Chicago Automobile Trade Association
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CATA Bulletin
July 16, 2007


‘Modern Trade Evaluation’, ‘Advanced Sales Consultant’

November 17, 2010

2 Learning University classes offered free

Talk about getting something for nothing. Employee training to make a dealership more profitable is offered by CATA Learning University this year at a price that is impossible to overlook: free


For the remainder of 2007, tuition is free to attend "Modern Trade Evaluation" and "Advanced Sales Consultant," two of the 12 courses proffered by CATA Learning University. All classes meet at the CATA offices in Oakbrook Terrace. 

Regular tuition for the daylong "Modern Trade Evaluation" and "Advanced Sales Consultant" training is $200. The CATA reimburses to member dealers 50 percent of the tuition for all employees who successfully complete a course. And for the remainder of this year, Learning University is offering a $100 discount, effectively making the courses free.


The Web site,, presents all course descriptions and a training calendar, and accepts online registration. The instructors, Vince Tunzi and Lee Eddy of CATAlyst Performance Solutions, also can be reached at 630-748-6048. 

Future 2007 class dates for "Modern Trade Evaluation" are July 25, Sept. 12 and Nov. 7; for "Advanced Sales Consultant," dates are July 26, Sept. 13 and Nov. 8.


"Modern Trade Evaluation" helps salespeople negotiate trade-in appraisals with customers who overvalue their vehicles based on the highest figure they find on Web site sources, Tunzi said.  

"If I’m a consumer, I’m emotionally attached to my car. It’s perfect," said Tunzi. "But a salesperson who says ‘You did it (appraisal) wrong, let me show you the right way’ creates a lose-lose feeling." Plus, trying to close large gaps between a customer’s trade-in price expectation and the used-vehicle manager’s offer can be time-consuming and even deal-breaking.


"Before we even tell the customer what the car is worth, we establish expectations based on the customer’s research," Tunzi said. "We escort him to the computer and go to that third-party Web site for the same information the customer gathered. Now, we can educate the customer on how a fair trade-in value is determined, instead of defending how we arrive at the value. 

"Then we go to the vehicle for a walk-around. Is the vehicle condition really pristine or is it average? And remind them it’s a wholesale deal, not retail.


"The process shortens negotiation time, appeases the customer and builds credibility for the dealership," he said. "And it makes the computer the bad guy." 

Training in "Advanced Sales Consultant" helps experienced personnel rediscover their strengths and how to maximize them, and identify areas of weakness and how to manage them. Video role-playing is reviewed by the class, providing group feedback.


Tunzi said the course give seasoned professionals the chance to share their success stories. He said: "You’ve been on the floor for five years. What do you find to be the best way to build gross in to a deal?"


Tips for marketing to Hispanics offered by Telemundo Chicago, Hoy at CATA seminar

November 17, 2010

In all nine counties in the Chicago marketplace, the projected growth of Hispanics far outpaces general population trends. For retailers who sporadically, or never, target Hispanics, the number of people they don’t reach is growing. 

"Just because you said it once, in January, that you sell cars, the next week there is a whole new group of people here who didn’t hear your message," said Julian Posada, general manager of Hoy, the daily Hispanic newspaper in Chicago owned by Tribune Co.


Posada and Ed Fernandez, vice president and general manager of Telemundo Chicago, teamed for a July 11 CATA presentation, "Understanding, Selling to Chicago’s Hispanic Consumers." The seminar focused on subtleties dealers can employ to appeal to Hispanics. 

For instance, Posada said Hispanics tend to shop as entire families. "If you’re going to put furniture in your showroom, put a sofa," Posada said, because it expands seating capacity and makes for a homier setting. "The more comfortable you can make the environment, the better."


The use of Spanish in advertising and in conversing at the dealership also helps. One poll showed 73 percent of Hispanics prefer to shop at stores that have bilingual employees or signs. 

Posada said it is increasingly important for all retailers to bolster their bilingual staffs. Treating them well will increase their respect and subsequent retention rates, he added.


But Fernandez cautioned employers: "Don’t let co-workers call your Hispanic employees ‘Chico’ or ‘José,’ unless that is their name. It’s not appropriate. Don’t have an environment where people feel they are dramatically different human beings because they speak Spanish." 

Hispanics tend to be very brand conscious and brand loyal. They stick with a brand they know and trust, even at a higher price, and are swayed most by brand name, quality and good customer service.


"Service," said Posada, "will trump price. There is more to the sale than just buying the item. Price is important, but it is the other things you do that will keep people coming back."


Twenty-three percent of the Chicago market’s Hispanics are likely to buy a new vehicle in the next year; 34 percent, a used vehicle, according to a Gallup Poll.


Gallup also determined Hispanics compare closely to the total market in several behaviors: the number of makes they considered in advance of their last new-vehicle purchase; the number of dealers they visited and their proximity; and the average price they paid.


New-vehicle shopping behaviors: Total vs. Hispanic Market

Total Market


How many different makes (ie. Ford, Honda, etc.) did you look at when shopping for your last new vehicle?



How many different dealerships did you visit when shopping for your last new vehicle?



How many miles from your home was the dealership were you actually purchased a vehicle?



Average price paid for last new vehicle



If you were going to lease a vehicle, how much would you be willing to pay per month?




NADA offers free tips for consumers to lower fuel costs

November 17, 2010

A free publication, "It’s Easy to Be Green: 8 Simple Steps to Lower Your Fuel Costs," is available from the National Automobile Dealers Association for member dealers to share with customers concerned about fuel efficiency. 

The brochure offers motorists eight ways to save on gasoline use, such as maintaining properly inflated tires and avoiding quick starts.


The publication is bundled in packages of 50, and dealers can request up to five bundles. To order, visit the NADA Web site at or call 800-252-6232, ext. 2. 

Also, the July edition of NADA’s AutoExec magazine advises dealers how to operate more energy-efficient and cost-effective businesses.


The "green issue" looks at solar dealerships, recycling tips, the best ways to sell alternative-fueled vehicles, reducing lighting costs, and where to buy "green" products for the dealership.


CATA helping dealers coordinate child seat inspection events in August

November 17, 2010

Area dealers are encouraged to host child seat inspection events at their dealerships in August, as part of the CATA’s car seat safety check campaign.


The campaign will be promoted in public service announcements that will air on NBC5 Chicago and on various Chicago radio stations that are media partners of the CATA. The PSAs will direct consumers to for a list of dealers participating in the checks. Dealers therefore need to alert the CATA about their involvement. 

The events are a good opportunity for dealers to reach out to their communities. Professionals—police officers, firefighters, hospital personnel and others—would be dispatched to dealerships to help operate the events, at which child seats are inspected for proper installation and for their overall condition. Tom McQueen, regional occupant protection coordinator for the Illinois Department of Transportation, can match professionals with interested dealers. McQueen is at 630-236-4262.


Mark Scarpelli, chairman of the CATA, said: "As dealers, we can play a vital role in making the roads safe for children of all ages. This will not only help save lives, it will also help improve the image of dealers." 

Inspection events can be held in August on whatever day a dealer wishes. Many inspections tend to be on a Saturday, but weekday evenings also are popular. Some even are held on Sundays.


The National Automobile Dealers Association has produced brochures and other materials that dealers can share with parents at the events, as part of theNADA’s ongoing "Boost For Safety" movement. All the materials can be ordered at 703-760-7562 or downloaded at 


Average auto loan term creeps higher: Fed

November 17, 2010

The average maturity on vehicle loans increased slightly to 61.1 months in May, compared to 57.8 months in April and 58.3 months in March, the Federal Reserve announced last week. 

Reserve statistics also indicate that the average amount financed for a new car is increasing over time. In May, the median came in at $27,163, compared to $27,013 in April and $26,998 in March.


The average interest rate on a 48-month term auto loan from commercial banks was 7.92 percent. The closest available comparison was in early 2007, when the figure was 7.74 percent. Figures were not available for April or March. 

The median rate of new-vehicle loans at auto finance companies, according to the Fed, was 4.88 percent, down slightly from 5.04 percent in April but still up from 3.89 percent in March.


Revolving credit grew at an annual rate of 9.75 percent, and non-revolving credit was up 4.5 percent on an annual basis.



November 17, 2010

GM/GSM Proven record of success in 20+ years, propelling stores to top sales volume rankings in zone, nation. Experienced with total operations management, advertising and promotions, finance and leasing, inventory control, fixed ops, CSI, team building, training, more. John Hiebert, 630-788-5646.


Résumé on file at the CATA.


Franchised New Car Dealers in the 8-county CATA area

November 17, 2010

For a complete chart of franchised new car dealers, please contact Erik Higgins at
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