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Times tough, but stay with CATA

November 17, 2010

Everyone tries to rein in expenses during economic downturns. Well, maybe not the federal government. But remember that a CATA membership more than pays for itself.

The benefits of CATA membership far exceed the $400 annual dues, and they are realized in many facets of day-to-day operations. For instance, the Odometer Statements and Used-car Buyers Guides, paperwork required to sell used vehicles, are offered by nearly all state and metro dealer associations―for a fee. The CATA supplies those necessary forms and others free.

Also free to CATA dealer members:

• Presence on the CATA Web portal,, to list new- and used-vehicle inventories. Important, nonmembers do not appear on

• Advisement from the association’s general legal counsel.

• Service from the association’s labor relations counsel, including negotiation of collective bargaining contracts and defense of unionization efforts.

• Tickets to the Chicago Auto Show’s employee appreciation days, and half-price weekday discount vouchers.

• Lobbyists who interact with elected officials on state, county and local levels to enact pro-dealer legislation.

• Longstanding relationships with government and watchdog groups. The CATA is a sitting member on advisory boards of the Illinois secretary of state, the Illinois attorney general and the Better Business Bureau.

• Goodwill promotion of the Chicago area’s dealerships through many CATA public relations vehicles, including "Drive Chicago," the nation’s only automotive radio program owned by a dealer association. The show airs at 8 a.m. Saturdays on WLS-AM, 890.

• Meeting space at the association headquarters, for groups up to 130.

• Informative monthly CATA seminars on the operations of every department at a dealership.

• Timely industry news via the twice-monthly CATA Bulletin.