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Democrats to lead next Congress

November 18, 2010

After gaining control of the House and Senate last month, Democrats have outlined their agenda for the next several years. Developments that could affect the retail auto industry and dealers: 

  • Incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) could get White House support for theirplans to encourage the use of alternative fuels and establish small-business health-care tax credits.
  • Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) was chosen as majority leader by the Democratic caucus. Hoyer is known to be more pro-business and pro-free trade than many of his Democratic colleagues. 
  • The Democratic agenda also covers a variety of reforms intended to strengthen national security, energy independence, affordable health care and retirement security; raise employee wages; and give students broader access to colleges and universities.


NADA-backed total-loss disclosure bills are pending in the House and Senate. 

  • The recent flooding in the Pacific Northwest and the Eastern U.S. has refocused public attention on the problem of flooded and totaled vehicles being resold to unsuspecting dealers and consumers.
  • Since the Gulf hurricanes last year, NADA has been pushing for federal legislation that would require insurance companies to disclose total-loss vehicle information in publicly accessible databases. An NADA-supported House bill would mandate that insurance companies make commercially available the VIN of a totaled vehicle, the reason for its being declared a total loss, and other data. Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) has introduced a similar bill. 
  • The insurance company PEMCO has announced that it will voluntarily disclose vehicle flood damage information to the public.


In NADA news…


  • I am pleased to begin service on the NADA Industry Relations Committee, your advocate in dealer-manufacturer relations. The committee, which will meet in late February with Rick Wagoner, has persuaded manufacturers to listen more to dealer concerns. If you have issues you want to convey to manufacturer leaders, please contact me at 847-395-3600 or
  • Remember, pre-registration for the NADA convention (Feb. 3-6, 2007, in Las Vegas) ends Dec. 22, and many convention hotels are already sold out—so if you plan to attend the industry event of the year, register now. It’s easy to do so at the convention Web site, There will be more than 600 exhibitors, nearly 200 workshop sessions, and, of course, franchise meetings, lifestyle activities, and many other events. 
  • Limited seats are still available for the NADA Dealer Academy successors class that begins in January. successors class and a general managers class will also begin in February, and there are limited seats still available in each.


The yearlong Dealer Academy program combines six class sessions (one week every other month, focusing on major dealership departments) at NADA headquarters in McLean, Va., with 45 weeks of work experience in the sponsoring dealership.


Join the ranks of the nearly 6,000 graduates of Dealer Academy programs. For an application or more information, please call 800/252-6232, option 5. 

And let me take this opportunity to wish all the dealers I represent a happy, healthy and prosperous 2007!