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CATA Bulletin
July 29, 2019

 

DriveChicago using WebBuy technology for trade-in quotes

July 26, 2019

DriveChicago has worked with WebBuy to bring its CarValuator technology to DriveChicago.com’s online trade-in tool. WebBuy provides dealers with a fully integrated, dealer-centric web application that allows website visitors to complete the trade-in and vehicle purchase process completely online. 
With WebBuy’s fully integrated car-buying app, customers can buy or lease a new or used vehicle from a dealer’s website. They can choose a vehicle, get a trade-in offer, cash/finance/lease, add a co-buyer, choose rebates, and complete the deal.
With CarValuator as the new engine behind trade-in leads on DriveChicago.com, dealers can better trust the value of those leads and turn that lead into a customer. The CarValuator process uses the owner’s VIN number to ensure year, make, model and trim match and provides the dealer with detailed information about condition, including photos, and aftermarket modifications. 
"We’ve always been impressed with the Chicago Automobile Trade Association and DriveChicago, and we’re humbled to partner with the association and its hundreds of dealer members," said Tom Murray, WebBuy and CarValuator’s CEO and co-founder, "and we’re confident that this partnership will yield tremendous benefits for CATA dealer members and their customers."
Previously, DriveChicago.com utilized a trade-in calculator that didn’t verify the vehicle by VIN, which oftentimes caused confusion when dealers reached out to potential customers via the DriveChicago.com trade-in leads. CarValuator ensures that both the customer and dealer will be happy with the vehicle’s valuation and the trade-in process.
"The addition of CarValuator gives DriveChicago.com a robust and precise used-vehicle evaluation tool," said Mark Bilek, DriveChicago.com general manager. "The unique neutrality of DriveChicago.com allows it work to provide leads to all CATA dealer fairly and this trade-in tool ensures that those leads will be of high value moving forward."
DriveChicago.com, which is a free service to all CATA members, works to cultivate new- and used-vehicle shoppers, guide them through the selection process, and pass them to CATA member dealers. This year alone, DriveChicago.com has had more than 750,000 visitors and delivered more than 10,000 customers to CATA member dealers through actions on DriveChicago.com. 
For more information about DriveChicago.com, or to check the status of dealership inventories and lead addresses, call Bilek at (630) 424-6082.
 
 

USO fundraisers continue

July 26, 2019

One hundred seventeen area new-car dealerships participated in this month’s campaign for the USO of Illinois. For some, the participation continues, with online efforts spanning July.
The total raised will be announced Aug. 15 at a USO event in Chicago, "Clark After Dark." In its first six years, CATA dealers helped raise nearly $750,000 for programs and services of the USO of Illinois.
 
 

ACV Auctions is CATA's newest Member Benefits partner

July 26, 2019

The Chicago Automobile Trade Association is pleased to announce the endorsement of ACV Auctions as the association’s recommended wholesale source to buy and sell used vehicles. With ACV’s innovative online auction marketplace, dealers can streamline the selling and buying process, eliminating excess cost and wasted time. 
ACV was founded and operates on the principles of trust and transparency, and the company works to ensure buyers and sellers on the platform have everything they need to be successful. 
With ACV’s condition report, buyers can have confidence that the vehicle they’re buying is what they expected and that the price they’re paying is fair, and sellers don’t have to deal with arbitration. 
In addition to all of that, ACV delivers increased performance for dealers. Sell through rates are higher than 50 percent; fees and associated costs are lower, allowing dealers to turn vehicles quicker; and they can optimize their cash flow and turn wholesale into a profit center. 
The CATA recommends that every Chicago dealership consider ACV Auctions as part of its wholesaling strategy. It will make a difference. Dealers across the U.S. last month sold and bought more than 19,000 vehicles from ACV Auctions. Auctions run every day, all day.
 
 

Connexion offers tips to save on electricity bills

July 26, 2019

Take advantage of 20 percent in increased incentives this year from ComEd and more than 50 percent savings in your electrical bill from Energy Efficient LED Lighting Upgrades for your interior and exterior lighting.  
The ComEd Incentives, paired with your energy and maintenance savings, generally result in a payback of two years or less. Incentives range from an average of $18,000 to more than $38,000 for interior and exterior lighting upgrades.
Lighting upgrades not only improve your dealership’s overall appearance, it also improves your bottom line with energy and maintenance savings from labor to change lamps or ballasts in your existing indoor and outdoor lighting. New energy LED Fixtures offer 10 years or more of maintenance-free life.
Now is the time to consider a lighting improvement project for the fall, when the days are shorter, and your burn hours are longer. 
For more than 11 years, Connexion, your Approved CATA Member Partner for Lighting Upgrades, has been helping automobile dealerships improve their lighting and take advantage of ComEd incentives.  
Let Connexion and its more than 35 years of lighting experience show you how to improve the look and energy efficiency of your dealership and your bottom line with LED lighting upgrades. Contact Brian Earl at his office at (847) 499-8314, or his cell phone, (815) 482-4931. He and his team will stop by for a quick evaluation of your existing lighting and offer suggestions and a proposal for lighting upgrades.
 
Connexion is part of a growing list of CATA allied members that are recognized as Approved Partners, for offering dealers products and services that have unique value.
 
 

Younger generations could be answer to dealership turnover issues

July 26, 2019

As employee turnover across the U.S. reaches new heights and competition for talent redefines the workforce, dealerships find themselves at the epicenter of the struggle to attract and retain skilled workers. But Cox Automotive’s 2019 Dealership Staffing Study reveals an optimistic forecast with younger generation showing a greater interest in dealership jobs than older generations.
According to the latest study, about 20 percent of all dealership staff are likely to look for another job in the next six months, with one-third of non-management employees feeling neutral or unsatisfied with their jobs. The figures indicate high-risk potential for dealerships to lose a portion of their sales staff, which has an estimated 80 percent turnover rate, yet remains the group most likely to influence car buyer satisfaction, according to the Cox Automotive 2019 Car Buyer Journey Study.
"The good news is that dealerships have an opportunity to reverse this trend," said Isabelle Helms, vice president, research and market intelligence, Cox Automotive. "A new generation is entering the workforce and bringing with them a renewed interest in working at a dealership. To attract and retain employees in this highly competitive job market, dealerships should understand which benefits and cultural attributes employees value most and take action to effect positive changes within their store."
Among Gen Z and Young Millennials, more than 30 percent are interested in working for a dealership, even higher when roles other than sales are presented to them, according to the study. This interest is nearly 10 percentage points higher than interest shown by Older Millennials and Gen X.
With about 61 million members of Gen Z starting to enter the U.S. workforce, dealerships have a chance to build a culture that attracts and retains this younger, tech-savvy talent. However, to win over this next generation, dealerships must address significant gaps in today’s auto retail workplace culture, according to the staffing study.
 
• Dealership employee engagement is fading with one-third of dealership staff employees saying that they are not engaged nor excited about their jobs.
 
• Only half of non-management employees say their manager meets with them regularly to set goals that stretch their capabilities and grow their skills.
 
• The absence of work/life balance can lead to staff turnover with 40 percent of former dealership staff saying they left due to a work/life balance-related issue.
 
• A mere 39 percent of dealership staff believe their dealership is using the latest technology.
 
"Dealers can’t afford to take their eyes off their employees’ needs," said Bob Kostkan, senior director with Cox Automotive University. "With record high dealership turnover and a low unemployment rate of 3.7 percent as of June 2019, it’s critical that dealership leaders improve productivity while also enhancing employee engagement and retention. These are controllable issues that must be addressed to maximize customer experience and profitability."
 
Dealerships need to act now to create a culture that makes employees feel valued and shows them they have future growth opportunities. While participating in the Cox Automotive SHIFT/Reinvent Program in 2015, John Cragg, executive vice president for the Penske Automotive Group’s East Region and responsible for dozens of rooftops and thousands of employees, became aware of a blind spot — he was "delegating" when he should have been "empowering." As a result of this new awareness, he worked strategically with his HR and marketing teams to shift the focus to be more about empowering people and giving them opportunities to contribute in more significant ways.
 
Cragg has since seen consistent year-over-year improvement in employee turnover and satisfaction. His region now has the highest employee satisfaction scores in the company and the lowest turnover — outpacing industry averages, even for the highest performers.
 
In addition to empowering and engaging staff, dealerships should also invest in modern, user-friendly technology to help drive greater productivity and efficiency for employees. Having access to the latest technology is not only expected by these younger generations but required to succeed as a business in today’s digital age. To get the most out of technology, dealerships must also implement ongoing training opportunities. Equipping employees with the necessary tools to help them grow their skillsets and better take advantage of new technology will create happier workers and a more optimized workflow.
 
 

Setting employee performance goals drives dealership's success

July 26, 2019

By Georgia Munson, NADA Academy instructor
 
The difference between dreaming of lofty goals and achieving them is action and planning.
Most people don’t achieve their goals. Why? We were told to dream big when we were children, but we were never taught how to set goals and execute them to achieve those big dreams. Hard to believe, right?
Additionally, not only do those who set goals have success, but they are more likely to have employees who are engaged with work.
A recent Gallup study showed a wide variance between the level of engagement among employees based on their answer to a simple question: Do you strongly agree or strongly disagree that your manager helps you set performance goals and holds you accountable for your performance?
Results showed employees who answered the question with ‘strongly disagree’ were only 8 percent engaged. Those who answered with ‘strongly agree’ were 69 percent engaged.
No one can achieve their most challenging goals without help. We all need support and assistance from our managers, peers and our team of employees to ensure our success. That’s why it’s not only important to learn how to set goals for yourself, but to achieve them you should assist your employees in doing the same.
Let’s back up to dreaming about potential success. It’s fun, and a great place to start when identifying goals for yourself and employees. Goal achievers know how to take their dreams to the next level. They set goals, communicate goals and hold themselves and others accountable for achieving those goals.
Here are my seven steps to achieving your goals:
 
Step 1: Dream your greatest vision of success in your current role and write it down.
Step 2: Develop three to five goals that will be required to help you achieve this vision.
Step 3: Make sure your goals are:
 
Specific (use verbs such as increase to, grow, complete, develop and implement, etc.) For example: Grow new car sales by 20 percent focusing on an area of greatest market share opportunity;
Quantifiable and Measurable (use numbers and percentages);
Realistic but challenging to achieve; and
Timebound and have a clear date and time to meet a deadline. (Do not use "as soon as possible" or "to be determined." Use real dates and times.)
Step 4: Identify all tasks required to achieve the goals and write them down.
Step 5: Communicate your goals to your manager, peers and to your team.
Step 6: Develop related goals for your individual team members that will support your success for reaching your own goals. Set daily, weekly or monthly goals for individual team members so they are manageable.
Step 7: Track and communicate progress towards success. This is an important step, so be sure to track progress in multiple ways: visually, kinesthetically and verbally. This might sound like overkill, however, this is the best way to ensure you are reaching all stakeholders in ways they will become engaged and stay engaged to achieve their goals successfully.
 
What do I mean by visually, kinesthetically and verbally?
 
Visually – Use charts, reports, timetables, graphs, symbols, calendars and handouts to track your progress. Put these tracking tools on a whiteboard, corkboard or poster for all your stakeholders to see every day. This is a great tool for engaging your employees who learn visually.
Kinesthetically – When creating your visual tracking tools, allow space for you and your stakeholders to manually fill in the tasks achieved. This will engage employees who require hands-on involvement and reminders to keep them engaged.
Verbally – Sharing your goals verbally with all stakeholders in regular meetings will engage employees and stakeholders who are verbal learners.
When I worked for a large dealer group with 22 stores, my vision and goals were as follows:
 
Vision:  To be known as the store that hires and trains the most employees who become successful and are promoted to work at our other dealerships.
Goal 1: Hire five individuals each quarter of the calendar year who fit our company’s culture and vision.
Goal 2: Train and develop new hire employees with a comprehensive customer service, product, technology, communication and teamwork-oriented training program during their first 90 days of employment.
Goal 3: Develop a skills assessment checklist to benchmark the progress of the new hires weekly over their first 90 days of employment.
Goal 4: Implement a weekly process of skills assessment for the new hires by rotating the responsibility of assessments throughout the management team and high potential department employees.
You now have the recipe for success to elevate your dealership’s performance through staff training and development. Learn more by attending NADA’s all-new Professional Series program.
It’s never too late to set goals!
The author is a former general manager and president of a dealership group and a Ford Motor Co. district manager.
 
 

EEOC data due Sept. 30

July 26, 2019

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on July 15 opened an online portal for dealerships with more than 100 employees to file annual information. Filings are due Sept. 30.
 
The expanded EEO-1 Survey asks for hours worked and W-2 information, by employment category. Covered dealerships should be receiving portal system login information from the EEOC via U.S. mail and via email. The EEOC has supplemental materials to help with submission of the data.
 
 

Off-lease volume expected to peak this year

July 26, 2019

The volume of off-lease vehicles returning to market is expected to peak at 4.1 million this year and again in 2020, Cox Automotive’s chief economist said in a second-quarter conference call examining used-vehicle value indices.  
Jonathon Smoke said: "Off-lease maturities grew by 1.7 million units between 2014 and 2018. This year, we expect the last big movement of growth before we reach a total of 4.1 million lease vehicles to reach the end of their lease term," 
Smoke said that Manheim expects the volume to remain steady through 2020 due to increased lease penetration in 2018.
"The off-lease tsunami created a higher tide that will remain high for several more years to drive growth and retail used-vehicles sales — especially in those gently used vehicles less than 4 years old," Smoke said.
Smoke noted, however, that Manheim does not expect the physical volume of vehicles at auction to grow this year. 
"In aggregate, the increase in supply won’t put pressure on price," he said, noting that some specific segments are still seeing a higher increase in off-lease volume, such as the SUV, and will see some variation in price performance.
 

Vehicle leasing vs. ridesharing, by the numbers

July 26, 2019

Dealerships might hear pushback from potential leasing customers who say that using ridesharing services could be more cost effective rather than taking on a lease contract.
Now, the analyst team at Swapalease.com ran the numbers — taking into consideration that costs for ridesharing services are climbing — and recently shared an estimated cost analysis of what the average transportation costs would look like to lease and to rideshare.
All of sudden, leasing a vehicle became much more attractive, according to the Swapalease.com figures. First analysts used these assumptions to generate the full-cost breakdown.
• 10,000 miles traveled annually (lease)
• 25 miles a gallon/$3.00 a gallon (lease)
• Average number of rideshare trips per week: 17
 
Here are some scenarios Swapalease.com uncovered:
 
Average rideshare fare of $12.95:
Rideshare monthly cost:    $953.58
Monthly lease cost:    $490.00*
Difference to Rideshare: +$463.98
Average rideshare fare of $14.25 (10 percent increase):
Rideshare monthly cost: $1,049.38
Monthly lease cost:    $490.00*
Difference to Rideshare: +$559.38
Average rideshare fare of $15.54 (20 percent increase):
Rideshare monthly cost: $1,144.78
Monthly lease cost:    $490.00*
Difference to Rideshare: +$654.78
 
*Includes $75 a month for parking, $100 for fuel, $15 for maintenance and $50 for insurance
 
Swapalease.com executive vice president Scot Hall examined the entire data report the site generated and concluded: "Ridesharing services have completely transformed the way millions of people commute for both work and leisure, and they will continue to grow in popularity especially in larger cities. "However, from a personal finances perspective, even when taking parking, fuel and maintenance into consideration, the costs associated with leasing continue to be lower than ridesharing as a primary mode of transportation.
 
"If the media chatter proves true and these costs rise further, consumers will need to take a harder look when considering these options (ridesharing) for personal transportation."
 
 

Congratulations! (July 2019)

July 26, 2019

Karen Ford, 31, the commercial and fleet director at Sutton Ford-Lincoln in Matteson, was named one of this year’s Automotive News 40 Under 40.
McGrath Acura of Westmont and Muller’s Woodfield Acura (Hoffman Estates) were named 17-year recipients of Acura’s Precision Team Award. Other area winners: Arlington Acura in Palatine (8-year recipient), and Muller Acura of Merrillville (3-year recipient).
Area winners of Toyota’s 2018 President’s Award include Classic Toyota (Waukegan), Elgin Toyota (Streamwood), and Pauly Toyota (Crystal Lake). 
McGrath Volvo Cars Barrington and Volvo Cars Lisle are winners of the 2018 Volvo Excellence Award.
Phillip Resnick and Lee Wulbert of Schaumburg Toyota were members of Toyota’s 2018 Customer First Advisory Board, for extraordinary performance in parts, service and customer satisfaction.