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CATA Bulletin
September 29, 2014


USO of Illinois to honor CATA

September 26, 2014

The USO of Illinois on Oct. 25 will honor the Chicago Automobile Trade Association with the USO Salute to Leadership award for its continued dedication and support of the U.S. Armed Forces.
The award will be bestowed during the USO of Illinois Star-Spangled Salute Gala. Held at Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom, the gala is widely acclaimed as Chicago’s premier patriotic event, held in honor and support of the men, women and families of the U.S. Armed Forces.
The CATA has for the past two summers coordinated barbecue fundraisers for USO of Illinois which raised more than $37,000 in the inaugural effort and $90,000 in July. 
Beyond the USO Barbecue for the Troops initiative, the CATA is committed to supporting both active duty military and veterans year-round. As producer of the Chicago Auto Show, the CATA waives the show entrance fee for active-duty members of the military as a small gesture to thank them for their service. 
The CATA also ran a recent program called Operation Troop Train to train and hire veterans for careers in local automotive dealerships. 
"We’re beyond humbled to receive the USO Salute to Leadership award for our active role in supporting our troops," said CATA Chairman Colin Wickstrom. "We look forward to advancing in our partnership with the USO of Illinois and providing support to local troops through the association’s year-round efforts. This is certainly a cause everyone can rally around."
Sixty-five area new-vehicle dealerships held barbecue fundraisers in July. One hundred percent of the proceeds they raised was donated to USO programs that support deployed troops, military families, wounded, ill and injured troops and their caregivers, and families of the fallen.
"The $90,000 raised," said USO of Illinois President and CEO Alison Ruble, "will directly help more than 300,000 military and military families locally." 
The USO, a nonprofit, non-political organization, has for 73 years provided Americans with a tangible way to express appreciation and gratitude for the dedication and sacrifice of the nation’s troops and their families.
Wickstrom said: "I am blown away not only by the commitment from our dealers to host barbecue fundraisers for the troops, but also by the amount of time and effort dedicated to making these grassroots events just extraordinary. Whether a dealer’s event individually raised $100 or $10,000 for local troops, Chicagoans couldn’t miss the amount of advocacy and support felt throughout the communities on that single day in July."  
Past recipients of the USO Salute to Leadership Award include Chicago Blackhawks president John McDonough, president of the Chicago Blackhawks; Rick Stephens, a senior vice president at The Boeing Co.; and David Storch, chief executive of AAR Corp.
For more information on the Oct. 25 gala and to order tickets, go to

American elections, dealer responsibility

September 26, 2014

By Larry Kull, Chairman of the American International Automobile Dealers Association
Members of 113th Congress raced out of Washington, D.C., this month by planes, trains, and automobiles, leaving nothing in their wake but a proverbial cloud of dust. 
The members were all headed home, back to their districts for a final flurry of campaigning ahead of the midterm elections, just five short weeks away. They won’t return to D.C. again until after Nov. 4, after all the votes are counted.
As of today, the 113th Congress has enacted just 163 pieces of legislation — putting it on track to be the least productive in history. And that’s not likely to change in the next few weeks. 
Despite a great deal of unfinished business, including an immigration crisis, the U.S. campaign against ISIS, trade promotion authority, and the small matter of the U.S. budget, Congress has determined that its energy is best spent at home, drumming up votes.
What Congress doesn’t seem to get is that Americans don’t want to be glad-handed at the local pumpkin patch, or gifted empty promises at the VFW hall. We want real, substantial legislation that promotes our national security and economic well-being. We want serious men and women to tackle serious issues. We want Congress to do better.
We may be disappointed in Congress’ inaction, but as a country we should also take a hard look at our own actions. In the last midterm election, just 42 percent of eligible Americans voted. 
If Americans don’t participate in the electoral process from start to finish, if we don’t follow the news and educate ourselves on how our members vote, if we can’t even be bothered to vote ourselves, then how can we expect to see progress in Washington, D.C.?
As business leaders, dealers have a particular responsibility to our employees and our customers to get engaged with the political process. Unaddressed issues in Washington, D.C., can lead to big problems at home – like higher taxes, a weaker economy, and burdensome regulations on small businesses.
It’s not enough to show up to the voting booth every other year; we have to get involved on the local level and in the nominating process, we have to donate to the PACs and candidates who represent our interests, and we have to demand a stronger performance from Congress, just as we would from any other employee.
Remember, if we don’t find a way to work with Congress, we’ll have a Congress that doesn’t work for us.

OSHA repeals dealer recordkeeping exemptions

September 26, 2014

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has repealed a number of industry exemptions from its mandate that employers with 11 or more employees keep a workplace injury and illness log, including one for car dealers that dates back to the 1980s. 
Effective Jan. 1, 2015, car dealers must use OSHA Form 300 to record workplace injuries and illnesses. By Feb. 1, 2016, they also must post an OSHA Form 300A summary of the workplace injury and illnesses that occurred in 2015. 
Dealers can access an OSHA fact sheet on this month’s rule and an online tool to train employees on how to fill out the newly required forms. 
As a concession, the final rule contains a commitment by OSHA to review the efficacy of the changes in two years, the direct result of the NADA’s unwavering opposition to the exemption repeal, first proposed by OSHA in 2011. 
NADA Regulatory Affairs will soon issue an all-member FAQ on the topic. Questions can be directed to NADA Regulatory Affairs at 703.821.7040 or

NADA: Dealers are efficient, competitive

September 26, 2014

The head of the National Automobile Dealers Association, in a Sept. 25 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, challenged a contention made days earlier in the newspaper that automobile manufacturers should be permitted to sell directly to consumers.
"John Kerr’s (Sept. 17) op-ed critical of state automobile franchise laws misses a core reason of why franchise laws exist. They level the playing field between dealers and manufacturers because dealers are prohibited by antitrust laws from negotiating freely with auto makers," NADA President Peter Welsh wrote. 
"In a truly free market, local new-car and -truck dealers, who have invested more than $200 billion in their land and facilities, would be able to collectively negotiate their contracts with manufacturers on pricing and distribution. However, dealers are prohibited from federal and state antitrust laws from doing this. 
"In fact, dealer groups are under constant scrutiny of their compliance with state and federal antitrust laws — including major investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice in recent decades. 
"The automotive market is highly regulated at all levels — requiring licensing, insurance, financing, care of hazardous materials, all regulated by different bureaucracies. State legislatures passed franchise laws to remedy the antitrust harm against dealers and to help protect consumers. These laws also have the benefit of adding intra-brand price competition into the marketplace, adding extra consumer accountability on warranty and recall issues, and keeping local ownership of businesses on Main Street. And the franchise model is extraordinarily efficient at bringing cars to market with gross margins of less than 6 percent. It is an extremely competitive system that benefits consumers, manufacturers and local communities alike."

Road Dealer connects used-vehicle buyers and sellers 24/7

September 26, 2014

By Jim Battista, President of Road Dealer
Road Dealer is excited to announce our new Patent Pending Buy Figure Tab. This feature allows our dealer partners to take up to five photos of a car coming in for trade or sale, give a short description, and instantly push this information out to our network of more than 200 buyers and used-car managers.  This feature is industry-changing, and our network is growing weekly.
The Chicago Automobile Trade Association has been instrumental in helping us strengthen our network and to get to the point we are at. Their support and trust has powered us to outlast our competition and help our dealer partners source inventory 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for one small monthly fee.  
With the addition of community member dealers in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota, we are well on our way to making this a product and community that is unmatched by any of the auctions or large third party providers.
This is all due in part to the loyalty, faith and hard work of our members.  We are blessed to help our auto industry buyers from day one and get immediate feedback to make our technology and community better.  
Jeremy Stasek from Bill Stasek Chevrolet says it best: "Before Road Dealer, we had to travel many miles to find cars and buy from people we didn’t know.  We’ve tried some of the other technologies out there, but NO ONE services like Jim and his team at Road Dealer and I’ve now built a network of trusted sources who I can buy from and sell to right from my cell phone with the Road Dealer app.  
"This is one tool we couldn’t do without, and I hope the whole industry jumps on board so that I can find more inventory."
Thank you to our community and the CATA team.  We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to building Road Dealer into "THE" place to find cars and trucks quickly and easily.  
The fact that I am in the field every day, working with and for our dealer partners, allows me to learn from them and adapt our technology and processes to help them TODAY.  We’ve come a long way in the last four years and are grateful to our customers and strategic partners such as the CATA, Tribune Media Group,, and ADAMM.  2015 is almost here, and having 1,000 dealer partners and 100,000 cars for sale is right around the corner!
Road Dealer is, first, a community of auto industry remarketing professionals and, second, a technology company.  Road Dealer was founded in 2009 by auto dealers, for auto dealers.

'Take the Wheel' theme of Northwood's 2014 auto show, Oct. 10-12

September 26, 2014

With the theme, "Take the Wheel," this year’s Northwood University International Auto Show will feature more than 500 new domestic and imported cars, trucks, recreational vehicles, vans, experimental and specialty vehicles, plus various automotive aftermarket products. 

The show is Oct. 10-12 at Northwood’s Midland, Mich., campus.

"This year’s show has a very clear focus. It is about the empowerment that the automobile provides," said auto show Chairwoman Kristin Hammond. "It is about the qualities and features that make each and every vehicle different. 

"We want the show attendees to get behind the wheel and get a full and interactive experience. Showing what today’s cars can do for you is our aim."

With about 60,000 guests annually, Northwood’s auto show is an event for the entire family. It is unique in many ways; it is outdoors and entirely student-run, with more than 600 Northwood University students participating. 

It hosts vehicles from an array of manufacturers. There is an opportunity to speak to knowledgeable students without the pressure of a salesperson. This year’s show will have a renewed focus on the future. The enjoyment, technology, and convenience of the modern car are at the forefront.

The auto show will take place at the Northwood campus at 4000 Whiting Dr., Midland, Mich. Show hours are 12-6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. 

Many exhibits will line the Mall Walk and offer a variety of food, information and entertainment. The event also includes a classic car show on Sunday.

Auto show admission and parking are free. For more information and a schedule of events, go to the university’s



USO seeking old telephones

September 25, 2014

In the wake of this month’s launch of the Apple iPhone 6 and the sale of more than 10 million units, the USO of Illinois is conducting a campaign to collect and recycle old cell phones and smartphones.
The nonprofit is accepting the broken and outdated devices at its headquarters at 333 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, (312) 822-6699; and at centers at O’Hare International Airport, (773) 686-7396; Midway International Airport, (773) 582-5852; and at Naval Station Great Lakes, North Chicago, (847) 688-5591.
The USO of Illinois earns money for every phone, money that goes to help fund programs and services put on by the USO of Illinois for local military. The agency is a 501(c)3 organization serving the needs of the U.S. military community since 1941, through the generosity of the American people.
Questions can be directed to Jill Gayton, the agency’s associate director of programs, at