Chicago Automobile Trade Association
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CATA Bulletin
October 24, 2005

 

NICB launches online database listing of hurricane-damaged units

November 22, 2010

The National Insurance Crime Bureau on Oct. 19 launched a special online database for the public that lists more than 70,000 vehicles damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Executives of the NICB said more vehicles are being added daily. 

"We don’t know how many are ‘total losses,’ as that information is unique to the individual insurance companies which insure the vehicles," said Frank Scafidi of the NICB.

 

The NICB, based in Palos Hills, is a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting insurance fraud and vehicle theft for the benefit of its member companies and the public through information analysis, criminal investigation support, training and public awareness. 

Any vehicles identified so far as damaged can be reviewed via their VINs in the public database, by following the instructions on the NICB’s Web site,www.nicb.org/

 

Immediately after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on Aug. 28, the NICB sent catastrophe teams to establish two operation centers in Baton Rouge, La., and Mobile, Ala., to begin the process of identifying and cataloging vehicles and watercraft damaged by the hurricanes. 

The NICB teams are working in conjunction with the Louisiana State Police Insurance Fraud Unit, in addition to Mississippi, Texas and Alabama state police to create the database, where VIN numbers and boat hull identification numbers of damaged vehicles are available for free. 

"The database contains vehicles from Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana, and we are getting total cooperation from the law enforcement communities throughout the affected areas. The Louisiana State Police have been absolutely top-notch in that regard," Scafidi said.

 

He said NICB teams are using the latest industry techniques to collect all the VIN numbers of damaged vehicles. 

"Collecting these numbers has been as cutting-edge as using barcode scanners to send VINs directly to laptops in the field to as basic as our agents and law enforcement partners crawling over silt-covered hulks and breaking windows to obtain access to the numbers."

 

All VINs gathered by the NICB from hurricane-damaged vehicles have been made available to law enforcement, state fraud bureaus, insurance companies and state departments of motor vehicles to help prevent fraud, which could occur through title washing.

 

Executives of the NICB have described the task of documenting the hurricane-damaged vehicles as "historic in nature."

 

"The NICB’s ability to bring this tremendous public service to the nation’s consumers is due entirely to the support of the property and casualty insurance industry; Gulf Coast law enforcement, particularly the Louisiana State Police; and private salvage companies," said Robert Bryant, NICB president and chief executive.

 

"It is my belief that the cooperative spirit displayed by the public and private groups in our united response to prevent future Katrina and Rita-related fraud may very well set the standard against which future post-catastrophe anti-fraud efforts are measured," Bryant said

 

President of Mississippi dealer association thanks his counterparts

November 22, 2010

Editor’s note: The following is an Oct. 7 open letter from Mississippi Automobile Dealers Association President William Lehman to his fellow automobile trade association executives. 

Sorry I missed the Washington Conference . . . but I’ve been busy dealing with the obvious.  The storm was 60 miles wide and took 10 hours to move through our Coastal Area.   Just a few comments and then I’ll let you get back to more important things.

 

First and foremost, I want to "Thank" each of you for your efforts that resulted in the overwhelming support for Katrina Relief Funds from both your Associations and individual dealer members. 

I know I speak for (Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association Executive Vice President) Bob Israel as well when I say your help was—and still is—sincerely appreciated by dealership employees personally devastated by Katrina. And in Bob’s case, Hurricane Rita as well.

 

Secondly, I want you all to know that from day one, the leadership at the NADA, (Jack Kain, Phil Brady and Bruce Kelleher) each offered to assist my efforts in Mississippi and have exceeded any expectations I might have had. 

They basically allowed me to temporarily operate as an in-state administrator of the NADCF, and to represent the Foundation by visiting dealerships and both distributing assistance applications and writing checks for employees.

 

I have now personally visited at least twice all 43 dealerships that were located in the seven counties declared "disaster areas" by FEMA.   Three were completely "gone;" the rest were all what I’ve decided to describe as "operational," in terms of their condition. 

More import, I’ve distributed over $500,000 to dealers who in turn have handed that to their employees.

 

I’ve seen "Bubbas" in baseball caps "tear up" and I’ve stood in showrooms during my second visit and had employees quietly walk up, introduce themselves and say "Thank You." 

Every employee’s hardships were similar but different.  The Foundation’s financial support was the common denominator that all could use.  It’s been an emotionally rewarding experience.

 

I anticipate that another $250,000 in applications is still in the pipeline, but the recovery is underway here. 

New-car sales to contractors are really  strong. Service and body shop business is also strong, and the insurance checks to replace motor vehicles haven’t even hit the consuming public yet.

 

Again, thanks to you all. I know who gets the ball rolling. 

 

CATA, member donations for hurricane relief top $52,000; giving now online

November 22, 2010

Pledges to the Emergency Relief Fund of the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation have surpassed $2.9 million. It is the only fund that helps support dealership employees who have suffered from the recent hurricanes and other natural disasters.

 

Dealer and allied members of the CATA have contributed $26,016 so far to the NADA fund. The CATA issued a matching donation, meaning $52,032 has been delivered from the area to the Gulf Coast victims.

 

Donations can now be made online by clicking on the following link: www.nada.org/donationform

 

Donations to the NADA fund are accepted using Visa, MasterCard or American Express; or checks payable to "NADCF Emergency Relief Fund." Mail any contributions to:

 

NADCF Emergency Relief Fund

8400 Westpark Drive

McLean, VA 22102

 

Honda, Toyota, GM get to scores in Strategic Vision’s value study

November 22, 2010

Toyota’s Scion brand led the automaker to more segment victories than any other car company in a survey of buyer satisfaction. Honda was the overall winner, and GM was the top performer among U.S. brands. 

The Scion xA was the highest-ranking small car, and the Scion xB was tops in the small, multi-function segment, according to results announced by Strategic Vision, Inc., a marketing research firm and consultant to automakers.

 

Toyota had seven segment winners overall, including two Lexus sedans and the Toyota 4Runner sport utility vehicle, but Scion owners gave the strongest responses in terms of their vehicles’ affordability, fuel economy, standard equipment and other factors. 

Honda, which had four segment winners including the Acura RL sedan and the Honda Odyssey minivan, got the best responses overall. Honda was strong on fuel economy, resale value and technological innovations.

 

GM also had four segment winners: the Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, Cadillac XLR, Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Sierra 2500/3500. Ford Motor Co. had one, the Ford F-150 pickup; and the Chrysler Group had none. 

The survey questioned 69,000 buyers of a 2005 model year vehicle from October 2004 to March 2005. Questions sought to capture emotional components and determine whether owners feel they made a smart buy.

 

Scores were tabulated using a Total Value Index (TVI), which measured the quality of the ownership experience—everything involved in buying, owning and driving a new vehicle. All economics issues, both immediate (price, affordability, deal offered, warranty and standard equipment) and expected (durability, future trade-in, mileage, economical to own, reliability and durability) are then factored against that perceived quality.

 

2005 Total Value Awards

Segment

Winner(s)

TVI Score

Small Car

Scion xA

791

Small Multi-Function

Scion xB

770

Medium Car

Nissan Altima

791

Medium Multi-Function

Chevrolet Malibu Maxx

742

Larger Car

Kia Armanti

773

Near Luxury Car

BMW 3-Series Sedan

790

Luxury Car (tie)

Lexus GS 300/400

778**

(tie)

Lexus LS 430*

777**

(tie)

Acura RL

777**

Luxury Multi-Function

Audi A4/S4 Avant

743

Small Specialty Under $25,000

Mini Cooper*

803

Small Specialty Over $25,000

BMW 3-Series Coupe

767

Medium Specialty Car

Honda Accord Coupe*

785

Convertibles Under $30,000

Mini Cooper Convertible

793

Convertibles Over $30,000

Cadillac XLR*

774

Minivan

Honda Odyssey

719

Small SUV

Honda Element

763

Medium SUV

Toyota 4Runner

721

Medium Crossover

Nissan Murano

733

Large SUV

Chevrolet Tahoe

716

Near Luxury SUV

Lexus RX 330*

763

Luxury SUV

Lexus GX 470*

772

Compact Pickup

Subaru Baja

753

Full-Size Pickup

Ford F-150*

721

Heavy Duty Pickup

GMC Sierra 2500/3500

708

** Differences of 1-2 points are not statistically significant

* 2004 Total Value Award winner

 

Stay updated on dealership safety policies

November 22, 2010

How current are your workplace safety policies? Whether you’re revising an older plan or starting from scratch, keep these key areas in mind in formulating a safety policy.

 

The prevention of accidents and maintenance of safe working conditions is the shared responsibility of (Your Dealership Name) and its employees. (Your Dealership Name) complies with all requirements of federal, state and local safety regulations to ensure a safe work environment. 

Supervisors will provide employees with information on company safety rules and requirements. Employees are expected to cooperate by familiarizing themselves with and obeying all safety rules and regulations.

 

To assist in providing a safe and healthful work environment for employees, customers and visitors, (Your Dealership Name) has established a workplace safety program. This program is a top priority for (Your Dealership Name). Its success depends on the alertness and personal commitment of all. 

(Your Dealership Name) provides information to employees about workplace safety and health issues through regular internal communication channels such as supervisor-employee meetings, bulletin board postings, memos, or other written communications.

 

Employees and supervisors receive periodic workplace safety training. Attendance is a mandatory job responsibility of all applicable employees. The training covers potential safety and health hazards and safe work practices and procedures to eliminate or minimize hazards. 

Some of the best safety improvement ideas come from employees. Those with ideas, concerns or suggestions for improved safety in the workplace are encouraged to raise them with their supervisor or with another supervisor or manager. Reports and concerns about workplace safety issues may be made anonymously, if the employee wishes. All reports can be made without fear of reprisal.

 

All employees working around potentially dangerous equipment or hazardous materials must use appropriate safety and personal protection equipment. Employees should check with their supervisor if they have any questions about the safety and personal protection equipment to be used. 

Each employee is expected to obey safety rules and to exercise caution in all work activities. Employees must immediately report any unsafe condition to the appropriate supervisor. Employees who violate safety standards, who cause hazardous or dangerous situations, or who fail to report, or, where appropriate, remedy such situations, may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

 

In the case of accidents that result in injury, regardless of how insignificant the injury may appear, employees should immediately notify the appropriate supervisor. Such reports are necessary to comply with laws and initiate insurance and workers’ compensation benefit procedures.

 

Customize versions of this and other dealership policies with the publication, "NADA Policies Now! Blueprint for Dealership Personnel Policies." Look for that and other resources in the new, late fall edition of NADA Management Education Catalog.

 

Stay vigilant to avoid credit card fraud

November 22, 2010

Several dealers in recent months have reported being victimized by credit card fraud directed at their parts departments. The incidents should remind dealers of the need to carefully scrutinize telephonic or other credit card orders from unfamiliar persons.

 

 

The following are some risk management measures that various organizations have recommended to reduce the risk of fraud:

 

  • Take extra steps to validate each order.  Do not accept orders unless complete information is provided (including full address and telephone number);
  • When taking orders, ask for the CVC 2—the three-digit number imprinted on the signature panel of the credit card. This will help verify that the customer is in actual possession of the card. If the purchaser has only the 16-digit credit card number and the expiration date, he may not physically possess the card, signaling a potentially fraudulent transaction;
  • Be wary of orders with different "bill to" and "ship to" addresses;
  • Be extra cautious with transactions involving any of the following: first-time shoppers, orders placed by fax or e-mail (particularly those originating from a free e-mail address or an e-mail forwarding address), larger-than-normal orders, orders consisting of several of the same item, orders made up of "big-ticket" items, orders shipped "rush" or "overnight" and orders shipped to an international address. Do everything possible to validate an order before shipping any product to a different country;
  • If suspicions exist about a card, call the credit card authorization center;
  • If victimized by a credit card thief, contact the merchant processor immediately and inform the processor of the situation. Be advised that some credit card companies offer a safeguards program to protect against this risk.

 

The foregoing is not an exhaustive list of credit card fraud prevention measures. Rather, it is intended to alert dealers to recent reports of these occurrences and reinforce the need to include credit card prevention in employee training programs.  

 

South Carolina dealer next NADA chairman

November 22, 2010

South Carolina dealer William Bradshaw has been elected chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association for 2006. He will succeed outgoing Chairman Jack Kain of Kentucky at the NADA’s convention and exposition in Orlando in February.

 

Bradshaw, a new-car dealer since 1979, currently is the NADA’s vice chairman. He heads Bradshaw Automotive Group in Greer, S.C.

 

Dale Willey, president of Dale Willey Automotive in Lawrence, Kan., is the ’06 vice chairman-elect.

 

The NADA’s board of directors elected the 2006 officers at an Oct. 19 meeting in Laguna Beach, Calif.

 

Bradshaw was recognized in 1997 as the South Carolina Dealer of the Year and received the Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award, which honors professional excellence and community leadership.

 

Willey likewise was nominated for the TMQDA. He has been a new-car dealer since 1970.

 

Marketplace

November 22, 2010

For sale Dodge dealer offering 7,000 lb. Commercial Grade Challenger lifts, 53 parts bins, more. Make an offer! Call Carl, 847-363-7372.

 

Employment Candidates identified for dealership employment should in no way be considered "endorsed" or "recommended" by the CATA. Dealers are advised to check the references of anyone they consider for employment.

 

In Memoriam

November 22, 2010

Paul Peter Pocus Sr., who operated a Mercedes-Benz dealership, Pocus Motor Sales, until 1994, died Sept. 28. He was 86.

 

The dealership stood at 100 S. River St., Aurora. Pocus sold the remainder of his River Street property last year, and a developer will honor him with a river promenade named Pocus Park.

 

Pocus is survived by one son, two daughters, two grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.

 
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