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CATA Bulletin
February 26, 2007


Crowds brave winter’s worst to attend ’07 Chicago Auto Show

November 17, 2010

Wintry weather challenged attendees of the 2007 Chicago Auto Show, Feb. 9-18 at McCormick Place, and area dealers awaited what subsequently is regarded as the launch of the dealers’ spring selling season.


Plentiful multilingual media coverage showcased the nearly 1,000 vehicles on display, and automakers raised the curtain on 19 world introductions during the show’s two-day Media Preview.


Consumer voters proclaimed their show favorites in five categories, in the auto show’s second Best of Show balloting. Winners included:


  • Best All-New Production Vehicle: Audi R8
  • Best Concept Vehicle: Chevrolet Camaro Convertible
  • Best Chicago Auto Show World Introduction: Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Ron Fellows Special Edition
  • Best Exhibit: Jeep
  • Vehicle I’d Most Like to Have in My Driveway: Chevrolet Camaro


$19,700 disbursed in ACE awards

Effective salespeople in the displays netted nearly $20,000 under the Award for Customer Excellence (ACE) program. Salespeople at all vehicle exhibits were evaluated daily by incognito judges who rated the salespeople using various criteria.


Len Donnells of Joe Rizza Acura (Orland Park) and Ed Kucic of Napleton Cadillac (Park Ridge) both won the award four times during the show’s 10-day run.


Three-time winners included Segundo Armendariz of Elgin Toyota, Miguel "Angel" Bocardo of Max Madsen’s Aurora Mitsu-bishi, Harrison Green III of Patrick Volvo (Schaum-burg), and Anthony Zaremba of Suburban Buick Co. (Wheaton).


The CATA board of directors voted Feb. 18 to increase the ACE award beginning next year to $150 on weekdays and $200 on weekends.


Food drive nets 9.5 tons

Late weekday crowds benefited the Chicago Christian Industrial League by contributing more than 19,000 pounds of canned foods. The CATA extends a $5 discount off regular adult admission to those who bring three cans of food Wednesday through Friday at the show.


Next year’s show, Feb. 8-17, marks the 100th edition of the Chicago Auto Show.


Biennial compensation survey conducted online till March 18

November 17, 2010

Chicago area dealers are encouraged to participate until March 18 in the biennial compensation survey administered by the NADA and funded by the CATA. The survey is to be completed anonymously and, for the first time, the survey is being conducted online.


In the last survey, in 2005, dealers in 71 state and metro associations provided information on their employees’ pay and on other forms of compensation, like health and dental plans and vacation time.


All dealers who complete the survey will be mailed a free copy of the cumulative results in an NADA management guide, "Paying to Motivate Update ’07." The guide will be sold to dealers who don’t participate in the survey for $75.


The survey is at a secure Web site, Dealers can print a pdf file of the survey to follow along or to prepare responses before entering any data online.


The CATA will mail dealers more information about the survey in the next week. Remember, the more dealers who participate, the more reliable the results.


$2.8 million raised, 3 vehicles awarded at 2007 First Look for Charity

November 17, 2010

Nineteen area charities shared more than $2.8 million raised by the 2007 Chicago Auto Show’s benevolent event, First Look for Charity, and three attendees left with the keys to new vehicles.


Nearly 12,000 people attended First Look for Charity, helping to raise $2,816,358. The event is held the evening before the annual auto show opens its 10-day public run.


"First Look for Charity is a great instrument for the area’s new-car dealers to show the positive impact they have on their community," said Terry D’Arcy, chairman of this year’s auto show. "All the benefiting charities are involved locally, so the money that’s raised in Chicago stays in Chicago."


As the name of the event implies, those who attend First Look for Charity are part of the premier viewing of each year’s Chicago Auto Show. Tickets to the fund-raiser are $200 each, and purchasers can elect to have their proceeds equally benefit all participating charities, or any one charity for which they have an affinity. For the event, the auto show floor is replete with a variety of food and beverage stations.


A highlight of the evening this year was the drawing for three 2007 grand prize vehicles: a GMC Acadia, a Hyundai Azera and a Volkswagen GTI. This year’s event awarded the Acadia to Jeff Krause of Boling-brook; the Azera to Carla Seidel of Lake Forest; and the GTI to Daryl Del Sasso of Plainfield.


Proceeds from Krause’s ticket purchase benefited Franciscan Sisters of Chicago Service Corporation, Misericordia Heart of Mercy reaped the funds from Seidel’s ticket purchase, and Del Sasso purchased his ticket from Clearbrook. In all, 19 charities profited from the event.


Other organizations participating in the 2007 First Look for Charity included Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital, American Lung Association of Metropolitan Chicago, Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, Campagna Academy, Cancer Health Alliance of Metropolitan Chicago, and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago.


And, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet; Children’s Memorial Hospital, The Cradle Foundation, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, Cure Autism Now Foundation, and the Ray Graham Association for People with Disabilities.


Also, Illinois Spina Bifida Association, Ronald McDonald House Charities, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and St. Coletta’s of Illinois Foundation.


Kick-start spring with CATA/IADA conference in Marco Island, Fla.

November 17, 2010

By mid-March, spring typically has only flirted with Illinoisans, offering one or two glimpses of warmer weather on the horizon. Not so along Florida’s Gulf coast, where daytime highs average in the 80s.


Ditch the snow shovel and grab the golf clubs, and be part of a conference and retreat exclusively for Illinois and northwest Indiana dealers and their families, March 18-23 at the Marco Island Marriott Resort & Spa in Marco Island, Fla.


The inaugural getaway excursion, coordinated by the CATA and the IADA, features speakers, workshops and line or ad group meetings as requested, plus golf outings, banquets and other events at or near the resort overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.


Commited speakers include Malcolm Bricklin, chairman and chief executive of Visionary Vehicles; Steve Gilliland, master storyteller and author of "Enjoy the Ride;" and 2007 NADA Chairman Dale Willey.


Marco Island and nearby Naples are graced with miles of white-sand beaches, luxurious real estate, beautiful year-round weather, sumptuous restaurants, fine shopping, dining, lively entertainment, attractions and plenty of recreational activities from boating and fishing, to golf and tennis. All that is set amid the stunning subtropical beauty that is unique to southwest Florida’s Gulf coast.


The new venture by the CATA and the Illinois Automobile Dealers Association succeeds a previous annual incarnation of the IADA and the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association.


See the flyer in the print edition of this newsletter for conference registration and transportation costs. Payment can be made in full or in three installments.       For more details, call the IADA at 217-753-0220.


Shirey feted for TMQDA nomination

November 17, 2010

Thomas F. Shirey, proprietor of Shirey Cadillac in Oak Lawn, was among 60 dealers nationwide honored as recipients of the 2007 Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award, in a Feb. 3 ceremony at the annual NADA convention and exposition.


The award recognizes new-car dealers for exceptional performance in their business coupled with distinguished community service.


"The TMQDA is the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted award for car dealers, and we are proud to sponsor this award which stands for excellence and community involvement," said Ed McCarrick, Time’s president and worldwide publisher. The award is sponsored by Time and Goodyear, and in cooperation with the NADA.


A panel of faculty members from the University of Michigan Graduate School of Business Administration selected five finalists from among the nominees. An Alabama dealer, Tracy Shields Jones, was named winner of the 2007 award. Shirey earned the nomination of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association.


Shirey is a third-generation Cadillac dealer. An Illinois native and graduate of Georgetown University, he worked at his family’s dealership during high school and college, apprenticing in the service, parts, and body shop to learn the fundamentals of the automotive business.


After attending General Motors Management Dealer School and working in management, Shirey purchased the dealership in 1979 and has since presided as president and chief executive.


Shirey and his dealership have supported a range of organizations and causes that focus on health care. He is chairman of the Oak Lawn-based Christ Hospital Development Council and vice chairman of the board of the Advocate Charitable Foundation.


When are out-of-staters not tax exempt? When they’re Illinoisans

November 17, 2010

By Dennis M. O’Keefe, CATA General Counsel

The Illinois Department of Revenue recently examined records of area dealers and determined that, although the purchaser or lessee provided an out-of-state address on the bill of sale, the out-of-state purchaser exemption did not apply because the purchaser is an Illinois resident. Residency was determined using other information available to the revenue department.


It is important to note that the exemption is for sales sold to an out-of-state purchaser, not merely sold out of state. To qualify for the exemption, the purchaser must not be an Illinois resident and must intend to title and/or register the item in another state. Unless both criteria are met, the exemption is invalid. 


The transactions mentioned above that were reviewed by the revenue department involved vehicle leases. In the cases, the Department of Revenue charged back the captive lease company for the leases that were denied the exemption. In turn, the lease company charged the lessees, i.e. the customers (if they don’t get the money from the customer, they probably would go against the dealer per their agreement).


In the case of vehicle sales transactions, the Department most likely would seek payment directly from the dealer, who then would be left to his own devices to try to recoup from his customers. 


The best advice in transactions with out-of-staters is to be extremely careful in dealing with a customer who is entitled to this exemption. Remember, to be tax-exempt, the customer cannot be an Illinois resident and must intend to take title and to register the item in another state.


Creating an energy-efficient dealership

November 17, 2010

Opportunities to save energy and lower utility costs are also opportunities to improve a dealership’s bottom line. One excellent way to learn about potential energy efficiency improvements is from industry peers. Such success stories can reveal details of the work, time, and investment involved and the improvements achieved.


Evidence of the potential for dealership energy efficiency improvements is a Virginia Acura, Lexus and Chevrolet dealership, visited in conjunction with the development of an NADA management education guide. The sprawling automobile campus has three dealerships and a number of service buildings totaling 250,000 square feet of space, not including an off-site collision repair center.


The successes achieved at this facility came from the efforts of the dealership group’s facility manager, with the support of the dealer-owners. Many energy efficiency improvement opportunities have been launched within the constraints of the franchisors’ design specifications. Various dealership personnel are involved in the improvements with several outside product and service providers, including lighting professionals. Some of the improvements include:


  • Building ShellA master switch shuts down the entire facility at closing, except for select security lighting.
  • Showrooms—Metal halide lamps in areas with high ceilings.
  • Parts/Service Areas—Suspended and looped compressed air-distribution systems.
  • Vehicle Washing/Detailing Areas—Greater than 50 percent water reclamation.
  • Dealership Lot/Building Exteriors—Exterior lighting incorporating photocells to reduce day burning.
  • Body Shop—T5HO lighting for the bodywork examination area.


To achieve similar results, dealers should consider contacting appropriate professionals to review or energy-audit their facilities for potential energy savings.


Many opportunities exist for cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades at dealership facilities. In addition, even more fruitful opportunities exist for dealerships involved in new construction or major facility renovations. These opportunities will only become more numerous and attractive in the future as energy costs increase and new technologies and strategies become available.


This article was adapted from "A Dealer Guide to Energy Star: Putting Energy into Profits." The guide can be ordered online at or by calling the NADA at 800-252-NADA, ext. 2. For more information and assistance, contact the NADA or the ENERGY STAR Small Business Network at 1-888-STAR-YES or



November 17, 2010

Rizza Chevrolet in Bridgeview (No. 18), Bob Watson Chevrolet in Harvey (No. 80), Advantage Chevrolet in Hodgkins (No. 84), and Schepel Buick-Pontiac-GMCin Merrillville, Ind. (No. 87) were among the top 100 sales leaders in 2006 of GM Certified Used Vehicles.


Biggers Mazda in Elgin and Wilkins Mazda in Villa Park have been named 2007 Mazda Gold Cup Certified Dealers, for outstanding commitment to customer satisfaction in three key areas: sales and service processes, employee training, and dealership image and customer satisfaction ratings.



November 17, 2010

Parts Manager 30 years parts department experience, 25 years as supervisor. Create, oversee $150K parts department with 48 percent shop gross, 28 percent wholesale gross. Inventory turns three times a month. Five-time Master Certified Parts Manager, six-time Lincoln-Mercury Medallion Parts Manager. Certified in ADP, UCS systems. Paul Degrassi, 630-301-4712.


Résumé on file at the CATA.