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
  • 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 ehiggins@cata.info. 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 www.bbb.org/chicago 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 - 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 Jennifer Keiper and backed by long-time 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 maintaining your vehicle and insight into new trends and technologies. All the while, we hope to have a little fun along the way.
 
DriveChicago.com is Chicagoland’s largest local listing of new and used vehicles. In all, there are more than 120,000 new and pre-owned vehicles available for shoppers. In addition, DriveChicago.com provides expert reviews, shopping tips, and easy-to-use tools to help make your search quick and easy.
 
Jennifer Keiper - Jennifer has covered the auto industry for a decade following two automakers through bankruptcy, an ignition switch scandal, surging sales after the recession, and providing WLS-AM 890 with award-winning coverage of the Takata airbag recall.
 
Jennifer launched, produced, and hosted the weekly "Fox Wheels" segment during her time as the Midwest Correspondent for Fox News Radio. You can hear her often reporting industry stories on WLS-AM 890, where she’s also the news anchor for The Steve Dahl Show, 2 – 6pm weekdays.
 
While readily admitting that she leaves it to the experts to explain what’s under the hood she’s not shy about loving to kick it up a notch while behind the wheel. "I grew up riding around in a ‘68 Mustang, moved up to a ‘74 and eventually ended up buying a garage-kept ‘83 Porsche 944 in the late 90’s," said Keiper. "It was a sad day when I had to sell that car."
 
Jennifer says, "On 'Drive Chicago,' every Saturday at 8 a.m., it won’t only be about fast cars but also trucks, SUVs, unique vehicles, industry news, trends, local events, and so much more."
 
Mark Bilek - Mark is the Director of Communications and Technology for the Chicago Auto Trade Association and the General Manager for DriveChicago.com. He is also responsible for developing and maintaining the Chicago Auto Show Web site.
 
Mark has been reviewing vehicles for more than two decades. Previously, he was associate publisher at Consumer Guide, where he oversaw publication of "Consumer Guide Car & Truck Test," "Consumer Guide's Used Car Book," and ConsumerGuide.com. He was also responsible for publication of "Collectible Automobile" and hardcover automotive titles.
 
In 2001 and 2002 he served as president of a Midwest Automotive Media Association. Mark has appeared on ABC TV, Fox News, and Speed Channel as an automotive consultant. Previously, he was a regular on WGN Radio's Steve & Johnnie show. Mark lives in the northwest suburbs with his wife and three sons.
 
Jim OBrill - Jim is the Director of Marketing for the Chicago Automobile Trade Association and Chicago Auto Show. Over the course of his career, he has worked at several car dealerships in various areas of the dealership business. He also spent many years in Chicago radio as a promotions manager before fully focusing on the automotive industry. Jim is also a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association.
 
His passion for cars started at a young age and he’s often referred to as the ‘car-guy’ among family and friends. As a former auto detailer, he has an eye for identifying solid used cars and has tagged along on many car buying adventures. Jim resides in the northwest suburbs with his wife and three kids. He can often be found spending free time at local cruise nights or at home washing one his four vehicles.

Please contact Mark Bilek at (630) 424-6082 or mbilek@drivechicago.com.

DRIVECHICAGO.COM - For more than 15 years, DriveChicago.com has provided new- and used-car leads 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 process, and pass them to CATA member dealers." In carrying out its mission, DriveChicago.com 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 DriveChicago.com are free to CATA members. DriveChicago.com'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.

DriveChicago.com 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.

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

In 2015 DriveChicago.com 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

For more information on DriveChicago.com and the service it provides, please contact Mark Bilek at (630) 424-6082. And you can find DriveChicago on Facebook.
 
Copyright © 2010 Chicago Automobile Trade Association. All Rights Reserved.