Chicago Automobile Trade Association
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CATA Bulletin
February 4, 2013

 

Curtain set to rise on 2013 Chicago Auto Show

February 1, 2013

The 2013 Chicago Auto Show this month opens on a Saturday for the first time since 1998. After commencing on Feb. 9, it will maintain a 10-day run and operate through Monday, Feb. 18, in hopes of capturing a larger Presidents Day crowd.
 
“From years past, we know that Presidents Day at the Chicago Auto Show is very well attended. By moving our dates slightly to take advantage of that day, we are ensuring as many people as possible can attend our show,” said 2013 Chicago Auto Show Chairman Michael Ettleson. “This will help give our exhibitors the best value and best opportunity to reach consumers.”
 
The date change also returns the show’s black-tie benevolent event to a Friday, and First Look for Charity will operate later into the evening, 7-11 p.m. Feb. 8. “It’s a move our charities have asked for and it will, no doubt, increase attendance at one of Chicago’s most popular charity events,” said Kurt Schiele, co-chairman of this year’s Chicago Auto Show.
 
Now in its third year, Social Media Day at the Chicago Auto Show, a component of the two-day Media Preview, Feb. 7-8, gains new life and energy and is rebranded a Twitter-friendly #SMP13.
 
For the past two years, manufacturers, exhibitors and media outlets have taken advantage of this day to hold news and marketing events geared directly to the buying public, especially those active in social media. For example, Toyota last year announced its 100 Cars for Good program and Nissan unveiled the refreshed 2013 370Z on Social Media Day. 
 
Manufacturers and exhibitors have been permitted to invite to their programs up to 300 of their followers, influencers and shouters. By providing more content on that day, the level of conversation and interaction on social media platforms will increase.
 
Perennial special days return for 2013. Women’s Day is Tuesday, Feb. 12. On that day, women are admitted for half price and exhibitors host events that cater to female buyers and influencers. Telemundo Hispanic Day is Friday, Feb. 15, when the exhibitors develop and host Hispanic-flavored events. Finally, the annual Chicago Auto Show Food Drive returns Wednesday, Feb. 13 through Friday, Feb. 15, when attendees can exchange three cans of food for a voucher good for a half price discount off an adult $12 admission.
 
Mobile app
 
The Chicago Auto Show has launched its first-ever mobile app, designed with the digital consumer in mind. With an easy-to-navigate interface and innovative functions, fans can stay connected to the show while on the go. The new mobile app is designed to heighten the digital experience for attendees. 
 
“The launch of the Chicago Auto Show mobile app marks a new milestone in the way the Chicago Auto Show connects with consumers,” show Chairman Ettleson said. “Even beyond our fans’ experience, we’re constantly looking to provide value to our automakers and sponsors, and there’s plenty of room within the app for consumer/brand engagement.” 
 
In anticipation of the 105th edition of the nation’s largest auto show, the Chicago Auto Show launched a completely redesigned and refreshed website, with mobile capabilities in mind. The mobile app compliments the refreshed website by offering an on-demand schedule of events, detailed map of manufacturer exhibits on the show floor, interactive videos, image galleries, aggregated social media feeds with real-time updates, a camera icon and filter to upload and share photos, and much more. 
 
Fans can download the Chicago Auto Show mobile app through the iTunes App Store or Google Play. For more information, visit www.ChicagoAutoShow.com.
 
 

An invitation to the 2013 Chicago Auto Show's social media preview (#SMP13)

February 1, 2013

Calling all social media managers! You’re invited to attend the 2013 Chicago Auto Show Social Media Preview, also dubbed a Twitter-friendly #SMP13. We encourage you to attend 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 8 and help generate news on behalf of the manufacturer(s) you represent as well as your dealership(s). We’ve added the following events this year to provide additional structure to the Social Media Preview:
 
• “Driving Engagement” Awards Presented by Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA)
 WOMMA will present one award to a manufacturer for having the Best Social Media Campaign in 2012 and the Digital Influencer Award to an individual at the Social Media Preview who best utilizes social media.
 
• Automotive Roundtable Discussions, hosted by Autoweek, Edmunds and Cars.com.
 
The roundtable will focus on automotive trends and feature some of the industry’s top executives and experts.
 
• Technori Pitch Event
 
Technori will host its monthly pitch event live from the Social Media Preview, where four local Chicago startups pitch their latest technologies to the live audience. Following each presentation, the startups will be on the hot seat for a three-minute Q&A.
 
If you’re a social media manager at one of the Chicagoland dealerships, please email Jennifer Morand at jmorand@drivechicago.com so she can set you up with credentials to attend on Social Media Day (Feb. 8).
 
 

FTC: No changes to Cooling-off Rule

February 1, 2013

The Federal Trade Commission has completed a systematic review of the Cooling-Off Rule and determined that no changes to the rule are warranted except for potentially increasing the monetary threshold at which the rule applies.
 In making its determination, the FTC rejected several proposed changes to the rule that would have affected automobile dealers, including a proposal to expand the rule’s scope to apply to the sale of used cars at a dealer’s premises.
 
The Cooling-Off Rule requires sellers who are engaged in door-to-door sales of consumer goods or services with a purchase price of $25 or more to provide the buyer with certain oral and written disclosures regarding the buyer’s right to cancel the contract within three business days from the date of the transaction. 
 
Door-to-door sales include those made at a place other than the seller’s place of business; however the Rule does not apply to “sellers of automobiles, vans, trucks or other motor vehicles sold at auctions, tent sales or other temporary places of business, provided that the seller is a seller of vehicles with a permanent place of business.” 
 
The FTC’s sole proposed change to the rule would increase the threshold at which the rule applies from $25 to $130, to account for inflation that has occurred since the FTC first issued the rule in 1972. 
 
The complete FTC review is at http://ftc.gov/opa/2012/12/coolingoff.shtm
 
 

'Hack-O-Motive' to identify, overcome car-buying obstacles, shatter status quo

February 1, 2013

Auto industry insiders, car buyers and other innovative thinkers will gather in Santa Monica, Calif., Feb. 27-28 for “Hack-O-Motive,” an event organized by Edmunds.com that aims to re-imagine the car shopping experience by bringing together consumers, dealers, manufacturers, designers and technologists to shatter the status quo. 
 
“A car purchase is one of the biggest financial decisions for most people, and it’s still an unpleasant, anxiety-filled experience that has changed little even with the benefit of online resources,” says Philip Potloff, chief information officer at Edmunds.com. 
 
“By bringing together the right mix of bold thought leaders and automotive experts,” Potloff said, “we believe we can reinvent the car-buying experience from the ground up.” 
 
Hack-O-Motive participants will be divided into teams that are drawn toward a particular issue within the car-buying process, and then given a chance to develop a prototype to solve the problem. At the end of the second day, teams will present their prototypes to a panel of judges, who will award the winning team $10,000. The two runners-up will win $5,000 and $3,000. 
 
“Hack-O-Motive” marks Edmunds.com’s first hack event open to participants from outside the company. In previous internal Hack Days, Edmunds.com employees successfully created real-world solutions for challenges regularly encountered by consumers, dealers and automakers. 
 
Many of Edmunds.com’s car-buying products are born through these events. 
 
More details can be found at www.hackomotive.com.
 
 

Super Bowl ads to be heavy on cars, colas, beer

February 1, 2013


Each year within the Super Bowl, Madison Avenue plays an Ad Bowl, as marketers spend large amounts of time and treasure to create commercials that will, they hope, win plaudits and move merchandise. And within each Ad Bowl, two categories of consumer products usually account for a supersize amount of spots: automobiles and beverages. 
 
Super Bowl XLVII, to be broadcast on Feb. 3 on CBS, is no exception. As sponsors continued to share their plans for the game, it looks as if six automakers — the Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Co., the Hyundai Motor Group, Mercedes-Benz USA, Toyota Motor and Volkswagen of America — will advertise eight brands in the game, including Audi, Hyundai, Kia, Lincoln and Volkswagen. (Cars.com, an auto-shopping site, also will advertise.) 
 
The Super Bowl typically is the most-watched television show each year. It is, commensurately, typically the most expensive ad vehicle each year. For the coming game, CBS charged an estimated $3.7 million to $3.8 million for each 30 seconds of commercial time. As eye-popping as those prices are, all the commercial time in the game has been sold out for weeks. 
 
The Super Bowl offers marketers “spectacle, huge numbers and an environment in which more people are engaged in the advertising,” said Steve Shannon, vice president for marketing at the Hyundai Motor America unit of the Hyundai Motor Group, which is buying two commercials in the game. 
 
This will be the sixth consecutive Super Bowl with spots for the Hyundai brand. “A lot of us are there,” Shannon said of the automakers, because “it sells cars.” 
 
For instance, the two models that Hyundai advertised during the 2012 Super Bowl — the Genesis coupe R-Spec and the Veloster Turbo — “have the shortest-day supply of any of our vehicles,” Shannon said, referring to a widely-followed measure of automotive demand. 
 
The Super Bowl also is a draw for auto brands because “we can get the year off to a good start,” he added. “In the automotive business, you don’t want to dig yourself a hole early in the year and have to dig out.” 
 
Hyundai’s Super Bowl XLVII commercials will promote the new seven-passenger Hyundai Santa Fe, in the first quarter, and the Hyundai Sonata Turbo, in the second. 
 
To take advantage of the increasing willingness of consumers to watch Super Bowl ads before the game in social media like Facebook and share them with friends, the Hyundai commercials were released before the game, Shannon said; each is to run 45 seconds, 15 seconds longer than its in-game counterpart. 
 
The Super Bowl is “now a social media extravaganza,” he said. “The traffic it drives to automotive websites and our own HyundaiUSA.com is, without question, giant.” 
 
A beverage giant described ad plans similar to Hyundai’s. The Coca-Cola Co.  also is making social media an intrinsic part of its Super Bowl strategy. 
 
“We want to have a sustained conversation with consumers year-round,” said Pio Schunker, senior vice president for integrated marketing communications at the Coca-Cola North America division of Coca-Cola, and “the scale and size of the Super Bowl” will help “kick-start a really big conversation.” 
 
The Facebook page for Coca-Cola has been previewing the 60-second Coke commercial that will run in the first half of the game. Other social media, like Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter and YouTube, will be enlisted in promoting the commercial. It offers viewers a chance to vote for one of three thirsty teams — cowboys, showgirls or “badlanders” (motorcycle toughs) — to win a fanciful “Coke Chase” across a desert. 
 
The winning team is to be revealed in a 30-second commercial to run immediately after the Super Bowl.
 
 

Sedgwick deflects dealers' 2012 Q4 unemployment claims

February 1, 2013

One hundred fifty-four CATA dealer members reported a combined 578 unemployment claims during the fourth quarter of 2012 to Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc., which has been serving CATA dealers under various names since 1979. 
 
The company’s efforts saved those dealers a total of more than $402,000 in benefits by contesting the claims. 
 
Sedgwick CMS monitors any unemployment claims against its clients and contests all unwarranted claims and charges. The company counts about 260 CATA dealers among its clients.
 
Claims that can be protested and subsequently denied help minimize an employer’s unemployment tax rate. The rate can vary between .55 percent and 8.95 percent of each employee’s first $12,900 in earnings. The 2013 average unemployment tax rate among Illinois employers is 4.15 percent, or about $535 annually per employee ($590 in 2012). It marks the first time since 2007 that the average Illinois unemployment tax rate declined the following year.
 
“The unemployment tax is really the only controllable tax, in that it’s experience-driven,” Schardt said. An ex-employee’s claim affects the employer’s tax rate for three years.
 
For new enrollees, client fees amount to $2.60 per employee, per fiscal quarter. For the fee, Sedgwick monitors all unemployment claims; files any appeals; prepares employer witnesses for hearings, as necessary; represents the client at any hearings; verifies the benefit charge statements; and confirms the client’s unemployment tax rate.
 
To discuss retaining the company, call Schardt at (773) 824-4325 or Bruce Kijewski at (773) 824-4322.
 
 

Marketplace February 2013

February 1, 2013

Internet Manager/BDC Manager/Training and Development 22 years’ automotive professional, PMP, Web-based technology, business transformation, best practices, marketing and sales, training and development, social media integration. Develop BDC strategy and continuous review of performance of incoming sales leads/calls tracking from creation to conversion.
 
Jan Kutchuk, (248) 408-0767.
 
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