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Dealers seek grreater CFPB transparency oon auto finance

October 27, 2013
By Mark Scarpelli, Chicago Metro NADA Director
More than 400 new-car dealers and association execs met with their members of Congress during NADA’s Washington Conference in September to discuss key policy issues facing franchised auto dealerships. The most prominent among them: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s effort to end the discounts car buyers can negotiate when financing a car or truck through a dealership.
During visits to Capitol Hill, dealers asked their senators to sign the letter authored by Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., which requests that the bureau explain how eliminating a dealer’s ability to “meet or beat” a competitor’s rate is good for consumers.
A key ally in the dealers’ fight, Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., said he’s “very concerned” about the CFPB’s recent effort to alter the $800 billion auto finance marketplace without a hearing or offering analysis for public scrutiny.
The NADA is urging dealers to call both their U.S. senators and ask them to sign the Portman-Shaheen Auto Finance letter, which requests greater transparency from the CFPB on indirect lending.
The Senate switchboard can be reached at (202) 224-3121. Operators will direct dealers to the senators from their state. 
In other NADA news ...
• Jose Munoz, Nissan’s new senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Americas, will deliver keynote remarks at the 2013 Western Automotive Conference in Los Angeles on Nov. 19. The half-day conference, presented by the NADA and J.D. Power, also includes Stewart Reed, chairman of the Transportation Design Department at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., who will deliver a special keynote presentation, “Identifying and Cultivating Emerging Talent in Transportation Design.”
The second annual conference, which precedes the Los Angeles Auto Show’s media days, includes a panel discussion on “Diversity Marketing,” with an emphasis on the Hispanic market. An OEM panel, “Positioning Your Brand for 2015 and Beyond,” will be moderated by CNBC’s Phil LeBeau and includes James O’Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda North America Operations; William Fay, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division; and Thomas Loveless, executive vice president of sales for Kia Motors America.
Other speakers include David Westcott, NADA chairman; Finbarr O’Neill, president of J.D. Power; Beth Ann Bovino, chief U.S. economist at Standard & Poor’s; and John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive operations for J.D. Power.
The conference will be held at the Biltmore Hotel. For more information or to register, go to
• There’s plenty to get jazzed about with the upcoming 97th annual NADA Convention & Expo in New Orleans next January. For one thing, the city has invested billions of dollars in major restoration projects, and the convention center was updated just this year. Plus, there’s been a 55 percent increase in the number of restaurants over the past seven years, nearly $800 million in hotel upgrades and $77 million in street improvements, including a new streetcar line.
“Twenty-one of 33 convention hotels have already sold out, so we’re encouraging attendees to register as soon as possible,” said Desmond Roberts, chairman of the NADA’s convention committee. “Exhibit sales on the expo floor are also running higher than the past convention.”
The NADA convention runs Friday, Jan. 24, to Monday, Jan. 27. This will be the 10th time the convention has been held in the Big Easy since 1973. Considered the “Automotive Industry Event of the Year,” the convention includes dealer-manufacturer franchise meetings, educational workshops, hundreds of exhibits on the expo floor and numerous networking events.
“The city has a festive atmosphere you can’t find anywhere else—from the amazing Creole cuisine and culture to the historic sites and music,” added Roberts, who operates Advantage Chevrolet in Hodgkiins and Bolingbrook. “New Orleans looks better today than it ever has.” Dealers and their managers who register in advance by Jan. 16 will receive a $75 discount from the on-site rate. For more information or to register, visit
• Retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré, commander of the Joint Task Force Katrina and Global Preparedness Authority, will deliver keynote remarks at the 2014 American Truck Dealers (ATD) Convention & Expo, which runs Jan. 24-27 in New Orleans. As commander of the task force, Honoré led the Defense Department’s response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Honoré will speak at the ATD luncheon/general session on Monday, Jan. 27. Other speakers include Philip Byrd, incoming chairman of the American Trucking Associations, and ATD Chairman Dick Witcher, CEO of Minuteman Trucks in Walpole, Mass.
The 51st annual ATD convention runs concurrently with the NADA Convention & Expo. ATD dealers and their managers can attend the NADA speaker sessions and workshops. All attendees who register in advance by Jan. 16 will receive a $100 discount from the onsite rate. For more information or to register, visit