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CATA Works For You

is the CATA's website. It is intended to be an information clearinghouse exclusively for new-car dealerships. With the simple click of a mouse, provides the necessary information, forms, and tools to make your dealership more efficient. The information on the CATA website is available free to all members, also exclusively.

At the CATA website you'll find the following:
  • CATA Officers, Board and Staff
  • CATA Office Location
  • CATA Meeting Facilities
  • CATA Bulletins
  • Chicago Auto Outlook Sales Forecasts
  • Illinois Motor Vehicle Advertising Regulations
  • Illinois Motor Vehicle Franchise Act
  • Illinois Automotive Repair Act
  • Illinois Automotive Collision Repair Act
  • CATA Attorney Contacts
  • CATA Legislative Consultants
  • Unemployment Claims
  • Dealer Forms
  • Workplace Posters
  • Automotive Tax Rates
CATA BULLETIN - The biweekly CATA Bulletin is an electronic newsletter to keep dealership personnel aware of the latest news, legislation and regulations that affect their daily operations. Please circulate the Bulletin via your internal email systems to your key dealership department heads. You'll find that the information it contains will be of value to many of your operation's departments. For more information or to contact the editor, write Erik Higgins at Also contact Higgins to add an email address to the distribution list.
  • Auto Outlook New- and Used-Car Newsletters - "Auto Outlook" is a monthly synopsis of market trends and indicators prepared for CATA members. The purpose of this information is to give dealers a statistical comparison of how the Chicago area is doing in relationship to the entire country's sales. The "Outlook" also gives data for personal analysis of market performance, including other forces which may affect local sales. An historical record of the market will assist our dealer members in making good choices about sales?market in our area.
  • New Car Dealer Advertising Campaign - The CATA continues to dedicate significant funding to help promote the local dealers and dealership. Various and timely radio campaigns, ranging from why it's best to "buy used cars from a new-car store" to reasons why the dealer is the best place for all to have vehicle service performed are produced and purchased by the association. The impact is significant and helps our dealer image in the market.
  • Seminar Series - A wide variety of seminars enables members to learn more about issues that affect them. Topics range from operational improvements to regulatory compliance to legislative issues. Seminars are free of charge to CATA members and are announced in both the CATA Bulletin and in separately circulated promotional noticesphoto.
  • Better Business Bureau - The Chicago Automobile Trade Association continues to enjoy a strong relationship with the Better Business Bureau. One example of this relationship is the Advertising Review Program that the CATA set up with the BBB. With the assistance of the BBB, CATA members can have a clearer understanding of dealer advertising.The CATA also has worked with the BBB to create the Membership Identification Program for BBB Accredited Dealers. It gives CATA members an opportunity to support the mission and standards of the BBB. Participating members can use the logo in print and electronic advertisements, plus other business documents, as long as they appear exclusively in the 19 northern Illinois counties served by the local BBB. The BBB Dynamic Seal program on the Internet is the largest of its kind and is now ranked 601 in national traffic and 1,966 in global traffic.The BBB also offers Customer Reviews, which allow your customers to post comments about your dealerships. The major difference between BBB Customer Reviews and other online review sites is that the BBB examines each submitted review to ensure a marketplace transaction really took place. This means there are no fake or falsified reviews impacting your dealership, and you can better manage your reputation. Your business should encourage customers to submit positive reviews with the BBB. Steve Bernas, president and CEO of the BBB serving Chicago and northern Illinois, said he has seen more and more businesses use both inquires and complaints as tools for evaluating their own business operations and determining where they can make changes helpful for their customers. "Nobody likes to get complaints," Bernas said, "but when they are used as improvement tools, they become valuable."The BBB in northern Illinois began in 1926 and has been serving businesses and consumers with more than 4 million U.S. and Canadian business reviews that are available to customers for free. The BBB has recently expanded its international presence which now?includes Mexico.
  • Business Forms - The CATA has long provided some of the forms necessary to sell new and used vehicles at no charge, and will continue to do so. But at a time when all budgets are tight-including ours at the association-the delivery costs for those forms can no longer be borne by the CATA. Instead, when member dealerships place an order for forms, they also must provide their UPS or FedEx account number, which will be charged for the delivery fees. To avoid these fees, dealerships near the CATA headquarters in Oakbrook Terrace are welcome to send a representative to collect the forms in person.
'Drive Chicago' on WLS AM890 - "Who would have ever thought that this show would still be a popular piece of 'appointment radio' for so many listeners?" said CATA Chairman Mike McGrath Jr. "But 'Drive Chicago on WLS' provides listeners the only locally produced broadcast to hear about cars, trucks, cruise nights, events, industry execs ... almost everything automotive. And to add to all that information, it's a fun show to listen to!"

For the past 19 years, radio host Paul Brian, a retired CATA staffer,?has welcomed Chicagoans to join him on the radio every Saturday morning. The popular "Drive Chicago on WLS" airs 8-9 a.m. on one of the Midwest's most listened-to radio stations. Additionally, a podcast of the show is posted on the WLS website every Tuesday morning and is available to those who missed the show live or who would like to download it to any personal data device or computer. "Drive Chicago" is streamed on the Internet, too, giving listeners around the world access to the program.

In addition to vehicle reviews, Paul's ability to quickly enlist his?Rolodex of local dealers and industry execs to help with suggestions or information about particular cars makes it a popular stop for Saturday morning listeners, who often turn into Saturday afternoon buyers.

"Sure, it's serious information," said Brian. "But there's no reason for it not to also be entertaining. My main aim is to make the show 'car geeky' enough that it'll make a hard-core fan happy, but not so hard core that a casual listener would tune out. It's a great combo."

"We also love to hear from the dealers and help them tell their stories," Brian said. "If it's a local community involvement or a who-knows-what kind of special event, please give me a call and we'll help you get it some great pub."

Please contact Paul Brian at (708) 790-2740 or

- Consumers were ready for the 2015 Chicago Auto Show and, luckily, so were the turnstiles. Even though this year's edition was one day briefer than normal, attendance improved 7 percent over 2014.

The 2015 show hosted 18 world premieres, including the introduction of the Kia Trail'ster concept and important consumer vehicles such as the Acura RDX, Chevrolet Equinox, Honda Pilot and Toyota Avalon.

"With so many attendees and so much room to spread out, the Chicago Auto Show is the nation's consumer auto show," said John Webb, the 2015 Chicago Auto Show chairman. "That was in evidence with the large number of mainstream vehicles that made their world debut here this year."

The 2015 Chicago Auto Show also saw world introductions of the Acura MDX, Chevrolet Silverado Custom and Silverado Midnight and Colorado GearOn, Ford Police Interceptor, Hyundai Elantra GT and Veloster Rally, Kia Trail'ster concept and Rio, Nissan 370Z Roadster NISMO concept and GT-R LM NISMO race car, Ram Laramie Limited and Toyota Camry and Corolla Special Editions.
DRIVECHICAGO.COM - For more than 15 years, has provided new- and used-car leads to CATA member dealers at no charge. The mission of is simple: "Cultivate new- and used-vehicle shoppers, guide them through the selection process, and pass them to CATA member dealers." In carrying out its mission, has become a well-known and trusted site in the Chicago market that helps consumers locate vehicles at new-car dealerships.

Dealership information and inventory listings on are free to CATA members.'s inventory team works with individual dealership inventory providers and Internet managers to make sure their dealership information and inventory listings are up-to-date. was completely redesigned in 2013 with an eye toward the growing number of mobile and tablet users. The cutting-edge site architecture, provided by Automotive Internet Media (AIM), recognizes the user's device and appropriately sizes the display for an optimal user experience. The relationship with AIM has allowed the CATA to significantly streamline operations and cut fixed costs while continuing to provide simple one-click access to a dealer's inventory. has entered into several partnership agreements wherein CATA dealer inventory is syndicated on a community Web portal. Partners have included ClearChannel Radio, the Daily Herald and the Chicago Sun-imes. The syndication agreements with these companies provide operating revenue for DriveChicago and also reveal the CATA member dealers' inventories to more prospective customers. This same inventory feed is available to local dealer organizations for use on their websites. In the past, Infiniti, Chevrolet and Acura have taken advantage of this valuable service.

In 2013, partnered with CARFAX to offer free vehicle history reports on vehicles listed on In 2014 partnered with SCOUT automotive to provide free trade-in quotes to site visitors, with the leads generated going to CATA dealers.

In 2015 and AIM developed and started offering to CATA dealers a linking program called CarClicks. The purpose of CarClicks is to provide CATA dealers with direct links to their website's vehicle details pages. The program is one of only two currently offered nationwide, and it is the only linking program that targets shoppers in the local Chicago metro market also is the Web companion to the popular "Drive Chicago" radio show, hosted by Paul Brian, a former CATA communications director. "Drive Chicago" can be heard every Saturday morning 8-9 a.m. on WLS 890 AM.

For more information on and the service it provides, please contact Mark Bilek at (630) 424-6082. And you can find DriveChicago on Facebook.