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NADA launches national ad campaign against stair-step programs

October 12, 2012
By Mark Scarpelli, Chicago Metro NADA Director
The National Automobile Dealers Association kicked off a national print ad campaign Sept. 10 detailing the many negative aspects of manufacturer stair-step incentive programs.
The full-page ad, “Stair-Step Incentive Programs are Bad for the Auto Industry,” began running in the Sept. 10 edition of Automotive News. The ad points out that “stair-step programs create too many negatives to justify their use.”
Stair-step programs, according to the ad, “harm brand credibility; hurt dealers of all sizes; undermine relationships between dealers and their customers; have an adverse effect on CSI scores; and destroy consumer confidence in dealers – and in manufacturers’ brands.” The ad concludes: “There are better ways to structure incentives.”
In other NADA news ...
• New-car dealers and their managers planning to attend the NADA Convention and Expo in Orlando, Fla., in February are encouraged to register during the advance registration period to receive a $75 discount off the onsite rate.
Dealers also should register in advance to book the hotel rooms of their choice. With several conferences running at the same time in Orlando next February, hotel rooms will fill up quickly.
Seven of the 21 official NADA convention hotels already have sold out. They include the Westin, Hilton, Peabody, Embassy Suites, JW Marriott Ritz-Carlton and the Rosen Centre.
The 96th annual NADA convention will be at the Orange County Convention Center, Feb. 8-11, 2013.
Keynote speakers include John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America; inspirational speaker Mark Kelly, space shuttle commander of Endeavour’s final mission; NADA Chairman Bill Underriner; and incoming NADA Chairman David Westcott.
Dealers will have an opportunity to meet face-to-face with top automaker executives at 26 dealer franchise meetings t
to discuss their marketing plans, sales outlook and new product launches.
NADA University will offer 58 different workshops for car and truck dealers and their managers, including 27 new speakers and 20 new workshop topics. More than 500 companies are expected to exhibit on the expo floor.
To register, including for hotel reservations with discounted rates, visit
• The NADA Used-Car Guide now provides manufacturer-certified pre-owned (CPO) values for every qualified vehicle in its printed and electronic editions.
“We recognize the tremendous effort that manufacturers and new-car dealers have put into developing and raising consumer awareness of CPO programs,” said Mike Stanton, vice president and chief operating officer of the NADA Used Car Guide.
“Our focus,” Stanton added, “is to improve the accuracy of CPO values through the NADA’s industry-leading data collection and analysis.”
For more information, visit; or contact Charles Cyrill with NADA Public Affairs at (703) 821-7121 or
In other news ...
• A declining supply of used vehicles, strong consumer demand and improving vehicle quality have resulted in higher trade-in equity on many used cars and light trucks.
“Higher trade-in equity on used vehicles will help facilitate the release of pent-up demand for a growing number of consumers making the jump off the sidelines and into a vehicle purchase,” said Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst with the NADA Used Car Guide.
“The equity position that consumers find themselves in today is better, and in some cases, dramatically better than it was three years ago,” Banks said.
For more information, visit
• Alan Batey, vice president of U.S. sales, service and marketing for General Motors, pledged to improve communications with GM dealers during a recent visit to the NADA.
Batey also discussed GM’s Essential Brand Elements program and changing the culture at GM.
“The face of our business is our dealers. And that’s the face of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac,” Batey said in a two-part studio interview on NADA’s AutoFocus with David Hyatt.
Batey, who began his career with GM in 1979 as a mechanical engineering apprentice for Vauxhall in the United Kingdom, said his biggest challenge today is communicating clearly to its 3,000 dealers.
“The key to our partnership with the dealers is open and honest communications,” he said. Batey also discussed the recent visit by members of the NADA’s Industry Relations Task Force to GM headquarters in Detroit.
“The NADA ... offered some great ideas on how we could improve communications to smaller dealers,” he said. “We’ve taken that advice on board, and we’re going to lay out a plan so that every dealer in the nation who wants to have face-to-face consultancy with us on a confidential basis can get it.”