JANUARY 3, 2012

IN THIS ISSUE

DEALER NEWS & INFORMATION

Auto Industry News at a Glance

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Colorado Legislator Meetings, 2011

 

REGULATORY & LEGAL UPDATES

Colorado Supreme Court Sends Dealership Class Action Back to Trial Court

 

UPCOMING SEMINARS

FREE Webinar: Do's and Don'ts of Respiratory Protection

CALENDAR OF EVENTS
CADA Holiday Hours

Upcoming Events

2012 NADA and ATD Convention & Expo

Colorado and Utah Dealer Breakfast

Denver Auto Show


DEALER MILESTONES,
HIGHLIGHTS & TRANSITIONS

Share Your Accomplishmens

 

THE AFTERFACT

All the News That's Fit to Email!


ARCHIVES

CLICK HERE for Open Road
e-newsletter archives.

CLICK HERE for an Index of Regulatory
& Legal Articles
from the Open
Road e-newsletter.

CLICK HERE for Bulletin archives.

CLICK HERE for Colorado Auto
Outlook
archives.

CLICK HERE for Denver Auto
Outlook
archives.


ONLINE REGISTRATION

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for various CADA seminars & events.


MEMBERSHIP RESOURCES

CLICK HERE for details on the
Speaker and Educational
Resources
.

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Endorsed Vendors/Programs
.

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Allied Members
.

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.

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www.nada.org


www.aiada.org

CLICK HERE for NADA
Regulatory Affairs information
.


STATE GOVERNMENT RESOURCES

CLICK HERE for the Auto Industry
Division
of the Colorado Dept.
of Revenue.

CLICK HERE for the Title and
Registration section
of the
Colorado Dept. of Revenue,
Motor Vehicles Division.

CLICK HERE for the Colorado
Department of Labor &
Employment
website.




Visit us at www.coloradodealers.org.


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Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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 AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS AT A GLANCE

Listed here are several articles pertaining to the
auto industry in general that appeared recently in newspapers and other media outlets across the nation.



…more news articles are included at the end of this issue.



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COLORADO LEGISLATOR MEETINGS, 2011

Dealers:

The CADA Legislative Policy Committee is scheduling dealer meetings with Colorado state legislators in order to increase awareness and gain support for many policy issues expected to face auto dealers in the upcoming session of the Colorado General Assembly which convenes January 11, 2012.

Several meetings are planned and you are invited to participate in as many of the meetings as you are able to do.

The primary purpose of this series of brief get-togethers is to foster and advance relationships between CADA member dealers and Colorado’s elected leaders.

The following topics areas are expected to be covered in each session:

  • Auto industry issues in general
  • Colorado dealer issues in particular
  • Proposals to repeal Colorado’s ban on Sunday sales of automobiles
  • Growing class action litigation against the auto retail industry
  • Trends in auto sales in state and nationally
  • Sales tax issues for dealer license plates and jurisdictional tax issues

With the economic challenges faced by the industry today, it is more important than ever that state legislators get the opportunity to hear from you on issues of importance to you and your business.

The schedule of upcoming meetings and registration info. are attached HERE!

RSVP To:  Lauren Stadler, Phone: 303.457.5123, Fax: 303.831.9100 or Email: rsvp@coloradodealers.org or lauren.stadler@coloradodealers.org



COLORADO SUPREME COURT SENDS DEALERSHIP CLASS ACTION BACK TO TRIAL COURT
By Bill Walters, Heizer Paul Grueskin LLP

In a case closely watched by CADA and its members, the Colorado Supreme Court unanimously affirmed a Court of Appeals decision which sent a class action decision back to the trial court for having “failed to rigorously analyze the evidence in deciding to grant class certification.”    In recent years, a number of motor vehicle dealers have found themselves defending class action litigation.    The reason why plaintiff’s attorneys file class actions is because the amount of damages can quickly add up by combining individual claims.   In addition, attorneys’ fees can be awarded in some cases.    However, in order to proceed with a class action, the court must first “certify” the class.    Certification of a class requires the plaintiff to establish that common issues predominate over individual issues.   If each member of the class has separate factual circumstances involving the claim, it is much less likely that the class will be certified.  That leaves the plaintiff and the lawyer left with individual claims for which the economic rewards are much smaller.

In Garcia v. Medved Chevrolet, Inc., Justice Alex Martinez reviewed a class action that had been certified in a case filed against ten Medved dealerships and John Medved, personally.   The trial court had certified the class, but the Colorado Court of Appeals reversed.    The plaintiffs then appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court.   Justice Martinez made several key holdings in affirming the ruling by the Court of Appeals.   First, that “causation” and “injury” elements of a Consumer Protection Act claim may be inferred from circumstantial evidence common to the class.  This was consistent with prior Colorado law.  

Going further, the Court also held that it was “critical” to give a defendant the opportunity to rebut those inferences with individual evidence as to each transaction.    The Supreme Court concluded that the trial court had “neglected to consider the evidence offered by the defendant [Medved Chevrolet] to refute the plaintiff’s class-wide theories of liability.”   If, after rigorous analysis by the trial court, the evidence of individual transactions submitted by Medved rebutted the allegations that plaintiff relied on certain sales documents, the plaintiff “would be unable to resort to class-wide inferences.”

At this point, the case will go back to the trial court for findings in accordance with the Supreme Court’s decision.  If the trial court were to commit error again, the case could move back through the appellate courts.   

The Garcia case arose from the sale of a vehicle to a consumer who alleged that certain dealer added products were never installed on her vehicle.   Consumers in that situation were defined as Class I plaintiffs.  In addition, the plaintiff argued that there was a second class of consumers who were unaware of (and did not consent to) dealer added products that were installed, but not properly disclosed.  Those consumers were known as Class II plaintiffs.   At the very end of the opinion, the Supreme Court held that Ms. Garcia could not represent the Class II plaintiffs since her claim was distinct from the claim of the consumers in Class II.

The case has considerable significance to Colorado dealers.    If a dealership were to find itself defending a class action it will have the opportunity to present evidence to show that each transaction with a consumer was unique and separate.   More important, it serves as a reminder that dealers need to keep complete and accurate records of each and every transaction. 

CADA filed an amicus curiae brief in the Supreme Court appeal and supported the arguments made by the Medved dealerships which were adopted in part by the Supreme Court.   

~

Bill Walters, a partner in the Denver law firm of Heizer Paul Grueskin LLP, has been CADA’s outside general counsel for almost thirty years and assisted in the preparation of CADA’s amicus brief in support of the Medved dealerships.   He has also represented numerous individual dealerships as well as other trade associations.   His new firm provides legal services in the fields of employment law, class action litigation, nonprofit organizations and election law.

* * * * * * * *

If you have questions on any legal or regulatory topic, please contact:

DISCLAIMER: CADA is not authorized to dispense legal advice.The information contained in this weekly email is intended to provide important updates and reminders regarding statutes, litigation, and regulations. CADA always advises that dealers should consult legal counsel on the specifics of any laws or regulations to ensure proper compliance


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FREE WEBINAR: DO'S AND DON'TS OF RESPIRATORY PROTECTION
Learn the 6 main areas you need to know to ensure compliance.

The use of respirators at your dealership may sound simple, but the regulations are actually quite confusing. Join Mike Rusak as he clarifies the puzzling world of regulations of respirators and respiratory protection.

This webinar will focus on 6 main areas of respirator use for your dealership:

  • Written Programs
  • Medical Evaluations
  • Fit Testing
  • Facial hair
  • Maintenance and Care
  • Training

REGISTER ONLINE!

Date:

Thursday January 5, 2012

Time:

9:00am - 10:00am Pacific

 

10:00am - 11:00am Mountain

 

11:00am - 12:00pm Central

 

12:00pm - 1:00pm Eastern

Presented by Mike Rusak
Mike is an Engineer II for KPA and has been with the company for over four years. He has over ten years of experience in the environmental, health, and safety field. He is a World Safety Organization Certified Safety Specialist. Mike has a degree in Environmental Science from Marywood University.    

 

* * * * * * * *

aTO REGISTER ONLINE FOR ANY CADA
SEMINAR OR EVENT, PLEASE VISIT:

www.coloradodealers.org/registration
Event Description
Date/Time
Location

FREE Webinar: Do's and Don'ts of Respiratory Protection

Presented by Mike Rusak


Thursday, January 5, 2012

10:00 - 11:00am MDT

REGISTER ONLINE!

Innovative Dealer Summit


March 21-22, 2012

More details coming soon!

If you have a particular area of interest or would like to suggest a training seminar topic, please contact Lauren Stadler at 303.457.5123 or lauren.stadler@coloradodealers.org


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Event Description
Date/Time
Location

Legislator Meeting

Congresswoman Diana DeGette



Wednesday, January 4, 2011
12:00pm, Lunch


William D. Barrow Building, CADA Headquarter
290 East Speer Blvd, Denver, 80203

CLICK HERE for info. and registration!

2012 NADA & ATD Convention & Expo

February 3-6, 2012


Las Vegas, NV

Register Online!

Colorado and Utah Dealer Breakfast

*Sponsored by Comcast Spotlight

Sunday, February 5
7:30 am - 9:00 am


Las Vegas Hilton
Ballroom D
3000 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV  89109

More details coming soon!

Denver Auto Show

March 21-25th, 2012


Colorado Convention Center




LET US KNOW ABOUT YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS!

Have you or anyone else at your dealership won an award recently? Have you or your dealership provided any outstanding community service? We want to recognize such accomplishments. Please send us a brief write-up of the award or event along with any other information to milestones@coloradodealers.org. Also include your contact information for further follow-up.


THE AFTERFACT

  • Toyota adds to Prius lineup with smallest hybrid aimed at Fit
    The Detroit News, December 26
    Toyota Motor Corp., Asia's largest automaker, will begin selling its smallest hybrid car in Japan today to compete with Honda Motor Co. for younger consumers seeking an entry-level fuel-efficient vehicle.
  • Women-focused auto shop a reaction to disdainful mechanic
    The Detroit News, December 25
    Though she has some doubters — one competitor reportedly told a LadyParts customer that her shop is more style than substance — the rave reviews found online about the business show that de la Calzada has tapped a ripe market.
  • US automakers look to build on victories in the new year
    MSNBC, December 28
    Ford is hoping history can repeat itself with the upcoming launch of the next-generation Fusion four-door.
  • Safest small cars you can buy for less than $20K
    MSNBC, December 27
    While record low fatality rates indicate that today’s cars are safer than ever, the latest crash test results confirm that some models still do a better job than others at protecting their occupants in a serious collision.
  • Designers boost glitz factor with latest dashboards
    MSNBC, December 20
    It in the past, it was pretty simple: A dashboard was a wooden (later steel, then plastic) board on to which a car’s instruments were mounted. Of course, that was when phones still had buttons to press (or a rotary dial).
  • The ten most boring-looking cars
    Jalopnik, December 27
    Like a gorilla with no face, a car without any features is very disturbing.
  • Chrysler ends production of Caliber
    The Detroit News, December 24
    Chrysler Group LLC ended production of the much-maligned Dodge Caliber this week, the last of the econoboxes introduced by Detroit's Big Three during the past decade that came to symbolize a failed strategy in the domestic auto industry.

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Colorado Automobile Dealers Association
290 East Speer Boulevard Denver, CO 80203
Telephone: 303.831.1722 | Facsimile: 303.831.4205
www.coloradodealers.org