FEBRUARY 25, 2009
IN THIS ISSUE
DEALER NEWS & INFORMATION
– Automotive News at a Glance
REGULATORY & LEGAL UPDATES
– Economic Stimulus Bill Contains New COBRA Requirements
– SB 91-CADA's 7 Point Legislation to Amend the Motor Vehicle Franchise Laws Passes Out of the Senate
– Upcoming Seminars
– Employment Law Seminar: FMLA and ADA Acts- New Federal Regulations!!
– Tough Tactics to Reduce Expenses in Tough Times
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
– Upcoming Events
– NADC 5th Annual Member Conference
– Denver International Auto Show
– Dealer Management and Leadership Summit
– CADA Annual Member Golf Event
–CADA Welcomes Two New Allied Members
HIGHLIGHTS & TRANSITIONS
–Share Your Accomplishments
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STATE GOVERNMENT RESOURCES
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Division of the Colorado Dept.
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Department of Labor &
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AUTOMOTIVE 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.
- Legislators do the grunt work for car dealers
The Colorado Statesman, January 30
There are no “good people” or “bad people” here, just carmakers vs. car sellers. But one group has state legislatures on its side.
- Auto dealers a pillar of Colorado’s economy
The Colorado Statesman, January 20
Automobile dealers and automobile manufacturers have a symbiotic relationship. Put simply, neither could survive without the other.
- Breaking News: Dealers lobby statehouses for beefier franchise laws
Automotive News, February 23
As General Motors dumps brands and other automakers slash their retail networks, auto dealers are waging a nationwide lobbying blitz for more protection under state franchise laws.
- VIDEO: Gibbs Responds to CNBC Correspondent’s Attack on Housing Plan
The New York Times, February 23
The White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, answered questions Friday about a CNBC correspondent’s remarks against President Obama’s housing bailout plan.
- Trade-In Nation
Newsweek, February 19
While new car sales stall, used vehicles are flying off dealers' lots.
- Low oil prices are not translating into low gas prices
USA Today, February 20
The economy is in tatters. Oil prices are plunging. So why are gasoline prices closing in on $2 a gallon again?
- Crude oil is getting cheaper - so why isn't gas?
The Detroit News, February 15
Crude oil prices have fallen to new lows for this year. So you'd think gas prices would sink right along with them. Not so.
- Automakers putting brakes on options to trim costs
The Detroit News, February 15
When American consumers start buying new cars again, they'll likely find fewer combinations of moon roofs, seat upholstery and stereo systems to choose from. As with better fuel economy, it's a case of U.S. automakers taking a cue from their Japanese counterparts.
- Ford-UAW talks progress; may be basis for GM, Chrysler pacts
Detroit Free Press, February 16
Talks between the UAW and Ford Motor Co. on a deal to help the struggling automaker progressed over the weekend and any plan that is reached between the two sides could serve as the basis for a similar pact with General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, people familiar with the talks at Ford told the Free Press.
- Ford First with Electric Vehicle
Business Week, February 10
In 2010 the Ford Transit will hit the market, making it the first pure battery electric-powered light commercial vehicle in North America.
- GM must keep building solid, exciting cars
Detroit Free Press, February 15
As General Motors prepares for life after Bob Lutz, the company's leaders must send two messages to their designers, engineers and product-development teams...
- Ford Drops Employee Pricing, Keeps Rebates
Kicking Tires Blog, February 6
Ford dropped its employee pricing sale when the month turned over, but that doesn’t mean the company has stopped its incentives.
- A few things for Obama's auto task force
Business Week, February 16
The Obama Administration may set up a task force which reports to both Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers, chief of the National Economic Council, says the Wall Street Journal.
- GM to Offer Two Choices: Bankruptcy or More Aid
The Wall Street Journal, February 16
General Motors Corp., nearing a federally imposed deadline to present a restructuring plan, will offer the government two costly alternatives: commit billions more in bailout money to fund the company's operations, or provide financial backing as part of a bankruptcy filing, said people familiar with GM's thinking.
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ECONOMIC STIMULUS BILL CONTAINS NEW COBRA REQUIREMENTS
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), more commonly known as the “Economic Stimulus bill” will have an effect on how employers administer COBRA. The Act appears to affect COBRA in these key ways:
- The Act defines COBRA continuation to include health continuation coverage under a state plan. That means that small employers who are exempt from federal COBRA, but required to offer health continuation under Colorado's state continuation coverage must comply with this Act.
- The federal government will provide a COBRA subsidy to qualified beneficiaries electing COBRA. Employers can charge eligible qualified beneficiaries only 35% of the applicable COBRA rate for up to nine months. Employers will be eligible for a tax credit on payroll taxes for the other 65% of the COBRA rate.
- This federal government subsidy applies to individuals that were involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008, and December 31, 2009. Employers must give employees involuntarily terminated since September 1, 2008, who have declined COBRA coverage a second chance to elect COBRA coverage based on the government subsidized COBRA rate.
- Employees with an annual income above a certain amount are not eligible for the COBRA subsidy.
- Employers can provide a special enrollment right allowing qualified beneficiaries to elect different group coverage than they had at the time of their involuntary termination.
- Employers must provide COBRA notices with information about these changes. The Act requires the U.S. Department of Labor to issue model notices for employers to use for this purpose within 30 days.
CLICK HERE for more details.
Various experts in this area are diligently monitoring the provisions of this new law and CADA will provide additional updates as more information becomes available.
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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
SB 91-CADA'S 7 POINT LEGISLATION TO AMEND THE MOTOR VEHICLE FRANCHISE LAWS PASSES OUT OF THE SENATE
SB 91 passed out of the Senate on Monday, February 23rd with 33 yes votes, 1 no vote, and 1 absentee. This is a tremendous victory for you and your employees, especially since the bill has complete bi-partisan support except for the lone no vote, coming from Broomfield Republican Shawn Mitchell. From a purely philosophical perspective, Mitchell has a track record of always voting against legislation that has to do with contractual agreements between two private parties. His vote against the bill was not specific to our dealers or our industry.
While SB 91 is a seven point bill with various protections for dealers, the crux of the bill is centered on two main issues: dualing and termination / market withdrawal. As it is currently written, SB 91 would allow Colorado dealers to add other line-makes to existing facilities, with the only requirement being that dealers must give manufacturers 90 days notice of their intent to dual. In the event a manufacturer terminates a brand, SB 91 would require manufacturers to pay the dealers the value of one year’s rent for the facility that housed the terminated brand, as well as the goodwill (a/k/a blue sky) value of the dealership on the date the announcement was made to terminate the brand. The bill would also provide for the payment of rent for the facility if a dealer was terminated for failure to meet sales and service performance obligations.
SB 91 is now headed to the House of Representatives, where it will be assigned to a committee for further debate and testimony from local dealers. If you wish to testify in favor of SB 91, please contact me or Tim Jackson at 303-831-1722. We anticipate that SB 91 will be heard in the House committee within the next 10 days.
CLICK HERE If you would like to view the bill!
SB 212 – Vendor Fees
SB 212, the bill proposed by Governor Ritter to severely reduce the fees paid to vendors for collecting sales tax, was amended by the House of Representatives on Monday, February 23rd, to return the bill back to the form under which it was passed out of the Senate. This bill has been the center of heated debate and, as originally drafted, was met with staunch opposition by several business organizations, including CADA, the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry (CACI), Colorado Retail Council, Qwest, Verizon, Wal-Mart, and AT&T. As currently amended, the bill would allow 2/3 of vendors, the smallest vendors, to continue to collect the 3.3% vendor fee currently provided by the State. As for the top 1/3 of vendors, including most new franchised automobile dealers, the fee has been reduced to 1.35%. This political compromise is a significant victory for large retailers since the original bill would have arbitrarily capped the vendor fee allowance to $417 per month ($5,000/year) regardless of volume of retail sales. This amendment represents multi-million dollar savings to our member dealers and should be viewed as a significant victory, considering what was originally sought by the Governor and the Joint Budget Commission (JBC).
HB 1230 – Motor Vehicle Registrations
HB 1230 would prevent county clerks from “bouncing” title and/or registrations for motor vehicles if there is a discrepancy over the taxes collected by the dealer at the time of sale. The bill would also provide a hold harmless provision for dealers if they collect inaccurate taxes based on address information provided by buyers that turns out to be erroneous. This provision would be especially critical in the event of an audit. This bill is scheduled to be heard Tuesday, March 3rd in the House Transportation & Energy committee. If you wish to testify in favor of HB 1230, please contact me or Tammi McCoy at 303-831-1722.
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Questions or Comments? Please contact:
Melissa Kuipers – VP of Government Relations and Communication
EMPLOYMENT LAW SEMINAR: FMLA AND ADA ACTS - NEW FEDERAL REGULATIONS!!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Presented by Todd Fredrickson, top Denver employment attorney
In January of 2009, the federal government saddled employers with new laws, regulations and obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Workplace law experts expect these new laws will generate an increase in lawsuits against employers—especially in the current economic downturn as downsizing is occurring.
- The U.S. Dept. of Labor announced new FMLA regulations in November, 2008, the first significant changes to the regulations since 1995. Changes effective January 16, 2009 – key changes include:
- Implements two new forms of military family leave created earlier this year
- Expands employer's notice requirements to include a general notice about the FMLA; an eligibility notice; a rights and responsibilities notice; and a designation notice.
- Defines serious health condition
- Changes to medical certification process, fitness for duty evaluations, substitution of paid leave
- The ADA Amendments Act require almost all human resource professionals, managers, and business owners to adopt new policies and procedures in dealing with accommodation requests, as well as greatly impact employment litigation claims.
- Overview of what has changed and how to comply; what is “disabled”?
- What this means to employers and who will be affected
- The risks and penalties of non-compliance; effective date, Jan. 1, 2009.
Todd Fredrickson, Attorney, Fisher & Phillips, LLP, http://www.laborlawyers.com/
Todd Fredrickson is the managing partner of the Fisher & Phillips' Denver office. Specifically, he has defended employers against claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Todd has represented clients in both federal and state courts, the United States Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and the Colorado Department of Labor. Todd regularly counsels clients on a spectrum of personnel management issues, with the goal of avoiding litigation altogether. To that end, he advises employers on developing and enforcing proper application and interview policies, employee handbooks, and employment and compensation agreements. Todd counsels employers on compliance with federal and state wage and hour laws. Much of his practice focuses on training.
||CLICK HERE for more information
on this training session.
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TOUGH TACTICS TO REDUCE EXPENSES IN TOUGH TIMES
CLICK HERE for a registration/flyer form!
March 24-25, 2009
Presented by Steve Lane, management instructor at the NADA/ATD Dealer Academy. Steve has more than 30 years’ experience in the automotive industry as a controller, director of internal audit and financial analysis, and as a regional CFO.
About the Topic:
This session will show you how—using a step-by-step approach—to eliminate wasteful spending, and make sure your expenses are in line with NADA profiles and benchmarks.
- Effectively controlling a dealership's expenses is crucial in order to maximize the profitability of the business.
- In today's challenging and difficult economy, it could be of paramount
importance to dealership survival!
Who should attend:
- General Managers
- Department Managers
- Office Managers
How You will Benefit:
- Learn how to review your general ledger comparative expense detail to identify and eliminate "wasteful" expenses.
- Learn how to review your DMS expense trend report (a powerful tool).
- Learn how to use custom-built franchise specific Excel templates to quickly review your expenses and compare your results against NADA profiles.
What You will Cover:
- Your Three Largest Expenses - These must be effectively controlled if you want to be profitable.
- The Power of the Pay Plan - Personnel expense is a dealership's largest expense. Pay plans must be crafted to achieve the vision of the Dealer.
- How to effectively manage your floor plan expense.
- How to effectively manage your advertising expense.
||CLICK HERE for more information
on this training session.
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Employment Law Seminar:
FMLA and ADA – NEW FEDERAL REGULATIONS!!
By Todd Fredrickson, top Denver employment attorney
Tuesday, March 10, 2009,
Noon to 2:30pm
Phil Long Collision Repair Center, 4045 Sinton Road., Colorado Springs, 80903,
Colorado Springs dealers should register with CSADA, Ann Winslow, 719.473.1465 or email@example.com
For more information Click Here
Tough Tactics to Reduce Expenses in Tough Times
Location: Denver (site to be determined)
Presented by: Steve Lane, management instructor at the NADA/ATD Dealer Academy
March 24-25, 2009,
Click here for a registration flyer/form.
Click here to register online through NADA.
This session will show you how, on a step-by-step approach, to eliminate wasteful spending, and get your expenses in line with NADA profiles and guides.
National Association of Dealer Counsel (NADC) - 5th Annual Member Conference
NADC is a nationwide professional organization of attorneys who represent automobile and other vehicle/vessel dealers
Four Seasons at Las Colinas
CLICK HERE for more information!
Discount hotel block expires March 5th
Denver Auto Show
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Colorado Convention Center
700 14th Street Denver 80202
Dealer Management & Leadership Summit
Save the Date
Thursday, Aug. 13
8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m
Marriott Denver South at Park Meadows Drive (I-25 and Lincoln in Douglas County)
More information on speakers/agenda will be posted online as finalized.
CADA Annual Member Golf Event
Monday, August 24, 2009
12:00 Noon Shotgun Start
Glenmoor Country Club
110 Glenmoor Drive
Cherry Hills Village, 80113
CADA would like to welcome two new allied members:
Custom Landscapes of Colorado which offers commercial grounds care, flower planting renovations, new installations and snow removal. For more information regarding their services please contact Tony Fox at 303.238.0070 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Colorado Asphalt Services, Inc an asphalt maintenance and construction company locally owned and operated, fully licensed, insured and bonded. Colorado Asphalt offers patching, eal coat, crack fill, infrared, overlay, concrete, striping, autostops, speed bumps and signs. For more information about their services please contact Julie Farina at 303.292.3434 or email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Also include your contact information for further follow-up.
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