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Scarpelli running for re-election to NADA board of directors

April 26, 2013
By Mark Scarpelli, Chicgo Metro NADA Director
All dealers in Cook, Lake and DuPage counties who are NADA members will be mailed a ballot on May 3 to elect an NADA director for Metropolitan Chicago. Please cast your vote and return your ballot! I have been honored and want to continue representing you as your NADA director.
As you know, having a voice on local and federal levels is a necessity in our business climate. For the past three years, I have represented you on a federal level on many important committees and issues: Industry Relations Committee, with all major OEM’s involves meeting OEM’s four times a year in Washington, D.C. and addressing such important issues as facility upgrades and incentives; Public Affairs Committee, which has put “We the Auto Dealer” in front of national news outlets to make sure the auto dealer is correctly portrayed in the media and in public opinion; Regulatory Affairs Committee, which is tackling a wide range of very important issues that affect dealers such as the CFPB attack on the dealer financing model, CAFE regulations and the true cost that will be past to consumers , and many more.
At the 2013 NADA Convention & Expo, I was the convention chairman, proudly representing Chicago.
I have been contacted by many of you over the past three years, and your concerns have been put forward by me and the NADA. Many of these committees and chairmanships require many conference calls, hours of meeting preparation, and on-site meetings all over the country. I ask humbly for your continued support and for your vote to allow me to continue to represent you, as your Chicago Metro NADA Director.
Completed ballots must be postmarked by May 24. A winner will be announced this summer, and the three-year term begins next February.
James Auffenberg Jr., president of St. Clair Auto Mall in O’Fallon, Ill., represents dealers in the state’s 99 other counties. His term expires in 2015.
In other news …
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and support for the franchised dealer network were among topics discussed at the 2013 Automotive Forum, held in March in New York City.
Industry leaders and analysts were upbeat about the economy in their forum presentations. They all agreed that auto sales are rising and economic momentum is growing.
Nearly 400 dealers, OEM and supplier executives, analysts and media convened to look at global issues shaping the auto industry, the state of the economy and the challenges facing new-car dealers and their customers. The forum was hosted by the New York International Auto Show.
Participants were upbeat about the recovering economy, expanding credit and a growing demand for newer inventory to replace aging fleets. The consensus among top analysts was that new-vehicle sales will exceed 16 million units by 2015.
The forum, presented by the NADA, J.D. Power & Associates and the Greater New York Auto Dealers Association, included keynote speaker Bob Carter, vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.; Finbarr O’Neill, president of J.D. Power and Associates; and Nariman Behravesh, IHS chief economist. All three were optimistic about the sales outlook for 2013 and beyond.
With historically low rates on auto loans and automakers “bringing out damn good cars,” Carter said that Toyota predicts 15.3 million new vehicles will be sold in the U.S. this year. 
Maryann Keller, a long-time industry consultant, also delivered a presentation in support of the current franchised dealership model, and argued against Telsa Motors’ approach to selling its electric vehicles directly to the public through factory-owned stores.
“Factories have learned that they cannot do a better job than independent business men and women at the retail level,” Keller said. “And new startups – many who come and go – with new systems of selling and servicing retail automobiles will all reach the same conclusion: The dealer network is the best way.”
The forum gave the NADA an opportunity to directly address another issue of major concern: Recent “guidance” from the CFPB threatens dealer-assisted financing as we know it.
In March, the CFPB released a bulletin that claims indirect lending through dealerships may result in minorities paying more for auto loans.  Dealers are exempt from CFPB oversight, but auto lenders are not.
So the Bureau’s guidance could drastically change how auto finance sources compensate dealers for arranging auto loans.
Keep in mind, no one is accused of intentional discrimination. The Bureau issued its guidance based on a theory called disparate impact.
If the auto finance system can potentially result in minorities paying more for credit than non-minorities in the same credit tier, then it is considered unintentional discrimination. And the system needs to be addressed.
But we have no idea how the CFPB concluded disparate impact exists in today’s marketplace.
Disparate impact can only be proven through a statistical analysis of past transactions, but the CFPB has not revealed how it is conducting its analysis or what data it’s relying upon.
There is also no indication that the Bureau has studied how moving to a “flat fee” compensation method would impact the marketplace. Eliminating a dealer’s ability to discount the credit rates would ultimately affect the amount consumers pay for credit. Dealer-assisted financing — which is optional — increases access to and reduces the cost of credit for millions of Americans.
Our customers overwhelmingly choose dealer-assisted financing because it’s convenient and competitive.