Chicago Automobile Trade Association

CATA Works For You

ASSOCIATION WEBSITE - www.CATA.info 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, www.CATA.info 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

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. You'll find that the information the newsletter contains will be of value to many of your operation's departments. For information or to reach the editor, contact Erik Higgins at eehiggins@drivechicago.com. Also contact Higgins to add email addresses to the distribution list.

Auto Outlook Newsletters

"Auto Outlook" is a monthly synopsis of market trends and indicators prepared for CATA members, 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 in our market.

DRIVECHICAGO.com
 
For more than 20 years, DriveChicago.com has provided new- and used-car traffic to CATA member dealers at no charge. The mission of DriveChicago.com is simple: "Cultivate new- and used-vehicle shoppers, guide them through the selection prices, and pass them to CATA member dealers." In carrying out its mission, DriveChicago. com has become a well-known and trusted site in Chicagoland that helps consumers locate vehicles at new-car dealerships.

Dealership information and inventory listings on DriveChicago are free to CATA members. DriveChicago.com's inventory team works with the inventory providers of individual dealers and internet managers to make sure dealership information and inventory listings are up-to-date.

Offering a fully responsive architecture, DriveChicago.com is device-friendly, meaning it works on desktop, tablet or mobile. The site displays search results based on ZIP code and does not offer premium or paid listings. At any given time, there are roughly 120,000 new and used vehicles listed on DriveChicago.com, making it the largest local site for car shoppers.

DriveChicago.com has entered into several partnership agreements wherein CATA dealer inventory is syndicated on various community web portals. Partners have included ClearChannel Radio, the Daily Herald and the Chicago Sun-Times. The syndication agreements with these companies provide operating revenue for DriveChicago. com and also get CATA member dealers' inventory in front of 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.

DriveChicago.com partners with CARFAX to offer free vehicle history reports and WebBuy to provide trade-in quotes. Leads generated from inventory listings and these services are delivered to CATA dealers at no cost. Additionally, DriveChicago.com provides expert reviews of new vehicles from local automotive journalists. It also has the largest listing of local car shows and cruise nights.

In 2015, DriveChicago.com and Automotive Internet Media (the technical provider for DriveChicago.com) 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 websites' vehicle details pages. The program is one of only two currently offered nationwide and is the only linking program that targets shoppers in the local Chicago metro market. In the past year, DriveChicago.com has sent more than 80,000 online shoppers to the websites of CATA dealer members.

DriveChicago.com also is also used as a marketing platform for CATA public-facing operations. DriveChicago.com was the go-to information source for the CATA's million-dollar "Lease You Can Do" campaign. It's also the digital home for the CATA's USO/BBQ for the Troops summertime dealer fundraising event. For more information on DriveChicago.com and the services it provides, contact Mark Bilek at (630) 424-6082 or mbilek@drivechicago.com.
 
New-Car Dealer Advertising Campaign

The CATA continues to dedicate funding to help promote local dealerships. Various and timely radio campaigns, ranging from why it's best to "buy a used car from a new-car store" to reasons why the dealer is the best place to have vehicle service performed, are produced and purchased by the association. The impact is significant and helps our dealers' image in the market. Leasing has been a recent emphasis.

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 to CATA members and are announced in both the CATA Bulletin and in separately circulated promotional notices.

DriveChicago on WLS-AM 890

From new cars to classic cars, from racing to technology, the DriveChicago radio show delivers a lively and frank discussion of everything automotive. Hosted by familiar Chicago radio news voice Rob Martier and backed by longtime automotive expert Mark Bilek and enthusiast Jim OBrill, DriveChicago radio promises to deliver dynamic coverage of the automotive industry including new-vehicle reviews, in-depth interviews with industry experts, tips for vehicle maintenance and insight into new trends and technologies. All the while, we hope to have a little fun along the way.

Better Business Bureau


The CATA continues to enjoy a strong relationship with the Better Business Bureau office that serves Chicago and northern Illinois. One example of this relationship is the Advertising Review program which the CATA established with the BBB. With the assistance of the BBB, CATA members have a clear understanding of dealer advertising standards in Illinois.

The BBB has worked hand in hand with the CATA in helping dealers with the Bureau's "Letter Grading" system, which rates businesses on their honesty and fairness to customers.

Companies receive letter grades A+ through F, an update over the previous "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory" ratings. A business must maintain a letter grade of B or higher to be eligible for accreditation, amongst multiple other factors. This system, the BBB reports, provides more specific information for businesses to find trustworthy suppliers and vendors, and to provide a more precise guide to improve operations. The letter grades and a company's accreditation status are displayed on the individual company profiles as well as in the BBB directory, which is all free and accessible at www.bbb.org.

Dealerships and other businesses can update the information used to calculate their ratings by going to www.bbb.org/chicago/login. The information will remain confidential and is the basis of providing accurate Business Profiles under the new ratings system.

Consumers increasingly rely on customer reviews. Research suggests that most customers now have more confidence in online reviews than they do with direct word-of-mouth recommendations. The BBB has recognized both the confidence that consumers now place in reviews and the challenges that they create for our accredited businesses. The BBB now makes it easier than ever to request a customer review from a brand that consumers trust. Our free mobile review app is a BBB accreditation benefit that allows you to request a review from any mobile device with 1-click. Your customer can also write your review and submit it with one click. Contact Steve Bernas, the president and CEO of the BBB's Chicago office, at sbernas@ chicago.bbb.org for more information on how the BBB can assist your dealership in many ways.

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.
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