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Every dealer matters

November 18, 2010
By Ray Scarpelli Sr., Metro Chicago NADA Director

Today’s market conditions are tough on many dealers, but the NADA can help. The association now offers a free, confidential telephone-based financial consulting service for all dealerships—the Lifeline consulting hotline. Callers for advice on improving their stores’ operations and financial stability will speak with one of the NADA’s industry-leading 20 Group consultants or Dealer Academy instructors, all of whom have real-world experience in dealership operations.


During a call, the dealer and the consultant may discuss the store’s financial status, and the consultant will advise the dealer on fixing trouble spots. If further analysis is required, the dealer can send the consultant the store’s financial statement, and the consultant can then provide an in-depth, customized action plan in a follow-up phone call. This service will only be available for a limited time, so dealers should act quickly. For more information, visit


In other NADA news:


  • How can you encourage teenagers in your community to consider working at your store? Host an event during the NADA’s Automotive Career Month in October. You can request an event-planning kit at The kit contains sample letters to school principals, guidance counselors, and local media; a sample event agenda; two Automotive Career Month posters with room for your dealership information; artwork for student brochures; a brief DVD on the variety of careers available; and a press release and scripts for public service announcements.


  • NADA members can bring a manager or another attendee for free to one of the association’s fall seminars. Upcoming seminars include "How toCreate a ‘Super Controller,’ " Oct. 10-11 in Rosemont. At, dealers and other prospective NADA seminar participants can see detailed seminar listings, download flyers, and register more than one employee at a time online, and registrants can download needed course materials. For more info, call 800-252-6232, ext 2. 
  • Online advance registration for the 2007 NADA Convention and Exposition in Las Vegas, Feb. 3-6, is open through Dec. 22. Several hotels, including Bellagio, Wynn, Paris, and Venetian, are already sold out. To register online or download a registration form, visit or call the convention department at 703-821-7188.
  • In a speech to the Latin American Automobile Dealers Association in Quito, Ecuador, NADA chairman William Bradshaw reviewed the current state of the U.S. auto industry. He highlighted automakers’ differing fortunes here: High oil prices have hurt GM, Ford, and Chrysler, particularly truck and SUV sales; but most Japanese and Korean makers are rolling along. Whether they’re doing well or struggling, Bradshaw said it’s important for dealers to not only consider the short-term but also look down the road. He credited dealers’ "hard work, passion, and vision" for their success. 

In legislative news:


  • The recent one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina was a reminder of the damage that can be caused by these horrific storms. Insurance companies total many vehicles flooded or destroyed by storms. 

Unfortunately, unscrupulous rebuilders and resellers sometimes overhaul these cars, scrub the titles, and then resell them to unsuspecting consumers. Right now, insurance companies are not required to "red flag" problematic vehicles.


That’s why the NADA supports S. 3707, the Passenger Vehicle Loss Disclosure Act, which will require insurance companies to make the VINs of totaled cars publicly available. The information will give consumers and dealers more complete vehicle histories prior to purchase, allowing them to make informed decisions about the safety and fair market value of used cars.  

The NADA encourages all dealers to write to their senators to encourage them to cosponsor S. 3707. The association offers draft letters which dealers can customize and fax to their senators. For more information, contact the NADA Legislative Affairs Office at 800-563-1556 or


As always, let me know your ideas and concerns, so that I can meet your needs as your NADA director. Reach me at my dealership at 847-395-3600.