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September is NADA's 'Green Checkup Month'

November 17, 2010

By Ray Scarpelli Sr., Metro Chicago NADA Director

To help motorists save money at the gas pump and cut greenhouse gas emissions through proper vehicle maintenance, the NADA has created a checklist of Green Maintenance Tips and a new program called the Green Checkup.

NADA Chairman Annette Sykora announced the campaign at an Aug. 18 news conference in Denver. Govs. Bill Ritter (D-Colo.) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.) also spoke at the conference, along with Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers President Dave McCurdy, who introduced his association’s EcoDriving initiative; and Dan Grossman of the Environmental Defense Fund.

Sykora said the goal of the Green Checkup campaign is to highlight simple steps car owners can take to maintain their vehicles in top running condition. "Dealerships are located in every major community in the country, which means we are ideally positioned to be at the forefront of a national consumer awareness campaign," said Sykora, owner of two Texas dealerships.

The NADA is urging dealers to offer free Green Checkups at their stores. The checkup focuses on the things that have the most effect on fuel economy, like oil and air filters, engine performance, tire pressure and emission controls.

Although the NADA is promoting the Green Checkup in September, the program is designed for dealers to offer the checkups as part of routine service year-round.

For more about Green Maintenance Tips, see Dealers can sign up to participate in Green Checkups at

In other NADA news . . .

The NADA has created talking points to help dealers respond to inquiries they may get from the media and other officials about captive finance companies that have eliminated or severely reduced the leasing options they offer consumers :

Leasing is an attractive financing alternative for many consumers, and dealers regret that some automakers’ captive finance companies have taken the extreme action of eliminating or severely limiting leasing options.

Dealers are particularly concerned about their customers who may have no other means of taking delivery of a new vehicle. 

However, dealers also recognize both the realities of the marketplace (including rising fuel prices and falling resale values) and the need to maintain healthy, sustainable credit sources to finance vehicle sales.

Automakers are anticipated to aggressively find solutions that will give dealers other options to meet the financing needs of their customers.

At the same time, dealers will continue to work with other credit sources to meet those customer needs.

In dealer discussions with automakers, the focus will continue to be on dealer profitability, seeking viable options for consumers, and finding ways to blunt the adverse impacts that a leasing decline will have on the industry.

If a consumer is looking to purchase a vehicle, dealer-assisted financing is a proven and competitive option for car shoppers.

Whether a consumer is considering buying a vehicle or leasing one, we recommend that shoppers visit AWARE or It’s a consumer-friendly, educational online resource tool about financing cars and trucks.

• Registration for the 2009 NADA Convention & Exposition (Jan. 24-27 in New Orleans) opened July 28, and hotels are already beginning to sell out. Sales of exhibit space have also been strong. In recognition of tough economic times, registration fees and hotel rates have remained unchanged (hotel costs have remained at the 2005 rates) and discounted airfare is available. Register today at

• The NADA Used-Car Guide is taking significant reductions in the values of trucks, SUVs, and certain CUVs in response to unprecedented volatility in certain segments of the current used-car market, due in large part to fuel prices and related demand for fuel efficient vehicles. In addition, the guide is launching two trade-in value categories: Rough Trade-In and Average Trade-In. The new value categories launched Sept. 1 in online and electronic products. But due to the longer lead time for print products, the guidebook will be updated in the October edition. To assist book subscribers with getting the new values right away, UCG is providing a complimentary online account for the month of September to all guidebook subscribers.

In regulatory news . . .

An NADA publication provides guidance on the Federal Trade Commission’s new Red Flags Rule, under which most dealers and other creditors must develop and implement a comprehensive Identity Theft Prevention Program by Nov. 1. NADA Management Education released the guide in August to assist with U.S. dealer compliance.

"A Dealer Guide to the FTC Red Flags and Address Discrepancy Rules: Protecting Against Identity Theft" explains the requirements under the rule and includes detailed, step-by-step guidance on developing the written program required under the Red Flags Rule, as well as a sample written program, worksheets and other helpful materials.

All NADA members received one free copy of the full guide in the mail. The sample written program is also available to members — free upon request, subject to terms and conditions — as a Word document to aid dealers in developing written programs specific to their dealerships in advance of the compliance deadline.

To receive the materials, contact NADA Management Education at Have NADA member identification number ready.

Additional copies of the guide, as well as a PDF version, are available to members for $40 each, and to nonmembers for $80 each.

Please call me at 847-395-3600 if you have concerns that the NADA can help you with.