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NADA succeeds in dealer exemption from new federal agency

November 16, 2010

By Ray Scarpelli Sr., Metro Chicago NADA Director

The House Financial Services Committee late last month approved a key amendment 47-21 to keep automobile dealers under the already effective state and federal laws that govern vehicle financing.

The amendment, sponsored by Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), excludes auto retailers from the regulations of the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA). Dealers will continue to be subject to the full range of consumer protection rules of the Federal Reserve, the Federal Trade Commission and state laws.

The National Automobile Dealers Association led a grassroots campaign in support of the Campbell amendment. "The NADA and dealers across the country applaud the overwhelming bipartisan support for the Campbell amendment," said David Westcott, chairman of NADA’s Government Affairs Committee and a multi-franchise dealer from North Carolina. "It makes sense to exclude dealers. Dealers had absolutely nothing to do with the credit crisis."

House Resolution 3126, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act, later passed the full committee with the Campbell amendment included. However, the bill still has a number of other hurdles before reaching the White House for final approval. The House Energy and Commerce Committee, which also has partial jurisdiction over the new agency, will have an opportunity to consider the bill before a House vote. The Senate will go through a similar process. The NADA’slegislative office and dealers across the country will continue to be part of the process.

NADA University to launch in February

Today’s automotive professionals are facing more challenges and a faster rate of change than ever before. To help ensure your staff has the right knowledge, information, and up-to-date skill-set, the NADA and the ATD will launch NADA University in February 2010. The university’s mission is to provide dealers with timely and relevant content offered conveniently and affordably. It will encompass four "automotive centers of excellence," each complementing the others in content and the role it plays in supporting the dealership operations. With a focus on supporting car and truck dealers alike, the centers include:

• Academy – Leadership Development: leadership development and executive education programs for your key managers and future successors. Through Academy, these key personnel become stronger industry, market and economic leaders, ready to run a better operation today and adjust quickly and successfully to changing conditions.

• Learning Hub – Education Solutions: a wide selection of online, Webinar, workshop, and seminar training courses for dealership staff in advertising, business management, customer relations, employee relations, fixed operations, legal & regulatory issues, variable operations, and more. New to the NADA are the online courses, available on demand and measurable by employee, that help you stretch your training dollar and get the performance you expect.

• 20 Group – Performance Improvement: when it’s time to roll up your sleeves and improve performance, nothing compares to the NADA and ATD 20 Group programs. They include a best-in-class online composite, consultants who know the business, and the NADA’s commitment to help you succeed. In addition to the traditional 20 Group meeting format, NADA University’s 20 Group offers other performance improvement options that include in-dealership consulting, Lifeline to Profits workshops, and more. Driving your profitability is our bottom line.

• Resource Toolbox – Industry Information: including resources that are available exclusively to NADA and ATD members as well as beneficial industry information and news available to everyone, you’ll want to visit the Resource Toolbox daily. The Resource Toolbox will house your familiar management guides and bulletins online, and you’ll find helpful resources like the new Buyer’s Guide, Market Insight monthly Webinars, and more.

In other legislative and regulatory news . . .

The NADA in October urged the federal agencies in charge of finalizing fuel economy and greenhouse gas rules for motor vehicles to work toward a unified and consistent single, national fuel economy standard that clearly rejects the "flawed patchwork" approach adopted by a state air resources board in California.

Testifying on behalf of dealers, Forrest McConnell, chairman of NADA’s Regulatory Affairs Committee, told officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that "a single, national standard is essential and must set only feasible and affordable mandates." "While the California Air Resources Board has a long history addressing mobile source criteria and hazardous pollution, incorporation of its greenhouse gas rules is neither practically necessary nor legally appropriate for a well-designed single, national fuel economy and greenhouse gas program," McConnell said.