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CATA Bulletin
July 9, 2012


Schiele elected CATA chairman for board's 2012-2013 term

July 6, 2012

Kurt Schiele’s fellow directors of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association voted him chairman of the board for the next 12 months, when the directors met June 27 for their monthly meeting.
The new board chairman succeeds Michael Ettleson, who becomes chairman of the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. Schiele will act as the show’s co-chairman.
Schiele, whose Elmhurst Auto Group retails Toyota, Scion, BMW and Jaguar vehicles, leads a board of 15 directors.
Other board officers include Vice Chairman John Webb (Packey Webb Ford, Downers Grove); Treasurer Colin Wickstrom of the Wickstrom Auto Group (Ford-Lincoln and Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep in Barrington) and Mike McGrath Jr. (McGrath Lexus of Chicago and Westmont) David Sloan is association president.
Three directors — Mary Fran Dolan, Steve Foley Jr., and Desmond Roberts — retired from the board after completing their terms. During his term, Foley ascended to board chairman. Roberts also is an NADA director.

Bill could help dealers get titles quicker

July 6, 2012

Dealers could obtain a lien release certificate of title from the Illinois secretary of state’s office for $20, under legislation before Gov. Pat Quinn. The matter cleared both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly without a dissenting vote.
Quinn has until late August to act on House Bill 5493; otherwise the proposal becomes law.
The legislation attempts to accelerate the process because some lienholders do not act quickly to release titles of trade-ins after dealers pay off the loans. Some dealers have been ticketed for not having titles for all the vehicles on their lots, and current laws subject those dealers to having their licenses to sell suspended or revoked.
While lienholders are required to release a title within 20 days after a loan balance is settled—10 days if it is settled with cash—banks increasingly ignore the deadlines, citing far-flung centralized locations where all payments must be routed and other reasons.

BBB sees ad gaffes on dealer sites

July 6, 2012

The Better Business Bureau reports seeing a spate of area dealer Internet ads which improperly list vehicle sales prices and which don’t indicate that trade-in allowances are estimates only.
Patricia Kelly, senior counsel of the BBB’s Chicago office, said that in her office’s recent reviews of dealer ads, monitors have seen amounts being deducted from some advertised prices resulting in prices not available to all; price disclosures that deduct amounts in addition to taxes, license, title and a $161.39 documentary service fee; and claims about the value of consumer trade-ins without language qualifying the amounts as estimates.
Rule 310 of the Illinois motor vehicle advertising regulations states that dealers must include in advertised prices “all costs to the purchaser at the time of the sale, or which are necessary or usual prior to delivery … including any costs of delivery, dealer preparation and any other charges of any nature; provided, however, taxes, license and title fees and a documentary service fee … may be excluded from the advertised price if clearly and conspicuously disclosed in the advertisement that these costs are excluded from the advertised price.” 
Kelly said BBB monitors are seeing price disclosures on websites that include deductions in addition to those set out in Rule 310. She advises dealers to be careful with their websites to make sure that proper amounts are being excluded from the advertised price.
The BBB is also seeing links on websites through which consumers can “Value Your Trade” or find out “What Is My Trade Worth” and similar claims. Rule 540 of the advertising regulations prohibits dealers from offering a “specific trade-in allowance” or stating that the “trade-in will be valued as a specific amount.” In accessing these links, after being told they can obtain a value for the trade-in, consumers complete online forms and then obtain values based upon whatever information they entered on the forms. 
“Dealers all know that the value of a trade-in is not established until after the dealer actually inspects the proposed trade-in and assigns a value after inspection,” Kelly said.
“General information about used car prices can be useful but only if that information is not characterized as a ‘value’ or with similar language. 
“Consumers need to understand that they are only obtaining a general estimate and that they cannot rely upon any number obtained through a link to actually determine the value of their trade-ins. The BBB cautions dealers to be careful with the language used to describe the information obtained by consumers through such links.”
As advertising trends evolve, the BBB tries to help dealers work through new issues in applying the state’s automobile advertising regulations, with an ultimate goal of ensuring a level competitive playing field.

FTC: Dealer exposed sensitive customer data on P2P computers

July 6, 2012

The Federal Trade Commission in June charged two companies, including a Georgia dealership, with illegally exposing the sensitive personal information of thousands of consumers by allowing peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing software to be installed on their corporate computer systems.
The enforcement action against Franklin Toyota Scion alleges that, as a result of the dealership’s failure to implement reasonable security measures to protect its customers’ personal information—names, addresses, Social Security numbers, birthdates and driver’s license numbers—the personal information of 95,000 customers was made available on a P2P network.
As part of its settlement for violating the GLB Safeguards Rule and the Privacy Rule, Franklin Toyota-Scion must establish and maintain a comprehensive information security program, and undergo data security audits by independent auditors every other year for 20 years.
P2P file-sharing software can present significant data security risks, due in part to the fact that once a file has been shared to a P2P network, it can be seen and downloaded by any computer user with access to the network. Such files also generally can’t be permanently removed from the nework.
In addition to Franklin’s data security violations, the FTC alleged that the dealership engaged in a violation of the Unfair or Deceptive Act or Practice by misrepresenting in its privacy notice the measures it would take to protect customer information from unauthorized access.
It is important that dealers:
(a) consider threats that may arise from P2P software when accessing the adequacy of their current customer information safeguards and then adjust heir customer information security program accordingly; and
(b) ensure that the representations in their privacy notices are consistent with their their customer information security practices.
The other business charged by the FTC is a debt collector in Provo, Utah.

Marketplace July 9, 2012

July 6, 2012

Accounting Manager 20 years’ experience in dealership accounting and management. Have worked directly with GM as an officer of a Motors Holding store. Excellent communication skills. Works closely with departmental managers to focus on gross profit goals and control expenses. Bill Jensen, (847) 791-6930.
Résumé on file at the CATA.

Congratulations! July 2012

July 6, 2012

Luis Gonzales of Howard Orloff Imports in Chicago was named a 2012 winner in the VISTSA service competition, which Volvo Cars of North America uses to honor North America’s best technicians and service advisors.
Andy Seelig of the same dealership and James Sprandel, of Patrick Volvo in Schaumburg, were finalists for the award.