MARCH 11, 2009



Automotive News at a Glance



Denver Auto Show- Off-Site Permits Required



SB-091 Passes Out of the House of Representatives With Significant Bipartisan Support

HB 1230 Motor Vehicle Registrations



Save The Date



Upcoming Seminars

TOMORROW! Special NADA Legislative Seminar: Responding to Organized Labor-Defending Workplace Democracy

Tough Tactics to Reduce Expenses in Tough Times

Upcoming Events

Statewide Green Car Convoy Across Colorado

Green Car Parade

Rocky Mountain Automotive Summit

Green Tie Charity Preview Event

NADC 5th Annual Member Conference

Denver International Auto Show

Dealer Management and Leadership Summit

CADA Annual Member Golf Event


In Down Times, Hispanic Market is Booming


Share Your Accomplishments


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

  • GM Running on Fumes, Auditor Warns
    The Washington Post, March 6

    General Motors workers in Michigan talk about the state of the company's finances as talk of bankruptcy rises.
  • Obama auto panel meets at White House
    Associated Press, March 7
    The White House said Friday it was trying to determine "how to be the best partner" for the struggling U.S. auto industry as its auto task force met Friday to review the status of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC.
  • GM More Open to Bankruptcy
    The Wall Street Journal, March 6
    Car Maker Wants to Avoid Filing, but Sees Speedy, U.S.-Financed Plan as an Option.
  • Rep. Jared Polis ought to pick words carefully in the future, March 6
    When any business shuts its doors, throwing more than 200 workers onto the streets, it should be a time for politicians to show empathy.
  • The election of 2008, Part Two
    USA Today, March 6
    In a city that commemorates everything from National Apple Month to National Zoo Keeper Week, March might be declared Hubris and Hypocrisy Month.
  • GM's 20-year global plan unraveling
    The Detroit News, March 5
    General Motors Corp.'s plea for $4.2 billion in aid from European governments, the acknowledgment it has no Plan B and a willingness to surrender control of its European operations to get a cash lifeline means the de facto de-globalization of GM is under way.
  • Honda, Mazda may seek loans in Japan
    The Detroit News, March 5
    Honda Motor Co., suffering from a 38 percent plunge in U.S. auto sales in February, may ask to borrow money from Japan's government to lend to U.S. car buyers.
  • General Motors unveils Spark minicar
    The Detroit News, March 3

    When General Motors Corp.'s Korean operations started working on the next-generation Spark minicar about two years ago, GM executives weren't expecting to sell it in the United States.
  • Chrysler cuts called modest
    The Detroit News, March 5
    Analysts think moves such as cutting a third shift at a Windsor plant don't go far enough.
  • Obama auto officials to visit Detroit; GM auditors doubt automaker's viability
    The Detroit News, March 5
    The White House's top auto advisers will travel to Detroit next week to meet with all three domestic carmakers, Obama administration and auto industry sources said Thursday.
  • California, other states push on emissions
    The Detroit News, March 5
    The latest round in a four-year battle between California and the auto industry comes today in a conference room outside the nation's capital. But state officials hoping to regulate auto emissions and industry officials hoping to block them appear to be fighting the last war.
  • Toyota U.S. chief will appear before auto task force
    The Detroit News, March 4
    Toyota Motor Corp.'s top-ranking U.S. executive will appear next week before the White House auto task force, a company spokeswoman said.
  • GM: Independent auditors raise the specter of Chapter 11
    Detroit Free Press, March 5
    As previously warned, General Motors Corp. on Thursday announced that its independent auditors have raised doubts about the automaker’s ability to continue its business, saying the company could be forced to file for bankruptcy without additional government help and success in restructuring the company.
  • Obama works on U.S. fuel rule
    Detroit Free Press, March 5
    Even as his administration moves toward allowing California and other states to set limits on vehicle fuel economy, President Barack Obama has begun crafting a new national standard that will likely supplant the states' efforts.
  • Chrysler spends $5,566 per car on U.S. incentives, takes top Canada sales spot
    Detroit Free Press, March 4
    Chrysler has been going wild with incentives to try to prop up sales in a market that just doesn't want cars, to the tune of $5,566 per car in February, Motor Authority reports.
  • Ford plans to retire up to $10.4 billion in debt
    Detroit Free Press, March 4
    Ford Motor Co. announced today a proposal to retire up to $10.4 billion in debt in an effort to strengthen its balance sheet and meet its obligations to the UAW as it tries to modify its labor agreement.
  • U.S. Auto Sales Plunged 41% in February
    The Wall Street Journal, March 4
    U.S. auto sales plunged yet again in February, falling 41% to 688,000 vehicles, according to Autodata Corp. The steep drop left car makers worried the market may not yet have bottomed out.
  • Ford to reopen Cleveland engine plant
    USA Today, February 27
    The first Ford Motor plant to make a new line of fuel-efficient engines will help the automaker deliver the kind of fuel economy that customers demand, officials said Friday.
  • Ford sees Fusion as image-changer
    The Detroit News, March 3

    Ford Motor Co. is hoping the launch of its new Ford Fusion and Fusion Hybrid sedan will change the way American consumers think about the company.
  • Ford has vehicles to launch
    Detroit Free Press, March 3
    Ford Motor Co.'s marketing budget will remain about the same as it was in 2008 -- despite declining industry sales -- because the company is launching a number of important new and redesigned vehicles, including the Ford Fusion.
  • Ford has a lot riding on gas-sipping Fusion
    Detroit Free Press, March 3
    Ford Motor Co. is counting on its 2010 Ford Fusion and Fusion hybrid to gain market share in the midsize car segment and to battle the perception that the company doesn't make fuel-efficient cars.
  • U.S. Weighs Car-Emissions Policy
    The Wall Street Journal, March 4
    The Obama administration is working to develop a single national standard to curb greenhouse-gas emissions from automobiles, a sign of the complexity it faces reconciling its environmental policy with its efforts to bail out Detroit auto makers.
  • EPA considers tougher auto emissions rules
    USA Today, March 6
    A simmering fight over auto emissions flares anew Thursday, and the outcome could boost the price of your next new car.
  • U.S. car sales tank to troubling depths
    USA Today, March 4
    Automakers sold barely more than half as many new cars and trucks in February as they did a year ago, as potential buyers worried about more basic concerns — such as whether they'd have jobs or be able to pay the mortgage.
  • Auto dealers to meet with task force
    The Detroit News, March 3
    The main trade group representing U.S. automobile dealers will meet March 6 with President Barack Obama's auto task force in Washington, seeking financing to buy new vehicles.
  • Automaker Brilliance China to deregister U.S. shares
    The Detroit News, March 3
    Chinese automaker and retailer Brilliance China Automotive Holdings plans to stop trading of its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, citing the need to cut costs.
  • BMW to cut headcount by 1,000
    The Detroit News, March 3
    BMW will reduce its work force by more than 1,000 additional jobs this year through natural attrition, the German car maker's chief executive said Tuesday.
  • Fast-backed 4-door Passat CC has many virtues, except its price
    The Detroit News, February 28

    Out of the same high-German hymnal of amortized engineering, comes Volkswagen's new Passat CC.
  • General Motors pioneers heart pump
    The Detroit News, February 23
    Over the years, GM has been famous for producing state-of-the art technical breakthroughs within the auto industry, but this was the first time the GM research people had made a contribution to the medical field that would go on to save millions of lives.
  • Japan auto sales plunge in February
    Detroit Free Press, March 2
    Japanese auto sales plunged 32.4% in February, the biggest fall since 1974 on sinking demand as the global economic downturn deepens, an industry group said today.

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The upcoming Denver Auto Show provides dealers the opportunity to market to new customers and show off the latest and even futuristic, concept cars.

If your sales staff plan to work the show, please be aware of the off-premise permit needed to comply with the state’s guidelines for off-site sales activity. Additionally, off-premise permit applications must be made to the Auto Industry Division before the start of the overall show (Wednesday, March 26). 

CLICK HERE for the off-premise permit application. CLICK HERE for a CADA Memo with more details on off-site permits.

* * * * * * * *

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-091, CADA's seven point franchise bill, was heard by the full House of Representatives on Monday, March 9th.  Despite SB-091's overwhelming support by both Democrats and Republicans, Majority Leader Rep. Paul Weissman (D-Louisville), felt compelled to offer an unfriendly amendment to our bill that would have repealed the current law preventing dealers from operating on Sundays. Many of you know that Monday's fight on Sunday sales was simply a ghost of sessions' past, as this amendment has been offered in several previous sessions by Rep. Weissman.  In support of the amendment, Rep. Weissman was joined at the microphone by Rep. Jack Pommer (D-Boulder), they cited consumer convenience and a philosophical belief that government should not dictate the hours of operation for private businesses as their reasoning.

Several legislators supporting our position spoke out against the amendment. They included the bill sponsor, Rep. Joe Rice (D-Littleton), Rep. Andy Kerr (D-Lakewood), who is the Assistant Majority Leader and a co-sponsor of SB-091, Rep. Karen Middleton (D-Aurora), Rep. Jerry Frangas (D-Denver), Minority Leader Rep. Mike May (R-Parker) and Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling). 

As a preemptive measure, your lobby team strategically secured the votes to defeat this amendment several days before Rep. Weissman offered it in the House.  While Rep. Weissman never told us he was going to run this amendment, we knew we had to be prepared just in case he decided to do so.  As such, after a brief floor debate, the Sunday sales amendment was handily defeated by a voice vote.  Thereafter, SB-091 was amended with only a minor technical change, which CADA supported, and passed to Third Reading.

The next day, Tuesday, March 10th, SB-091 was heard on Third and Final reading in the House and passed on a bipartisan vote of 53-6.  Six legislators were absent due to slick roads in the early morning, but based on prior commitments to support the bill, our vote count which would have reached at least 57, as four of the six were committed YES votes and two were co-sponsors of the bill.

The bill now heads back to the Senate for concurrence on the minor amendment indicated above. That vote will likely happen on Thursday of this week.  We have asked Governor Ritter to conduct a bill signing ceremony for SB-091 to commemorate this significant victory.  We will keep you advised of these details, as we are working with the Governor’s office to seek the details of the bill.

Thank you to Tim Jackson, CADA President, and Matt Tynan and Don Hicks, co-chairs of CADA's Legislative Policy committee, and the entire lobby team, for everyone's tireless commitment to pass SB-091.  This bill arguably represents the most significant changes in years to Colorado’s motor vehicle franchise laws for the protection of auto, truck, motorcycle, powersport and RV dealers.

* * * * * * * *

HB 1230

HB 1230 seeks to provide a hold harmless for dealers who rely upon
address information provided by a consumer, that turns out to be
inaccurate, relative to sales tax collection.  The bill also includes
threshold dollar amount under which county clerks must process title and
registration even if there is a small discrepancy in the sales tax
collected.  This bill would require county clerks to collect the
difference from consumers when they come in to register their vehicles.
This bill was heavily debated last Thursday and was met with staunch
opposition from the Colorado Municipal League and most of the county
clerks, several of whom testified against the bill.  Due to time
constraints, only one person was able to testify in favor of the bill.
As such, the bill will be heard again in the House Transportation
committee on Tuesday, March 17th at 1:30, where testimony will continue
and a vote will be taken.  This is an excellent tactical advantage for
supporters of this bill, as the opposition testimony phase has been
closed.  Therefore, the committee will only be hearing from supporters
of this measure immediately prior to casting their vote.  If you wish to
testify in support of this bill, please contact me
( or Tammi McCoy

* * * * * * * *

Questions or Comments?  Please contact:

Melissa Kuipers – VP of Government Relations and Communication, 303.457.5115




* * * * * * * *


Thursday, March 12, 2009
1:00 - 3:00 pm

NADA Speakers: D. Gerald Coker, Ford & Harrison LLP and Ivette Rivera, executive director, Legislative Affairs

About the Topic:

This virtual seminar will provide an overview of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), and will discuss how this proposed legislation could lead to increased union membership. The speakers will describe the process for union organization and collective bargaining under federal law and analyze how EFCA will affect union-organizing strategies in dealerships.

What You Will Cover

  • How EFCA will modify current labor laws pertaining to union organization
  • Processes for collective bargaining under current federal law
  • 10-point strategic action plan for facing the challenges imposed by EFCA

How You Will Benefit:

  • Reduce potential vulnerability to union organization
  • Improve employee relations
A CLICK HERE for more information
on this training session.

* * * * * * * *


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:

  • Dealers
  • General Managers
  • Department Managers
  • Controllers
  • 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.  
A CLICK HERE for more information
on this training session.

* * * * * * * *

Event Description

Special NADA Legislative Seminar:
Responding to Organized Labor-Defending Workplace Democracy

Speakers: D. Gerald Coker and Ivette Rivera


March 12, 2009

1:00 – 3:00pm

Virtual Seminar

CLICK HERE for more information.

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,

(1.5 days)

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.

Event Description

Statewide Green Car Convoy Across Colorado Ending at the Colorado State Capital


Thursday, March 26th through Sunday, March 29th

CLICK HERE for more information!

Green Car Parade



Sunday, March 29th

At the circle drive in front of the Colorado State Capital

CLICK HERE for more information!

Rocky Mountain Automotive Summit

Monday, March 30

10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Colorado Convention Center (open to the public)

CLICK HERE for more information!

Green Tie Charity Preview Event

Benefits the Clear The Air Foundation

Wednesday, April 1

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Colorado Convention Center

CLICK HERE for more information!

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

April 1-3

Four Seasons at Las Colinas

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



For decades, businesses and cultural institutions could afford to ignore the Hispanic market. Now, they are chasing after it, because that's where the money is. 
CLICK HERE for more information!

Brought to you by Entravision.  For more information on the Hispanic market in Denver please contact Jamie Moreno at 303.318.6205 or


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.

To remove yourself from this list, click on this link.

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