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Iowa dealer McEleney elected NADA's 2009 chairman

November 17, 2010

By Ray Scarpelli, Metro Chicago NADA Director

An Iowa dealer, John P. McEleneyk, has been elected the NADA’s 2009 chairman. McEleney, who operates two stores—one that sells Buick/Cadillac/Chevrolet/GMC/Pontiac/Toyota; the other, Cadillac/Chevrolet/Hyundai—has been part of the NADA leadership for five years and is the current vice chairman.

McEleney’s election comes amid economic turmoil and concerns about access to credit, and he says he views the credit issue as one of NADA’s top priorities.

"It’s important for consumers to know that credit is available," he said. "It may be a tough time for business, but it’s a great time for consumers who have a stable job and solid credit scores. There are plenty of incentives that lower costs. Dealers can help find financing. And the quality of today’s vehicles is the best ever."

The NADA board of directors also elected Edward C. Tonkin as 2009 vice chairman. Tonkin is vice president of Ron Tonkin Family of Dealerships in Portland, Ore., and represents Oregon’s franchised new-car dealers on the NADA’s board of directors. Tonkin became an auto dealer in 1981 and an NADA member that same year.

McEleney and Tonkin take office in January after an induction ceremony at the NADA convention in New Orleans.

In other NADA news . . .

• The NADA has begun a national campaign to promote "It’s a Good Time to Buy a Car." The following talking points should be used at every opportunity. NADA is using them with the national media and encourages members to use them with state and local media.

1. Yes, it’s a tough time for business, but it’s a great time for the consumer who has a stable job and solid credit scores.

2. It’s important for consumers to know that credit is available. Don’t look to the headlines to decide whether to buy a car. Look to your local dealer. Each market is different. Your local dealer knows the market. And your local dealer can help get financing that meets your needs.

3. For many people, this may be the best time to buy a car in years. There are plenty of incentives to lower the costs. Dealers can help find financing. And the quality and fuel-efficiency of today’s vehicles are the best ever.

4. You’ve heard the saying "All politics is local." The same is true for credit. All credit is local. The dealer has access to multiple sources of financing, including many community banks and credit unions that have plenty of money to lend. That’s why if you’re in the market for a car, it’s important to go to your local dealership.

In regulatory news . . .

• The Federal Trade Commission has announced a six-month delay of enforcement for the Red Flags Rule. Dealers and other creditors now have until May 1, 2009, to develop and implement a written identity theft prevention program (ITPP).

This delay does not affect the Address Discrepancy Rule, whose effective date was Nov. 1. The NADA encourages those dealers who have not yet finalized their ITPP to complete their work as soon as possible, in advance of the new deadline.

All NADA members received a copy of "A Dealer Guide to the Red Flags and Address Discrepancy Rules: Protecting Against Identity Theft" in August. For more, see 

• NADA/ATD succeed in gaining federal excise tax exemption for auxiliary power units. In 2007, the Internal Revenue Service directed truck dealers to begin collecting a federal excise tax (FET) on Auxiliary Power Units (APUs). APUs — small engines that allow truck drivers resting off-highway to turn off their main engine — save fuel and reduce emissions.

Placing an excise tax on APUs is an unwise policy since it discourages the purchase of environmentally friendly idle reduction units. NADA/ATD sought relief fromCon¬gress, and President Bush recently signed into law legislation to exempt APUs from the 12 percent tax. This legislation will benefit the many truck dealers who have been confronted with the issue as the demand for APUs has increased. The new law applies to sales or installations of APUs after Oct. 3, 2008.

Dealers are no longer required to collect the tax on APUs effective Oct. 4, 2008. For more detailed informa¬tion, contact Jim Westlake, ATD executive director,; or Mary Jo Eustice, NADA senior legislative representative, at