Chicago Automobile Trade Association
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CATA Bulletin
July 17, 2006

 

Learn about CATA’s new fixed ops training at evening reception

November 18, 2010

6 p.m. July 25 at The Clubhouse, Oak Brook
 

CATA dealers and their service directors and managers are invited to a July 25 reception where instructors of the CATA’s new fixed ops training programs will present an overview of the training.

 

Service Management Bootcamps, which lead to Service Manager 20 Groups, debut in August at the CATA office in Oakbrook Terrace. A four-day Bootcamp, meeting Tuesday through Friday in one week, would be followed by enrollment in a Service Managers 20 Group that would meet three times a year for three years. 

The reception, featuring instructors from NCM Associates, is at 6 p.m. July 25 at The Clubhouse, a restaurant at Oakbrook Center in Oak Brook. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served. To attend, please RSVP to the CATA by July 21 at 630-495-2282.

 

The first Bootcamps are Aug. 22-25, Sept. 19-22, and Nov. 7-10. The subsequent 20 Groups would commence about 60 days after each Bootcamp. 

The Bootcamp lead instructor is Lloyd Schiller, a 13-time NADA Convention speaker who in 1983 formed Dealer Service Corporation. DSC is now an NCM Associates company.

 

Schiller said previous Bootcamp attendees, who registered through other state or metro dealer associations, saw their net profits subsequently increase up to $20,000 a month, and their CSI scores increase to top factory award status. Their technician efficiency also jumped as much as 50 percent. 

"Not only did my department’s net profit double the first month after the (Bootcamp), my paycheck increased $1,000 a month," said Buddy Johnson, service manager of North Point Ford in Bastrop, La.

 

The Bootcamp agenda covers topics such as becoming a more effective manager, analyzing and improving key performance areas, understanding the keys to increased service department efficiency and profitability, service marketing and merchandising, and an analysis of repair orders.

 

Other Bootcamp topics: 

  • Creating direct performance-based pay plans
  • Implementing quick service teams
  • Setting parts inventory criteria for best repair order fill rates
  • Increasing service sales through an Advanced Reception Process—Greeting, Prime Item(s), Walk Around, Menu Presentation, Courtesy Visual Inspection, Line-Item Estimates, and Spending Limit Estimates
  • Implementing hours-loading scheduling & dispatching for maximum efficiency

 

Twenty Service Management Bootcamp graduates, whose dealerships are comparable in terms of volume, profit potential and number of employees, would establish a 20 Group to meet over three years. Each 20 Group would operate autonomously and create its own bylaws and discussion items. 

A traditional 20 Group agenda includes comparing dealership financial statements with those of similar-sized dealerships of the same franchise from different, non-competing markets. As an important distinction, the CATA’s Service Management 20 Group analyzes the participant’s dealership financials against national norms for the line.

 

Also distinctive to CATA instruction is the significant tuition rebates that are extended to dealers whose employees successfully complete the coursework. The fee structure of the new fixed ops training will be detailed at the July 25 reception.

 

Centrix Financial axes 30% of staff

November 18, 2010

According to several Colorado newspapers, Centrix Financial, an auto-loan lender that specializes in secondary loans to credit union customers, laid off about 30 percent of its work force on June 17.

 

 

The Rocky Mountain News reported that "a regulatory alert from national credit-union regulators last summer essentially put an end to new auto loans to these ‘subprime’ borrowers." 

 

Centrix operates in Illinois and is licensed by the state. At least one Illinois dealer has experienced instances where Centrix has failed to fund a contract after accepting assignment.

 

Centrix Financial is licensed through the division of financial institutions (DFI) in the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The DFI has declined to provide any information on Centrix until a request under the Freedom of Information Act is submitted and reviewed. The Illinois Automobile Dealers Association has submitted such a request and will advise the CATA of any updates.

 

DriveChicago.com traffic report tracks viewers, what the search

November 18, 2010

See the flyer included in the print edition of this newsletter for a recap of aggregate traffic on the DriveChicago.com portal during June. The report tracks the various activities—e-mail inquiries, click-throughs to dealer Web sites and the like—of all visitors to the site.

 

All CATA dealers—and only CATA dealers—are featured on the Web portal as a free benefit of association membership. Besides the compilation report in the CATA Bulletin, dealers are sent a monthly e-mail which instructs them how to retrieve online reports that are individualized to reflect traffic on their sites which originated at DriveChicago.com.

 

"We know of no other automobile dealer association in the country that impacts its members’ Internet traffic in such a direct and positive way," said CATA Vice Chairman Mark Scarpelli.

 

Children’s safety is your business

November 18, 2010

By Ray Scarpelli Sr., Chicago Metro NADA Director

This August, dealers can do one very important thing to make sure children in our communities are riding safely in cars: host child safety-seat inspections as part of the CATA’s car seat safety check campaign. The campaign will be promoted in puiblic 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 DriveChicago.com for a list of dealers participating in the checks, so make sure you alert the CATA’s Dave Sloan about your plans.

 

Holding an inspection event is a great way to improve your customers’ safety—and boost dealer image. A how-to tool kit, "Building Child Passenger Safety Awareness in Your Community," was prepared by the NADA and included with the June issue of NADA’s AutoExec magazine. You can also access the kit online, along with information on child safety for dealers and consumers, at www.nada.org/boostforsafety 

 

If you hold a child-safety day at your store, the NADA would like to hear how it went and how well it was attended, and about its value to your community. Please e-mail rwhite@nada.org

 

In legislative and regulatory news:

 

The House of Representatives voted 269-156 in favor of compromise legislation that would reduce the number of people subject to the estate tax, as well as the rate of tax. House Ways and Means Committee chairman Bill Thomas’s (R-Calif.) bill, H.R. 5638, would be effective Jan. 1, 2010. Among other provisions, the legislation would:

 

  • Increase the estate-tax exemption to $5 million per person, or $10 million per couple
  • Tax estates up to $25 million at the capital-gains rate, currently 15 percent
  • Tax estates of $25 million or more at twice the capital-gains rate, or 30 percent.

 

The $5 million and $10 million exemptions would be indexed for inflation after the bill takes effect. And if Congress fails to extend the 15 percent capital-gains rate in 2011, the estate tax rate would rise to 20 percent for estates up to $25 million and to 40 percent for estates worth $25 million or more.

 

In late June, the bill was headed to the Senate.

 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a new publication, "Best Practices Guide: Fundamentals of a Workplace First-Aid Program." The free guide identifies key elements of successful first-aid programs, including how to plan and conduct safe and effective first-aid training.

 

Publication of OSHA’s guide coincides with greater concern about cases of septic shock being reported in association with contaminated "flood cars" from last year’s hurricane zones. Apparently, some cars submerged in the floodwaters were infested with septic toxins that could remain in the vehicle for some time, posing a health risk to technicians if they are cut or scratched while working on the vehicles.

 

To download a copy of the guide, go to www.osha.gov/SLTC/medicalfirstaid/ Questions? Contact NADA Regulatory Affairs at regulatoryaffairs@nada.org or 703-821-7040.

 

In other NADA news:

 

  • How can you encourage teenagers in your community to consider working at your store? Host an event during NADA’s Automotive Career Month this October. You can now request an event-planning kit at www.nada.org/careers. The kit contains sample letters to school principals, guidance counselors, and local media; a sample event agenda; two Automotive Career Month posters with room for your dealership information; artwork for student brochures; a brief Automotive Career Month DVD; and a press release and scripts for public service announcements.  
  • The NADA announced that it will hold its 2009 Convention and Exposition in New Orleans as originally scheduled. "We welcome the opportunity to return to New Orleans for the automotive industry event of the year," said NADA president Phil Brady. "This decision shows our commitment to do our part to help the city rebound from the devastation of Katrina."

 

The NADA cited the city’s steady progress in rebuilding its business and tourism infrastructure as a key factor in its decision. The association will continue to work closely with the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau and city leaders to ensure an outstanding event.  

The association’s last convention in New Orleans, in 2005, brought 27,000 visitors to the city and had an estimated economic impact of more than $50 million.

 

As always, let me know your ideas and concerns, so that I can meet your needs as your NADA director. Reach me at my dealership, Raymond Chevrolet, at 847-395-3600.

 

Congratulations!

November 18, 2010

President’s Circle winners, who achieved top sales performance in 2005 by selling GM Protection Plan and MRP Vehicle Service Contracts, were awarded a June 13-20 trip to Paris, France. Local dealers include Mike Rakos of Bolingbrook Chevrolet, Bill Haggerty of Haggerty Pontiac-GMC (Villa Park), Jerry Haggerty Jr. ofJerry Haggerty Chevrolet (Glen Ellyn), Lee Hoskins of Hoskins Chevrolet (Elk Grove Village), William Koloseike of Bill Kay Chevrolet (Lisle), and Dan Kurtz ofSunrise Chevrolet (Glendale Heights).
 

Marketplace

November 18, 2010

Training Manager Sixteen years retail, factory sales experience. Traveled nationally and in Canada to train dealership personnel in sales, customer service, CSI improvement and management. Attended BMW’s Vision training. Jim Stanfa, 630-742-9336.

 

CFO/Controller Responsible for all accounting functions, over 25 years’ experience. Planned and executed start-ups, expansions of major dealerships. Flexible, able to motivate organization to achieve corporate objectives. Berny Fitzgerald, 317-514-4609.

 

Résumés of both candidates on file at the CATA.

 

Prostate cancer fund-raiser Sept. 10

November 18, 2010

The second annual Greater Chicago Prostate Cancer Run Walk ’n Roll is Sept. 10 in Chicago’s Grant Park. The event, to raise awareness of the cancer and of screening and other prevention, features a 5K run and a 3K walk. To register and to volunteer to help, call 847-241-5972.

The event benefits efforts by Us Too Prostate Cancer Education and Support (www.ustoo.org) and Wellness Place (www.wellnessplace.org)

 

Statistics show one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, compared to breast cancer in one in seven women, yet funding for research, education and patient support for the former is less than one-half of that for the latter.

 
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