APRIL 29, 2009



Automotive News at a Glance

Dealer Participation Needed: NADA Compensation and Benefits Survey DUE TOMORROW!



Increasing Late Fees Apply to Motor Vehicle Registrations as of June 1, 2009

US Government Releases Automotive Industry Report



SB 281 - Bill Would Clearly Make Pinnacol a Public Company and Require an Interim Study and Ongoing Audits

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

SB-150 Closes Bankruptcy Loophole

HB 1230 Hold Harmless for Dealers

SB 296 - Primary Seatbelt Enforcement

Legislative Tidbits



Upcoming Seminars

CADA Virtual Seminar: Manufacturer Bankruptcy: What It Means and Proactive Steps For You to Prepare

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

Upcoming Events

Dedication of the "Bud Wells Board Room"

Dealer Management and Leadership Summit

CADA Annual Member Golf Event


Congratulations to Brian Manley and students Patrick Newell and Lucas Nogueira for Their Success at the National Automotive Techonology Competition

Share Your Accomplishments


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Understand your rights and responsibilities in a bankruptcy proceeding from both Colorado-based attorneys and from Washington D.C-based counsel

      Listen in on your cell from anywhere if needed; computer       portion is optional

      Session will be fully archived—can be viewed after the ‘live’       version at any time that works for you

      Don’t miss this valuable and important session!

I. Latest on federal negotiations & resources NADA and CADA are pulling together

  • Andy Koblenz or Jim Moors of NADA plan to participate and comment on the latest

II. Bankruptcy process and probable issues that may result- with practical advice on     steps dealers can take to best protect both business and personal assets:

  • What happens if a dealer’s franchise agreement is terminated? What options exist?
    • Can a dealer still sell cars in Colorado without a franchise agreement?
  • What happens if a floor-plan lender “calls-in” the inventory floor-plan loan?
  • How can the dealer dispense with existing inventory?
    • What about modified inventory, is the manufacturer required to take those back?
  • When might a dealer consider filing bankruptcy to obtain protection? Preemptively?
    • Which local attorneys in Colorado possess special bankruptcy expertise?
  • When will payments likely be made to dealers (rebates, warranty receivables, etc.) by manufacturer and what about those made within 90 days prior to bankruptcy filing?
  • What are the limitations on using cash proceeds from sale of existing inventory that is secured by a floor plan lender (i.e., secured creditor)? Plus many more issues . . .

III. State law issues and implications including licensing and franchise laws

CLICK HERE for registration and more information!

Friday, May 1st
Noon to 1:30pm (MDT)

Q&A may last until 2:00pm

A CLICK HERE for more information
on this training session.

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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.

  • Sour economy offers sweet opportunities for new-car buyers
    Denver Post, April 26
    By Tim Jackson, President of Colorado Automobile Dealers Association

    The bad news for the automobile industry is good news for new car buyers.
  • Colorado dealers affected by GM plans to cut Pontiac
    Daily Camera, April 28
    Twenty-two dealers in Colorado will be affected by General Motors Corp.'s decision to phase out the Pontiac brand, Tim Jackson, president of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, said Monday.
  • Local Car Dealerships Seeing Signs Of Hope
    7News Denver, April 24
    Despite all the bad news about the auto industry, there are signs of hope for dealerships in Colorado.
  • GM putting the brakes on Pontiac
    Denver Post, April 28
    Pontiac sales account for half of all new-car sales at Grand Auto in Thornton and put the dealership on the map as the top Pontiac seller in the state and second in the western United States.
  • VIDEO: Ford Fusion Hybrid: 1,000 Mile Challenge Start
    YouTube, April 25

    In his more than 30 years in the auto business, Dan Johnson has seen some tough times for the nation’s dealerships.
  • Lawmakers inch toward 'cash for clunkers' deal
    The Detroit News, April 209
    Lawmakers were inching toward an agreement Tuesday on a "cash for clunkers" bill to boost U.S. auto sales -- a measure one consulting firm said could spur as much as $25 billion in economic activity.
  • GM to tell dealers who should close
    Detroit Free Press, April 29
    By the week of May 11, General Motors Corp. will start notifying the dealerships that it plans to eliminate, the company told dealers Tuesday.
  • To shed dealerships, experts say GM needs bankruptcy
    Detroit Free Press, April 28
    Without filing for bankruptcy, General Motors cannot get rid of the 2,600 dealerships the company says must close for it to stay viable, automotive experts say.
  • GM Dealers Await Word on Deeper Cuts
    The Wall Street Journal, April 29
    General Motors Corp.'s move to eliminate the Pontiac and Saturn brands and reduce costs will mean the end of about 42% of its 6,200 U.S. dealers, on average winnowing its dealer ranks by about 130 outlets a month for the next 20 months.
  • Dealer Survey Shows Positive Signs Amid Overall Cloudy Outlook
    Wards Auto, April 20
    Is there a glimmer of recovery beginning to show in the U.S. automotive market?
  • ATD panel delves into how trucking should do green
    The Detroit News, April 21
    A panel discussion on "The New Green Truck" at the American Truck Dealers (ATD) 2009 Convention & Expo held in Washington D.C. this week delved into this issue.
  • Bankruptcy no fast cure for GM
    Detroit Free Press, April 221
    The theory that a quick rinse or surgical bankruptcy will return General Motors Corp. to health quickly has no basis in law and little chance of succeeding in reality.
  • Chrysler debuts all-electric minivan
    The Detroit News, April 22

    Chrysler LLC is celebrating Earth Day with the presentation of four all-electric minivans to the United States Postal Service in Washington today.
  • Cox to carmakers: File bankruptcy here
    Detroit Free Press, April 22
    Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox has urged chief executives of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC to consider filing for bankruptcy in Michigan rather than Delaware or New York because it would be more convenient for creditors in Michigan.
  • The Long Haul: Sticking With Ford Motor Co.
    The Wall Street Journal, April 21
    I felt bad for the glamorous young women pitching new cars at last week's New York International Auto Show. If I hadn't been there, the woman on the rotating platform at Buick would have been speaking into thin air.
  • Trapped In The TARP
    Forbes, April 16
    Blunt as always, JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon says his bank is ready to be done with help from Uncle Sam.
  • Riding the CNG wave in Utah
    The Salt Lake Tribune, April 22

    When gas prices soared above $4 per gallon last summer, a wave of Utahns converted their cars to compressed natural gas (CNG), which cost just 65 cents.
  • Jay Leno to give free show in hard-hit Ohio city
    Business Week, 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.
  • New pollution limits seen for cars, big plants
    Business Week, April 18
    A research firm says the U.S. lost $104 billion on the ownership stakes it took in financial companies in return for TARP funds. Losses could mount
  • Geithner defends aid conditions for Detroit's automakers
    Detroit Free Press, April 21
    The chairwoman of a congressionally appointed panel chided Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner for what appears to her a double-standard between conditions put on banks and those put on Detroit's automakers for receiving rescue funds.
  • Efficient Drivers Cut Emissions, but Stir Up Hot Air
    The Wall Street Journal, April 20
    Eco-Motorists Slow Down, Coast, for Big Mileage Gains, but Their Strategies Might Drive Others on the Road Crazy
  • Earth Day: Is There Any Appetite for Tackling Climate Change?
    The Wall Street Journal, April 21

    Today, just in time for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the House will start a marathon parade of 54 witnesses over four days to talk about climate and energy, culminating with an inevitable Friday appearance by former vice president Al Gore. Will anyone be listening?
  • GM scrutinizes Pontiac, GMC as it reviews all brands
    The Detroit News, April 16
    General Motors Corp. is studying the fate of its GMC and Pontiac nameplates as it reviews all of its vehicle lines and continues intensive talks with the Obama administration's auto task force, people familiar with the matter said Thursday.
  • Equity group, dealers make Saturn bid
    The Detroit News, April 16
    A group of investors and dealers emerged Wednesday as bidders for General Motors Corp.'s struggling Saturn brand, which is slated to be eliminated as part of the automaker's restructuring unless a buyer is found.
  • Fiat: Is it savior or shark for Chrysler?
    Detroit Free Press, April 16
    Italian automaker Fiat, which was viewed as a white knight for Chrysler, might turn out to be a shark after all.
  • 2010 Fusion is midsize marvel
    Detroit Free Press, April 16
    The significantly reworked 2010 Fusion comes with fresh looks, a vastly improved interior, many useful and unique features, and new engines and transmissions.
  • GM studies killing off Pontiac and GMC, speeding up dealer consolidation
    Detroit Free Press, April 16
    Troy-based supplier Noble files for bankruptcy

    * * * * * * * *


Surveys are DUE TOMORROW!

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

Dealers should advise consumers on necessary steps to avoid late fees

Motor vehicle registrations due June 1st, 2009 and after in Colorado are subject to mandatory, increasing late fees – from $25.00 for the first month up to $100.00.  Colorado counties have asked CADA to help communicate these recently enacted legislative changes—so that dealerships can advise purchasers of potential late fees.   While there had been a $10 late fee in place previously, it was not mandatory that all counties assess it—from what we have been able to determine, Adams and Jefferson counties had not implemented late fees on new registrations.   Additionally, counties do not have any option to waive these late fees due to individual circumstances, or particulars of a situation, such as county offices being closed due to a holiday or other title delays).  Counties attempted to retain such discretion from the legislature, but were unsuccessful. 

While there is a one-month grace period on motor vehicle registration renewals, that grace period does not apply to temporary permits and initial registrations.  For temporary permits, if there are title processing delays on a new registration that delay registration past the initial 60-day temporary permit period, it will be necessary to take appropriate action and ensure issuance of an additional  temporary permit prior to the expiration date of the current permit to avoid the late fees.  (If an additional permit is issued prior to expiration of the last permit, then the charge is $6.22).  A temporary permit is considered “a registration,” so if a vehicle owner has an unexpired temporary permit in place at the time of the next transaction, a late fee would not be assessed. Be aware that holidays and weekends do not extend the expiration date; the sixty days is by strict calendar-days. 

Additional clarification on these late fees:

  • Counties retain the first $10 of these late fees—the rest goes to the state (just information for everyone in their taxpaying capacity)
  • Vehicle owners who move from out of state and do not register within 90 days of residency will also be charged these late fees
  • Exemptions to the late fees allowed by the new law are the "commercial business idle" exemption and the "active military exemption."  Proof for those exemptions should be documented with a Statement of Fact form.

CLICK HERE for a memo from Maren Rubino, Operations Director of the Colorado Titles and Registration section of the Department of Revenue, April 21, 2009. 

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The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report of its findings relating to the automotive industry.  The report, titled Auto Industry: Summary of Government Efforts and Automakers' Restructuring to Date, is available online at http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-553

This Web page includes links to a 2-page summary, as well as the full 48-page report.

Of particular interest to dealers:

  • Page   7: Detroit 3 dealerships
  • Page 24: Rationalizing dealership networks
  • Page 34: Reducing the number of dealerships to align with sales volumes

* * * * * * * *

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 281, the only remaining viable bill relating to Pinnacol Assurance, would place Pinnacol clearly under state control, require an interim study to review its businss structure, and require ongoing audits of Pinnacol's financials.  At approximately 11:30 p.m. on Monday night, SB 281 was heard by the full Senate on second reading.  At that time, the only lobbyists left in th entire building were the 2 Pinnacol lobbyists and your CADA lobbyist.  The bill was voted upon and was killed by a tie vote of 16-16 with one excused.  Immediately thereafter, the bill's sponsor, Sen. Brandon Shaffer (D-Longmont) made a motion to reconsider the bill at a later time.

On Tuesday afternoon, SB 281 was brought up for reconsideration.  At that time, Sen. Shaffer managed to get enough support from other Senators to send SB 281 to a conference committee, where the bill would be further debated.  His motion passed overwhelmingly.

At the moment, the fate of SB 281 is unclear.  The conference committee has not yet been scheduled, but it will likely meet in the next 24-48 hours.  Though this bill has already been killed twice (once in the House and once in the Senate), the sponsors are unwilling to accept defeat and have politicized Pinnacol to the point that they must come away with a bill regarding Pinnacol this year, even if the bill does not really do anything.

We will continue to fight to kill Pinnacol or at least water down the bill to make it virtually ineffective.  Since the General Assembly is planning to adjourn for the year on May 6th, time is of the essence for the bill sponsors if they hope to come away with any legislation on Pinnacol this year.

* * * * * * * *


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 are 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.  Originally the bill included CAL-LEV compliant vehicles, but CADA successfully stripped that language out of the bill. 

After passing out of the House Transportation committee last week, the bill was heard in House Appropriations yesterday morning where it passed unanimously.  The bill passed out of the House on 2nd reading late last night, and just moments ago, the bill passed out of the House by a vote of 61-4.  The bill is now headed to the Senate for further consideration, where it will likely be assigned to the Senate Transportation Committee.

* * * * * * * *


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 was signed into law by Governor Ritter on April 22, 2009.

* * * * * * * *


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. 


SB 296 changes the traffic infraction of failure to use a seatbelt from a secondary offense to a primary offense.  Under current law, drivers may only be pulled over by law enforcement for reasons other than their failure to wear a seatbelt.  This bill would change that. 

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Betty Boyd (D-Lakewood) and Rep. Su Ryden (D-Aurora) and was heard by the Senate Transportation committee yesterday, where it passed out of committee by a party-line vote of 4-3.  Although it is not on the Senate floor calendar at the moment, the bill is expected to be heard by the full Senate on second reading today.

Not only would this bill reduce the incidence of traffic fatalities, as evidence by the data collected from states that have passed primary enforcement laws, but if Colorado passes SB 296 this Session, the state is eligible for $12M-$14.4M in federal grants for the Colorado Department of Transportation.

* * * * * * * *


HB 1344, sponsored by Rep. Christine Scanlan (D-Summit) and Sen. Betty Boyd (D-Lakewood), was supported by the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association and attempted to raise the caps on non-economic damage awards in medical malpractice cases. The bill would also require the Colorado Division of Insurance to approve any rate increase over 5% for physician liaiblity insurance.  The bill was gutted by the sponsor in the House Judiciary committee, where Rep. Scanlan removed the cap increase for fear that she did not have the votes to get the bill out of committee  The bill passed out of committee 7-5, but later died on the House floor the next day by a vote of 39-26.

HB 1273, sponsored by Rep. John Kefalas (D-Fort Collins) and Sen. Joyce Foster (D-Denver) would have created a single payer health care system in Colorado.  The bill died on the House floor at the request of its sponsor, Rep. Kefalas, because he did not have the votes to pass it. 

* * * * * * * *

Questions or Comments?  Please contact:

Melissa Kuipers – VP of Government Relations and Communications

melissa.kuipers@coloradodealers.org, 303.457.5115



Event Description

CADA Virtual Seminar: Manufacturer Bankruptcy: What it Means and
Proactive Steps for You to Prepare

Friday, May 1

12:00 - 1:30pm (MDT)Q&A may last
until 2:00pm

Listen to the presenter / conference call over a phone line or cell

• View presentation slides on your computer via the Internet (optional)
• Participants are able to submit questions directly to the presenters via computer as well; will be asked verbally by moderator for discussion

Details on how to call / link to session will be provided to registrants the day prior

CLICK HERE for a registration form and more information.

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

Dedication of the "Bud Wells Board Room"


Wednesday, June 10

12 - 1:30 p.m.

William D. Barrow Building
290 E. Speer Boulevard
Denver, CO 80203

RSVP to Lauren Stadler

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



Congratulations to Brian Manley and students Patrick Newell and Lucas Nogueira for their success at the National Automotive Techonology Competition.

The 19th annual National Automotive Techonology Competition sponsored by
the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association was held April
13-15, 2009 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.
For the second year in a row the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association
sponsored a team from Smokey Hill High School in Aurora.

CADA would like to congratulate team members, instructor Brian Manley
and students Patrick Newell and Lucas Nogueira for their hard work and
dedication, the team placed 21st in the overall competition.  During the
competition the students worked on the 2009 Ford Edge.  We would also
like to thank local dealers Burt Ford in Parker and Mike Naughton Ford
for their efforts in helping our students study for the competition.

* * * * * * * *


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