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More than Spring has sprung

November 22, 2010
Spring sales, and even a few new mid-year model introductions, have arrived just ahead of the summer driving season, and people are making vacation plans now. Sales of luxury brands, hybrid cars and imports are all doing well, and we are on track for 2004 sales to reach 16.8 million units by the end of the year, according to NADA chief economist Paul Taylor. Here's what's bloomed since last month's column: • Information is posted at the Web sites of the NADA,, and the Federal Trade Commission, os/w2004/03/trs31dayfrn.pdf concerning the FTC's new requirement that sellers and telemarketers use a version of the National Do- Not-Call Registry that is no more than 31 days old when placing telemarketing calls. • At last month's Industry Relations Symposium, the NADA facilitated positive, open discussions with top-level manufacturer reps from GM, Ford (including its premier automotive group), DaimlerChrysler, Kia, Honda and Acura. Topics included the business outlook for the second half of this year, emerging vehicle technology, and long-term industry projections. The program was moderated by newsman Bill Press and featured remarks by keynote speaker Jim Padilla, new chief operating officer of Ford Motor Co.; and guest speakers Michael Bruynesteyn, senior vice president of Prudential Financial; and Gary Stern, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. • The NADA armed dealers with information and talking points in advance of a negative "60 Minutes" broadcast on vehicle financing, and the association continues to educate the media and the public on the fairness to be found at the majority of dealerships. The NADA also has educational materials available for dealers and consumers on the subject of financing, and has created a finance task force to initiate and implement additional vehicle financing awareness programs. • The National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation received the largest single donation from a dealership group. DCH Auto Group, South Amboy, N.J., donated $270,000 to make each of its 27 dealerships a Foundation Ambassador, pushing the total number of Ambassadors past the 300 mark. Here's what else is springing up at the NADA : • Don't forget to vote! It's election season for NADA directors in many states and metro areas. Ballots must be returned to the NADA and postmarked by May 21 for Metro Chicago (Cook, Lake and DuPage Counties). • For e-Valuator for Dealer subscribers, the N.A.D.A. Guide Co. is introducing the e-Valuator X/I in May, which provides portable access via PDA to Guide values for 19 model years of used cars and light trucks, plus many other features. Call 800/544-6232 or visit Order this month and qualify for two months' of X/I service free. • There are reports of a new scam. Someone named Edward Lee Raifsnider is said to purchase cars with counterfeit cashiers checks on Fridays and Saturdays, quickly reselling them elsewhere before the new owners can ascertain they're stolen. It is said Raifsnider, sometimes using an alias and/or a disguise, has bilked dealers out of more than $2 million in a little over two years. For info contact or call the U.S. Secret Service Task Force at (502) 582-5171. • Now in Spanish: (1) The consumer brochure, "Understanding Vehicle Financing," produced by the NADA and the American Financial Services Association Educational Foundation. Download copies from: NavigationMenu/FindaCar1/ Finance/ Understanding_Vehicle_Financing/ Understanding_Vehicle_Financing1.htm; and (2) NADA's Code of Ethics poster. Order from mecatalog • The NADA will host a conference call for dealers on implementation challenges under the FTC's Safeguards Rule, 12-2 p.m. CDT May 25. Ask FTC attorneys about how the rule applies to dealership operations. Register on-line at by May 21 or call NADA fax-on-demand at 800/778-7209 and request document 27. Cost is $99 for NADA members, $169 non-members. • Upcoming NADA seminar at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Rosemont: "Parts Management and Profitability," June 3-4, $695. Call 800-252-6232 ext. 2 to register. • New NADA 20 Group created for used-car managers. Call 800- 248-6232 ext. 5889 for details. As always, let me know your ideas and concerns, so that I can meet your needs as your NADA director.