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Hyundai's Krafcik, others to headline 2013 NADA convention

December 7, 2012
By Mark Scarpelli, Chicago Metro NADA Director
Former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who will discuss global politics and U.S. foreign policy, joins a lineup of industry and inspirational keynote speakers at the 2013 National Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Expo in Orlando, Fla., next February. 
Gates served as the 22nd secretary of defense from 2006 to 2011, under both Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, making Gates the only defense secretary in U.S. history to be asked to remain in that office by a newly-elected president. Gates has served eight U.S. presidents. 
Industry keynote speakers at the NADA convention include John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America; NADA Chairman Bill Underriner, a new-car dealer in Billings, Mont.; and incoming NADA Chairman David Westcott, a new-car dealer in Burlington, N.C. 
Captain Mark Kelly, a former NASA astronaut, space shuttle commander of Endeavour’s final mission and husband of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, will deliver an inspirational address. The 96th annual NADA convention runs from Feb. 8-11, 2013, at the Orange County Convention Center. For more information or to register, visit 
In other NADA news ...
The association is urgring automakers to stop unfair business practices. Bill Underriner, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, outlined two contentious factory issues facing new-car dealers and urged automakers to support a level playing field for dealerships of all sizes. 
"Two-tier pricing and mandatory facility upgrades are symptoms of a bigger overall problem: manufacturer intrusion into dealers’ businesses," Underriner said Oct. 23 in remarks to the Automotive Press Association in Detroit. "The NADA wants the automakers to stop unfair practices."
The NADA last summer created a special dealer task force to focus on the fairness of stair-step programs, also referred to as two-tier pricing, which is a manufacturer-to-dealer incentive tied to sales goals. "The history of our industry is littered with automaker attempts to impose one-size-fits-all programs on dealers. These efforts at top-down control almost always fail," said Underriner, a Buick, Honda, Hyundai and Volvo dealer. "We favor lawful, equal and fair treatment by a manufacturer for all its dealers. Unfortunately, history shows that, at times, manufacturers create incentive programs that favor some dealers over others." 
• Dealers are urged to contribute to the ongoing Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. If Sandy is anything like past super storms, requests for financial assistance from dealership employees who suffered damage to their homes will continue over the next six months.
As of Nov. 27, nearly 350 dealership employees have received more than $179,000 from the Emergency Relief Fund of the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation, and requests for assistance, mostly from New York and New Jersey, are growing every day.
We’re especially grateful to the generosity of dealer associations in New York, the state hit hardest by the hurricane; as well as individual donations from dealers across the country. The Greater New York Auto Dealers Association has contributed $250,000 to the NADA Foundation; the New York State Auto Dealers Association has contributed $50,000; and the Rochester Auto Dealers Association has donated $10,000.
Over the first month of the fund-raising campaign, total donations to the NADA Foundation’s hurricane relief efforts exceeded $384,000, but more funds will be needed as the damage assessment continues.
Other significant contributions to the Emergency Relief Fund over the past month have included $10,000 from the Louisiana Auto Dealers Association; $10,000 from DCH Auto Group; and $5,000 each from Chicago Automobile Trade Association and the Greater Cleveland Auto Dealers Association.
Many dealerships and their employees along the East Coast are still struggling to rebuild after the hurricane, and we’re hearing stories about some dealership employees who have lost everything.
It’s not over. That’s why we’re urging dealers to contribute to the Emergency Relief Fund today and assist hurricane victims in need. 
In other news ...
The Federal Reserve Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that the dollar thresholds in Regulation Z (Truth in Lending Act) and Regulation M (Consumer Leasing Act) for exempt consumer credit and lease transactions will increase to $53,000 beginning Jan. 1, 2013. 
This means that beginning Jan. 1, consumer credit transactions and consumer leases at or below $53,000 are subject to the protections of the regulations. These increases are consistent with the Dodd-Frank Act amendments to the Truth in Lending Act and the Consumer Leasing Act to adjust these thresholds annually by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index.