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CATA Bulletin
April 1, 2002


High schoolers to embark on technician internships

November 24, 2010

Dealers needed for AYES program

Area high school juniors are preparing for yearlong internships that commence in June as dealership technicians- in-training. The instruction is coordinated under the Automotive Youth Educational Systems.

More than two dozen students have been matched with 25 area new-car dealerships, but the area's four high schools enrolled in the AYES program have even more students that cannot be placed because of a lack of dealers in the program. Under AYES, participating dealers get involved with nearby technical schools, sitting on curriculum planning boards, funding classroom improvements and offering technician jobs to program graduates. Mentors, usually journeyman technicians, help the students during their internships. A special AYES Dealer Mentor Training session will be held May 2 at Chicago's Farragut Career Academy, one of the participating high schools.

For information about AYES, call the Chicago Automobile Trade Association's David Sloan at 630-424-6055. To reserve a seat at the session, call Jim Foley at Farragut, 773-534-1300, or visit the AYES Web site at Other local schools in AYES include Lake County High School in Grayslake, Technology Center of DuPage in Addison, and Currie Metropolitan High School in Chicago. The four schools have about 50 students participating in AYES, but only half have been placed for upcoming internships. Eighteen high school seniors are nearing completion of their training.

"Dealer participation is absolutely vital to this program," said Terry D'Arcy, the CATA director who is leading the association's AYES participation. "The benefits for dealers from AYES are enormous. From what I've seen, investment in this program is returned tenfold."

The CATA is in talks with Illinois officials and the National Automobile Dealers Association about sharing the salary requirements of a local AYES administrator. The move recognizes the dearth of technicians and the need to attract candidates in their formative years. The AYES program is important because 25 percent of 18-year-olds say they already have selected a career path.

Exposing the interns to dealership work could sway them to a career there.

In a study commissioned last summer by Automotive Retailing Today, just 2 percent of all teen-agers indicated a desire to work as an automotive technician. (A career in health care ranked highest, at 18 percent of the respondents, and 10 percent were undecided.)

"But 65 percent said that they would be more likely to seek a career as a technician when they heard that, as master technicians, they can make $70,000 to $100,000 a year doing something that can give them a great deal of job satisfaction," said Jim Willingham, chairman of ART.

"Anyone interested in job security and in making a very good income has a world of opportunity in the auto service and retailing industry," he said.


DriveChicago offices move to CATA headquarters

November 24, 2010

The staff of DriveChicago, the Internet portal co-owned by the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, has relocated to the CATA offices in Oakbrook Terrace.

Since its launch in October 2000, the portal's staff had been based at the Arlington Heights headquarters of The Daily Herald, another co-owner.

The Chicago Sun-Times also owns one-third of the enterprise.

"Operating Drive-Chicago out of the CATA probably is a more comfortable fit for the dealers served by the portal," said Art Kelly, DriveChicago chairman. "And with all the instruction the staff offers at free seminars at the CATA, they seemed to be spending a lot of time
there anyway."


Attorney general collects fines up to $60,000 over advertising rules

November 24, 2010

The Illinois attorney general's office has settled an eighth lawsuit in the past four months against area dealers and an advertising agency over infractions of the state's advertising regulations.

The settlements resulted in fines of $2,500 to $60,000 and complete a recent spate of lawsuits which prompted complaints that the suits were not preceded by warnings of noncompliance.

Mere notice of an ad regulation infraction, a sort of slap on the wrist, is not a necessary precursor to a lawsuit, Patricia Kelly, chief of the attorney general's consumer protection division, said in October.

"There may be a case from time to time when we may have to take some enforcement action. We can't promise that there will be notice every single time. But as a practical matter, there has been notice every time," Kelly said.

For the first time locally, advertising agencies were named as co-defendants in the recent suits.
Kelly said advertisers are responsible to adhere to the state regulations, and leaving them unpunished would permit the advertisers to perpetuate the infractions with other clients.

One dealer who was sued last summer said the action was unjust because he was not notified first by the attorney general's office or the Better Business Administration. The dealer said he expected to have a chance to correct a noncomplying ad.


Automotive Hall of Fame '02 inductees named

November 24, 2010

Seven individuals representing racing, design, engineering and bold innovation have been selected for induction into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

The 2002 inductee class includes Giovanni Agnelli, Giorgetto Giugiaro, Frank McCarthy, Andre and Edouard Michelin, Richard Petty and Owen Skelton.

The inductees were announced March 27 at the International Motor Press Association meeting at the New York Auto Show.

Agnelli was one of the founders of FIAT; Giugiaro designed more than 80 mass-produced cars and founded Ital Design; McCarthy was president of the NADA from 1968 until his death last year; and the Michelins developed the first detachable air-filled rubber tire mounted on a metal wheel rim.

Petty recorded 200 career NASCAR victories and is the only seven-time Winston Cup winner. Skelton, hired by Walter Chrysler, was one-third of a dynamic team of engineers known as the "Three Musketeers."

They created the Chrysler Airflow and other groundbreaking inventions.

Formal induction ceremonies will take place in Dearborn, Mich., on Oct. 15.

The Automotive Hall of Fame is the only global platform to honor the industry's brightest stars.


Studies on stolen vehicles show tastes vary

November 24, 2010

An 11-year-old Toyota Camry still has plenty of appeal. In fact, the most appeal of all cars in this country. For thieves.

The 1991, 1989 and 1990 Camry models, respectively, topped an annual list of theft claims from auto insurers. CCC Information Services, Inc., a Chicago-based supplier of software and communications systems, performed the study.

Overall, CCC said car thefts, which it measures only as vehicles which are stolen and not recovered in usable form, were down 2.7 percent in 2001 from 2000. Vehicles stolen for joyrides or are otherwise returned to owners for continued use are not included.

Thieves continue to target an increasing number of SUVs and pickups, although the only truck or SUV in the CCC's top 10 for 2001 was the Chevrolet Silverado 1500. Overall, thefts of trucks and SUVs rose 7 percent in 2001 from the year earlier, the organization reported.

The Ford F-150, which in 2000 had ranked ninth in the CCC's theft list, fell to 12th in 2001.

Meantime, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, which tallies all vehicles reported stolen by law enforcement agencies each year, reported in its most recent study, for calendar 2000, the Camry was the most stolen vehicle and the Honda Accord was second. Both are among America's top selling autos.

The NICB study list vehicles by make but not by year. Its figures include all reports of vehicle theft, including cars that have a few parts removed or are taken for joyrides and later recovered, and vehicles which are taken and never reappear.

The most-stolen vehicles list developed by NICB involves far more incidents than the CCC: 1.16 million incidents in the 2000 NICB report to 78,000 theft reports in the 2001 CCC survey.
Robert Bryant, chief executive of the NICB, urges car owners to take precautions against theft.

"Motorists driving theft-prone vehicles should consider installing a visible deterrent such as a steering wheel lock, an alarm, a starter or fuel disabler, and a tracking device. Added protection layers make a vehicle harder to steal," Bryant said.

"The NICB study confirms the growing popularity of pickups, minivans and SUVs on a national basis among thieves," he said.

"Vehicle thieves follow market trends and target the most popular vehicles because they provide the best market for stolen vehicle parts and illegal export to other countries."

For Chicago, the NICB report shows nine of the 10 most stolen vehicles are domestic branded and most are cars. Chevrolet pickups, rather than cars, seem to disappear more frequently than other vehicles in Tucson and Phoenix, Ariz., Freso, Calif., and Dallas, Texas.

Stolen vehicles that are not recovered, according to NICB data, typically are

• Shipped overseas or driven across U.S. borders; 
• Stripped or disassembled and sold as parts; 
• Reregistered and sold to unsuspecting used-car customers; 
• Hidden or destroyed by owners attempting to collect an insurance settlement.


Local dealer wins GOP primary in race for Cook County board

November 24, 2010

Elizabeth Ann Doody Gorman, principal of Dodge of Midlothian, won a March 19 Republican primary contest for a seat on the Cook County board of commissioners. It was Gorman's first bid for elective office. Gorman gained 44 percent of the vote for a plurality win, besting her closest competitor by 624 votes out of more than 22,000 ballots cast. She faces a November contest against Democrat Candice Marie Morrison, who ran unopposed in the GOP-leaning 17th District. Gorman and her husband Gerald purchased Dodge of Midlothian in 2000. She had previous dealership holdings dating to 1990.

Toyota's Scion brand to offer 'new model' of auto distribution

November 24, 2010

Toyota Motor Corp.'s upcoming youth-targeted brand will try to offer a "new model" of automobile distribution that, among other things, aims to cut dealer inventories by more than half, the company announced. Toyota officials in California said the carmaker intends to halve its U.S. dealers' usual 35 to 45 days of supply.

The new brand called Scion will debut in the U.S. next year. By offering a smaller number of model variations, doing more customization at dealers, and using the Internet more heavily to market products,  Toyota hopes to contain lead time to product delivery to no more than a week


NADA to remain vigilant, association chairman tells convention

November 24, 2010

A legion of new-car dealers joined with one voice can be influential, and the recent Congressional decision on CAFE standards is a good example, said H. Carter Myers III, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association.

"Washington saw the strength of united dealers," he said of the decision to leave unchanged the current fuel economy targets.

Myers and NADA President Phillip Brady spoke in March at an annual convention of dealers from Illinois and Missouri. The NADA leaders reviewed the association's efforts on behalf of its members-more than 90 percent of the country's franchised new-car dealers.

Myers said the dealer franchise system is strong and he described it as the best method to deliver vehicles to customers.

"And despite the soothing words we hear from Detroit, the NADA will stay vigilant to avoid splintering the dealer body into the haves and have nots, or rural versus urban dealers," he said.

Dealer dialog with manufacturers before any new programs are implemented is the answer to maintaining a level playing field for dealers and to avoid discriminatory pricing, Myers said.

"But any success with the manufacturers can be undone in Washington by burdensome taxation and legislation," he said.

Brady said the NADA's recent dealings with the National Football League over the date of the 2002 Super Bowl gave the NADA a chance to improve the visibility and the image of dealers.
Brady said his son remarked that he never expected to see his father's name reported in a newspaper's sports section.

Brady, who became NADA president in 2001, praised CATA President Jerry Cizek for helping him in his transition to the position. Cizek recently completed a one-year term as president of the Automotive Trade Association Executives, which interacts closely with the NADA.


Maryland store wins first Dealer Innovation Award

November 24, 2010

A new award which recognizes new-vehicle dealers for their use of technology was presented last week to a Maryland dealership by USA Today newspaper and the National Automobile Dealers Association, the award's sponsors.

Fitzgerald Auto Malls landed the inaugural Dealer Innovation Award for its use of Matrix Pricing, a software application that automatically updates new-vehicle prices to reflect market changes and ensures consistency on inventory pricing across the dealer's showroom and Web site. Jack Fitzgerald, chairman of the Gaithersburg, Md., store, received the Dealer Innovation Award March 25 in a presentation on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The award was presented by Tom Curley, president and publisher of USA Today.

"We're pleased to partner with the NADA in presenting the first annual Dealer Innovation Award," said Curley.

"This award is a perfect fit for us. The automotive industry is an important one to USA Today and we like to take the opportunity to recognize excellence in the industry."

"Dealers are embracing new technologies to enhance their businesses, and we are pleased to join USA Today in paying tribute to those efforts," said H. Carter Myers III, NADA chairman.

Fitzgerald Auto Malls was named the national winner from among 40 regional winners. Judging criteria included creative use of technology, business impact, customer impact, and leadership