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Planning for the future

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

There are more than 100,000 open career positions in dealerships across the country, including some 42,000 in sales and more than 37,000 in service. How can we as dealers help fill these jobs? By encouraging young people to consider dealership careers during Automotive Career Month this October. The NADA has expanded the formerly weeklong program to a month to allow dealers greater flexibility in hosting career events for local students.


If you’d like to introduce teenagers to the world of dealership work, start by contacting area schools as soon as possible—requests for time, funding and buses to transport students in the fall sometimes need to be submitted before the end of the spring school term. To help you get on school calendars before it’s too late, a sample invitation letter to schools is available now at


More than 700 dealerships in 44 states participated last year in Automotive Career Week. The NADA’s goal this year is 1,000 dealerships, with at least one event held in every state. Look for the July issue of NADA’s AutoExec magazine to find out how to order an event planning kit.


In other NADA news:


The CATA has designated August as Child Passenger Safety Month, and the NADA has materials to help. It’s part of the NADA’s Boost for Safety campaign to educate parents and caregivers about proper child safety-seat use. Dealers are encouraged to host child safety-seat inspection events in their communities during the month. A how-to guide, "Building Child Passenger Safety Awareness in Your Community," will be included with your June issue of NADA’s AutoExecmagazine. Or you can access the guide online, along with information on child passenger safety for dealers and customers, at


Your feedback can make this year’s Child Passenger Safety Month an even greater success. Have you held a child safety day at your dealership? The NADA would like to hear how it went—how well it was attended, its value to your community, and the like. The NADA may use your comments in this year’s publicity. Please e-mail


In legislative and regulatory news, H.R. 2048, legislation that would put the Federal Trade Commission in control of automotive repair information and distribution, has been approved 14-13 by a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee. The NADA opposes H.R. 2048 because it would result in federal intervention in the automotive repair industry. Access to service and training information and diagnostic tools is available for all independent repair facilities that make the same investment as franchised dealers. (H.R. 2048 is based on the theory that independent repair shops—despite holding 75 percent of the non-warranty repair market—cannot properly repair vehicles because they do not have access to the information and tools that a franchised dealer is required to purchase.)


Independent repair shops represented by the Automotive Service Association also oppose H.R. 2048 as harmful government intervention. NADA continues to believe the true goal of the legislation is to allow aftermarket auto parts manufacturers to unfairly compete by making parts overseas, with free access to automakers’ parts technology. To speak to members of Congress about this bill, call the Capitol Building switchboard at 202-225-3121.


  • The House Energy and Commerce Committee has rejected a bill that would have increased light-vehicle fuel economy standards by 2015 to an average 33 mpg for cars and trucks combined, a 30-plus percent increase over today’s average of about 25 mpg. The committee then voted in favor of a bill giving the president authority to change fuel economy rules for cars. "The House committee has taken a practical approach to Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards consistent with the NADA’s position that these standards should not adversely impact product availability, vehicle choice, safety or consumer costs," said NADA vice president of legislative affairs David Regan.
  • Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s (R-Tenn.) proposal to give taxpayers a $100 gasoline rebate, paid for by the permanent elimination of the last-in, first-out (LIFO) accounting method, was dropped last month amid protests from NADA and other business groupsFrist’s proposal would have required businesses to account for sales of their inventory in a way that would have raised their tax liability.


Frist and Senate Finance Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) said they would hold hearings on the LIFO issue and continue to study it. The NADA is part of a recently formed business coalition working to preserve LIFO. If your dealership uses the LIFO method, it would be helpful for the NADA Legislative Office to learn how the elimination of LIFO would affect your business. Please e-mail