A Publication of the Florida Independent Automobile Dealers Association
Information and Insight for Florida Used Car Dealers
MEMBER BENEFIT: FREE ONLINE CONTINUED EDUCATION CREDIT Pages 5
AMNESTY FOR FLORIDA’S AUTO DEALERS Page 6
FIADA PROVIDES LEGAL SUPPORT FOR MEMBERS Page 15
PERMIT NO. 38 FULTON, MO
PA I D PRST STD U.S. POSTAGE
February 2011 — Independent Dealer — 1
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Contents February 2011
MAILING ADDRESS 1840 Fiddler Court Tallahassee, FL 32308 TELEPHONE (850) 385-2712 (800) 237-0448
FAX (850) 385-3251
For members of the Florida Independent Automobile Dealers Association
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Jeff Gann President Greg Edwards Chairman of the Board John Cousins Senior Vice President Dino Mercurio Secretary Brandi Noegel Treasurer Jim Kagiliery Regional Vice President Frank Fuzy Regional Vice President George Hickey Regional Vice President Steve Marbais, CMD Regional Vice President Chris Leedom Regional Vice President
C O LU M N S & F E AT U R E S 4
FREE Continuing Education Opportunity for Members
Executive Director’s Message Steve Jordan
Forget the formulas and graphs, buy here-pay here is all about collections.
The Secret of BHPH Success
Why lenders have reason to investigate your written deals and contracts.
FIADA STAFF Steve Jordan Executive Director Ginger White Director of Membership Recruitment & Retention Terry Myers Educational Instructor Sarah Langley Membership Coordinator Alex Romans Education Coordinator Christy Taylor Editorial/Advertising
Do outrageous promotions work? Yes, if they lead to sales.
Hon. John Grant, FIADA Lobbyist
PAC Contributions from January 2010 to present.
Tom Hudson and Nikki Munro
Here For You At Every Turn: Who We Are and Who We Aren’t
Don Scott, Don Scott Motors
Send address changes to: FIADA • 1840 Fiddler Court Tallahassee, FL 32308 (850) 385-2712 • Toll Free: (800) 237-0448 Fax: (850) 385-3251 • www.FIADA.com The Independent Dealer is a publication of: Florida Independent Automobile Dealers Association, 1840 Fiddler Court, Tallahassee, FL 32308. The magazine is published every month in Tallahassee and distributed to Florida new, used, wholesale and lease/retail car dealers. Advertising rates are available upon request. The statements and opinions expressed herein are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Independent Dealer or the Association. Likewise, the appearance of advertisers, or their identification as members of FIADA, does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services featured.
If You Want to Attract New Lenders Don’t Let Your Paperwork Get in the Way Sharp Selling Legislative Update Thank You PAC Contributors Update to Ongoing Federal and Legislative Issues Affecting Dealers Federal Advocates, NIADA Lobbyist
For Compliance Advice, Who Do You Trust?
UPCOMING EVENTS April 8-9, 2011 FIADA Board of Directors Meeting Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village St. Augustine, FL
July 15-16, 2011 FIADA Board of Directors Meeting Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach Manalapan, FL February 2011 — Independent Dealer — 3
FROM THE PRESIDENT
Member Responsibility BY JEFF GA NN
ometimes, I think we take the word “responsibility” for granted. It’s one of those words that we use so much, many times in the wrong context, that it starts to lose its meaning. The slogan “drink responsibly” immediately comes to mind. In case you’re wondering, responsibility actually means: “a particular burden of obligation upon one who is responsible.” Did you read that? A burden of obligation. In my book, that means that sometimes being responsible is doing something you might not feel like doing just because it is the right thing to do. It’s easy to think of yourself as “responsible,” but are you really? Are you willing to go the extra mile to make the situation right? When a customer comes in the door with a problem, are you ready to bear the burden of fixing it—even if it is going to cost you some money to do it? Are you willing to fight a littler harder for your business, because you know you are responsible for not just your own family but for the families of the people who work for you? Now, here’s the biggie, are you willing to be responsible to your industry and get involved in the FIADA? I admit, it would be easy to shirk that responsibility. In an environment when sales and profits may be down, it would be very tempting to pass on that dues renewal. Spending long-hours at the office, with never a “day-off ” would make a good excuse for not having enough time to attend a Board Meeting. The “what’s in it for me?” attitude might help you justify why it doesn’t matter if you are a FIADA member, but I think if you take a second look, you’ll see how wrong that philosophy is. First of all, there are plenty of benefits to being a member. Some are tangible, such as the Independent
4 — Independent Dealer — February 2011
Dealer magazine, discounts on forms, or coupons and savings with FIADA-approved vendors. Some aren’t as obvious, like a phone call for help that brings immediate assistance, e-mail alerts that help you stay up-to-date with compliance issues, or an idea you heard at the Annual Convention that ended up saving you thousands of dollars. Those are real benefits, friends. Put those direct benefits aside, and you’ll still find reasons why FIADA membership and involvement is so important. As a dealer, you have a responsibility to your industry to make sure your business can operate in an environment that fosters profitability and efficiency. Increased fees and regulations are not part of that scenario. I guess if you really wanted to, you could go up to Tallahassee yourself, spend a few months there in the Spring tracking legislation and sitting in on committee hearings. You could stand in the rotunda and wave a sign about how you’d really like to have those title and registration fees reversed. You could try that, but I doubt you’d be very successful. Here’s a better, more responsible, idea. Join FIADA, make a contribution to the PAC, and serve on the Legislative Committee. You know the motto, there’s power in numbers. Believe it or not, that is true. When we all stand together, as a united Association, we are much louder than one guy standing on the sidewalk wearing a sandwich board. Plus, you don’t even have to take time away from your business to do it. Our capable lobbyist, John Grant, is looking out for you in Tally even when you’re in the trenches in Sarasota wrapping up a deal. Now, that’s taking responsibility. Jeff Gann, FIADA President www.fiada.com
The FIADA Board of Directors recognizes that in this recovering economy, renewing your continuing education credits is just one more expense you are required to spend. To make it easier, for a limited time FIADA Members can now get their continuing education credits online for free.
*for a limited time
Now is the perfect time to let your whole office brush up on their skills. As a member, you can allow an unlimited amount of students to participate in the online CE course. Title Clerks, Finance Managers and other office leaders would benefit from this course. Go online to www.FIADA.com and sign up your group.
Getting credit for your Continuing Education has never been easier, or faster. DMV representatives will be on hand at the FIADA on site CE classes to accept and process your license renewal applications. Check FIADA.com for dates and locations.
FIADA Online Continuing Education is:
Convenient - You have up to 90 days to complete the course. Immediate - Print your continuing education certificate after completion. Accurate - Jointly developed by FIADA and the DMV.
Go Online to www.FIADA.com, or call FIADA at (888) 587-0004. www.fiada.com www.fiada.com
February2011 2011 — — Independent Independent Dealer Dealer — — 55 February
EXECUTIVE DIREC TOR’S MESSAGE
FIADA & OFR Offer Amnesty Program Regulators Give Inactive Motor Vehicle Retail Installment Sellers Second Chance at Renewal and Protection from Costly Fines
s many of you know, the deadline for renewing your Motor Vehicle Retail Installment Seller (MVRIS) license came and went on December 31, 2010. Many of you renewed your license and are legally conducting business in the New Year. For the rest of you, I can’t say the same. According to the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) nearly seventy percent of Florida dealers holding the two-year MVRIS license did NOT renew. Seventy percent! That’s a problem. Any number of contributing factors could be at play as to why the percentage is so high and I won’t go into the speculation, but to say that we have reached a solution. Over the last several weeks, in a joint effort with the Florida Auto Dealers Association, the FIADA has reached an amnesty deal with the Florida OFR to ensure that dealers who – as an oversight – did not renew their
by 12/31/10 -- may now reactivate their license and avoid an administrative fine for conducting business without an active license. The statutory deadline and last date to take advantage of the amnesty program to reactivate a license is June 30, 2011. Dealers that offer financing under the Motor Vehicle Retail Installment Sellers License should immediately reactivate their license by accessing the Office of Financial Regulation’s REAL System and completing the renewal process. By Florida Statute, cost to reactivate an inactive license includes the renewal fee of $175 and the reactivation fee of $175 for a total of $350. Dealers offering financing without an active license can be fined up to $1000 per violation (or each contract.) Dealers are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to avoid costly fines. Regulatory statutes mandate all inactive licenses expire after June 30, 2011. Any business with an expired license that wishes to obtain a new license will be required to reapply and be subject to administrative action including, but not limited to, an administrative fine for any unlicensed activity. The website for the REAL System is https://real.flofr.com. For assistance using REAL System, please contact the Office of Financial Regulation at (850) 410-9895.
Dealers offering financing without an active license can be fined up to $1000 per violation (or each contract). Renew your license today under the amnesty program using the Real System. MVRIS license and protect them from the stiff fines associated with processing financed car deals without a license. Dealers who held an active license – but failed to renew 6 — Independent Dealer — February 2011
Mark Your Calendar: All members are invited and encouraged to attend. You do not have to be a Board Member to participate in the meeting.
April FIADA Board of Directors Meeting & Town Hall Meeting April 8-9, 2011 The Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village 500 South Legacy Trail St. Augustine, FL 32092
100 South Ocean Blvd Manalapan, FL 33462 FIADA Group Rate: $179/night Reservations: 561.533.9600 www.fiada.com
July FIADA Board of Directors Meeting & Town Hall Meeting July 15-16, 2011 The Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach
FIADA Group Rate: $139/night Reservations: 800.266.9432
February 2011 — Independent Dealer — 7
The way you look at collections could be the key to increasing profits at your dealership. BY CHUCK BONANNO
here is a lot of technology: software, DMS systems, websites, tracking devices, phone systems, all designed to make the BHPH dealer’s live easier. Dealers are constantly searching for the key to creating a successful buy here-pay here business. They are looking for the one “thing” that guarantees good loans. I’ve got some bad news for you. There is not one thing that makes good loans. In fact, it’s actually funny to think you could find the secret to picking winning loans from a group of people who almost, no, who never, pay their bills on time. This is a high-risk business and there is a high probability of loan failure each and every time a loan is approved. It is humorous to think a 475 BEACON score customer will not miss payments from time to time. There is, however, one key that is most important and almost always makes up for all misconceptions, errors and omissions. Most entrants into buy here-pay here come from the retail car world and assume it is a natural extension of what they already do — sell cars. While one cannot argue that without a retail sale, buy here-pay here does not exist. The retail sale component is A. only the beginning and B. the easy part of the buy here-pay here transaction. Secondly, retail car sales doctrine dictates that you make your money when you buy the right car at the right price. While you will enhance your chances by putting quality cars on the street, there are many buy here-pay here dealers who don’t 8 — Independent Dealer — February 2011
know much about cars, or wholesale values for that matter. While buying the right car at the right price may help in achieving desired results, it is never the total solution. Many buy here-pay here dealers look to underwriting and loan application scoring to solve the riddle. Those analytical types (you may be one, I know I am) are constantly seeking the one underwriting or scoring model, or the proper criteria weighting, to standardize the decision-making process to accurately predict the future. I have spent many years trying to solve the riddle this way. I am not sure it can be done. That does not, however, mean one can throw out basic underwriting standards. It just means there is NO proven method to predict who will pay and who will not at the loan application stage. The best underwriting models allow you to be consistent in whom you approve and, if predictive at all, tell you the odds of loan success. A good scoring model may accurately predict, given equal weight to 10 loans and each of them scoring equally, loan repayment. If a certain underwriting score has historically proven that 7 out of 10 will pay given that score or scoring range, it does not pick the actual seven. In this example you must make the decision to approve none or all 10. If the above is true, why underwrite at all? You must place a set of standards on every loan for that is www.fiada.com
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February 2011 — Independent Dealer — 9
the only way to measure the success of the underwriting guidelines and scoring models. It is just not an exact science. Some dealers believe that technology is the key. Technologies such as GPS and starter-interrupt devices, the Internet, collection software are all fine tools in buy here-pay here, but none has proven to be THE key to buy here-pay here success. These are useful tools and, when used correctly, can enhance the probability of loan success. The fallacy most technology users fall into is that the technology will change the fundamentals of a business. They will not. These technology tools aid in collecting better, faster and more efficiently. The customer is still the customer and technology does not greatly impact that most important fact. If the car isn’t the most important key and underwriting does not guarantee success, and even modern technology cannot overcome the failure rate of buy here-pay here loans, what is the key? It’s really quite simple. The loans must be COLLECTED. The key to buy here-pay here success is the quality of the collection process, the collectors and the policies put in place to collect loans. After all, most dealers would define a successful loan as one they collect. Before you say, “Duh,” keep in mind that every dealer understands one must collect the note to earn the gross profit. Too many dealers do not embrace the process or the people who actually collect the gross profit. I know this because dealers pay sales people far more than collectors regularly and elevate their status far beyond that of the collection team. You can sell as many cars as you can afford (or even more), but if you don’t collect the payments, you lose.
important for one critical reason. If you are a sales person short, someone always seems to pick up the slack and sell more cars, but when the collector or collection team is undermanned there is nobody able to pick up the slack. In fact, when collectors are overwhelmed with the amount of accounts they must call, they almost never ask for help. That might be misinterpreted as weakness and as failure. If the collection team calls 90 percent of the accounts they should (because they are shorthanded), 10 percent of the customer base does not get called, does not communicate, does not pay and eventually will fall further behind.
One of the most common mistakes BHPH dealers make is having too many sales people and not enough collectors.
The evidence goes beyond pay scales and position. Most of the dealers in my Twenty Groups have too many sales people, but almost none have too many collectors and, in far too many cases, are one or more collectors short. This is
When customers fall too far behind two things happen; the first is the customers lose hope and secondly, the dealer loses hope. This scenario ends in more repossessions. Every time a customer is repossessed and charged-off, two cars must be sold to get ahead.The understanding of the collection process and the TRUE goals of the collection process have always been the key to success in buy here-pay here. The key to successful collections is fairly simple. First, one must have adequate staffing to handle the collection of the notes. Secondly, the collector and the staff must understand that there is only one goal when it comes to buy here-pay here collections. That goal is to keep customers in their cars and paying. It is NOT to get the money or else! Every time a car is repossessed, another loan must be made to replace the failed loan. That new loan is never better, the car is never better, and the customer is never better. The new loan is just more of the same. So embrace the collection process, learn it if you don’t know it, encourage the collection of loans and not the repossession of cars and be consistent in your policies and procedures. If you show the respect for the customer and demand your staff do the same, you will be successful. If you see payment as a victory and repossession as a failure, you will be successful. And lastly, if you understand that your customers need help from time to time (both payment and car issues) and you are willing to help, you will be successful.
Chuck Bonanno is the executive vice president and senior partner of the firm, Leedom and Associates, LLC. He is an executive Conference Moderator of Buy Here-Pay Here and Automotive Finance Twenty Groups. He is a nationally recognized speaker, author, industry trainer and consultant. email@example.com. 10 February 2011 10 — — Independent Independent Dealer Dealer — — December 2010
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February 2011 — Independent Dealer — 11
The last few years have been a challenging period for the used motor vehicle industry and our Country as a whole. After a lengthy period of time with a very strong economy, today is very much different. We currently find ourselves saddled with a sluggish economy, a national decline in the average consumer’s creditworthiness, bankruptcy rates at an all time high, and, as if that were not enough, a shortage of lenders in the used car marketplace. Naturally, one topic on everyone’s WHANN mind is the excess inventory on their used car lots and how to find new ways to sell cars to customers the dealership cannot otherwise get financed. With the number of lenders conducting business in the used motor vehicle industry decreasing, one of the keys to attracting a lender to your dealership is to demonstrate the ability to minimize the lender’s risk. When it comes to quantifying risk, all lenders have methods for evaluating customer creditworthiness and collateral, so these items speak for themselves. A motor vehicle dealer should be able to make a case as to the positive creditworthiness and reputation of his dealership. Lenders will often request credit information and references pertaining to both the dealership and the dealer principal. Tax returns, along with well-prepared financial statements, should be available upon request. Perhaps the greatest unknown variable for lenders, and the area that presents the greatest legal exposure for motor vehicle dealers and lenders alike, is legal compliance and the quality of the dealership’s paperwork. With the likelihood of consumer defaults increasing, so is the likelihood of litigation. The most prevalent claims and defenses raised by consumer lawyers today are related to noncompliant paperwork. A dealer should be
12 — Independent Dealer — February 2011
BY KEITH WHANN able to demonstrate the ability not just to sell a car at his dealership, but to keep it sold! Not surprisingly, this is an area where dealers face one of their greatest challenges. There are a whole host of State and Federal Laws that impact a motor vehicle transaction, including State Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP) Statutes and Related Administrative Rules, State Motor Vehicle Codes and Retail Installment Sales Acts, the Uniform Commercial Code, the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Truth in Lending and Leasing Acts, the FTC Used Car Rule and the Federal Privacy and AntiTerrorism Laws and their implementing regulations, to name a few. Not only have these State and Federal Laws gone through major revisions during the past few years, but numerous case decisions and regulatory interpretations addressing compliance with these Laws are rendered on an ongoing basis and, together, they have had an impact on virtually every form in a motor vehicle sales transaction. One of the most important things to remember is that none of the individual forms in a transaction is meant to stand on its own. Rather, a dealership’s forms must work together and be considered in the context of the entire transaction. Just as important is to recognize that the different variables in a transaction, such as whether a vehicle is new or used, whether the dealership is selling or leasing a vehicle, and whether traditional, subprime or buy here-pay here financing is being obtained, will impact the content of the dealership’s forms and the types of disclosures contained therein. While an individual form may be appropriate for the purpose for which it was designed, it may cause a problem for the dealership when used in conjunction with other forms in a transaction. The fact that dealerships often obtain their forms from multiple sources can further complicate the issue. For example, the Uniform Commercial Code, the Magnuson www.fiada.com
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February 2011 — Independent Dealer — 13
Moss Warranty Act and the FTC Used Car Rule each impose specific requirements on dealerships when offering or disclaiming warranties. Many State UDAP Statutes also require that every retail sale of a motor vehicle be preceded by a written contract that contains all of the agreements of the parties, including all material statements made prior to obtaining the customer’s signature on the purchase contract. If a dealership is to be in compliance with all of these Laws, it must ensure that the Retail Purchase Agreement, FTC Buyers Guide and Limited Warranty Document contain the required disclosures and those disclosures must be consistent and properly integrated. Putting all of this together, achieving forms compliance for a motor vehicle dealership and keeping current with legal, regulatory and legislative developments that impact the dealership’s forms can be extremely challenging. What’s more, consumer lawyers know the impact that these legal and regulatory developments have on dealership paperwork and recognize that many dealers have not taken action to update their paperwork or procedures. They have adopted a new strategy for handling motor vehicle cases in hopes of recovering large damage awards and attorney fees. Instead of focusing on what the consumer alleges his problem is with the motor vehicle transaction, the consumer’s lawyer goes for what has become known as the “quick kill.” They carefully scrutinize the dealership’s paperwork looking for incorrect or inappropriately completed paperwork that might provide the basis to successfully rescind the transaction, recover damages and collect attorney fees. Just recently, a class action lawsuit was certified against an Ohio-based motor vehicle dealership group arising out of pre-printed disclosures on the dealership’s retail purchase agreement.The consumers asserted that the inclusion of a $97.50 “dealer overhead” charge as a pre-printed entry in connection with the sale or lease of a motor vehicle constitutes a violation of Ohio’s UDAP Statute. They also alleged that the inclusion of the charge as a pre-printed entry implies to consumers that it is both proper and non-negotiable and, because the dealership knows or should know that it is illegal, constitutes fraud or, at a minimum, negligent misrepresentation on the part of the dealership. The Trial Court granted the motion to certify a class consisting of all consumers who have purchased or leased a vehicle from the dealership group utilizing the standardized forms during the past four years. The class of consumers certified in 14 — Independent Dealer — February 2011
this case is estimated to consist of nearly 60,000 individuals who are seeking a refund of the $97.50 overhead charge, an order prohibiting the dealerships from charging the fee in the future, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees. Lenders recognize that the trend among consumer lawyers is to attack dealership paperwork and, as a result, are cautious of conducting business with new dealerships. There are still many quality lenders who remain committed to independent dealers and the used motor vehicle industry. A number of these lenders have expressed an interest in working with FIADA to develop ways to further minimize the risks and conduct more business in the motor vehicle industry. There was a great deal of activity and discussion about these lender issues and paperwork compliance at FIADA/Car Counselor’s Dealer Tech Series 2.0 in Orlando last month. With today’s sluggish economy and a diminishing pool of lenders, independent dealers find themselves having to work harder to attract lenders. Taking action now to formalize a business plan, gather appropriate credit and personal references, and ensure that your dealership’s paperwork and day-to-day sales activities are in compliance with the law will not only help minimize overall legal exposure, but should help attract new lending sources to your dealership. If you need assistance in reviewing and updating your dealership’s paperwork, seek out various training and educational programs offered by FIADA. Information from Keith Whann, The Car Counselor, is available in both written and video formats on this and hundreds of other topics at Auttr.com. Just type the topic or subject you would like information on in the “Search Keith’s Posts” Section of The Car Counselor’s Corner and a complete listing Keith’s written and video posts on the subject will appear.
Looking fo paperw r help with your ork? FIADA h as resource many online s includin g and sam ple docu templates ments y can use ou for your dealersh ip. Log on t o the Me m section at www.F bers Only IADA.com access t hem. to
Looking for Legal Advice?
he Risk Based Pricing form, a reworked Privacy Notice and Red Flags Rule enforcement are all critical issues that you need to be consulting with a licensed attorney on to make sure your forms and dealer operations are in compliance. Your forms and practices need to stand the legal scrutiny of a regulatory audit or even worse a law suit. An essential key in selecting someone to review your forms or practices is whether or not they can represent you in a court of law. If someone is going to tell you that your forms or practices are legally compliant, they need to be willing to say that in a court of law and have the ability to legally represent you to that affect, in a worst cased scenario. Anything else is just an educated opinion. Many of you may already have solid legal counsel from a licensed attorney that has deep experience in representing dealers and ensuring compliance, but if you are in need of legal assistance or seeking out counsel, the FIADA can recommend licensed attorneys who specialize in the automotive industry. Call FIADA at (800) 237-0448 or go online to www. fiada.com to access the list. As a member benefit FIADA members have access to Rob Sickles, our outside general counsel, who is available for legal and technical assistance questions through our office. If you are not a member, join today and you can have access to Rob and his legal assistance as well. Rob Sickles Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP Tampa, FL 800.237.0448 www.fiada.com
February 2011 â€” Independent Dealer â€” 15
If you want to drive more sales, then you might need to sharpen your marketing strategy and try something new.
BY C HRIST Y TAY LO R
ecently, a Florida used car dealer made national headlines we he ran an unusal, and slightly controversial, promotion: buy a truck, get an AK-47. At first, the idea of giving a gun to someone, just because they bought a vehicle from you, sounds preposterous, but when you examine it from a marketing perspective it turns into a brilliant idea. Before you can analyze the strategy, you have to understand the difference between sales and marketing. So often, these terms go hand-in-hand. Some companies have a sales and marketing department. Classified ads usually have a heading for sales and marketing. Résumés show potential employers an applicant’s sales and marketing experience. Even though they seem to always be paired together, they really mean two different things. Sales are what you do everyday at your dealership; the foundation of your business. If you did not make sales, you would not make money. Marketing is the way you bring people to your business. It drives your sales and builds awareness for your customers and the community. From that perspective, the AK-47 promotion was a great idea. It brought people to the dealership and made them aware of the brand, but once they were there it gave them the incentive to buy. 16 — Independent Dealer — February 2011
“I personally thought it was a good approach,” Northwood University Professor Timothy Gilbert said. Gilbert is the Automotive Marketing and Management Department Chair at Northwood’s West Palm Beach campus. “He was able to look at his demographics and really appeal to potential buyers.” The beauty of the plan was in its simplicity, Gilbert said. So often, promotions take on a life of their own. They grow and grow until the event or gimmick becomes the main event, and selling comes second. After it’s over, people leave scratching their heads trying to remember who organized it all. Kind of like Super Bowl ads; sure, they’re funny, but can you remember who the pitch was for the next day? Another important aspect of a strong sales promotion is the ability to track its effectiveness. When a customer comes on the lot, because of an advertisement they saw, find out where and when they saw it. This approach will not only help to determine which advertising mediums are most effective, but help decide if the promotion was reaching the right audience. “The ultimate measure of how good a promotion is is how many successful sales came from it. Creating enthusiasm is great, but if it is from the wrong people—people who www.fiada.com
are not buyers—then it was wasted money,” Gilbert said.
the perfect beach cruiser she had been looking to find for over three months.
Sometimes a sales promotion can turn into a successful branding effort, without really trying. Dino Mercurio or Prime Autos in West Palm Beach, Florida found that to be true when he started running his “Deal Man” commercials 12 years ago on a local Fox station. The “Deal Man” is an outlandish character with a crazy costume and a somewhat annoying voice who by all accounts is not someone a customer would want to actually deal with on a car lot, but yet people stop by looking for him all the time.
Silly gimmicks or outlandish characters can do their part, but ultimately the dealer needs to take the time to review what part of their sales strategy works and what does not. If the results are not what you hope for, maybe it is time to think outside the box and try something new.
Catch a sample of the Deal Man in action at PrimeAutos.com.
“He’s such a stereotypical bad used car salesman,” Mercurio said, “but people love him. He’s almost turned into a cult thing.” Mercurio estimates selling around 10 to 15 a month from Deal Man leads. The show is seen by a large audience and actually gets decent rating points in its time slots of Sunday mornings at 11:30am and Saturday overnight at 1:30am. Mercurio says he frequently sees it on the big screens at local sports bars just prior to the big game. “It’s one of those things that people either love it, or they hate it, but they watch it,” Mercurio said. Mercurio tells a funny story of a woman who came on his lot looking to a buy a Jeep Wrangler he had for sale. He noticed she was not his usual BHPH customer and after talking with her found out she found Prime Autos because of the Deal Man. She told him she woke up at two in the morning to the sound of the most annoying voice she had ever heard. She looked over at her husband, who was sitting in bed eating a bowl of ice cream and laughing at this crazy television show. When she looked at the TV she saw the Jeep, which was www.fiada.com
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L E G I S L AT I V E U P D AT E
Getting Acquainted BY HO NO RAB L E JOHN GRA NT, F I A DA LOBBYI S T
ith the elections behind us and the legislature having gotten organized, now it is time to get down to work. Not only are about a fourth of the members of the legislature brand new in their office, but each biennium, the new President of the Senate and Speaker of the House appoints a new leadership team, which means that almost every committee is chaired by someone who has never chaired the committee and the members of which by the most part have not served on the committee. Often staff members are reassigned as well. This means that right now people in new positions are learning the issues, getting acquainted with staff and
which was passed last year. Most all FIADA issues come through the Senate and House transportation committees and that is where our major legislative focus is aimed. The new Senate Transportation Committee chairman is Senator Jack Latvala from Palm Harbor. Senator Latvala previously served eight years in the Senate before being termed out and is the first termed out senator to return as a member of the Senate. He previously served in high leadership positions in the Senate, including serving as Majority Leader, but he is new to transportation. The remaining committee members include Greg Evers (Vice Chair), Lizbeth Benacquisto, Larcenia J. Bullard, Rene Garcia, Arthenia Joyner and Ronda Storms.
FIADA’s principal issue is to make sure that no legislation passes which would undermine HB 631 which was passed last year. looking at issues coming up in the legislative session. Often the initial committee meetings are focused on orientation and education. It is also a time for legislative advocates like your FIADA team to get to know new members, meet with them and brief them on the issues important to them. FIADA’s principal issue is to make sure that no legislation passes which would undermine HB 631 18 — Independent Dealer — February 2011
In the House the committee is known as Transportation and Highway Safety and chaired by Representative Brad Drake from DeFuniak Springs and serving his second term in the House. The other committee members are Dennis Baxley (Vice Chair), Janet Adkins, Lawrence T. Ahern, Ben Albritton, Frank Artiles, Lori Berman, Doug Broxson, Jeff Clemens and Mike Horner. Your FIADA legislative team will be working closely with members of these important committees and also will be working with other committees as well, www.fiada.com
especially those focusing on cutting business regulation, stimulating the economy and creating jobs which will allow more people to buy more cars.
Indeed, the legislature has its work cut out, which should make for a very interesting legislative session.
Double digit unemployment will likely linger over the next 12 months while housing starts remain depressed despite striking low prices. Still, economists say the seeds of recovery have been planted and will slowly take root in what promises to be a slow and steady economic recovery. Consumer spending for items like cars will remain moderate until workers feel comfortable that they will not lose their jobs and those who are under employed find the higher paying jobs for which they are qualified. Until then, revenue collections for the state are expected to continue to fall below previous forecasted amounts.
Details Coming Soon www.FIADA.com
Meanwhile, the top priority of the upcoming session will be to write a balanced budget now predicted to have a shortfall in excess of three billion dollars without raising taxes. Beyond the budget gap, the bond market has signaled that the states bonding capacity could be severely impaired without at least a two billion dollar reserve, often called the “rainy day fund.” The Senate budget chair, Senator Alexander, predicts that the reserve must be two billion or higher to protect the state’s ability to issue bonds at reasonable interest rates and not be classified as junk bonds. All this adds up to a total of at least five billion dollars that must be trimmed without the imposition of additional taxes
Florida’s economic recovery will be slow in 2011 as a dismal construction sector, tight credit, and wary consumers only reluctantly regain their pre-recession confidence.
February 2011 — Independent Dealer — 19
Through the FIADA Political Action Committee FIADA is able to offer support to candidates running for offices around the state that will be advocates for the auto industry and small business. The FIADA PAC was instrumental last year in giving tens of thousands of dollars to candidates and we played a bigger part than ever before in the campaigns of our elected officials. We would like to recognize the following members and associate members who made a donation to the FIADA PAC fund and encourage you to contribute so that we can have an even bigger impact in the next election cycle. (List from January 2010 to February 2011) 1st Commercial Sales & Leasing
Auto Shopper Magazine
Buyer’s Zone, Inc.
Cherry Cars, Inc.
A Few Good Cars
C & C Cars
Chuck Carlson Auto Sales, Inc.
C & L Motors
Clearlake Motors, Inc.
ADESA A/A of Tampa
Automotive Industry Center for Excellence, LLC
C & S Orlando, Inc.
Cocoa Auto Dealers Exchange, Inc.
ADESA A/A of Sarasota
Autorama Auto Sales
Calhoun Cash Advance, Inc.
Affordable Auto Sales Alas Auto Brokers, Inc.
Campus USA Credit Union
Coro Import & Export, Inc.
B & A Auto Sales
Car Collection of Tampa
America Choice RV
Baggett Auto Sales
Credit World Auto Sales, Inc.
American Recovery Association
Bargain Auto Sales
Crosslander of Central FL
America’s Auto Auction Jacksonville
Beach Boulevard Automotive
Casey’s Auto Wholesale
CVR Computerized Vehicle Registration
Anderson Motors, Inc.
Beach Cars of West Palm, Inc.
Cassat Auto Sales
Datura Auto Sales
Angelo Auto Wholesale
Benz Financial Services, Inc.
Daylight Auto Financing
Arlington Salvage and Wrecker Company
Big Boys Toys Florida, LLC
Central Florida Auto Brokers
Dealer Services Corporation
Aubrey’s Auto Sales
Big O’s Northside Auto sales
Central Florida Auto Brokers, LLC
Dealers Auto Auction
Auto Care Center, Inc.
Bill Owens Auto Sales
Central Truck Sales, Inc.
Dean’s Auto Outlet
Black Book National Auto Research
Century Motors of South Florida, Inc.
Delta Car Trade
Auto Express Enterprises, Inc.
Bob Oliva Motors, Inc.
Chaneys Used Cars Inc.
Bobby’s Plumbing Inc. dba A & B Retro’s
Charleston Auto Auction
Diamond II Auto Sales, Inc.
Auto Mobility Sales, Inc.
Bradford Auto Parts & Salvage, INC
Charlie Cole’s Auto Mall, Inc.
Dick Moye Auto Sales, Inc.
Charlotte County RV Center, LLC
Dick’s Auto Sales
Auto Plan, Inc.
Brian’s Auto Company
Chase AutomotiveFinance Corp.
Discount Cars of Marianna, Inc.
Bryans Used Cars
Checkout Time LLC DBA Anita Auto Sales
Diverified Auto Sales Of Orlando
20 — Independent Dealer — February 2011
Dixie Custom Automotive, LLC
Gulfcoast Auto Mart, Inc.
Park Avenue Motors
Dixie Motors, LLC
Gulf Coast Truck Inc.
Manheim Central Florida
Park Motors, Inc.
Gulfstream Motor Credit
Manheim’s Lauderdale/Miami Auto Auction
Passport Leasing Corp.
Donny Mills Auto Sales, Inc.
Hallmark Driving, Inc.
Manheim Palm Beach
DriveTime Sales & Finance
Handicapped Driver Services
Pegasus Classic Cars LLC
Dunnellon Motors, Inc.
Harold D. Corey auto Broker
Peoples Choice Auto Sales
East Coast Insurors, Inc
Hawley Motor Sales, Inc.
Manheim’s Imperial A/A
Phase III Mobility, Inc.
Eastern Fleet Remarketing
High Tech Locksmiths
Marbais Enterprises, Inc.
Phils Mobile Auto Service
March Auto, Inc.
Poffenbaugh Ford, Inc.
Ed Cox Motor Company, Inc.
Hometown Auto Mart
March Motors, Inc.
Ponce Used Cars
Honorary Life Director, Don Hyatt
Premium Auto RTO, LLC dba Premier Auto
ELXSI dba: Cues
Hual’s Bike to Custom Trikes, Inc.
Maroun’s Import Specialists
Encore Motorcars of Sarasota
Martinez & Associates CPAs
Prestige Auto Sales
Everyone Drives Auto Sales, LLC
Independent Credit/Prime Autos
Pro Car Sales
Insurance Auto Auctions
McKinna Auto Sales
Pro-Power Auto Sales Company
Family Auto Mart, Inc.
Integrity Auto Sales, Inc.
Mears Motor Leasing
Quality Cars of Kissimmee
J & C Auto Sales
Mid Continental Quality Autos
Ray Whitts Used Cars
First Coast Auto Sales
J & J Auto Sales
Mike Hill Used Cars, Inc.
Ray’s Motor Sales, Inc.
FirstSun Financial, Inc.
Mike Kashtan’s Superior A/S
Redd Morgan Enterprises, LLC
Fleet Lease Disposal
J.D. Sanders, Inc.
Millenia Motors, Inc.
Refine Coach, Inc.
Florida Auto Dealer School
JTB Auto LLC
MITS at CMI, LLC
Richard Bell Auto Sales
Florida Autosport, Inc.
JW Autobrokers, Inc
Modern Auto, LLC
Rick’s Cars for Less LLC
Florida Autosport, Inc.
Jasper Auto Sales, LLC
Ride-Away Handicap Equip. Corp.
Florida Luxury Cars, Inc.
Jimmie Wells Auto Sales
Nard Automotive Group, Inc.
Rob Bruce Auto Sales
Foreman Motors, Inc.
Jimmie’s Auto Sales
New Smyrna Car Company, LLC
Royal Administration Services
Galeria Auto Mart, Inc.
Nice Car, Inc.
RTG Auto Sales
Gateway Auto Sales, Inc.
John Rogers Used Cars
Noegel’s Auto Sales, Inc.
S.W. Motorsports of Bradenton
Gator City Motors
Kahlua, Inc. dba Edison Bridge Auto Sales
Northeast Florida Auto Direct
Sanford Auto Dealers Exchange
Gene Gorman’s Auto Sales
Scotti’s Auto Sales & Service
Gibson Truck World
Ocean Auto Sales of Miami, Inc.
Shade Tree Auto Repair
Glenn Harris Motors, Inc.
Lake Park Auto Brokers
Ocean Muscle & Mercedes LLC
Shoda’s Auto Sales
Goebel’s Used Cars, Inc.
Golden Oldies Auto Sales, Inc.
Larry Condon Auto Sales
On The Spot Auto Sales Inc
Skipper Limited, Inc.
Orange Avenue Autos
Golf Depot, Inc.
Lash Auto Sales
Orange County Motors, Inc.
South 17 Auto Sales
Goodwill Industries-Manasota, Inc.
Lee Co Funding Inc.
Orlando Auto Auction
Southeast Car Agency, Inc.
Outdoor Recreation World, Inc.
Liberty Financing, Inc.
Owen Motors, Inc.
Southside Autos, Inc.
Grundy Auto Sales, Inc.
M & W Auto Sales, Inc.
Paradise Auto Brokers Inc.
Macklin Automotive Co.
Paragon Auto Sales, Inc.
Specialty Cars of Sarasota
February 2011 — Independent Dealer — 21
Update to Ongoing Federal and Legislative Issues Affecting Dealers B Y S A N T E E S P O S I TO A N D M I C H A E L E S P O S I TO, F E D E R A L A D V O C AT E S
IADA’s lobbyist group, Federal Advocates, has been speaking out for the interests of used car dealers in the nation’s capitol. Following is a recap of the recent activity between NIADA and federal lawmakers. Office of Service Member Affairs NIADA and Federal Advocates, is pursuing a meeting in February with Holly Petraeus, Director, Office of Service Member Affairs, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Petraeus is the wife of General David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. Commander in Afghanistan. The purposes of the meeting are to introduce the Association; to brief Petraeus on the various efforts/programs of the Association to ensure that service members are treated fairly by the used car industry; and, for NIADA’s General Counsel Keith Whann to offer his experience and knowledge in furtherance of her new office. Department of Defense NIADA and Federal Advocates, is also pursuing a follow-up meeting in February with the Office of the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Military, Community and Family Policy) to discuss NIADA’s experiences and areas of possible assistance to DOD regarding service member automobile issues. White House Reform Request NIADA is continuing to pursue a February meeting with The White House in response to the letter sent by NIADA to President Obama requesting “the opportunity to work with your Administration to reform our industry in common-sense ways that achieve real safeguards for consumers, that promote accountability and transparency, and that really work.”
22 — Independent Dealer — February 2011
Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act The Congress ended with the FTC beginning in earnest to “review the auto industry” in the light of the above consumer enacted law. To review, on November 17, Keith Whann and Federal Advocates met with senior staff of the FTC as follow-up to the September 21 meeting. A series of questions had been provided to NIADA for discussion at the November 17 session. At the meeting, Keith walked them through the process of buying a car and provided samples of “purchasing” documents. The FTC is in the process of formulating questions for public comment regarding various aspects of the auto industry as it relates to consumers. FTC staff was not forthcoming as to the timing of that effort, its scope and its intended purpose. The results of the November 17 meeting were reported to NIADA’s Legislative Committee by conference call on November 23. Also, on September 21, Keith and Federal Advocates met with staff of the FTC regarding implementation of the above Bill and its impact on the auto industry. Following discussion of various issues, with Keith leading the discussion and answering various questions as to how the auto industry works, including the auction practice itself, it was decided to schedule a half day session to allow for a more detailed discussion of issues (i.e., the November 17 session). All of this is a result of the so-called “Wall Street Reform Bill.” The law does grant increased powers to the FTC regarding dealer oversight. Also, it requires coordination with the Department of Defense to ensure that Service Members and their families are treated fairly by automobile dealers. Senate Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010 The Congress ended with no formal action on the www.fiada.com
above bill. To review, on June 9, 2010, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation marked up and order reported S.3302, the so-called “Toyota Bill.” In earlier drafts of the Bill and just prior to markup, language was included (section 310) which would have specified that a dealer may not sell or lease a used passenger motor vehicle (both wholesale and retail sales) until the dealer first notifies the purchaser or lessee in writing of any recall notices. Working primarily with/through Senator JohnThune, his staff, and Committee staff, and as a result of concern raised by Keith Whann and his proposed suggestion, section 310 has been dropped from the bill. This provision would have seriously hurt used car commerce by imposing tremendous compliance costs and liability exposure for dealers while increasing the safety risk for consumers by pushing unremedied vehicles into the “unregulated” private used car market. While an initial “victory,” we will continue to advocate on behalf of NIADA’s interest pending further action on the Senate Bill and/ or on a House companion bill. Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 The Administration has delayed implementation of the above bill until March 2011. On September 23, the House passed the Senate-passed bill, which includes an increase in the amount that the Small Business Administration’s Dealer Floor Plan Financing program can guarantee. This permits the SBA to guarantee bank and finance company loans up to $5million, which should help, the Committee believes, expand dealer access to floorplan lines of credit. We worked with Senator Mary Landrieu’s Committee and personal staff, in conjunction with others, on this. This bill may be the subject of subsequent meetings with the Hill and the SBA on how the program “really works!” www.fiada.com
Speedway Pull-N-Save Auto Parts LLC
Splish Splash Auto Sales
Treasure Coast Financing, LLC
Stepanek’s A/S & Service, Inc.
Tropical Auto Sales
Sterling Auto Group
Sterling Credit Corporation
Ultimate Auto Boutique
Stirlingshire Investment, LLC DBA Auto Plus
Ultimate Image Auto, Inc.
Strickland Auto Sales, Inc.
Under $10,000 Auto Sales, Inc.
Strickland General Insurance Agency of Fl, Inc.
United Acceptance, Inc.
Sun Coast Regional Inc
Used Car Supermarket
Vallejo Auto Sales
Sunstate Title Service
Van’s Cars & Trucks
Super Cars Auto Sales Inc
Tallahassee Auto Auction
Tallahassee Salvage, Inc.
VIP Auto Sales
Taylor Auto Sales, Inc.
W. H. Fenton Co., Inc.
The Car Cabana of Melbourne
Warren’s Auto Sales
The Connection Motors
Western Funding, Inc.
The Truck Junction
Williams & Stazzone Insurance Agency
Wilson Software Corporation
Tom Bush Auto-Plex
Tomlinson Motor Company
Winter Park Sales & Leasing
Tommy Car’z, Inc.
Wise Way Auto Sales, Inc.
Yes Automotive, LLC
Town & Country Select
Even though 2011 is not an election year, there is still a need to contribute to and maintain the FIADA Pac. Use the from below to make your contribution, or go online to www.FIADA.com.
PAC CONTRIBUTION FORM Use this form to make your contribution, or go online to www.FIADA.com.
CONTRIBUTOR’S NAME: DEALERSHIP: ADDRESS: Make your check out to FIADA-PAC and mail your contribution to: FIADA • 1840 Fiddler Court • Tallahassee, FL 32808 Enclosed is my check for: $1,000 $500 $250 $100 ______ Monthly Contribution _______ February 2011 — Independent Dealer — 23
For Compliance Advice, Who Do You Trust? B Y TO M H U D S O N A N D N I K K I M U N R O
f you’ve marked off January 1 on your compliance calendar, you’ve also gotten your dealership into compliance with the Risk-Based Pricing Rule, had your privacy forms redone and are ready for the Federal Trade Commission to knock on your door to ask about your level of compliance with the Red Flags Rule. If that describes your dealership’s level of compliance preparedness, you can quit reading this and get back to planning the menu for your Super Bowl party. When our law firm does dealership compliance audits, we frequently find that dealers have made no effort to comply with privacy and other rules that are now several years old. That leaves us with the suspicion that a large majority of smaller dealers haven’t done anything to meet the new January 1 compliance requirements. In our experience, smaller dealers generally don’t spend money on compliance. They look for ways to meet their compliance needs that don’t involve hard cash.
24 — Independent Dealer — February 2011
The business of selling cars, selling cars on credit and leasing cars is one of the most highly regulated areas of commerce. Trusting a professional lawyer is the smartest move you can make.
They often turn first to the Internet, but usually find that an Internet search produces a huge number of hits, but precious little in the way of analysis or practical advice. And when they actually find such analysis or advice, they are unable to determine whether it is accurate. State and federal agencies (the Federal Trade Commission is a good example) offer some helpful assistance on their web sites, but the dealers we know tell us that you often need to be a lawyer to determine how to search these sites and how to analyze information when you’re lucky enough to find it. Some dealers turn to their vendors for free compliance help. Again, the quality of information that we see coming from vendors ranges from awful to excellent. Vendors with good lawyers on staff or with good outside firms often offer very valuable compliance solutions. Others, however, not so much. We’ve received phone calls from dealers who have gotten legal advice from vendors and who have lived to regret it. How can you know whether your vendor’s giving you the straight skinny or www.fiada.com
a bunch of drivel? And what happens if you rely on the vendor’s advice and get into mischief. Will the vendor step up to any losses, penalties and fines you incur? Very few will.
If your dealership doesn’t have a lawyer on staff or on call, you need one. And not just any lawyer. Your wife’s cousin may be a wonderful general business lawyer or estates and trusts lawyer, but they will not know the laws and regulations that apply to your business. If you cannot get a recommendation for a good, experienced dealership lawyer, go to the website of the National Association of Dealer Counsel. This organization is composed of 500-plus lawyers who know a great deal about the legal problems of dealers. Not all are compliance lawyers – some deal with franchise issues, employment issues and other areas – but I’m pretty confident that if the lawyer you call isn’t in the compliance area, you’ll get a referral to someone who is. You’ve seen those TV commercials that
say “Don’t try this at home,” and you’ve heard the old saying, “you get what you pay for.” Sometimes, there’s just no substitute for professional advice. Editor’s Note: FIADA’s Outside General Counsel, Rob Sickles, is available to field technical and legal questions from FIADA members. To reach him, please call FIADA at (800) 237-0448. Thomas B. Hudson, Esq. (tbhudson@ hudco.com) is 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. He is also a partner in the Maryland office of Hudson Cook, LLP. Spot Delivery and CARLAW are produced by CounselorLibrary. com LLC, 7250 Parkway Drive, 5th Floor, Hanover, MD 21076-1343. For information, call 410-865-5411 or visit www.counselorlibrary.com.
The business of selling cars, selling cars on credit and leasing cars is one of the most highly regulated areas of commerce. The 2010 DoddFrank Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau it created, and a beefed up enforcement effort against dealers that is being implemented by the Federal Trade Commission are about to make things that were already complicated a lot more complicated. It is no exaggeration to say that any dealer that attempts to handle the legal aspects of his or her dealership on a “do-it-yourself ” basis needs not just a law degree, but a number of years’ experience dealing with the legal problems that dealers face. Those non-legal “do-it-yourself ” folks must look good in a single colored jumpsuit
or really enjoy becoming friendly with their regulators.
February 2011 — Independent Dealer — 25
FIADA Office 1840 Fiddler Court Tallahassee
Comfort Inn 1013 East 23rd St. Panama City, 32405
NORTHEAST FLORIDA Adesa Jacksonville Auto Auction 11700 New Kings Rd. Jacksonville, 32219
Manheim Pensacola A/A 6359 North “W” Street Pensacola
Insurance A/A of Clearwater 5152 126th Ave N. Clearwater, 33760
Ramada Inn Tampa 11714 Morris Bridge Rd. 1-75 Exit 265 Tampa
CENTRAL FLORIDA Manheim’s Imperial Auto Auction 3300 County Line Rd. Lakeland, 33811
Ocala Driver’s License Office 110 SE 25th Avenue Ocala, 34471
Manheim Central Florida Auto Auction 9800 Bachman Rd. Orlando, 32824
Manheim Remarketing Site Orlando/Ocoee 1275 E. Story Road Winter Garden, 34787
Manheim Ft. Lauderdale 5353 State Road 7 Davie, 33314 Adesa Miami/Insurance Auto Auction of Miami 12700 NW 42nd Ave Opa Locka, 33054
MARCH 2011 JUNE 2010
APRIL 2011 JULY 2010
March 3-4 Orlando/Winter Garden
Mar. 31- Apr. 1 Orlando/Winter Garden
Feb. 5-6 Tampa
March 5-6 Tampa
April 2-3 Tampa
March 7-8 Ocala
March 9-10 Miami/Opa Locka
Feb. 12-13 Orlando
March 12-13 Orlando
April 9-10 Orlando
Feb. 14-15 Clearwater
March 14-15 Clearwater
April 11-12 Clearwater
Feb. 16-17 Lakeland
March 16-17 Lakeland
April 13-14 Lakeland
Feb. 19-20 Ft. Lauderdale
March 19-20 Ft. Lauderdale
April 16-17 Ft. Lauderdale
Feb. 21-22 Jacksonville
March 21-22 Jacksonville
April 18-19 Jacksonville
Feb. 23-24 Tallahassee
March 23-24 Tallahassee
April 18-19 Pensacola
Feb 28-Mar. 1 Pensacola
March 28-29 Pensacola
April 20-21 Tallahassee
FEBRUARY 2011 Feb. 3-4
View Course Descriptions and Register at www.FIADA.com
What We Are: An association for auto dealers, governed by auto dealers Your advocate to the State Legislature, the Cabinet and regulatory agencies A watchdog for your best interests for over 70 years A key business secret of veteran dealers for 10, 20, 30, 40 even 50 years
What We Aren’t: Another regulatory agency FIADA is an organization run for dealers, by dealers. For more information on what we can offer, visit our website at www.FIADA.com. If you have suggestions on how we can serve you better, please call us at (800) 237-0448 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inspectors or examiners An extension of the Department of Motor Vehicles Consultants who answer technical questions with hopes of signing you to a consulting contract
2010-2011 Executive Committee Are you looking for advice or suggestions? As the Association’s leadership, these men and women have volunteered to make themselves available to all members for advice, discussion and assistance.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT John Cousins Southeast Car Agency Gainesville, FL 352.377.7787 email@example.com
TREASURER Brandi Noegel Noegel’s Auto Sales Starke, FL 904.964.6461 firstname.lastname@example.org
REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT George Hickey Steve Marbais Jim Kagiliery Frank Fuzy Bond Auto Sales, Inc. Marbais Enterprises, Inc. Brightstar Financial Group, Inc. Century Motors of South FL Tampa, FL 34761 Ocoee, FL 34761 Jacksonville, FL Pompano Beach, FL 813.238.7478 407.877.7422 904.400.6190 954.785.0369 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org www.fiada.com
SECRETARY Dino Mercurio Independent Credit, Inc. West Palm Beach, FL 561.686.8673 email@example.com
Chairman of the Board President Greg Edwards Jeff Gann Greg Edwards Enterprises Lakeshore Motors Daytona Beach, FL East Lake Weir, FL 386.323.1888 352.288.4512 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT Chris Leedom AutoMaxx Sarasota, FL 941.309.1111 firstname.lastname@example.org
February 2011 2011 — — Independent Independent Dealer Dealer — — 27 27 February
28 — Independent Dealer — February 2011
INDUSTRY NEWS GWC WARRANTY (GWC) UNVEILS REDESIGNED COMPANY WEBSITE AVOCA, PA – GWC Warranty, one of the largest providers of vehicle service contracts nationwide, has unveiled a new, multifunctional website (www.gwcwarranty.com) designed to be more informational and user-friendly. Among the site’s many new capabilities is an e-Contracting portal, which allows Dealers to submit applications electronically and reduce processing time. Dealers are also able to access an interactive map identifying opportunities to partner with GWC nationwide. Interested in becoming a GWC Warranty Dealer? “No
Worries”…simply click the “Dealers Wanted” button and it will provide information on how to contact the Regional Manager in your area! Over the past year, GWC Warranty has launched several new products to develop their already extensive product line and better serve their customers. With the introduction of this redesigned website, GWC continues to increase communication with their customers, and convenience for their partners, nationwide. Future plans for the site include both Dealer and customer portals.
CHARLESTON AUTO AUCTIONCELEBRATES 10 GREAT YEARS! It is hard to believe that 10 years have already passed since the opening of the Charleston Auto Auction. Originally opened in 2001 as a one lane auction running 50 vehicles on a good day. It has now grown to a 6 lane, national award winning state of the art facility featuring over 700 vehicles on a weekly basis. Current clients included new car franchise dealers, independent dealers, wholesalers and institutional accounts such as bank/lease/rental and donation organizations. “I want to thank all of our clients for making us the auction we are today. I especially want to thank our independent dealers for their loyalty. There is no way we would be where we are now if it wasn’t for you. I want everyone to know that no matter how large we become, our beliefs will never change. Excellence in customer service will always be the standard for Charleston Auto www.fiada.com
Auction. ” stated Keith Lelux, Chief Operating Officer of American Auto Auction Group. The Charleston Auto Auction 10th Anniversary Sale will be on March 18th. There will be $50,000 in cash & prizes, plus the $1,000,000.00 sweepstakes! This is how it works: For every vehicle you buy or sell January 7th thru March 18th (10th Anniversary Sale) you will receive a ticket. Fill this ticket out and place it in the tumbler located at the auction. At the end of the 10th Anniversary Sale on March 18th, tickets will be drawn from this barrel. 24 dealers will have a chance to spin the Charleston Auto Auction prize wheel hoping to land on the $1,000,000 pie piece. 3 dealers who land on this $1,000,000 piece will have a chance at an early retirement, the other 21 will walk away with a very nice prize.
Increase your reach by advertising in Independent Dealer Annual Circulation: 43,000+ Take a photo of this tag with your phone to see the 2011 FIADA Media Kit. Download the free scan-tag app for your smartphone at http://gettag.mobi
Reserve your spot for 2011 Call FIADA at 800.237.0448 February 2011 — Independent Dealer — 29
MEMBER TESTIMONIAL YEARS IN BUSINESS: 42 KIND OF BUSINESS: Retail sales, BHPH MEMBER SINCE: 1972 ACCOMPLISHMENTS: FIADA President (2003), Quality Dealer of the Year (2002), Man of the Year (2001) CURRENT STATUS: FIADA Board Member THE FIADA STORY:
t the age of 18 Don Scott moved from West Virginia to Ocala to find work. He found a job unloading railroad cars for $2.15 an hour. At night, he cooked hamburgers at Ocala’s first McDonalds for seventy-five cents an hour. He was living pay check to pay check and was not sure where his future would lead. He did not know much about the car business when he opened Don Scott Motors in 1969. Though doing well as a rookie, he accepted an invitation from his friend, Glenn Harris, to attend a lunch meeting of the Florida Independent Automobile Dealers Association in Orlando. At the time he had no idea that the free lunch would turn into a significant turning point in his business. As a buy here-pay here dealer, Scott had not been charging interest on his loans, and when FIADA members explained it to him he came back to his dealership and enacted what he learned. Another lesson from the meeting in how to recapture sales tax on a repossessed vehicle was another incredible tip. Between those two lessons, Scott says he ended up bringing in more than $10,000 extra a week for his business. “It was at that moment I realized that you learn from who you know, and I knew I wanted to be around these dealers who knew what they were doing. These members of the Florida Independent Automobile Dealers Association had it together, and if I wanted to be successful, I knew I needed to be a member too,” Scott said. Over the years, Scott became very involved in FIADA. He served on the Executive Committee and was elected President in 2003. He was also honored by fellow members as Man of the Year in 2001 and Quality Dealer of the Year in 2002. Scott says FIADA gave him the opportunity to make a lot of friends such as Bob Luke, Brad Leonard, Joe Cursio, Walt McKee and Larry Noegel. He also was able to learn a few more lessons that really helped his business. When he retired for health reasons in 2007, he sold three successful used car stores and a Honda dealership in the Ocala area. “When I was a boy in West Virginia, I never dreamed I’d have the success I have been blessed with. Reaching those dreams is the product of being in the used car industry and being associated with the FIADA. I still stay active in the FIADA and sit on the Board of Directors because I want to give back to this industry that has served me so well, and I want to help other guys out there who are starting out, just like I was. I also believe you can never stop learning, and there is never any shortage of knowledge around the table at a FIADA meeting,”Scott said.
Want to tell your FIADA Story? Email us at email@example.com 30 — Independent Dealer — February 2011
PAID ADVERTISING www.fiada.com
February 2011 — Independent Dealer — 31
PAID ADVERTISING 32 — Independent Dealer — February 2011