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CATA Bulletin
January 7, 2013


Illinois license plate fee hiked $2

January 4, 2013

The annual registration fee for new and renewing vehicles in Illinois is increasing $2 effective for March tags, with the estimated $22 million in proceeds targeted at plugging holes in the Illinois Department of Natural Resources budget.The fee to transfer plates is unchanged.
It marks the second time in three years that state lawmakers have boosted car registration fees to help pay for other areas of state government. In 2009, for example, the fee went up by $20 to help pay for road, bridge and school construction projects.
Among neighboring states, Illinois’ rates are on the high side.
In Iowa, car registration fees are based on make, model and model year of the car. The owner of a 2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, for example, would pay about $112, while the owner of a 2005 Ford Taurus would pay about $237 annually.
Wisconsin residents pay $75 per year. Indiana residents pay a fee of $21.05. Kentucky’s fee is $21. Missouri fees are based on the horsepower of the vehicle. Most owners pay about $51 annually.

Materials coming for 2013, Chicago Auto Show

January 4, 2013

Materials will ship late this week to all members of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association in good standing, to help them get through the coming year and to help publicize the Chicago Auto Show, Feb. 9-18 at McCormick Place. It’s your show; please promote it.
Packages to be sent via United Parcel Service to dealer principals and company presidents include the following:
• 1 CATA-member 2013 window decal;
• 1 form to photocopy to order free supplies of odometer statements, used-car buyer’s guides, used-car limited warranty statements, and emission control equipment statements.
Also, to promote the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, the shipment includes:
• 4 Chicago Auto Show easel cards;
• 2 Chicago Auto Show posters;
• 1 First Look for Charity poster;
• 2 VIP tickets good for repeated admission throughout the auto show;
• 50 Employee Appreciation Day admission tickets, valid Feb. 11-15 and Feb. 18; and
• 200 discounted admission vouchers to offer to customers.
Don’t forget to buy additional admission tickets to the auto show as well as any First Look for Charity tickets.
Any member who does not receive the UPS shipment by Jan. 18 should notify the CATA. The shipments are trackable, to help resolve problems.

Chicagoland Dealers Care crowns its Facebook contest winners

January 4, 2013

Nearly 40 percent of the more than 91,000 votes cast in the recent Chicagoland Dealers Care contest on Facebook went to the contest’s eventual winning dealership/nonprofit pairing: Joe Rizza Ford of Orland Park and Erin’s AAIM for Change.
Indeed, 88 percent of the votes were cast for the top three finishers. The top charity wins a $3,500 donation and production of a Chicagoland Dealers Care public service announcement that will appear on NBC 5 Chicago and the websites of the dealers’ charity program and the television station. Second prize garnered a $2,500 donation and third prize, a $1,000 donation.
Other winners include Advantage Chevrolet of Bolingbrook/DuPage County Area Project in second place, and third-place finisher Wickstrom Chevrolet/Project Flipmode.
The 4-year-old Chicagoland Dealers Care program supports area nonprofits that are favored by CATA dealerships. In the Facebook contest, a gallery of 19 dealers and the charities they support were featured, and visitors to the Facebook page were able to cast up to one vote daily during the month-long contest. 
Erin’s AAIM for Change, the contest winner, was founded in 1997 after Erin Olmstead, a senior at Sandburg High School in Orland Park, was killed by a drunken driver.
DuPage County Area Project (DuCAP) attempts to reduce or eliminate juvenile delinquency and organize neighborhoods to be proactive in alleviating the conditions that put youth at risk.
The third place finisher, Project Flipmode, helps individuals and families facing homelessness and other crises, and offers help and resources that will empower those individuals to change their lives.
Of the 91,284 votes cast, the top three finishers received 35,678, 24,482 and 20,134 of them, respectively.
Beyond the contest, Chicagoland Dealers Care donates up to $1,500 to nonprofits that are supported by area dealers. Grant requests have come from a variety of causes: academic programs, cultural arts, performing arts, medical research, and even humanitarian needs.
Some initiatives have been developed into 15-second spots broadcast on NBC 5, and all are trumpeted on the CATA’s weekly radio show, "Drive Chicago," at 8 a.m. Saturdays on WLS 890 AM; and on the association’s website,

FTC revises Spanish language Buyers Guide

January 4, 2013

The Federal Trade Commission’s in December issued a final rule that makes technical corrections and revises the Spanish translation of the Buyers Guide. 
The Used-Car Rule requires dealers to post a Buyers Guide in every used car offered for sale. The rule currently requires dealers to use Spanish-language versions of the Buyers Guide and to make related contract disclosures in Spanish when they conduct sales in Spanish. 
The revised Spanish-language version takes effect Feb. 11,  but dealers may use any remaining stocks of existing Spanish Buyers Guides. The new version is at

Infiniti can't impose surcharge on dealers for warranty parts, circuit court rules

January 4, 2013

Infiniti’s practice of charging Illinois dealers a "Warranty Supplemental Cost Recovery" on each of its vehicles violates Section 6 of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Franchise Act, a Cook County circuit court judge ruled in December.
Judge Mary Mikva said the cost recovery mechanism developed in 2001, which allows dealers to seek reimbursement for warranty parts at retail rates, can be  invoked only when a manufacturer and most of its dealers in the state have arrived at a side agreement on warranty parts. Infiniti has no such agreements with its Illinois dealers.
As defined in the state act, a manufacturer must have written agreements with a majority of its Illinois franchisees for a uniform warranty reimbursement policy before it can surcharge those dealers who do not agree to the bargained rate, and thus recover its cost of complying with the retail rate provisions of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Franchise Act.
Dennis O’Keefe, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association’s general counsel, said the ruling, although subject to appeal, validates the efforts in 2001 of the CATA and the Illinois Automobile Dealers Association to amend the state act.
The suit was brought forward by Fields Infiniti.

Call State Department before completing tax-exempt sales to diplomats

January 4, 2013

Eligible foreign missions and their members and dependents in the United States are privileged to make tax-exempt purchases or leases of official or personal vehicles, but not without a letter issued by the U.S. State Department’s Office of Foreign Missions, the office instructed in a Dec. 27 letter to the CATA.
Diplomatic Tax Exemption Cards issued to all eligible foreign missions and their members and dependents may not be used for a tax-exempt transaction. Instead, prior to finalizing the transaction for a vehicle purchase or lease, the dealership must directly contact the OFM during normal business hours to request the issuance of a Motor Vehicle Exemption Letter.
The OFM’s Chicago regional office can be reached at (312) 353-5762 or When requesting a letter, the dealership must provide the following information:
1. The dealership’s name, mailing address, and telephone and fax numbers;
2. The color, year, make and model of the vehicle that the mission or accredited mission member is planning to acquire; and
3. For official vehicles: the name of the foreign mission that is purchasing or leasing a vehicle; or
4. For personal vehicles: the name (as it appears on the person’s "A series" or "G series" visa) of the accredited mission member or the dependent who is buying or leasing a vehicle, the name of the foreign mission to which the individual is assigned, and the individual’s State Department-issued personal identification number (PID). (Note that individuals also must present proof of their diplomatic or consular status to the dealership—i.e., valid passport which contains their current "A series" or "G series" visa, or Department-issued protocol identification card, or Department-issued driver’s license, or Department-issued Diplomatic Tax Exemption Card.)
The OFM strives to transmit Motor Vehicle Tax-Exemption Letters to requesting dealerships either by electronic mail or facsimile within two hours of receiving a request. The uniquely-numbered letters serve as the OFM’s formal notification of the referenced foreign mission or accredited mission members and their dependents’ eligibility for an exemption of sales and use taxes imposed on vehicle sales and leases.
The letter instructs dealerships to send all original ownership documents directly to the OFM so that the vehicle can be properly registered and titled, and to treat the transaction as an out-of-state registration. The OFM will issue a registration card and federal license plates once proper documentation is received.
The OFM also will send a title to the indicated lien holder to protect the interest of the lender. Finally, the letter indicates that the dealership can issue a temporary state tag as long as proof of sufficient insurance is provided.