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CATA Bulletin
June 25, 2012


Shirey joins 4 incumbents elected to CATA board of directors

June 22, 2012

One newcomer joined four incumbents in winning three-year terms on the CATA board of directors, in election results announced June 11 at the CATA’s annual meeting and golf outing.
Monty Scher (Rogers Buick-Chevrolet-GMC-Hyundai, Chicago), Kurt Schiele, president of the Elmhurst Auto Group (BMW, Jaguar, Scion and Toyota), and John Webb (Packey Webb Ford, Downers Grove) won election to their third and final terms on the board.
Another incumbent, John Alfirevich (Apple Chevrolet, Tinley Park), won a second term on the board. Thomas F. Shirey of Shirey Cadillac in Oak Lawn joins the board.
The voting results were announced by CATA Chairman Michael Ettleson.

CATA adds 2 staffer, shifts 1

June 22, 2012

At many companies, the addition of two new employees can occur seemingly unnoticed. Not so at the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, where such an influx boosts the personnel count by 25 percent.
To keep pace with trends in the ever-changing traditional and social media landscape, the CATA, which produces the Chicago Auto Show, has reformatted its communications and marketing efforts with two new hires and an expanded role for an existing staff member.
The new team is comprised of Mark Bilek, director of communications and technology; Tim McBride, director of marketing; and Jennifer Morand, senior public relations and social media manager. Collectively, each individual brings a diverse background to create a communications and marketing team that’s uniquely qualified to meet the changing needs of today’s marketing and public relations initiatives.
“We’re thrilled to have our new team in place and know the collective experience of Mark, Tim and Jen will deliver innovative ideas and great value for Chicago Auto Show attendees, our exhibitors and the members of our association,” said David Sloan, general manager of the Chicago Auto Show and president of the CATA.
Bilek joined the CATA in 2006. In addition to providing technology support, he oversees communications for the CATA, the Chicago Auto Show, and, the latter of which Bilek is general manager.
Prior to 2006, Bilek was associate publisher for Consumer Guide Automotive and had appeared on ABC-TV, Fox News and Speed Channel as an automotive consultant. He also is a past president of the Midwest Automotive Media Association. 
As director of marketing, McBride will develop marketing and sponsorship programs designed to increase attendance and generate awareness for the Chicago Auto Show as well as the association. McBride, who formerly was director of marketing for the Phoenix Coyotes and Loyola University of Chicago athletics, brings more than nine years of marketing experience to the organization.
Morand comes on board as the senior public relations and social media manager and will lead strategic media relations efforts, including social media initiatives, for the Chicago Auto Show, the CATA and Most recently, Morand was an account manager at Foodmix Marketing Communications, where she oversaw the company’s public relations department and developed and executed campaigns for clients such as Heinz, Kellogg Company and Tyson.
Prior to that, Morand came from Weber Shandwick, a leading global public relations firm, where she spearheaded media relations, conducted national events and served as a media spokesperson for the “got milk?” advertising campaign.

Some manufacturer stair-step programs a 'cancer in industry'

June 22, 2012

By Mark Scarpelli, Chicago Metro NADA Director
The National Automobile Dealers Association has had a long-standing position in support of a level playing field, meaning lawful, equal and fair treatment by a manufacturer for all dealers, both large and small. Unfortunately, history shows that, at times, manufacturers’ incentive pricing programs create short-term incentives that favor the larger, more urban dealerships to the detriment of the smaller, more rural dealerships.
Recent history also shows that the long-term effects of discriminatory programs are to marginalize the smaller dealers and place them at a competitive disadvantage in their marketplace.
These programs also have a tendency to cause confusion among consumers and dealers as to the actual dealer cost of vehicles. This leads to consumer doubt and mistrust that reduces the value of the manufacturer’s brand. It also undercuts the goodwill between consumer and dealer. This is certainly not good business for either the OEM or the dealer.
Dealers of all sizes have recognized the inherent unfairness of a manufacturer’s discriminatory pricing that tilts the playing field in favor of some dealers.
For example, Earl Hesterberg, CEO of Group 1 Automotive, emphasized the perniciousness of these stair-step programs as recently as May 21 in Automotive News, where he characterized them as “… a cancer in the industry that isn’t good for dealers or customers.”
The fact is, manufacturers can unfairly create real competitive disadvantages for some dealers and cause real customer confusion and dissatisfaction in the marketplace.
The best way to maintain a level playing field is for factories to focus on what they usually do so well: build quality cars and trucks and avoid disparate treatment of their dealers that can limit their ability to compete. Let all dealers do what they do best: vigorously compete in pricing, service and otherwise for the customer’s business.
In other news ...
• The NADA will appeal a court decision on the FTC’s Risk-Based Pricing Rule. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on May 22 granted the Federal Trade Commission’s motion for summary judgment against an action brought by the NADA that challenged the agency’s broad interpretation of the scope of the federal RBPR.
The law that the rule implements (section 311 of the FACT Act) applies to persons who, among other requirements, “use” a credit report in particular credit transactions. The FTC issued an interpretation in July 2011 stating that dealers engaged in three-party vehicle financing transactions who do not obtain, receive or review a credit report nevertheless “use” a credit report based on the finance source’s use of a credit report and therefore are responsible for complying with the Risk-Based Pricing Rule’s notice requirement.
Believing this interpretation to be flawed, unnecessary and burdensome to many dealers by requiring them to purchase credit reports for no purpose other than to comply with the RBPR, the NADA subsequently initiated this challenge.
In its complaint, the NADA argued that Congress never intended the word “use” to extend to this subgroup of dealers and that the FTC lacked authority to issue such an interpretation. Although the court found that the statute is capable of supporting the NADA’s interpretation, it held that the FTC possessed authority to issue its interpretation and that its interpretation is reasonable.
Regardless of which party prevailed at the district court level, the NADA anticipated that the other party would appeal the District Court decision to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The NADA now will direct its outside counsel to commence the appeal.
• Participants in the new Dealership Workforce Study (DWS) will receive the individualized Basic Report, as well as a DWS Industry Report, beginning in July. Both documents will be released within the dealership’s NADA University account accessible from They will be located within Resource Toolbox under a new tab, “NADA Dealership Workforce Study,” and will be accessible only to user accounts authorized to receive dealer access.
NADA University will work with participating dealerships to ensure access is authorized. Participating dealerships will have the opportunity to purchase an Enhanced Report, which will provide even more comparative data, for a nominal fee. Dealerships that did not participate may purchase the DWS Industry Report. For more information, contact NADA University Customer Service at (800) 557-6232.
• Upcoming “Webinar Wednesdays” include free informational MarketINSIGHT webinars that can be viewed live or on-demand in NADA U’s Resource Toolbox. 
Here’s the upcoming schedule, with all webinars beginning at 12 p.m. CDT:
What is Your Website Hiding? with Kendall Billman, June 27; and  
Strategies for Connecting with Hispanic Car Buyers, with Univision Network, July 11.

CATA names Protective as vehicle service program preferred provider

June 22, 2012

Protective Asset Protection has been named as the CATA’s preferred provider of direct-to-consumer vehicle service contract plans, the association’s Member Benefits Committee announced.
Protective has 50 years’ experience serving dealers with its direct-to-consumer program, Signature. Signature offers CATA dealer members the potential for a monthly profit stream with zero dollar investment by the dealer.
Protective’s Signature program uses co-branded marketing campaigns to reach dealer customers who:
• Visit the service department;
• Declined a VSC at the point of purchase; or
• Have an expiring warranty
Protective’s Signature program offers CATA members’ customers four levels of coverage:
Value: Engine, transmission, transfer case, drive axle and cooling.
Enhanced: All components listed above plus steering, brakes and electrical.
Preferred: All components listed above plus fuel delivery, air conditioning, front & rear suspension, and enhanced electrical.
Executive: An exclusionary level of coverage.
In addition to these coverage levels, Protective’s Signature program includes additional benefits such as rental reimbursement, emergency road service, towing service, fluid service, tire service, battery service, locksmith service, mechanical first aid, road hazard coverage and trip interruption reimbursement.
Customers can purchase a Signature protection plan using their credit card or through EFT. Protective makes transactions even easier for customers by offering an interest-free installment plan option. 
As an added benefit to dealers, the direct-to-consumer vehicle service contract program allows dealers to participate in additional profits through reinsurance and retro programs. Along with this added benefit, dealers receive exposure to customers through professional, co-branded marketing campaigns which are supported by Protective Asset Protection’s fully-trained call center and administrative staff.
Participating dealers can rest assured their customers are being cared for, as Protective Asset Protection has paid more than $1.8 billion in customer claims, and the Signature program is compliant with the state and national do-not-call regulations.
Protective Asset Protection is part of Protective Life Corporation, a leading insurance provider traded on the New York Stock Exchange (PL), with consolidated assets of more than $50 billion.
Protective Asset Protection products are backed by an “A-” A.M. Best®-rated insurance company. Protective Asset Protection has earned dealers more than $236 million through dealer participation programs while managing more than 2.5 million active contracts.
CATA dealers can learn more about Protective Asset Protection and the direct-to-consumer Signature program by contacting Brad Tustin ( or Matt Keller ( at (800) 794-5491.

Thanks, golf outing sponsors!

June 22, 2012

A number of allied members of the CATA participated as sponsors at the association's annual golf outing on June 11, to help offset costs and keep player participation fees reasonable. Please give them your consideration when doing business througout the year.
Dealership Development
BMO Harris Bank N.A.
Automotive Compliance Consultants, Inc.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Franczek Radelet
Aspen Marketing Services
NBC 5 Chicago - Telemundo Chicago
Sun-Times Media
The Oak Group
Chicago Tribune Media Group
Fifth Third Bank
Hillstrom Select Marketing Group
S&S Automotive
Phillip's Flowers & Gifts
FirstMerit Bank
Crowe Horwath LLP
Nationwide Cassel LLC
EFG Companies
Road Dealer
Utility Management Group, Inc.
Web Lever Consulting