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CATA Bulletin
May 7, 2007

 

Vacancies abound at dealerships, ART study finds

November 17, 2010

An estimated 108,814 vacant positions exist at the nation’s new-vehicle dealerships, three-quarters of them in sales and service, according to an Automotive Retailing Today study released May 22.

 

The ART study, which conducted an online survey with 742 dealerships, examined job vacancies, positions filled by women, recent hires of military veterans, and the influence of internships and summer season programs. 

More than one-third of the respondents reported hiring at least one veteran since January 2006, and dealers have employed nearly 30,000 vets since January ’04.

 

"The pool of veterans includes technologically savvy, motivated workers whose skills and military training and certifications are easily adaptable to a variety of dealership positions," said Carter Myers, ART chairman. 

Alas, according to NADA figures, salary figures for dealership positions in the Midwest—which the association depicts as Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio—trail the national average in 27 of 30 positions measured. Only Shop Forman, Parts Counterperson and Marketing Manager exceed the averages among the country’s nine regions.

 

About 197,500 women work at new-car dealerships across the country, about half of them in administration positions. Of note, 30,000 of them work in sales/F&I positions, and even more—34,000—work in service departments. 

Sixty-eight percent of dealers said they offer summer/seasonal employment and participate in internship programs, and three-quarters of them say it is an effective method to identify candidates for permanent positions.

 

The average new-car dealer employs 57 workers, ART found. That projects to an estimated 1.2 million employees across the country.

 

Legislative debate over DOC fee moves to Senate

November 17, 2010

Legislation to increase the state’s base DOC fee to $150 is under Illinois Senate consideration, after Representatives approved House Bill 1657 on April 25.

 

The measure must pass three Senate readings before the General Assembly’s scheduled adjournment on May 31 in order to advance to Gov. Rod Blagojevich for his consideration. It passed its first reading on April 26 and, at this newsletter deadline, was assigned to the Senate Transportation Committee.

 

The base DOC fee was $40 when it was established in 1992. Annual adjustments tied to the Consumer Price Index have increased to $58.48 the maximum fee that can be charged this year to complete necessary paperwork and provide copies to purchasers. The bill calls for the new base to take effect Jan. 1, 2008.

 

Dealers are encouraged to contact their state senators to enlist support for HB 1657.

 

Gross receipts tax horse race nearing home stretch; Madigan to hold House hearing May 9

November 17, 2010

House Speaker Michael Madigan will convene a rare hearing of the full House on May 9 to debate Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s plan to raise $7.6 billion from a new gross -receipts tax, the largest tax increase in Illinois history.

 

Illinois dealers and their employees must call their representatives before May 9 to convey the consequences of any variation of a gross-receipts tax.  

"Tell your representative to say "No!" to any modification of this tax, such as lowering the tax rates," said Jerry Cizek, president of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association. "A GRT will be disastrous in Illinois. Once that GRT camel gets his nose under the Illinois business tent, it’s all over for your dealership."

 

To identify a lawmaker, go to http://cata.drivechicago.com and click on the red dollar bill on the site’s home page. 

The Illinois House of Representatives has 118 members. A majority of them—all 52 Republicans and nine Democrats—have joined as co-sponsors of a House resolution that opposes the gross-receipts proposal, which Blagojevich touts as a funding solution for schools and health care.

 

"We’re about education, we’re about health care," said Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego), the Minority Leader who introduced House Resolution 344. "But we’re not about harming consumers in the state of Illinois; we’re not about harming businesses small and large." 

Cross called on Madigan Wednesday to act on the resolution, which is nonbinding and largely symbolic. Madigan said he would convene the May 9 special meeting with all House members to discuss business concerns about the tax.

 

Madigan (D-Chicago) refuses to say whether he supports Blagojevich’s hike, but Senate President Emil Jones (D-Chicago) is squarely behind the measure. 

Uproar against the proposed gross receipts tax stretches to every corner of the state, but that uproar appears to be directed mostly at Blagojevich. Dealers and their employees must vent their displeasure with the state legislators who will vote to enact it.

 

The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn its spring session May 31, so the matter likely would be determined this month. But lawmakers also are being bombarded with complaints from constituents about soaring electricity bills, and many Downstate legislators say a solution must be forged on the electricity-rate issue before they vote on a state budget.

 

Lott, NADA beat drum for bill on Katrina cars

November 17, 2010

By Ray Scarpelli Sr., Metro Chicago NADA Director
 

David Regan, the NADA’s vice president for legislative affairs, said his group supports a bill that would require auto insurers to provide vehicle information to a searchable database when they declare a car or truck a total loss. Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), the bill’s sponsor, said he wants interest groups and fellow lawmakers to press for the insurance industry changes before memories of Hurricane Katrina fade.  

The goal is to protect consumers and dealers from unknowingly acquiring flood-damaged or wrecked vehicles that have been repaired and issued new titles.

 

Regan said the NADA supports Senate Bill 545 because "we think there are instances every year in which vehicles declared a total loss are not retitled as salvage or flooded, and dealers want to know what they’re buying at auctions. There is concern because there are reports that Katrina vehicles are circulating at the wholesale level, where reconditioned cars are auctioned to dealers."  

Lott, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, said he fears the impetus for insurance reform will be lost unless action is taken soon. Lott spoke at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in April on the insurance industry and its responses to natural disasters.

 

NADA Web site enhanced

The NADA has unveiled a series of new features on its recently redesigned Web site, www.nada.org. The site’s home page now offers even more news and information designed for the business-savvy dealership. Visitors to the site now receive a comprehensive industry snapshot, including the following features:

 

  • A display of the main stock market indices: the Dow, NASDAQ, S&P, 10-year Treasury, and composites for automobile manufacturers and publicly traded automobile dealers;
  • Customized weather information; 
  • Links to major newspapers, magazines, broadcast networks and wire services; and 
  • Links to major airlines and popular travel sites.  

These resources are more good reasons to make www.nada.org your home page of choice. To set your Internet Explorer browser to display the nada.org home page automatically, open Internet Explorer, then from the top select "Tools," then "Internet Options."

 

Once the "Internet Options" pop-up box appears, look under the "General" tab for the "home page" heading, where you can choose your home page. Typehttp://www.nada.org in the "Address" field, then click the "OK" button to save your changes.  

Energy Star program helps dealers turn green

Dealers can save money and move toward green solutions with help from a partnership between the NADA and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program.

 

The program offers a variety of cost-effective retrofit and new-construction strategies involving energy efficient lighting, climate controls, equipment, and building design. Many of those strategies reap considerable cost savings. For information, go to www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=small_business.sb_autodealer.  &​nbsp;  

The NADA’s "A Dealer Guide to Energy Star: Putting Energy Into Profits" can be ordered for $30 by NADA members or for $50 by nonmembers by calling 800-252-6232 ext. 2.

Team up with NCAA athletes

Thousands of NCAA athletes are graduating from college this month and will join the more than 500,000 former collegiate and professional athletes around the country who are looking for rewarding and challenging careers, such as those offered in dealerships.

 

To help dealers recruit and retain a high caliber of talent, the NADA has teamed with the Collegiate Recruitment Team (CRT), which helps former NCAA student-athletes find jobs.

 

For a one-time fee of $25, dealers can advertise an unlimited number of open positions on the CRT Web site. In addition, CRT and its foundation will give any NCAA alum $2,000 towards the purchase of a new or used vehicle at a registered dealership.

 

To register: 
1.  Visit www.crtjobs.org;  
2. click on "Employers" in the upper right corner; 
3. choose "Click here to register"; 
4. complete the required information and choose "Submit"; 
5. choose "Pricing Plans," then "NADA Plans"; 
6. complete and submit payment information.

 

Chicago is top U.S. auto show, Automotive News columnist says

November 17, 2010

On the eve of last month’s New York Auto Show, an Automotive News columnist gushed about how the Chicago Auto Show compares to the country’s three other Tier 1 auto shows. 

William Jeanes, the former editor-in-chief of Car and Driver magazine, is a frequent contributor to AutoWeek and Automotive News. In the April 2 edition of Automotive News, Jeanes wrote, in part:

 

"If the auto show circuit were a Boeing 747, Chicago would occupy the entire first-class and business-class sections, leaving Detroit, New York and Los Angeles to squeeze into the coach section and squabble over the peanuts.

 

"Were (‘Chicago Plan’ architect Daniel) Burnham alive today, he would endorse the plan I now propose: First, remove the adjective "international" from the New York, Detroit and Los Angeles shows and return them to regional, dealer-based shows.

 

"That done, hold our national auto supershow in Chicago at McCormick Place and make it a show that fills us all with pride, a show that requires no excuse making.

 

"A major international auto show requires two things: a proper venue and numerous introductions of production and concept cars. The industry, as it has shown, can hold its introductions wherever it chooses; the venue advantage is tipped heavily toward the Windy City."

 

Kobel leads auction association

November 17, 2010

Gregg Kobel, co-owner of Tri-State Auto Auction in Crestwood, is midway through his term as president of the National Auto Auction Association.

 

The remarketing association, founded in 1948 and based in Frederick, Md., represents more than 370 auto auctions, both domestic and international, with more than 9.6 million units representing $86.9 billion sold each year. 

The NAAA offers its regular and associate members education and training, legal and regulatory information, forms and online services, and other industry information.

 

Tri-State Auto Auction also is a member of the CATA.

 

Dolan feted for truck dealers’ top ATD honor

November 17, 2010

Mary Ford Dolan, president of Freeway Ford-Sterling Truck Sales in Lyons, was recognized April 14 for her nomination for the annual Truck Dealer of the Year Award, bestowed for business excellence, industry participation and outstanding civic accomplishments.

 

She was honored at the opening session of the 44th convention and exposition of the American Truck Dealers division of the NADA. 

Dolan began her career as a special education teacher in Highland Park. She joined the dealership in 1980 shortly after her father, John Ford, purchased it. Working her way through several different positions and learning the basics of business operations, she became dealer principal in 1999.

 

Dolan attributes much of the company’s success to the "family comes first" attitude at Freeway Ford-Sterling Truck Sales, Inc., believing that the policy helps to create a close relationship among the employees. That closeness, in turn, prompts the employees to treat customers as part of the family. 

In 2003, Dolan became the first woman and the first truck dealer elected to the board of directors of the Chicago Auto Trade Association. She is chairwoman of the board’s Illinois Attorney General Advisory Committee and is a member of the CATA’s Advisory Committee to the Illinois secretary of state. She also has served as chairwoman of the board’s Dealer and Civic Relations Committee.

 

Dolan was a 2005 nominee for the Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award, the automobile industry’s award for car dealers.

 

She is an active member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Glenview, serving as chairwoman of the Parish Pastoral Council, president of the 700-member Women’s Club, and member of the Executive Committee of Lay Advisors.

 

Dolan participates in the Night Ministry, serving hot soup to youth and young adults on the streets in Chicago, and prepared and served meals at Marquardt Center, a drop-in center for the homeless.

 

She also is a board member of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago and was instrumental in involving the organization in the Chicago Auto Show’s benevolent event, First Look for Charity, which this year raised $2.8 million. 

 

Congratulations!

November 17, 2010

This year’s Elite of Lexus Dealers includes Arlington Lexus in PalatineBredemann Lexus in GlenviewLexus of Highland ParkLexus of NapervilleMcGrath Lexus of ChicagoMcGrath Lexus of Westmont, and Woodfield Lexus (Schaumburg).

 

Larry Roesch Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge (Elmhurst) and South Oak Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep (Matteson) were named Club Members of the 2006 Mopar Masters, for commitment to excellence in the Mopar parts business.

 

Joliet college honors D’Arcy

November 17, 2010

Joliet Junior College has bestowed its annual award for community service to Terry D’Arcy, who owns two Joliet dealerships and is a volunteer for several organizations.

 

D’Arcy received the J.D. Ross Extraordinary Service Award, the namesake of the college’s past president, who retired a year ago. D’Arcy will be honored at the college’s May 11 graduation ceremony. 

D’Arcy owns D’Arcy Motors, with two Joliet locations, and he recently served as the chairman of the CATA and the Chicago Auto Show. He has been a board member for the Joliet Park District Foundation, the University of St. Francis and the Joliet Franciscan Learning Center. He twice served as the chairperson for the United Way campaign in Will County.

 

The award recognizes volunteer efforts for humanitarian causes, public and scholarly service and creative attainment.

 

Marketplace

November 17, 2010

Office Manager/Controller Encompassing bookkeeping experience at high volume dealerships. Interact with manufacturer lenders, banks, marketing firms. Lead negotiator on workers compensation, fixed asset insurance policies. Consistent "rave reviews" from upper management. Brenda McKee, 847-477-6646.

 

Service Writer Bilingual (English/Spanish), 3+ years’ dealership service department experience. Excellent customer service with focus on needs and concerns.Organized team member, motivated, adaptable. Anonymous.

 

Résumés of both candidates are on file at the CATA.