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CATA Bulletin
October 19, 2020

 

Secretary of state to hold TRP training webinars

October 16, 2020

The Illinois secretary of state’s office will host two Webex video conferences Oct. 21 to train area dealership employees on the state’s new system for temporary registration permits. The new system begins Nov. 4.
Registration for each presentation is limited to the first 200 registrants. Call (217) 524-4329. Participants must access audio via telephone. Follow instructions to access the presentations at 10 a.m. and at 2 p.m. Oct. 21.
The change comes as an effort to improve the process and because the plastic sheath that covers the fiberboard material used for the current TRPs no longer is available, said Thomas Stevens, the managing assistant to Ernie Dannenberger, director of the office’s Vehicle Services Department.
Existing TRPs will be discontinued after Nov. 3. Expirations on the new TRP will remain the same at 90 days. A secretary of state facility could issue a subsequent TRP, if needed.
In the new system, SuperUsers (an administrator or manager) will assign packages of 25 TRPs to each User (issuer), who cannot share or reallocate any from that supply. Each lost, stolen or destroyed TRP will result in a $151 fine. Other misuse of permits also can lead to fines and possible loss of system access or criminal charges.
Whereas Illinois license plates can contain no more than seven characters, the new TRP features eight — six numerals separated by two letters. The smaller TRP for motorcycles has four numbers and two letters.
 
 

Free webinar to examine dealership video security strategies

October 16, 2020

Dealers often rely on legacy CCTV systems that make it challenging to deter theft and investigate customer incidents. Dealerships that use cloud-based video security can easily scale coverage to improve site visibility while mitigating theft and quickly resolving customer incidents. 
Join Shartega IT, a CATA Recommended Service Provider, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Oct. 27 as they show how dealerships across the country are moving to cloud-based video security from Verkada to secure their property. The presentation will review: 
 
• How personnel are supported with easy and secure access to footage 
• Proactive alerts that notify your team when unusual activity is detected
• How Access Control and its seamless integration with powerful video security can offer dealerships invaluable customer insights
 
All registrants will receive their choice of a free YETI Rambler tumbler or a $25 Amazon gift card in appreciation for attending. All attendees also are eligible to receive free Verkada trial cameras. 
 
 

Potentially massive Takata recall surfacing, this time for safety belts

October 16, 2020

After years of dealing with a faulty airbag scandal, new problems surrounding safety belts produced by bankrupt auto supplier Takata Corporation are surfacing, possibly leading to millions of new recalls in the U.S.
Joyson Safety Systems, the Michigan-based company that about two years ago bought Takata’s remains out of bankruptcy, revealed that it is looking into to test data inaccuracies related to its safety belt webbing.
According to Reuters, JSS found the discrepancies in reporting from the factory in Hikone, Japan. Apparently, the supplier had concerns about the issue before it acquired the facility in April 2018. The problem attracted attention from Japan’s transportation ministry, which has asked JSS to report its findings. 
"JSS is currently reviewing available and relevant data over a 20-year period on a test-by-test and product-by-product basis," Bryan Johnson, JSS’s global communications director, said in a statement.
At this time, it’s uncertain how many vehicles could be affected by the faulty data, specifically if any vehicles involved in the testing were shipped to the U.S. Takata was the dominant supplier in the segment at one time. It dominated the Japanese market, accounting for a 40% market share in Japan, and about 30% globally.
Takata was at the center of the largest recall in history due to its faulty airbag inflators. The units used a chemical compound that could degrade over time, causing them to explode with more force than necessary, hurling plastic and metal shrapnel into the cabin of the affected vehicles.
Ultimately, the problem affected about 100 million airbags globally with 70% of them in the U.S. Although an exact number of vehicles with faulty seat belts is difficult to nail down, it’s believed to be about 50 million, according to various experts. Hundreds of people have been injured due to the problem, and 25, including 17 in the U.S., have been killed. The most recent fatality occurred Oct. 5 in Arizona. 
The final phase of the recall settlement will cover about 10 million faulty bags used in vehicles sold by 14 manufacturers, including Audi, BMW, Honda, Daimler (vans), Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota and Volkswagen. Vehicles covered by this wave include some dating back as far as 1999 and as new as the 2014 Subaru Forester, Legacy and Outback models.
Takata in 2017 pleaded guilty to criminal wrongdoing over its inflators, including submitting false inflator test results to automaker clients to induce them to buy its defective products, Reuters reported.
 
 

Simpler applications for PPP loans up to $50K

October 16, 2020

The Small Business Administration and the U.S. Treasury Department this month announced a simpler forgiveness application (Form 3508S and Instructions) for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $50,000 or less. Loan forgiveness effectively turns a PPP loan into a grant.
Important, dealer-borrowers eligible to use Form 3508S are not subject to a reduction in forgiveness based on a reduction in the number of full-time employees or a reduction in employee salaries and wages. 
However, they still must make required certifications and document that PPP loan proceeds were spent on appropriate payroll and non-payroll costs. 
 
Note: A dealer-borrower with a PPP loan of $50,000 or less may not use SBA Form 3508S if, together with its affiliates, it received PPP loans totaling in excess of $2 million. 
For more information on affiliation issues, see the National Automobile Dealers Association’s affiliation guide and related FAQs.
 

Libertyville dealers giving gift certificates with car sales this month

October 16, 2020

One north Chicago suburb is getting creative to boost the economy. Through this month, people who buy a new car in Libertyville will get some money to keep shopping around town.
Main Street is hurting across America, and in Libertyville, Main Street is Milwaukee Avenue.
"It’s been quieter. A lot quieter," said Kristine Knutson, who has owned a gift shop on Milwaukee Avenue for 14 years.
"We are probably down at least 45% from last year; which is a huge, huge thing," Knutson said. "We’re small, and we need you, and in order to be here another 14 years, we need people to start walking in the doors."
 
While mom-and-pop shops hit the brakes, another industry kept driving in Libertyville early in the pandemic.
"Fortunately for the car dealers, we were deemed an essential business," said Dan Marks, president of Libertyville Lincoln. "So we have been able to be open, and it has been decent rather than other businesses that haven’t been able to go at full capacity."
So the dealerships and the Libertyville president’s office came up with a plan. Anyone who buys a new car in Libertyville now can earn a gift certificate which can be used at any Libertyville business that signs up for the program.
"They’re hanging by a thread, let’s face it. When you can only do 20% of business, or a number of businesses were closed for months and couldn’t do anything, we need to keep the businesses open, we need to keep people employed," Libertyville President Terry Weppler said.
If this plan sounds familiar, it’s because Libertyville has done it before. They first awarded the certificates in 2009 during the Great Recession.
Libertyville residents get $200 worth of gift certificates; out-of-towners get $100.
"People are buying online, and the fact is Amazon does not do a thing to support our Scouts, our community groups, our Little League teams, our soccer teams," Weppler said.
The village is paying for the certificates. The mayor said the village’s 12 dealerships around town rake in $4.4 million a year from car sales.
Knutson will take whatever boost she can get. She makes most of her money off custom wedding invites and gifts for bridesmaids and groomsmen, but that market is on ice.
"We just need to be able to get more people in," she said.
The dealerships said that for each gift certificate given out, they are donating $100 to charities to help people in need right now. The program lasts through October.
 
 

NADA to go all-virtual for its 2021 convention

October 16, 2020

Originally slated to be in New Orleans in January, NADA Show 2021 now will be held Feb. 9-11 as an all-virtual event experience, the National Automobile Dealers Association announced Oct. 12.
The event will offer more than 60 educational workshops and sessions, franchise meetings with OEM partners, an online NADA Expo, and more. 
The auto industry’s "event of the year" also will feature NADA Academy instructors, legislative and regulatory experts and other top industry professionals with a full program of class-leading education, best practices and new tools to adapt to a changing business landscape — all in a virtual environment.
"Dealers are both incredibly resilient and incredibly optimistic. Their resiliency has been proven time and again this year. So too has their optimism, because throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we remained optimistic and hopeful that we would be able to gather together in person in New Orleans for the most important NADA Show," said NADA Chairman Rhett Ricart. 
"But the coronavirus has been persistent, a second wave is predicted to coincide with flu season, and, as things stand, public health controls remain too restrictive to allow our show to go forward in person." 
Peter Welch, the NADA’s president and chief executive, added: "While we are disappointed we cannot be together in New Orleans, we are excited about what a virtual show will mean for dealers and the entire auto industry.
"And without any of the travel costs associated with attending an in-person show, we’re very hopeful that a far greater number of dealership employees will be able to attend virtually and get all the benefits our show has to offer. This indeed could be the first NADA Show that many dealership employees are able to attend."
"The importance of this year’s NADA Show simply cannot be overstated," Ricart said. "Dealers have been adjusting their operations, business plans and balance sheets during the coronavirus environment. 
"NADA Show 2021 is a vital time for dealers to come together and learn from the experts and from each other, and the NADA will provide a fabulous forum to do precisely that."
Show registration will open in the coming weeks. Information on all aspects of NADA Show 2021 will be available at nadashow.org.
 
 

Advocacy must extend beyond NADA Washington Conference

October 16, 2020

By Rhett Ricart, 2020 NADA Chairman
 
Despite the unpredictable disruption we’ve faced this year, dealers like you and I are standing tall and stronger than ever. Our doors are open, customers are safely back in our showrooms and our employees are back to work. 
While we have been busy navigating operations during this tumultuous year, the NADA has been behind the scenes tackling every single dealer issue — big and small — to keep America’s dealerships alive and running. I have never been prouder.
The NADA moved at the speed of light in advocating for the auto retail industry throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Early on, we were able to ensure that auto dealers were declared essential businesses. When most of America was shutting down, our service centers stayed open for our customers to keep America rolling safely, and we were able to get our sales offices open almost everywhere over the critical next weeks.
 
We advocated for the Paycheck Protection Program and for dozens of measures to keep our businesses thriving, as well as interrupted dozens of federal regulations. Dealers were always front and center.
I was able to speak to many of you last month about our advocacy efforts at the NADA’s first-ever all-virtual Washington Conference. While the event didn’t look like it has in past years, one thing was clear: The dealer voice matters in Washington, now more than ever before.
For generations before us, the new-vehicle dealer titans have been advocating for our industry. Their advocacy efforts laid the groundwork for us today and we must provide the stewardship in our industry for the dealers who will follow us.
Each dealer has a pivotal role to play in our advocacy. Now that the 2020 Washington Conference has come and gone, our advocacy and grassroots work must continue. 
In fact, this is when we need to kick it into higher gear. We need you to get more involved by having more virtual meetings with your elected officials in Washington and hosting more congressional members for dealership tours, when appropriate. The tours are easy, I’ve done them for years. Contact your state or metro organization for details.
We are greater than the sum of our respective dealerships. The NADA is stronger and more united than ever! The dealer associations can get us through these challenges, but not without your help.
Let’s go out and passionately advocate for the industry that supports our families and our employees and drives our local economies forward!
 
 

Beijing auto show highlights 'smart future' of vehicles

October 16, 2020

The Beijing International Automotive Exhibition 2020 wrapped this month after hosting 530,000 visitors.
Having a total exhibition area of 560,000 square feet, the Beijing auto show displayed 785 vehicles, including 36 concept cars and 160 new-energy vehicles. The 2021 Chicago Auto Show will measure 1.2 million square feet.
China is the earliest and fastest recovering auto market in the world, and its ability to stage a successful auto show is of great positive significance for boosting the morale of the global automobile industry.
The Beijing show implemented a strict system of scanning code temperature measurement, with anti-epidemic equipment and materials such as temperature detectors, hand-held temperature measuring guns, and full-time epidemic prevention personnel assigned to each display to remind visitors to wear masks.
With "smart future" as its theme, the 2020 Beijing auto show focused on the integrated development of electrification, intelligence and networking, demonstrating the industry changes brought about by new energy, artificial intelligence, mobile Internet and other new technologies.
 

California to ban sale of new gas-powered passenger vehicles by 2035

October 16, 2020

California plans to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks starting in 2035, in a dramatic move to shift to electric vehicles and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom told a news conference that the state was committing to a "firm goal" to phase out the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles and was encouraging other states to take similar action.
Newsom’s order labeled the elimination of gasoline-powered vehicles a "goal" and a "target" after his office said earlier that his order would require the sale of nothing but zero emission passenger vehicle starting in 2035.
The move would be the most significant to date by a U.S. state aimed at ending the use of internal combustion engines for passenger travel.
California is the largest U.S. auto market, accounting for about 11% of all U.S. vehicle sales, and many states choose to adopt its green vehicle mandates.
 
U.S. President Donald Trump has sought to bar California from requiring the sale of electric vehicles, while his rival Joe Biden has pledged to spend billions to speed the adoption of electric vehicles.