MARCH 5, 2008



     - Automotive News at a Glance


     - Under the Gold Dome


     - SCAM ALERT: 'Solicitations'

       Disguised as Invoices

     - Vehicles Abandonded at Repair
Shops - Revised Form/Process

     - Reminder on Storage Charges and
Motor Vehicle Repair Act

     - Upcoming Events


     - GM Mark of Excellence Given
to Several Colorado Dealers

     - Let Us Know About YOUR


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

  • Chrysler on track, boss says
    The Detroit News,  March 1
    Chrysler LLC Vice Chairman and President Jim Press defended the automaker's financial well-being Friday and said the company is on track to meet its financial targets, despite a weakening U.S. auto market that he predicts
    won't improve until early 2009.

  • Drivers hang onto their cars longer
    USA Today,  March 1
    People are keeping cars and trucks longer as quality improves and the shaky economy makes new purchases less appealing, according to a study out this week from automotive consultancy firm R.L. Polk.
  • For most, a sport-without-utility vehicle
    The Washington Post (opinion column),  March 2
    My associate, Ria Manglapus, and I had grand plans to continue our search for the perfect family car. But we discovered that there is no such thing as the perfect family. We also learned that every family's definition of perfection is different, and that neither income nor class nor familial circumstance can accurately predict what definition a family will choose.
CADA forwards news articles and opinion columns of interest
through the Open Road to inform members of current events. 
These in no way reflect the views, opinions, and/or positions
of CADA or its member dealers. They are sent for
informational and educational purposes only.



Franchise Law Reform
Several dealers met this past week to discuss implications of possible revisions to the Franchise Act of Colorado. The suggestions are "in review" as CADA has hopes of introducing a “late bill” into this year’s Colorado legislative session to revise the statute that would make the playing field, between manufacturers and dealers, a more level one.

Manufacturers to sell directly to consumers?
Transwest has initiated Senate Bill 179 which is sponsored by Senator Sandoval and Represenative Borodkin. The bill will soon be heard in the Senate Transporation Committee. Colorado statutes address independent control of dealerships and provides that NO manufacturer shall own, operate or control any motor vehicle dealership in Colorado. This bill will tighten the language to include manunfacturers do not sell used vehicles retail, too. CADA is assisting in lobbying efforts.

CIADA Legislation
The Colorado Independent Auto Dealers Association (CIADA) is currently pushing a bill (SB 151) through the legislature that requires eight hours of pre-licensing training for applicants for a USED motor vehicle dealer, a wholesale motor vehicle dealer or a wholesaler license. The bill allows the MVDB to set the components of the training program. Sen. Tochtrop (D) is sponsoring the bill in the Senate, and Rep. Don Marostica (R) is sponsoring the legislation in the House of Representatives. CADA views this bill as a benefit for the industry as a whole and supports the bill with an amendment. Nancy Burke testified on behalf of CADA in support of the bill with an amendment that would exempt dealers who wish to open up a used car dealership that have been operational as a new car dealer within the past three years. The committee adopted the amendment. The bill now goes to the floor of the senate for further consideration.

Sunday Sales Bill heads for the House…Car Dealers Remain Untouched
Sen. Viega (D), Denver, has proposed legislation to repeal a portion of the state’s blue law to allow alcohol sales on Sundays (Senate Bill 082) is now headed to the House of Representatives as it has passed through all three readings in the Senate. CADA is actively monitoring this bill to ensure that your car dealerships remain exempt from this bill.

Sen. Viega understands that Colorado auto dealers want to remain under the State of Colorado’s blue laws. She has spoken on the issue, stating that she does not want her bill to flow over into other areas of the blue laws. Her attempt is to allow liquor stores to open on Sundays, and keep other businesses (including auto dealers) out of the bill. Prior to the legislative session, CADA spoke with Sen. Viega in hopes of obtaining a tight title for the bill. Our efforts paid off as the bill was drafted with a very tight title, meaning only alcohol sales could be addressed in the bill. Adding any other business group would be virtually impossible. We will continue monitoring this bill. From time to time, however, you may see reference to auto dealers due to the fact that auto dealers are the last business group to stay under the blue law umbrella.

Biennial Motor Vehicle Registration
Senate Bill 070, sponsored by Sen. Bill Cadman (R), requires the department of revenue to offer the owner of a vehicle the option to register biennially. The bill exempts vehicles that are required to have an emissions test within the two year period. The proposed legislation also repeals the 2003 limit on biennial emissions testing of light duty non-commercial diesel vehicles. 

Air Quality Controls for Mobile Machinery
HB 1230 proposes compliance with the Federal Tier II standard of the EPA’s Clean Air Act. Rep. Fisher (D) of Ft. Collins wants to limit emissions from mobile machinery sources (Cats, etc.) to the Federal Tier II level and then within five years increase the requirement to the Tier III level. The bill establishes a per horse-power fee for non-compliance which could, in some instances, be upwards from  $50,000+ fine. Itl exempts farmers who have an annual adjusted gross income of less than $250,000. In the nearly two hours of testimony in the Health and Human Services Committee, several lawmakers spoke about the need for cleaner air. The bill was expected to be up for a vote last week, but the sponsor pulled the bill for further discussion with CDOT and other groups. It will now be heard on Thursday of this week. 

Disposition of Abandoned Vehicles
Senate Bill 144, sponsored by Sen. Windels (D), Arvada, establishes a process for motor vehicle repair shops at which a motor vehicle has been abandoned to follow in order to obtain a certificate of title and sell the abandoned motor vehicle in Title 38. This bill will mirror language to a certain extent, already contained in Title 42. Senate Bill 144 revises language in Title 38 for consistency purposes. It requires the repair shop, or its agent, to establish the retail fair market value of the vehicle and have the abandoned motor vehicle inspected and a verification of vehicle identification number (VIN) completed by a peace officer certified to perform VIN inspections. After the repair shop has obtained a certificate of title for the abandoned motor vehicle, authorizes the repair shop, or its agent, to sell the motor vehicle in a commercially reasonable manner at a public or private sale to recoup its costs. The service repair shops are monitoring this bill to ensure the consistency between the two sections in statute. The Department of Revenue spoke at the past committee hearing and proposed further changes to the bill, so much in fact, we could be faced in the future with using yet another form which would implement the changes.

Other bills we are monitoring include business personal property tax, limits on selling items over the internet, license plates, hazardous waste legislation, automobile theft, prohibition of employee sharing wage information, disclosures of credit card receipts and more. 

ON THE FEDERAL FRONT: The EPA Drama Never "Waivers"
California Sen. Barbara Boxer, chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, continues her fight with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its decision to deny Caifornia's request to implement its own greenhouse gas emission rules for vehicles. Boxer has gone to great lengths to show that EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson was unjustified in his decision to reject the California request of a waiver for national emissions requirements.   Johnson recently said, "climate change is not unique and exclusive to California;" therefore, there is no need to single them out when a national standard for tailpipe emissions has been mandated through the Clean Air Act.  

A total of 16 states, including California, are suing EPA over Johnson's decision because they want to enact California's tailpipe standard. Boxer has introduced legislation (S. 2555) that would overturn the ruling, and she plans to file an amicus brief in support of the states who desire to enact Cali's rules.  

CLICK HERE for to read a related article, "EPS justifies denial of emissions waiver for California," from the Los Angeles Times.


If you have questions on any legislative topic, please contact:

Alert provided by:  Monica Kid, Brighton Ford

CADA has been alerted to a recent scam that could also affect other Colorado auto dealers. A company operating as “SEO Marketing” has sent at least one Colorado dealer a solicitation that is disguised to look like an actual invoice. [CLICK HERE to view a sample fake invoice]. The dealership web site domain was added to the document, which referred to “Internet Search Engine Optimization Services.”  While there is a DISCLAIMER below the “Account Summary” section (see below) – it is in very small print, and easily overlooked:  

Calls to the listed phone number for additional information were never returned.  A search of the national Better Business Bureau complaints found similar complaints from other businesses against the Texas-based parent company. Beware of invoices from the following DBA names:
- SND Marketing   
- SEO Marketing
- SND Marketing Listing Service

Dealers are advised to ensure that invoices are carefully audited for such scams.  The Better Business Bureau recommends the following: The best protection against phony invoices is knowledge and vigilance. It is recommended that businesses:

  1. Alert their accounting department or bill-payers to be on the lookout for disguised solicitations and to carefully review invoices from companies and organizations with which they do not normally do business.
  2. Establish effective internal controls for the payment of invoices.
  3. Verify all invoices with the person who gave written or verbal authorization.
  4. Clear all invoices with the appropriate financial staff.

Thanks to Monica at Brighton Ford for taking the time to report this so we could warn other CADA members.   

* * * * * * * * *


The State Titles & Registration Division has announced changes to the Abandoned Vehicle title application process in order to come into compliance with the federal Drivers Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) (Act 18 USC 2721). Changes will prevent the buyer of an abandoned vehicle from having access to the name and address of the previous owner. 

The updated DR 2542 (revision date 02/04/08) provides an overview of the steps and notice requirements necessary in these cases. 

“A vehicle is considered abandoned at a repair shop when it has been left at a repair shop by the owner or owner's agent after the repair shop has offered to repair the vehicle or has completed an estimate of repair costs. Also, if the owner has refused the repairs, refused to pay for the repairs or has refused to remove the vehicle from the repair shop, the vehicle is considered abandoned.”

CLICK HERE to review the state memo (dated Feb. 22, 2008) regarding this change.

* * * * * * * * *


As a reminder to dealers who may attempt to collect storage charges (related to the above scenario), Colorado statutes require a separate agreement for these charges:

  1. Storage charges must be conspicuously printed on a separate written authorization
  2. Storage charges may only accrue pursuant to a written agreement which must be SEPARATE WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION.
  3. The separate agreement must state, in bold type, the following:


A storage fee may not be charged unless a written agreement, separate from any other repair document, for an amount is reached.  A storage fee may be charged beginning on the fourth day, if a motor vehicle is not removed within three days, after the customer is notified that repairs have been completed, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, Legal Holidays, and any days the repair facility is close for business.

CLICK HERE for a review of the Motor Vehicle Repair Act, containing these limitations, as well as others related to requirements covering the repair process, including written estimates, disclosures and required approvals.   


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.

Event Description

Media Landscape 2008: Marketing to your consumers in a rapidly changing environment, presented by the Television Bureau of Advertising

March 18
8:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Newman Center for Performing Arts
University of Denver
To confirm your attendance, please e-mail or call 303-871-1721 by March 10

Green Car Parade
“A New Car is a
Clean Car”

Sunday, March 23
2 – 3:30 p.m. (tentative)

Colorado State Capital
Circle Drive

Green Car Summit

Monday, March 24 1 – 4 p.m.

Colorado Convention Center, Denver
Denver International Auto Show

Denver International Auto Show March 26-30 Colorado Convention Center, Denver

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to open Denver International Auto Show

March 26
4:50 p.m.

Colorado Convention Center, Denver
Denver International Auto Show

Green Tie Charity Preview Event in support of the Clear the Air Foundation

March 26
4 – 6 p.m. (tentative)

Colorado Convention Center, Denver
Denver International Auto Show
Preview Party Sponsored by The Denver Newspaper Agency Wednesday,
March 26
4 – 6 p.m.
Colorado Convention Center, Denver
Denver International Auto Show
2008 AutoVenture Luncheon presented by the South Metro Chamber

March 27
11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Denver International Auto Show
Colorado Convention Center, Denver
CLICK HERE for more information or go to

Auto Industry Night Thursday,
March 27
5 to 9 p.m.

CLICK HERE for the memo regarding details about the evening.
CLICK HERE for a poster to display in your dealership. CLICK HERE for a sample letter to get into the event.

ATAE (Automotive Trade Association Executives) Service Directors Meetings

July 20-23

St. Julien Hotel, Boulder, CO
CLICK HERE for a registration form. Contact Tammi McCoy for more information or if you are interested in sponsorship information.

4th Annual NADC Member Conference (National Association of Dealer Counsel) April 6 to 8 Ritz Carlton in St. Louis
100 Carondelet Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63105
phone: (314) 863-6300
CLICK HERE to register.
Colorado Dealer Management & Leadership Summit

Aug. 13
8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Marriott Denver South at Park Meadows
CADA Golf Event Monday, Sept. 8 Columbine Country Club
17 Fairway Lane
Columbine Valley, 80123


Congratulations to the following Colorado dealerships who were named as recipients of the 2007 GM Mark of Excellence award:

Century 1 Chevrolet, Inc.
Ghent Chevrolet in Greeley
Len Lyall Chevrolet, Inc.
Stevinson Chevrolet West, Inc.

Go Pontiac Buick GMC Park Meadows
Mike Shaw Buick Pontiac GMC, Inc.

Al Serra Chevrolet
Medved Chevrolet South, Inc.

Red Noland Cadillac, Inc.

The General Motors Mark of Excellence is a performance-based award program based on customer satisfaction, sales volume and training. It also requires a minimum of completely trained and certified personnel to be qualified.

In addition to dealership qualification there is also a sales manager program. Congratulations again goes to Ghent Chevrolet dealership, which qualified for both the dealership and sales manager programs.

* * * * * * * * *


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  Also include your contact information for further follow-up.

If you want to be added to our mailing list, please CLICK HERE.


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