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Let's keep the 'Momentum' going at NADA Convention and Expo

January 18, 2013
By Mark Scarpelli, Chicago Metro NADA Director
New-car and light-truck sales are leading an economic recovery. Sales were up 13 percent in 2012, reaching nearly 14.5 million vehicles. It was the best sales year since 2007.
The good news is several factors that led to stronger sales in 2012, such as pent up demand, an aging vehicle fleet and the availability of low financing rates on auto loans, are expected to contribute to higher sales this year as well.
In business, just like sports, momentum can be a game changer or it can shift on a dime with undesirable results. Sports also teach us the importance of teamwork to achieve and maintain success.
So, how can individual dealerships across the country keep the momentum going?
One way is to stay focused on the things we can control. Looking ahead, the NADA Convention and Expo in Orlando, Feb. 8-11, offers dealers a significant opportunity to build on the momentum we established last year.
In fact, “Momentum” is the theme of the convention. Passion for knowledge, increasing productivity and motivation are all key components of sustaining positive momentum.
There’s a lot to learn at the NADA convention, not just for dealer principals but key dealership staff as well. I strongly encourage dealers to bring a team of employees, including general managers, CFOs, F&I personnel and sales, service and parts managers. 
The entire lineup of convention workshops — which are new — will provide dealers and their managers with solutions they can implement right away; dealers can meet face-to-face with automaker executives at the franchise meetings to set goals and objectives for the year; and hundreds of companies will be exhibiting innovative products and services for dealerships on the expo floor.
Invest in your future. Brighter days are ahead. Let’s keep the momentum going. I look forward to seeing you in Orlando. 
For more information or to register, visit
In other news ...
• The Federal Communications Commission has decided to allow opt-out confirmation texts.
The FCC ruled that sending a one-time text message confirming a consumer’s request for no further text messages to be sent does not violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act or the FCC’s rules. This exception applies only to final, one-time text messages, sent to consumers from whom a sender has obtained prior, express consent to send automated text messages. The confirmation text must be sent within five minutes of the consumer’s opt-out request. 
The text message may include contact information or instructions as to how the consumer can opt back in, but it cannot include any marketing or promotional information. 
NADA members can find more on the Federal Trade Commission and the FCC requirements regarding text messages at under “Telemarketing Sales Rule.”
• The FTC proposes limited changes to the Used-Car Rule and the “Buyers Guide” that dealers place on used cars they offer for sale.
Consistent with comments filed by the NADA, the FTC is proposing only limited changes to the rule, declining to include disclosures relating to vehicle history, prior use or title history, or to impose a dealer inspection requirement among the proposed changes. 
The FTC’s proposed rule includes: 
1. Adding a statement to the Buyers Guide informing consumers that they can seek vehicle history information at an FTC website;
2. Adding a statement in Spanish to the Buyers Guide directing Spanish-speaking consumers to ask for a copy of the Buyers Guide in Spanish, if they desire;
3. Adding catalytic converters and air bags to the “List of Systems” on the back of the Buyers Guide; and
4. Placing boxes on the back of the Buyers Guide where dealers will have the option to indicate whether (1) the manufacturer’s warranty still applies, (2) the manufacturer’s used vehicle warranty — such as a manufacturer’s certified used car warranty — applies or (3) some other used vehicle warranty applies.
• The 2012 Dealership Workforce Study industry report is now available. 
If you participated in the 2012 Dealership Workforce Study, your Basic Report and Industry Report are available in the NADA’s online Resource Toolbox. Call NADA U Customer Service at (800) 557-6232 to activate your “Dealer” access level in order to use these valuable reports — and perhaps garner even more information through the Enhanced Report. 
Dealers who did not participate in the 2012 Dealership Workforce Study and whose access level is “Dealer” or GM/Exec may purchase the Industry Report. For assistance, call the department’s Customer Service at (800) 557-6232.