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|BUSINESS | News Briefs
Nissan Leaf Reservations Begin April 20 | New TiE CEO | Car Care Month | Retirement Planning
Nissan Leaf Reservations Begin April 20
The Nissan LEAF zero-emission, all-electric vehicle.
In response to strong consumer demand, Nissan North America began taking reservations for the Nissan LEAF zero-emission, all-electric vehicle April 20. The reservation process is a first step in securing a place on the list to purchase or lease a Nissan LEAF. The Nissan LEAF begins rolling out to select markets in December, and will be widely available in 2011.
In the United States, more than 115,000 people have formalized their interest in driving a Nissan LEAF by signing up for more information on NissanUSA.com. These registrants will be given priority in the reservation process. Consumers must be registered on NissanUSA.com by the end of April 20 in order to be eligible for the early reservation process. Reservations will open to the general public on May 15.
“Early interest in the Nissan LEAF has been highly encouraging,” said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, sales & marketing, NNA. “People from across the country have raised their hands to be among the first to drive home a Nissan LEAF. Consumers are pledging broad support for the first affordable electric vehicle for the mass market.”
Priority reservation instructions will be sent to early registrants by email between 1-6 p.m. on April 20. The email will include an exclusive link enabling each person to start the reservation process.
Through the link, the customer will create an account, configure his or her vehicle, and answer questions to complete a driving profile.
Consumers will be asked to pay by credit card a $99 reservation fee, which is fully refundable.
After placing a reservation, a customer will be able to indicate a preferred dealer.
Consumers who reserve a Nissan LEAF will receive confirmation numbers. Nissan will provide individual updates for their reservations by June 30.
Reservations are limited to one per household.
Consumer inquiries about the reservation process can be answered at the Nissan LEAF call center, 1-877-664-2738.
New TiE CEO
TiE Global announced that its board of directors has named P.K. Agarwal to serve as its chief executive officer, effective May 4. Current TiE Global CEO Suren Dutia plans to leave the organization after a transition period.
In making the announcement, Arjun Malhotra, chairman of TiE Global Board of Directors said, “We are honored and privileged to have P.K join TiE Global. As chief technology officer of the State of California during the last 5 years, P.K. has successfully consolidated multiple independent IT organizations, saving taxpayers over $60 million. He was instrumental in pioneering and shaping the national policy on the use of Internet in government and has the unique distinction of having a U.S. national annual award named as the ‘P.K. Agarwal Award for Leadership in Electronic Government.’ With his stellar reputation and proven track record, I am confident that P.K. Agarwal is the right executive to take TiE into the next phase of its evolution.”
Arjun also took the opportunity to thank Suren for his widely acknowledged contributions, personal sacrifices for TiE, and for fulfilling his mandate of institution building at the organization.
In his new role as CEO of TiE Global, P.K. will oversee the development, implementation, and evaluation of programs and services to support the goals of TiE chapters worldwide and advance the TiE mission, which is to promote entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking and education. P.K. Agarwal said, “TiE is the world leader in fostering entrepreneurship and nurturing innovators. It is a great honor to join its leadership team and have the opportunity to build on its success."
P.K. has over 25 years of experience in government technology, spanning both the public and private sectors. Previously, he held positions of vice president at ACS Inc. and executive vice president and chief information officer for NIC Inc. He started his professional career as a management consultant for EDS Corporation. P.K. has a masters’ degree in operations research from the University of California, Berkeley, a masters’ degree in mechanical engineering from California State University, Sacramento and a bachelors’ degree in mechanical engineering from IIT Delhi, India.
Car Care Month
The Bureau of Automotive Repair April 15 held a media briefing specifically for reporters from the Asian Pacific American communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. At the event, BAR representatives provided an overview of its programs and services available to consumers in California. In support of April National Car Care Month, BAR also offered helpful vehicle maintenance and driving tips, and highlighted the DriveHealthy campaign and BAR’s involvement in the community.
“BAR is dedicated to serving and protecting California consumers by ensuring a fair and competitive automotive repair marketplace and administering the Smog Check Program,” said Sherry Mehl, chief of the Bureau of Automotive Repair. “In observance of April as National Car Care Month, we want to take this opportunity to remind California drivers that proper care maintenance not only improves a vehicle’s safety and fuel efficiency, but also helps reduce the amount of emission released in the air, which helps to improve our state’s air quality.”
At the event, Mehl detailed some of BAR’s programs, including the Bureau’s Consumer Assistance Program, which provides financial assistance for qualified consumers whose vehicles fail the biennial smog check inspection. CAP offers two assistance options for consumers. Qualified consumers may be eligible to receive up to $500 in emissions-related repairs, or they can choose to participate in the voluntary vehicle retirement program in exchange of $1,000. Increasing its efforts in improving air quality and recognizing the growing consumer needs in a tough economy, BAR is expanding the vehicle retirement program to cover practically all vehicles beginning July 1, 2010.
As consumers work with tax professionals to complete their returns, MetLife, a leading provider of insurance and financial services, encourages them to consider the retirement saving and tax benefits offered through Individual Retirement Accounts.
An IRA is one of many options MetLife offers clients when helping them plan for retirement and build a personal safety net. Below are summaries of the different types of IRAs available to consumers:
Traditional IRA offers both tax benefits and investment flexibility. The policy owner can allocate assets among a wide variety of investment choices based on financial objectives, time horizon, and risk tolerance. Investment will grow tax-deferred, and the owner will not be taxed until the funds are withdrawn. For many individuals, contributions to a Traditional IRA may also be tax-deductible. Deductibility depends on if the owner or spouse is an active participant in a company-sponsored retirement plan and his/her Modified Adjusted Gross Income and filing status for the year. Withdrawals of taxable amounts from a Traditional IRA are subject to ordinary income taxes and, if taken prior to age 59 ½, an additional 10 percent penalty may apply.
Roth IRA, like Traditional IRAs, offer tax-deferred accumulation. Unlike Traditional IRAs, however, Roth IRAs offer tax-free qualified distributions if the distribution is made after the Roth IRA owner’s five-tax-year holding period and one of the other requirements (e.g. on or after the Roth IRA owner reaches age 59 ½). Contributions, however, are not tax deductible. In order to contribute to a Roth IRA, Modified Adjusted Gross Income must be below certain limits. Withdrawals of earnings in a Roth IRA prior to age 59 ½ are generally subject to ordinary income taxes and an additional 10 percent penalty may apply. In 2010, there are some special tax considerations that can make the Roth IRA more attractive for some savers.