try trade group Auto Alliance. “We need to get the technology out on the road.” Brendan Bell, vehicles lobbyist for the Union of Concerned Scientists, notes that consumers have scaled back their enthusiasm for the very largest SUVs and that forthcoming changes in federal fuel economy standards will force cars in all classes to be more efficient. “It’s not like we are going back to where we were in 2007,” he said. The most recent round of fuel economy standards, which were announced earlier this year, will push carmakers to achieve an average of 34 mpg by 2016 through annual improvements of about 4 percent. Coming up for debate early next year are the rules that would set standards through 2025, and already some environmental groups have called for a goal of 60 mpg, an achievement that could add more than $2,000 to the cost of a car, according to some estimates. But corralling U.S. drivers into more fuel-efficient cars can be difficult, particularly because gasoline has remained off its peak prices of 2007. When fuel prices are low, it takes longer for con-


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AP PHOTO

John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America, introduces the Hyundai Velostar at the North American Auto Show in Detroit.

Hyundai debuts Veloster coupe DETROIT (AP) — Hyundai’s latest offering is a sporty coupe that offers more convenient rear-seat access. The South Korean automaker last month unveiled the 2012 Veloster at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Hyundai says the car will get about 40 miles per gallon and start around $17,000 when it goes

on sale this summer. Hyundai says Veloster fits into its goal of producing a fleet that gets an average of 35 mpg by or before 2016 and 50 mpg by 2025. The Veloster has one door on the driver’s side and two on the passenger side. Based on a 2007 concept vehicle, it combines coupe and hatchback attributes.

Chrysler debates minivans’ future WINDSOR, Ontario (AP) — Chrysler is debating the future of its minivans. “We need to completely rethink the minivan,” CEO Sergio Marchionne said Jan. 18 at the Canadian plant where Chrysler’s minivans are made. “We need to retain all its functionality but make it much more versatile.” Marchionne said that could mean new products that can still carry a lot of people but won’t look like traditional minivans. A team within the company is also studying whether to continue both the Town and Country, which is more upscale and starts at $30,000, or the Grand Caravan, which is about $7,000 cheaper. Both are made on the same frame. At the Detroit auto show last month, Marchionne said offering both minivans in Chrysler dealerships is confusing to customers. Marchionne said Chrysler

Group LLC is developing a new frame that can be used for minivans or other kinds of vehicles and will come out in 2013 or 2014. That will allow the company to build smaller minivans, crossovers, or cars depending on what buyers want. That’s a similar strategy to Ford Motor Co., which released a new small minivan at the Detroit auto show. The company’s seven-seat C-Max minivan is built on the frame of a Ford Focus small car. The van will go on sale at the end of this year. Hybrid and electric versions will follow. Now, only minivans can be built off Chrysler’s minivan frame. Chrysler also plans a hybrid minivan by 2013, Marchionne said. Chrysler said the 2011 versions of its minivans have a new V-6 engine with improved fuel economy. One amenity is an optional heated steering wheel, a first among minivans.

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CEDAR VALLEY BUSINESS MONTHLY

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Thawing credit expected to bolster auto sales in 2011 Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — All of Detroit knows car and truck sales for 2011 will stall if the U.S. economy stops accelerating. But auto sales depend heavily on the ability of consumers to borrow, too. Most people are not taking stacks of hundred-dollar bills — or writing checks for the full amount — when they buy a new car. So lots of deals didn’t get done when lenders put a vise grip on car loans during the depths of the recession. But after three years of sharp declines, forecasters see positive signs for the economy and credit. Jeff Schuster, executive director of forecasting at J.D. Power and Associates in Troy, Mich., said consumers who want to take out auto loans are likely to succeed in 2011, continuing a trend that took off slowly in the summer. Schuster said J.D. Power expects U.S. car and light truck sales to reach 12.8 million in 2011 — well below historical levels but well above 2009’s 10.4 million. Last year, Americans bought

about 11.6 million vehicles. For some younger buyers, the car market could be particularly inviting in 2011. Schuster noted that many consumers 18 to 35 had been shut out of the new car market during the recession because of their lack of credit history and lack of savings for a bigger down payment. Younger buyers accounted for 26.5 percent of new vehicle sales in 2006. That number fell to 20.2 percent in 2009 — and since then has been increasing gradually. Now, he said, younger consumers could benefit significantly by more available credit — and that’s likely to help boost car sales in 2011. In the fourth quarter of 2007, total auto loans outstanding hit $841.36 billion. But as the U.S. economy fell into a recession, a severe credit crunch drastically cut back on the ability of many consumers to get car loans. By the second quarter of 2010, the number of auto loans outstanding eroded to $696.81 billion. Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, is fore-

casting gains each quarter this year for car loans. Moody’s Analytics and Equifax are forecasting outstanding auto loans to reach $716.48 billion by the fourth quarter this year. “I expect vehicle sales to steadily improve in part due to a thawing in the availability of auto loan credit,” Zandi said. The climb back for car loans — just like the recovery for the U.S. economy — isn’t nearly as swift as that horrible fall. But progress is progress. “Consumer credit has loosened since the height of the recession,” said Kurt Rankin, economist for PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh. He noted that consumers with less-than-perfect credit are more frequently being approved for car loans lately — contributing to the steady gains in auto sales in the past four

months. As consumers feel more stable about their prospects, he expects them to want to resume spending after retrenching for so long. “Auto sales, I think, will be one of the first major avenues of consumer spending that will see real sustainable growth,” said Rankin, who does not foresee a doubledip recession. Credit, of course, is vital when it comes to selling big-ticket items, such as cars or trucks. Last spring, lenders began opening up credit markets to some less-than-perfect customers, according to Melinda Zabritski, director of automotive credit for Experian in Costa Mesa, Calif. “We certainly had more loans out there and more loans originating in the subprime market,” Zabritski said.

And while that’s good news for many higher-risk consumers, it does not mean a return to the let’s-see-if-you-can-breatheon-this-mirror standard of 2006 or 2007. Consumers who do have weak credit scores must realize that the interest rates they’d pay — and the amount required for a down payment for a new car — would still be far higher than if they had good credit. “For people with actually poor credit or no credit, it would be hard for them to get a new car loan — not impossible,” said Jack Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “They would probably pay what you and I would consider exorbitant interest rates,” Nerad said.


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UAW wants to organize non-Big 3 plants WASHINGTON (AP) — The future of the United Auto Workers union is directly tied to its ability to sign up workers at U.S. plants owned by foreign-based car companies, the union’s leader said last month. In a speech to union members, UAW President Bob King laid out in stark terms the importance of the union’s work to organize a plant owned by a Japanese, South Korean or German competitor to the Detroit Three. King said the UAW would decide in three months which company it would target but said the organizing plans were critical to the union’s outlook. “If we don’t organize these transnationals, I don’t think there’s a long-term future for the UAW, I really don’t,” King said in a speech at the union’s legislative conference. During the past three decades, the UAW has had little success in organizing workers at U.S. factories owned by foreign car makers, which have built plants mostly in southern states which are gener-

King said the union would need to mobilize all of its 1 million active and retired members in the organizing push. In 2009, when General Motors and Chrysler sought bankruptcy and Ford faced severe financial problems, the union agreed

AP PHOTO

Bob King, United Auto Workers (then) vice president is shown in May at the Ford Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti Township, Mich. ally not as union-friendly as the industrial Midwest. Many of the foreign car companies pay wages comparable to UAW-represented factories owned by Detroit automakers, but the foreign companies have avoided UAW rules that owners say can make plants less efficient. King said after years of declin-

ing membership, the union needed to represent a larger share of workers in the auto industry to strengthen its position at the bargaining table. He said the UAW had picketed about 50 of the largest foreign auto dealerships in the U.S. and planned to increase the number to 300 or 400 dealerships around the country.

Porsche uses hybrid tech for power boost DETROIT (AP) — A new race car concept from Porsche is using hybrid technology to boost power as the automaker looks to 2011 for continued sales growth. The German automaker unveiled the Porsche 918 RSR at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last month. It has an eight-cylinder engine that puts out a hefty 563 horsepower. With the push of a button, electric motors on the front wheels boost it to 767 hp. Instead of a passenger seat, an electric motor sits next to the driver that stores energy from braking. Porsche said the motor can provide the more than 200 hp boost for about 8 seconds. “We are researching methods for further efficiency improvements under extreme conditions,” Matthias Muller, Porsche’s

president and CEO, said as the company returned to Detroit for the first time in four years. Stuttgart-based Porsche AG said Monday it delivered more than 95,000 vehicles worldwide last year, up 25 percent. Last week, the company said 2010 sales in the U.S. — its biggest market — topped 25,000, up 29

percent from 2009. Porsche is planning diesel and hybrid versions of its Panamera four-door sedan in the coming year and has “confidence” in 2011 for growth, Muller said. And he said the company is looking at the possibility of building a smaller sport utility vehicle than the Cayenne.

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to let the companies pay newly hired workers about $15 per hour, about half the hourly wage of a longtime UAW worker. It also agreed to scrap the “jobs bank,” in which laid-off workers got most of their pay indefinitely for doing nothing.


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Office/Light Industrial Space

Commercial Land

1919 8th Street SW, Waverly t $1,250,000 ($1,450,000 w / additional ground) t $6.25/sf NNN t 33,400 SF

t t t t

Built in 1995 Dock & overhead door Large paved lot Building can be divided

Brady A. Gruhn, CCIM

4th Street SW, Waverly t $950,000 t 2.4 Acres t Direct access in place off 4th Street (Business Hwy 218)

t Will Build to Suit t Can divide lot

For information on these and other commercial listings, call:

(319) 277-8000 www.LockardOnline.com

All information contained herein is given by sources deemed reliable. While we have no reason to doubt its accuracy, all information is provided without representation of warranty.

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Cedar Valley Business Monthly