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Participation is the key

November 18, 2010
By Ray Scarpelli Sr., Metro Chicago NADA Director

Membership in the National Automobile Dealers Association is at an all-time high. At the end of 2005, the association had 20,026 members—more than 93 percent of franchised new-car dealers.


That’s up from 81 percent of eligible dealers in 1991. Dealers have heard the message that NADA membership can help their businesses grow. To continue to prosper, we all need to get involved and stay involved with association, industry, and community activities.  

Join a 20 group. Participate in your automaker’s dealer council. Host a child safety seat check or a career event for students in your community. Dealers can and do make the difference. Together, we can accomplish so much more than we can individually.


In NADA news:


  • Have you used technology in an innovative way to solve a problem at your dealership, or do you know another dealer who has? The NADA/USA Today Dealer Innovation Award is for dealers who’ve led efforts to improve sales and marketing, customer service, dealer image or human resources by developing and implementing technology initiatives in 2005. Want to apply or nominate a dealer? Watch upcoming NADA publications for details.
  • As the automotive industry becomes increasingly global, the NADA will debut an International Affairs Department this spring. "Our involvement in international activities has grown exponentially over the past few years," said outgoing NADA chairman Jack Kain. Hundreds of dealers from other countries regularly attend the NADA convention, and the association hosted its fourth International Roundtable at the Orlando show, Feb. 11-14. Also, automakers’ U.S. leaders are more likely than ever to have extensive international experience. 

"The new department," said NADA President Phil Brady, "will provide analysis and serve as an information resource for the NADA by tracking international developments affecting the auto industry. We represent new-car dealers in the U.S., big and small, domestic and international. To do that most effectively, the time has come to approach international automotive affairs in a much more systematic manner."


  • Extend your 2006 NADA convention experience after it’s over: Review the coverage posted on and order workshop tapes and CDs from Plus, visit the convention Web site ( to view information on the convention exhibitors and additional virtual exhibitors. All information will be posted through June. 
  • Ninety-four percent of U.S. franchised new-car and light-truck dealers have Web sites, according to the annual Dealership Internet Survey from NADA’sIndustry Analysis Division. (This proportion has doubled since 1994.)


Most dealership Web sites allow car shoppers to view stock and MSRP, fill out finance forms, and schedule sales and service appointments. Many others allow online ordering and link directly to related financial, insurance and auto sites. Dealers say their most common online customer-care tasks are responding to requests for price quotes and setting up service and sales appointments. 

In legislative and regulatory news:


  • Consumers can get federal tax credits for the purchase of new hybrid, advanced lean-burn diesel, fuel cell and clean-fuel vehicles 

— Individuals or businesses that purchase new hybrid vehicles will qualify for federal tax credits of up to $3,400, but the credit amount varies by model. The Internal Revenue Service has not yet announced credit amounts for specific models. Visit for estimates. The NADA will share further information as soon as the IRS releases it.


— The tax credit is also applicable for new clean diesels, and qualifying vehicles are expected to be on the market in late 2006. 

— The tax credit will phase out at different times for each manufacturer. Once an automaker reaches 60,000 hybrid and lean-burn diesel sales, buyers of these vehicles can only get the full tax credit for the remainder of that quarter and the next quarter. The credit then phases out.


— For sales of vehicles used by tax-exempt entities, the person who sells the vehicle is treated as the taxpayer and is able to claim the credit so long as the amount allowable as a credit is clearly disclosed to the user in a document.  

— Some state and local governments also provide incentives for hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles.


Contact me any time at Raymond Chevrolet, 847-395-3600, to discuss your views.