APRIL 22, 2009


IN THIS ISSUE

DEALER NEWS & INFORMATION

CADA F&I Resource Center Announces New Line of Appearance Protection Products

Automotive News at a Glance

Dealer Participation Needed: NADA Compensation and Benefits Survey

 

REGULATORY & LEGAL UPDATES

Guest Legal Column: Overview of Dealership Litigation and Legal Trends Across the States

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

SB 273 & SB 281 - State Abandons Plan to Raid Pinnacol Funds Amid Aggressive Lobbying Efforts

HB 1331 - Governor Ritter's Alternative Fuel Source Tax Incentives.

HB 1230 Hold Harmless for Dealers

SB-150 Closes Bankruptcy Loophole

 

UPCOMING SEMINARS

Upcoming Seminars

CADA Virtual Seminar: Employer Requirements for New COBRA Subsidy; Archive Now Available


CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Upcoming Events

Dealer Management and Leadership Summit

CADA Annual Member Golf Event


DEALER MILESTONES,
HIGHLIGHTS & TRANSITIONS

Congratulations to Jack Weyers, NADA Dealer Academy Graduate

Share Your Accomplishments


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CADA F&I RESOURCE CENTER ANNOUNCES NEW LINE OF APPEARANCE PROTECTION PRODUCTS

The CADA F&I Resource Center is proud to announce the addition of a new line of appearance protection products brought to you PermaPlate, a company with a superior reputation and a 25 year track record.  Each PermaPlate product is specifically formulated to protect the interior and exterior finishes of today’s vehicles.   

For more information on PermaPlate or other products and services offered by the CADA, please contact Michelle Chavez at 303.319.8039 or michelle.chavez@coloradodealers.org

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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.

  • VIDEO: Schwarzenegger says Detroit can reinvent itself
    The Detroit News, April 21

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of California, said that despite popular opinion in these parts, he does not hate Detroit, its workers or its cars.
  • Getting wheel deals done
    Aurora Sentinel, April 16
    In his more than 30 years in the auto business, Dan Johnson has seen some tough times for the nation’s dealerships.
  • Birmingham auto dealer loses to GM in attempt to buy, relocate Cadillac dealership
    The Burmingham News, April 18
    Birmingham auto dealer Tony Serra said he is weighing his options after a federal judge on Friday blocked his efforts to buy Tom Williams Cadillac and move it into eastern Birmingham.
  • Automakers show off smaller, more fuel efficient cars
    The Detroit News, April 10

    Automakers at the New York International Auto Show plunged ahead with plans to roll out a growing fleet of smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, along with new hybrids and eventually plug-in electric vehicles.
  • Gillett may be close to buying Burt dealerships
    In Denver Times, April 20
    Vail-based businessman George Gillett Jr. is close to buying a big portion of the Burt Automotive empire, a source tells INDenverTimes. Burt Automotive, headed by Lloyd Chavez and his son, L.G. Chavez Jr., is the largest minority-owned automobile dealership in the nation and one of the largest Hispanic businesses in the U.S.
  • Ford Trims Debt 28%, Pressuring GM and Chrysler
    The Wall Street Journal, April 7
    Ford Motor Co. said Monday its investors agreed to exchange $9.9 billion in debt for cash and stock, ratcheting up the pressure on its struggling U.S. competitors that also are trying to cut debt.
  • Carmakers push technology to lure buyers
    Aurora Sentinel, April 16

    Japanese automakers face a major challenge in their home market: Cars just aren't cool here anymore.
  • Electric Car Start-Up Gets More Funding
    The Wall Street Journal, April 7
    Auto makers continue to push ahead with battery-powered cars despite waning demand for fuel-efficient vehicles.
  • Possible Porsche-VW Delay Raises Concerns
    The Wall Street Journal, April 7
    Tight credit markets and a steep downturn of the global auto industry are sparking concerns among investors that Porsche Automobile Holding SE might have to adjust or delay plans for gaining full control of Volkswagen AG.
  • Fuel-Efficiency Technology Gives Fiat a Boost in Bargaining to Acquire Chrysler Stake
    The Wall Street Journal, April 7
    Fiat SpA's strength in fuel efficiency is its biggest bargaining chip as it negotiates a stake in Chrysler LLC. The Italian auto maker's fuel systems offer Chrysler access to something it hasn't had in years: cutting-edge technology.
  • Ford adds brain to truck brawn
    The Detroit News, April 10

    Work Solutions system uses in-dash computer to aid commercial customers
  • Feds order 17,600 green autos
    The Detroit News, April 10
    The administration announced Thursday it is buying 17,600 fuel-efficient vehicles from Detroit's Big Three by June 1, using $285 million from the $787 billion stimulus bill.
  • Rough economy, tough market dampen mood
    The Detroit News, April 10
    The steep drop in demand for cars and trucks pushed nearly 300 dealers out of business in the first three months of the year.
  • Warren mayor vows to back auto industry
    The Detroit News, April 10
    The auto crisis may be threatening two of the city's largest taxpayers, but Mayor Jim Fouts said he'll continue to focus on keeping the industry viable for the city's sake.
  • Roush set to roll out 2010 Mustangs
    The Detroit News, April 9

    Automotive industry supplier and racer Jack Roush has been putting Roush-tuned Mustangs on the road since 1994 and has three turn-key special versions of the newest Mustang ready to roll.
  • Auto aid may reshape Michigan politics
    The Detroit News, April 9
    With millions of livelihoods on the line, the battle to rescue GM and Chrysler could reshape Michigan's political landscape, cementing Democratic control or reversing years of GOP losses.
  • Look who wants to protect a GM plant
    Detroit Free Press, April 10
    Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., a leading critic of the domestic auto industry's management during congressional debate last year who tried to force UAW pay cuts, now is fighting like a Michigan Democrat to keep a General Motors plant open in his home state.
  • Business news in brief: GM prepares debt-exchange offer
    Detroit Free Press, April 10
    General Motors Corp., which is operating on $13.4 billion in federal loans, is preparing a tougher debt-for-equity exchange offer for its unsecured bondholders that could be presented as early as next week, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources.
  • VIDEO: Congressman John Boehner on regulating carbon emissions
    The Washington Post, April 21

    Ann Telnaes, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 2001, has published her work in newspapers and magazines around the world.
  • Ford stock surges above $4
    Detroit Free Press, April 9
    Ford Motor Co.’s stock surged past $4 per share to a six-month high today after an analyst published a report saying he is “increasingly comfortable” with Ford’s ability to survive the year without federal loans.
  • Treasury launches $5-billion program for suppliers
    Detroit Free Press, April 9
    While the U.S. Treasury on Wednesday launched its $5-billion program for the auto parts industry, which starts relieving suppliers next week, the industry's leading supplier association continues to look for more ways to help struggling auto parts makers.
  • "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno offers laughs for free for Michigan's jobless
    The Seattle Times, April 21
    Jay Leno is planning another free "Comedy Stimulus" show for people hurt by layoffs - this time in an Ohio community losing thousands of DHL shipping jobs.
  • Cobo, auto show futures look dim
    The Detroit News, April 21
    Don't weep for the future of Cobo Center and the North American International Auto Show -- because they both may not have one.
  • New auto details a sight for older drivers' eyes
    Detroit Free Press, April 20

    Car companies have been helping us deny how old we are for years. How else do you explain Ferrari and Porsche?
  • Chrysler finance unit rejects aid
    The Detroit News, April 21
    Chrysler Financial executives rejected a new $750 million loan from the Treasury Department after the company was unable to obtain waivers from top executives agreeing to strict pay limits, according to a government report to be released today.
  • Bankruptcy by any name will hurt GM
    Detroit Free Press, April 21
    While GM has tried to avoid filing for bankruptcy, new Chief Executive Officer Fritz Henderson has acknowledged that the possibility that it may be forced to seek protection has become more probable.
  • Anxiety over Chrysler's fate runs high
    Detroit Free Press, April 20
    After repeated "Let 'em go bankrupt" rants from cable TV pundits and polls showing that half their fellow Americans don't seem to care if their company fails, Chrysler workers and retirees, and their spouses said they are anxiously counting down the days until April 30.
  • Can Small Cars Overcome Crash Fears?
    The Wall Street Journal, April 21
    The U.S. government's push to decrease the nation's output of greenhouse gases by increasing the fuel efficiency of the cars Americans drive is rekindling an emotional debate: Does driving a small, fuel-efficient car make you more likely to die on the road?

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DEALER PARTICIPATION NEEDED: NADA COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS SURVEY

Surveys are DUE by April 30th!

NADA sponsors an annual dealership compensation survey; we strongly encourage you to participate in this nationwide survey designed to collect compensation and benefits data for key dealership employees.  This survey will provide overview information for the Mountain region and also show key compensation metrics in comparison to the rest of the country.   

In 2007 more than 2,500 dealers from 71 state and local associations participated in this survey and the results were published in the NADA Management Guide “PF15 Paying to Motivate Update ‘07”.  The results of this year’s survey, published as “PF16 – Paying to Motivate Update ‘09”, will be mailed to you from NADA for free if you decide to participate!* This publication will also be sold to non-participating members for $150 each and will be available in late summer.  Additionally, Colorado state-specific reports will be provided to all participants; CADA will mail those reports when available.

To complete the survey online click here:  www.nada.org/survey

To obtain a paper copy of the survey CLICK HERE



GUEST LEGAL COLUMN: OVERVIEW OF DEALERSHIP LITIGATION AND LEGAL TRENDS ACROSS THE STATES
The CARLAWYER©
By Thomas B. Hudson and Emily Marlow Beck

In this column, we report selected federal and state legislative and regulatory highlights, and a recap of some of the many auto sale and financing suits we track each month.  Be careful - what we report here is not every recent development, just ones that we think are of particular interest to car dealers - and note that this column does not offer legal advice.  You need to consult your lawyer with questions.

We include items from other states.  Why?  For two reasons.  First, we want you to be able to see trends, and, second, another state’s laws might be a lot like your own state’s laws – if laws are being enacted there, or AGs or plaintiffs’ lawyers are pursuing particular types of claims, those laws and claims might be subjects you need to focus on.  As always, though, you need to check with your own lawyer before you rely on anything we report or if you have any questions.

CLICK HERE to read the entire article.

* * *

Tom and Emily are partners in the law firm of Hudson Cook, LLC.  Tom (tbhudson@hudco.com) is the author of a book, CARLAW®, and, with Emily (ebeck@hudco.com), is the Editor/author of the CARLAW® F&I Legal Desk Book.  The books are available at www.counselorlibrary.com.   Tom is also the publisher of Spot Delivery®, a monthly legal newsletter for auto dealers, and the Editor in Chief of CARLAW®, a monthly report of legal developments in all states for the auto finance and leasing industry (not to be confused with the book).  Spot Delivery, CARLAW and the books are produced by CounselorLibrary.com LLC.  For information, call 410-865-5411 or visit www.counselorlibrary.com.  Copyright CounselorLibrary.com 2008, all rights reserved.  Single publication rights only, to the Association. HC# 4833-0990-8226  (8/08).

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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 273 & SB 281 - STATE ABANDONS PLAN TO RAID PINNACOL FUNDS AMID AGGRESSIVE LOBBYING EFFORTS

Both of these bills relate to a raid by the State of Colorado on Pinnacol's reserve funds. Pinnacol is a privately run mutual insurance company that, according to Senate Democrats, is a political subdivision of the State.  Senate Bill 273 would draw $500 million from Pinnacol's reserves to help plug a $1.4 billion shortfall in the state budget and avoid cutting $300 million in higher-education funding.  Senate Bill 281 effectively makes Pinnacol a state agency again, giving government tighter control of the insurer's finances. The organization had operated semi-autonomously since the 1990s.

After a huge rally organized by Pinnacol last week, which was attended by CADA staff and Beau Smith of Sill-TerHar Motors, the Governor intervened and told the members of the Joint Budget Commission (JBC) that using Pinnacol's reserve funds was no longer an option.  In essence, SB 273 died at that point in time as it will never be heard in committee or on the floor this Session. 

However, Rep. Weissmann is going forward with his bill, SB 281, in an effort to bring Pinnacol squarely back into state control to provide the opportunity for future raids on Pinnacol's reserves.

Just yesterday, SB 281 was heard for the first time by the full House of Representatives, where it was defeated by an 8 vote margin.  Unwilling to accept defeat, Rep. Weissmann ran an amendment to the Committee of the Whole Report, a slick procedural move, that would show that the bill was not lost and was still viable and on the House calendar.  His amendment passed.  As of today, the bill has not been heard again by the House, but CADA, along with the Pinnacol lobbyists and several business organizations are keeping the pressure on key legislators that voted to kill SB 281 the first time, to ensure that if and when it comes up for another vote, we can kill it again.

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HB 1331- GOVERNOR RITTER'S ALTERNATIVE FUEL SOURCE TAX INCENTIVES

HB 1331 is sponsored by Rep. Sara Gagliardi (D-Arvada) and Sen. Betty Boyd (D-Lakewood).  The bill provides tax incentives for efficient motor vehicles.  Vehicles covered by this bill include those that meet the CAL-LEV II standards for emissions, light-duty passenger, truck and medium duty truck diesel-electric hybrids, hybrid conversions, CNG, and installation of idling reduction technology.  This bill is from the Governor’s office and part of his legislative agenda. 

After a few weeks of negotiations with the Governor's office and Rep. Gagliardi, she has agreed to remove any refrence to CAL-LEV from her bill.  This is a huge victory for us.  Given Rep. Gagliardi's willingness to adhere to our position, we have agreed to support it entirely and to help her pass it into law.  The House Transportation committee heard the bil yesterday, where it passed out of committee unanimously.  The bill is now headed to the House Appropriations committee for further consideration. 

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HB 1230 HOLD HARMLESS FOR DEALERS

This bill provides a hold harmless for dealers on address discrepancies provided by consumers and refers sales tax jurisdictional issues to the Transportation Legislation Review Commission for their review over the summer. The bill has passed out of the House and Senate unanimously, a rare testament for any bill, and the House concurred with the Senate amendments last week.  The bill is now awaiting Governor Ritter's signature.  This bill represents CADA's 2nd successful piece of legislation for the 2009 Session, the first being the passage and implementation of CADA's franchise bill, SB 91, which was signed by Governor Ritter on April 2nd.

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SB-150 CLOSES BANKRUPTCY LOOPHOLE

This bill closes a bankruptcy loophole often abused by consumers and protects security interest of dealers and lien holders. CADA worked to amend this bill to provide a thirty (30) day timeline under which dealers can perfect liens and still receive benefits from the bill which originally had a twenty (20) day timeline. SB-150 passed out of the House of Representatives and the Senate concurred with the House amendments.  The bill is now awaiting Governor Ritter's signature.

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Questions or Comments?  Please contact:

Melissa Kuipers – VP of Government Relations and Communications

melissa.kuipers@coloradodealers.org, 303.457.5115


a

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

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

CADA Virtual Seminar: Employer Requirements for New COBRA Subsidy

Speaker: Penny Wofford, Ford & Harrison LLP


Archive of this webinar can be viewed any time

Click here for a registration form and more information (login information and slides provided upon registration)

Session was completed April 7, 2009
-Includes detailed Q &A by those linked in on April 7th


Event Description
Date/Time
Location

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
303.781.3000

www.glenmoorcc.org


CONGRATULATIONS TO JACK WEYERS, NADA DEALER ACADEMY GRADUATE

Congratulations to Jack Weyers of Montrose Ford-Lincoln-Mercury, Inc., who recently graduated from the NADA Dealer Academy. Weyers began his automotive career with Roger Mauro Chrysler-Plymouth in 1979 as a part-time service porter. In 1981, he moved on to Golden Ford as their service advisor and later accepted the Service Manager position at Western Slope Ford in 1993. Weyers started with MFLM in 1997 as the service manager, became the parts & service director in 2004, and then was promoted to General Manager in January 2009. 


(Jack Weyers pictured center with Allan Jones, director of Dealer Academy, left and Thomas M. Abbott, Dealer of MFLM, right)

NADA/ATD Dealer Candidate Academy is an intensive, 12-month apprenticeship course in dealership management. Six weeks of classroom study are combined with 45 weeks of in-dealership training to prepare students for dealership management positions. CLICK HERE for more information on the NADA Dealer Academy.

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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.


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
www.coloradodealers.org