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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

INDEPENDENT DEALER OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE OHIO INDEPENDENT AUTOMOBILE DEALERS ASSOCIATION

WHY WORK WITH A TPA? ARTICLE ON PAGE 3 FORMS ON PAGE’S 26 & 27

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BHPH Sales vs. Collection

Is it really a battle, or are they one and the same?

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• BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR OPEN RECALLS • TECHNOLOGY’S GROWING ROLE IN POST-RECESSION MARKET • DRIVING TRAFFIC

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H O W I N D E P E N D E N T A U T O M O B I L E D E A L E R S C A N B E N E F I T F R O M T H I R D - PA R T Y A D M I N I S T R AT I O N

Why Work With a TPA? Whether you are a business with one paid employee or a company of 10, 20 or 30-plus, you are, by Ohio law, required to carry workers compensation coverage. For many, the dreaded premium bills continue to come from the BWC. And you might ask yourself every time you write that check: “I have a clean record, so why does my premium remain the same? Shouldn’t it be going down?” That’s an excellent question. As an employer and business owner, the best way to evaluate all of your savings options through the BWC is to partner with a third-party administrator (TPA). That, of course, raises another question: “Why do I need to pay someone else to save money? I’m already paying the BWC.” The simplest answer is that in order to qualify for the maximum allowed savings through the BWC, employers must be part of a group rating program. In order to be a member of a group, business owners must work with a licensed TPA. Group enrollment fees are minimal in comparison to the savings you earn from your group-rated status. The fee you pay the TPA actually covers additional services that will help you with more longrange cost containment goals for your budget as well. Eligibility for the discount can substantially decrease your premium rate and ultimately impact your business’ bottom line. If you do find yourself with a claim down the road, your TPA’s timely assistance is extremely important to the cost containment of that claim. Also, through those services and those of your managed care organization, you will be able to mitigate any costs associated with the claim and keep your future premium costs to a minimum.

or chamber of commerce offering varying savings rates. For a more comprehensive list of frequently asked questions, visit www.benefits1group.com/grfaq. Getting Started An AC-3 is a temporary authorization that allows Benefits 1 Group to access your business’ claim history data from the BWC. Once signed, AC-3s expire after nine months – more than enough time to evaluate and secure the best possible group rate. To find an AC-3 form, visit ac3.benefits1group.com. The AC-3 is not a contract. Signing one does not obligate you to join any group. It merely allows you to shop the workers compensation insurance market for the best possible option for your company. After BWC data is received, you should be contacted to discuss any and all options available to you.

Note: Many dealers feel confident that the 1099 shields them from having to carry workers compensation coverage, but those filing in that manner should be advised that auditors are looking closely at some of the more liberal interpretations of employee vs. independent contractor. There are ways to mitigate potential penalties and premium payments. Working with a third-party administrator will help with workers compensation cost-containment measures.

BY MICHAEL BROWN

MICHAEL BROWN, ARM, IS AN ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE REPRESENTING BENEFITS 1 GROUP, A MEMBER OF THE ADVOCARE GROUP FAMILY OF COMPANIES. BENEFITS 1 GROUP IS THE PREFERRED THIRD-PARTY ADMINISTRATOR FOR THE OHIO INDEPENDENT AUTOMOBILE DEALERS ASSOCIATION, AVAILABLE TO ADVISE ON RISK FINANCING, CLAIMS AND CASE MANAGEMENT, ACCIDENT AND LOSS PREVENTION, SHORT- AND LONG-TERM DISABILITY, IMPLEMENTING WELLNESS PROGRAMS AND MORE. BROWN CAN BE REACHED AT MIKEB@BENEFITS1GROUP.COM OR AT (877) 765-4200, EXT. 270.

How Group Rating Works There are countless “groups” categorized by industry and risk levels. By grouping companies with few or no claims, all businesses enrolled in the group can earn up to the BWC maximum discount on their premium. All programs have a sponsoring organization, such as a trade association 3

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M ONESTI CHAIRMAN

FF RADER RD MEMBER

OIADA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

TOM ONESTI PAST CHAIRMAN

DAN REEL PRESIDENT

MARK MEADOWS VICE PRESIDENT

TERRY REINEKE TREASURER

Board of Directors

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BOB FAHEY BOB VAUGHAN OIADA BOARD OF DIRECTORS BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER

JEFF RADER BOARD MEMBER

MAGAZINE CONTENTS 03 08 10 12 14 16 18 30

JAY NORTH CHAIRMAN

Why Work With a TPA? Government Report Technology’s Growing Role Look Out for Open Recalls BHPH Success: Sales vs. Collection Money Matters Driving Traffic Compliance Overdrive

TOM ONESTI PAST CHAIRMAN

Past Chairman Thomas Onesti Car Port PO Box 9943 Youngstown, OH 44513 JAY NORTH DAN REEL Tel: 330-726-6633 CHAIRMAN PRESIDENT Fax: 330-726-2633 Cell: 330-565-6833 OIADA BOARD OF DIRECTORS tomocarport@aol.com

CHRISTINE WHITE MARK MEADOWS VICEEXECUTIVE PRESIDENTASSNT TOM ONESTI PAST CHAIRMAN

GEORGE POLCE BOARD MEMBER

LAUREN THOMAS BOARD MEMBER

JOHN REMY RANDY GRIESDORN BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER

DAVE ADKINS SECRETARY

TOM SMITH BOARD MEMBER

OIADA BOARD OF DIRECTORS Administrative Assistant Christine White OIADA 2040 Brice Road, Suite 110 Reynoldsburg, OH 43068 JIM MITCHELL TERRY REINEKE DAVE ADKINS Office: 614-863-5800 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TREASURER SECRETARY Fax: 614-863-5801 JAY NORTH DAN REEL MARK MEADOWS cwhite.oiada@gmail.com CHAIRMAN PRESIDENT VICE PRESIDENT OIADA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

TERRY REINEK TREASURER

Jeff Rader Chairman Rader Car Company Jay North 1429 Schrock Road Jay North LLC Columbus, OH 43229 JEFF RADER BOB FAHEY BOB VAUGHAN GEORGE POLCE LAUREN THOMAS JOHN REMY RANDY GRIESDORN TOM SMITH www.niada20groups.com 501 E. Columbia StreetBOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER Tel: 614-888-3111 BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER NIADA 20 Groups are designed for NIADA’s Springfield, OH 45503 Fax: 614-888-3811 JEFF RADER BOB FAHEY BOB VAUGHAN GEORGE POLCE LAUREN THOMAS JOHN REMY RAND independent dealers as they do business today – BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER Tel: 937-325-3748 Cell: 614-582-1822 TOM ONESTI JAY NORTH DAN REEL MARK MEADOWS TERRY REINEKE DAVE ADKINS BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOA retail, BHPH or a little bit of both. TOM ONESTI MARK MEADOWS TERRY REINEKE DAVE PAST CHAIRMAN CHAIRMAN PRESIDENT VICE PRESIDENT TREASURERJAY NORTH SECRETARY DAN REEL Fax: 937-398-1075 PAST CHAIRMAN CHAIRMAN jeff@radercarco.com PRESIDENT VICE PRESIDENT TREASURER SEC OIADA BOARDhtron435@yahoo.com OF DIRECTORS OIADA BOARD OF DIRECTORS Robert Fahey President Fairdale Auto Sales CHRISTINE WHITE JIM MITCHELL FREE Dealer Education on www.niada.tv Daniel Reel 6209 Glenn Rd. EXECUTIVE ASSNT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR • Waking the Economy Up from a Bad Dream Reel’s Auto Sales LLC Cambridge, OH 43725 CHRISTINE WHITE JIM MITCHELL •A  utomotive Outlook: Back from the Brink, Now 547 East Main Street Tel: 740-432-4185 EXECUTIVE ASSNT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JEFF RADER BOB FAHEY BOB VAUGHAN GEORGE POLCE LAUREN THOMAS JOHN REMY RANDY GRIESDORN TOM SMITH for the Golden Age OH 44076 740-435-0765 RADERMEMBER BOB FAHEY BOB BOARD VAUGHAN GEORGE POLCE LAUREN THOMAS JOHN REMY RANDY GRIESDORN TO BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD Orwell, MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER JEFF BOARD BOARD MEMBERFax: MEMBER • Protecting Our American Dream BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOA Tel: MARK 440-437-5893 Cell:MEMBER 740-607-4011 TOM ONESTI JAY NORTH DAN REEL MEADOWS TERRY REINEKE DAVE ADKINS TOM ONESTI JAY NORTH DAN REEL MARK MEADOWS TERRY REINEKE DAVE ADKINS PAST CHAIRMAN CHAIRMAN PRESIDENT VICE PRESIDENT TREASURER SECRETARY Cell: 440-319-1247 r_fahey@yahoo.com PAST CHAIRMAN CHAIRMAN PRESIDENT VICE PRESIDENT TREASURER SECRETARY Fax: 440-437-5759 OIADA BOARD OF DIRECTORS danreel@hotmail.com Robert Vaughan OIADA ADESA.........................................Inside Back CoverBOARD OF DIRECTORS Vaughan Motor Car Company Ally.....................................................................13 Vice President 808 Parsons Avenue AutoTrader.com..................................... Back Cover CHRISTINE Mark WHITE Meadows JIM MITCHELL Columbus, OH 43206 Auto Use............................................................... 7 CHRISTINE WHITE JIM MITCHELL EXECUTIVE ASSNT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR EXECUTIVE ASSNT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Miracle Motor Mart Tel: 614-444-7839 Berkshire Risk....................................................25 JEFF RADER BOB FAHEY BOB VAUGHAN GEORGE POLCE LAUREN THOMAS JOHN REMY RANDY GRIESDORN TOM SMITH 2380 Morse RoadMEMBER Fax: Chase.................................................................22 RADER BOARD BOB FAHEY BOARD BOB VAUGHAN GEORGE614-444-1133 POLCE LAUREN THOMAS JOHN REMY RANDY GRIESDORN TOM SMITH BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARDJEFF MEMBER MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER Columbus Fair Auto Auction.................................. 5 Columbus, OH 43229 Cell:MEMBER 614-565-5682 TOM ONESTI JAY NORTH DAN REEL MARK MEADOWS TERRY REINEKE DAVE ADKINS Corry Auto Dealers Exchange .............................23 614-437-0037 sales@vaughanmotors.com CHAIRMAN PRESIDENT VICE PRESIDENT TREASURER SECRETARY TOM ONESTI JAY NORTH DAN REEL MARK MEADOWS Tel: PAST TERRYCHAIRMAN REINEKE DAVE ADKINS Dealer Center.....................................................15 PAST CHAIRMAN CHAIRMAN PRESIDENT VICE PRESIDENT TREASURER SECRETARY Fax: 614-337-1063 OIADA BOARD OF DIRECTORS Dealer Services Corp..........................................29 Cell: 614-348-6503 George Polce Dodah.com......................................................... 17 dmarkmeadows@aol.com Jenroc Auto, Inc. OIADA BOARD OF DIRECTORS Indiana Auto Auction.............................................3 101 N. Tuscarawas Ave Insurance Auto Auctions.....................................21 CHRISTINE WHITE TreasurerJIM MITCHELL Dover, OH 44622 JIM MITCHELL Micro21..............................................................20EXECUTIVE CHRISTINE WHITE ASSNT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Terry Reineke Tel: 330-364-2525 EXECUTIVE ASSNT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NIADA Certified...................................................24 Protective...........................................................11 Rino’sJEFF Auto IncFAHEY Fax: 330-364-6726 RADERSales BOB BOB VAUGHAN GEORGE POLCE LAUREN THOMAS JOHN REMY RANDY GRIESDORN TOM SMITH OIADA OF DIRECTORS BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER Cell: BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER RADER BOB FAHEY BOB VAUGHANBOARD GEORGE POLCE LAUREN THOMAS JOHN REMY RANDY GRIESDORN TOM SMITH STARS GPSJEFF ........................................................18 1610 Industrial Pkwy 330-268-4724 BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER TOM ONESTI JAY NORTH DAN REEL MARK MEADOWS TERRY REINEKE DAVE ADKINS United Acceptance. .............................................19 Celina, OHCHAIRMAN 45822 BOARDPRESIDENT OIADA OF DIRECTORSVICE PRESIDENTJenroc@wilkshire.net PAST CHAIRMAN TREASURER SECRETARY UsedCars.com by Dealix............. Inside FrontMARK Cover Tel: 419-586-6161 TOM ONESTI JAY NORTH DAN REEL MEADOWS TERRY REINEKE DAVE ADKINS Voisys.................................................................30 PAST CHAIRMAN CHAIRMAN PRESIDENT VICE PRESIDENT TREASURER SECRETARY Fax: 419-586-8700 Lauren Bowden Thomas Westlake Financial................................................ 9 Cell: 419-305-4009 Bowden Motors NATIONAL INDEPENDENT rinos@bright.net 1426 South Main Street OIADA BOARD OF ASSOCIATION DIRECTORS AUTOMOBILE DEALERS Bellfontaine, OH 43311 CHRISTINE WHITE JIM MITCHELL WWW.NIADA.COM • WWW.NIADA.TV TOM ONESTI JAY NORTH DAN REEL MARK MEADOWS JIM MITCHELL TERRY REINEKE DAVE ADKINS EXECUTIVE ASSNT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Secretary Tel: 937-593-0014 CHRISTINE WHITE NIADA HEADQUARTERS: PAST CHAIRMAN CHAIRMAN VICE PRESIDENTEXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TREASURER SECRETARY EXECUTIVEPRESIDENT ASSNT 2521 BROWN BLVD. • ARLINGTON, TX 76006-5203 Adkins Fax: JEFF RADER FAHEY BOB VAUGHAN GEORGE JOHN 937-593-0514 REMY RANDY GRIESDORN TOM SMITH TOM ONESTI JAY David NORTH BOB DAN REEL MARKPOLCE MEADOWSLAUREN THOMAS TERRY REINEKE DAVE ADKINS PHONE (817) 640-3838 BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER PAST CHAIRMAN CHAIRMAN PRESIDENT VICEMEMBER PRESIDENT BOARD MEMBER TREASURER SECRETARY Wilmington Auto Sales Inc BOARD bowdenmotorslauren@embarqmail.com FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION CONTACT: TROY GRAFF JEFF RADER(800) 682-3837 BOB FAHEY OR TROY@NIADA.COM. BOB VAUGHAN GEORGE POLCE LAUREN THOMAS JOHN REMY RANDY GRIESDORN TOM SMITH 1780 Rombach Avenue BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARDBOARD MEMBER OF BOARD MEMBER OIADA DIRECTORS The Ohio Independent Dealer News is published Wilmington, OH 45177 John Remy bi-monthly by the National Independent Automobile Tel: 937-382-7714 Remy’s Auto Group JAY NORTH DAN REEL MARK MEADOWS TERRY REINEKE DAVE ADKINS Dealers Association Services Corporation, 2521 Fax: 937-383-2392 58905 US 50 CHAIRMAN PRESIDENT VICE PRESIDENT TREASURER SECRETARY Brown Blvd., Arlington, TX 76006-5203; phone Cell: 937-725-8512 McArthur, OH 45651 (817)JEFF 640-3838. Periodicals postage at POLCE LAUREN THOMAS RADER BOB FAHEY BOB VAUGHANpaid GEORGE JOHN REMY RANDY GRIESDORN TOM SMITH david@wilmingtonautocenter.com Tel: 740-596-4694 BOARDTX MEMBER MEMBER offices. BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER CHRISTINE BOARDWHITE MEMBER JIM MITCHELL Dallas, and atBOARD additional POSTMASTER: JEFF RADER BOB FAHEY BOB VAUGHAN GEORGE POLCE LAUREN THOMAS JOHN REMY RANDY GRIESDORN TOM SMITH Fax: 740-740-596-5526 ASSNT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Send address changes to NIADA State Publications, BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER CHRISTINE WHITE JIM MITCHELL Executive Director TERRY REINEKE Cell: 740-395-4214 2521 Brown Blvd., Arlington, TXTOM 76006-5203. The ONESTI JAY NORTH DIRECTOR DAN REEL MARK MEADOWS DAVE ADKINS EXECUTIVE ASSNT EXECUTIVE jremy@remysauto.com PAST CHAIRMAN PRESIDENT James R. VICEMitchell PRESIDENT TREASURER SECRETARY statements and opinions expressed herein are CHAIRMAN OIADA those of the individual authors and do not necesBOB FAHEY BOB VAUGHAN GEORGE THOMAS JOHN REMY RANDY GRIESDORN TOM SMITH 2040 Brice Road, Suite 110 Thomas C. Smith sarily represent thePOLCE viewsLAUREN of Ohio Independent BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER Reynoldsburg, OH 43068 Smitty’s Auto Sales Dealer News, the Ohio Independent Automobile Dealers Association, or the CHRISTINE National Independent 668 S 7th St WHITE JIM MITCHELL Cell: 614-436-3393 EXECUTIVE ASSNT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Office: Automobile Dealers Association. Likewise, the 614-863-5800 Greenfield, OH 45123 CHRISTINE WHITE JIM MITCHELL EXECUTIVE ASSNT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR appearance of advertisers, or their identification Fax: 614-863-5801 Tel:(937)981-4317 as members of OIADA or NIADA,JEFF does not constijrmitch49@aol.com Fax: (937)981-4317 RADER BOB FAHEY BOB VAUGHAN GEORGE POLCE LAUREN THOMAS JOHN REMY RANDY GRIESDORN TOM SMITH tute an endorsement of the products or services BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER Cell: (937)218-3658 featured. Copyright 2011 by NIADA Services, Inc. tommy4317@yahoo.com CHRISTINE WHITE JIM MITCHELL All rights reserved.

WHAT’S NEW

ADVERTISERS INDEX

EXECUTIVE ASSNT

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

STATE MAGAZINE MGR./SALES Troy Graff • troy@niada.com EDITOR Andy Friedlander • andy@niada.com ART DIRECTOR Christy Haynes • christy@niada.com PRINTING Nieman Printing CHRISTINE WHITE EXECUTIVE ASSNT

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KEEPING CARS LONGER IS HERE TO STAY

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE

Why Change Just Makes Sense The world around us continues to advance at a mind-numbing pace. Technology, such as the Internet and smartphones, have forever changed how business is conducted, especially the car business. So why do so many dealers fight the change and rebuff new and innovative products or services offered to them? My guess is the primary reason is a fear of the unknown. Most people are inherently resistant to change. There is a certain comfort level achieved by knowing that today is going to be just like yesterday in all the ways that matter. Learning something new requires effort and getting outside your comfort zone, which can be scary and intimidating. Over time, people change what they are doing and don’t even realize they have changed, as long as it is done gradually. For example, let’s look at how buying and selling wholesale inventory has changed over the past 5-10 years. Almost 10 years ago marked the beginning of online auctions. At that time, almost every dealer resisted the online model because they needed to “touch and feel” the cars before buying them. Otherwise, how would they know what they bought? During the last decade, through education and assurance that it was safe, a majority of dealers have migrated to doing at least a portion of their wholesale business online, and most of the auctions, national and independent, have accepted that new venue of remarketing, which has expanded their audience and increased their sales. If you look at some of the most successful dealers in the automobile business, you see some common threads among them. Almost all of them are willing to vigorously pursue change and innovation to improve their operations. Embracing change can only make you a better business in the long run. Those are generally the dealers who are nominated and selected for state and national awards, because they have accepted the changes in our industry and in doing so have become better, stronger and more profitable because of their ability to change. Sourcing inventory today is a challenge for most dealers. There is a general shortage of “good” cars, which requires some creative solutions. The rule today should be to have as many sources as you can and expect to get a few good cars or trucks from each. Nobody knows for sure what the next evolution will be. I would like to encourage you to put your fear of change aside and give each product or service your serious consideration. Because necessity is the mother of invention, there are always going to be individuals and companies who will develop a “better mousetrap,” companies like Tradeway Auto Corp, one of our Preferred Partners, and others like them that offer a new model for sourcing inventory that could be the next step in wholesale transactions. If you are looking for new places to find inventory, you should listen to new ideas and see if they make sense for your business. After all, nobody thought you could sell a car by showing pictures of it on the Internet 15 years ago. Today, it is hard to imagine the car business without the Internet. Henry Ford was quoted as saying, “If it weren’t for change we would all be on horseback.” I’d rather be cleaning cars on my lot.

BY JAMES R. MITCHELL

The two- to three-year vehicle purchasing cycle is gone, according to a survey of nearly 4,000 car owners by AutoMD.com. Three of four respondents to the study, conducted from March to May, agreed that buying a vehicle every two to three years is a thing of the past. And half said a better economy would not change their habit of holding onto their vehicle longer than in the past. “There is nothing surprising about the economy driving car owners to hold onto their vehicles for longer – our data has been showing this trend for the past three years,” AutoMD. com vice president of marketing Brian Hafer said. “But what is most compelling is that longer ownership has become an embedded habit for car owners, regardless of what the economy does. This significant lengthening of the ownership cycle looks like it is here to stay.” The survey showed 78 percent of drivers now keep their cars 10 years or longer, and 60 percent said their primary vehicle has more than 100,000 miles on it. Two-thirds of those surveyed said they plan to keep their car until it surpasses 150,000 miles. The survey indicated the longer ownership trend is spurring consumers to seek out independent repair shops over dealership service centers. Among customers who usually go to a service center for repairs or maintenance, 69 percent said they were more likely to use independent repair shops over dealerships (20 percent) and chains (8 percent). For more information, visit www.automd.com.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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A R U N D O W N O F S O M E O F T H E L AT E S T G O V E R N M E N TA L I S S U E S A N D A C T I V I T Y A F F E C T I N G T H E U S E D C A R I N D U S T R Y

Government Report Here’s a rundown of some of the latest governmental issues and activity affecting the used car industry from Sante Esposito of Federal Advocates and NIADA legislative/regulatory/compliance counsel Shaun Petersen. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Procedural rules to establish supervisory authority over certain nonbank covered persons based on risk determination: The CFPB says it can assert jurisdiction over any financial entity that otherwise is not covered under the definition of a “larger market participant” if the CFPB has reasonable cause to believe such an entity is posing a risk to the market. That proposed procedural rule has the potential to impact our members that are not otherwise defined as larger market participants. The procedural rules outline the process under which the CFPB would find an entity to be a risk and the process by which that entity is entitled to challenge the proposed determination before being subject to the CFPB’s supervision. If the CFPB staff has “reasonable cause” to believe the entity is a risk, the deputy director will send a written notice to the entity explaining the why the bureau believes that risk exists. It will then provide an opportunity for the entity to respond in writing and to participate in an informal telephone hearing between the CFPB staff and the assistant director. The response from the entity would include any written information the CFPB could and should consider. After the informational hearing, the assistant director would submit a written proposed order to the director of the CFPB to bring the entity under the supervisory oversight of the CFPB. If the determination is made to supervise the entity, the CFPB will do so for a minimum of two years and can make a petition to be relieved of that obligation after that time, but only once annually. We reviewed these proposed rules and found several concerns we asked the CFPB to consider through comments submitted to it. Our first significant concern was the lack of clarity from the

bureau as to the type of conduct the bureau believes is “reasonable cause” to find an entity to be a risk. The proposed rule does not define “reasonable cause” or provide any framework of conduct the bureau believes would create the risk. We asked the CFPB to revise the rule to provide this definition. We also asked the CFPB to limit the risk to inappropriate or undisclosed financial risk to the consumer so the scope of misconduct the bureau would attempt to regulate is not overly broad. Second, we raised concerns about the information used to make that determination. Presumably, much of the information will be made on consumer complaints, but the rules do not specify the information the bureau will use in making its risk determination. We asked the bureau to address that. We also pointed out what we considered an unfair process, notwithstanding the CFPB’s attempt to keep it informal. The procedures proposed in the draft rule would not allow entity potentially subject to conduct to exercise discovery and examine the same material the CFPB reviewed in making its determination. The rule would not allow an entity to depose witnesses, review documents, ask interrogatories of either consumer complainants or CFPB staff as to what forms the basis of the “reasonable cause.” We believe it is patently unfair to be placed at such a disadvantage when compared to the CFPB staff, which has access to consumers or other information in making its determination. An entity should be provided the same level of access in order to properly defend itself. We also asked the CFPB to consider allowing an entity the opportunity to rebut the assistant director’s recommendation to the director before the Director makes his final recommendation. Regulation Z: The CFPB has proposed a number of changes to Reg Z in the mortgage arena. While it does not directly affect the automotive industry, it could be an indicator for proposed regulations in the near future. The proposed mortgage regulation would require prompt crediting of payments on mortgage loans and prompt response time for payoff amount inquiry.

Reg Z already requires higher-price mortgage lenders to look at the consumer’s ability to repay the loan before lending. The CFPB amended the regulation to expand its scope to any credit transaction secured by a dwelling. That rule becomes effective Jan. 21. The CFPB is proposing changes to the definition of “finance charge” in a mortgage transaction by eliminating certain exclusions that were not otherwise considered when calculating an APR. The CFPB has invited comments on the proposed changes to be submitted by Nov. 6. We will analyze the proposed change for any potential impact if something similar was adopted in the auto finance sector. Rental Cars A month after Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) introduced H.R. 6094, which prohibits the rental of motor vehicles under a safety recall until the defect or noncompliance is remedied, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) introduced S. 3502, the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2012, with Sen. Feinstein (D-Calif.) as cosponsor. The bill, a modification of a similar bill introduced by Sen. Boxer in 2011, requires notification by car rental companies to renters about any defect or noncompliance regarding the rented vehicle at issue, as well as imposing limitations on sales, leases or rentals by rental companies, holding rental companies to the same standard of responsibility as dealers with respect to various vehicle inspection, investigation and records requirements, and authorizing the Department of Transportation to study “the effectiveness of the amendments made by [the bill] and other related activities of rental companies.” Federal Trade Commission The FTC recently held a roundtable discussion about the issues facing consumers and businesses relating to online marketing and privacy, specifically regarding mobile devices and social media websites. The roundtable was used as a fact-finding tool for potential future legislation.

BY SHAUN K. PETERSEN AND SANTE ESPOSITO

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T H E P O P U L A R I Z AT I O N O F S M A R T P H O N E S A N D T H E W H I R LW I N D O F A P P S H AV E E M P O W E R E D T H E I N D U S T R Y

Growing Role of Technology in Post-Recession Market Heading into the fourth quarter of 2012, industry leaders continue to point to market trends that forecast the end of the recession. As a result of increased availability of rental, fleet and new car trades at auction and continued strong new car sales, the industry will see nearly one million more vehicles in the market in 2012. The current challenge for many independent car dealers is sourcing the right inventory as wholesale used car prices decline. The industry continues to stabilize since the peak of the recession. However, the lasting effects of the recession will continue to impact the market as we once knew it. The extreme market conditions brought on by the recession have produced a unique set of challenges for the independent used car dealer. With sharply climbing gas prices since 2007 and 2008, the market had experienced a negative impact on large truck and SUV sales. Overall used car supplies dropped substantially with the removal of more than 750,000 units by the Cash for Clunkers program. Those market changes resulted in artificially high used car prices, which made sourcing vehicles even more difficult for the average used car dealer. While the difficult market forced out many dealers during the past five years, a new crop of dealers has recently emerged. Those dealers are turning to technology to drive their businesses and maintain a competitive edge. The reliance on technology has increased significantly in the automotive sector. This permanent change has helped dealers in all areas of their business. Sourcing inventory is one of the major avenues in which dealers are using technology to assist in their “new business” flow. Many dealers are turning to consumer direct online

portals and wholesale online platforms to supplement purchases at traditional auction facilities. In addition, the popularization of handheld smartphone devices and the whirlwind of available apps have empowered the industry to source, assess, value and purchase inventory from the tools in the palms of our hands. In fact, the market is rife with smartphone app solutions for every step in the life cycle of a used car. Choosing the right products and services can take some time, but trying to run a dealership operation without the right tools to stay ahead of the competition takes even more time. With sourcing issues easing in 2012 and used car prices continuing to stabilize, the rest of the year should produce new opportunities for dealers. But staying on top of local price trends is a must to ensure profit margins stay strong and overall sales increase. Speculating on inventory levels and pricing heading into tax season can hurt some dealers if consumer demand and prices drop sharply. Market fluctuations, softer prices and macroeconomic factors are all challenges dealers could face in the next few months. Technology can help dealers stay on top of those trends. Partnering with technology-based companies that are positioned to forecast market trends and adapt according to industry needs should be an integral part of a dealer’s success in the post-recession marketplace. Dealers should look to align with companies that not only offer technology products that fit their business needs and scale of operations, but that also back their products with superior customer service. Tech solutions should allow dealers to be more efficient and effective so they can focus on core dealership operations.

Dealers should look for solutions that focus on turning inventory faster while increasing profit margins. Today’s technology can provide dealers the real-time data needed to do just that — appraisal tools, real-time reporting, market trends on specific vehicles and days’ supply. All are things a successful dealer will find important as a way to stay on top of market conditions. Additionally, a technology platform that requires dealers to make large-scale changes to their business operations might not be the right choice for all dealers. Technology solutions should enhance a dealer’s successful business practices and provide a consistent means to providing market data. As we enter a more technologicallydriven marketplace, the resilience, determination and entrepreneurial drive of used car dealers continues to inspire companies like DSC to provide the right products and services backed with superior customer service. Since 2005, Dealer Services Corporation has worked to bring innovative technology solutions to our dealer and auction partners to make floorplan financing a seamless business solution. With state of the art and industry-first technology offerings like the myDSC virtual office and the DSC Unplugged™ mobile smartphone application, DSC provides the support today’s dealers look for in a business partner. DSC is proud to serve independent car dealers and looks forward to long partnerships with its customers in navigating the postrecession market.

BY BRIAN GEITNER

BRIAN GEITNER IS PRESIDENT AND CO-FOUNDER OF DEALER SERVICES CORPORATION, THE LARGEST INDEPENDENT INVENTORY FINANCE PROVIDER FOR USED AUTOMOBILES, AND HAS MORE THAN 20 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN THE AUTO FINANCE INDUSTRY. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DSC, VISIT WWW.DISCOVERDSC.COM.

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Unrepaired open recalls are an important factor in vehicle evaluations” CARFAX COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR LARRY GAMACHE

A T H I R D O R M O R E O F A L L R E C A L L E D V E H I C L E S A R E N O T F I X E D B Y T H E I R O W N E R S . A R E A N Y I N YO U R I N V E N T O R Y ?

Finding Open Recalls Should be a Dealer Priority Manufacturer recalls are a common occurrence, with hundreds of recalls issued every year affecting millions of cars. In fact, more than 20 million cars were recalled in 2010 alone. But what is alarming about recalls is how many go unfixed by their owners – roughly a third or more of all recalled units. And thousands of those cars are bought and sold every day. It’s believed there are anywhere from 40 million to 60 million cars out there with unfixed recalls. In just the past two years, roughly 12 million cars with open recalls were added to the growing tally. And some of those vehicles are moving daily through auto auctions and being taken in on trade. While finding and fixing open recalls is everyone’s responsibility, it’s up to retailers to take the proper steps to identify any potential issues. Many are already keeping a sharp eye out for evidence of things like flood damage, odometer rollbacks or previous accidents. But what about open recalls? In 2010, a plumber from Delaware named Bob Knotts bought a van for his business from a local independent dealership. He never asked about open recalls, never checked for them and was never told if any existed. Around midnight his wife ran into the house from walking the dog, screaming that smoke was pouring out of the van. The entire front cabin was engulfed in flames. The van was destroyed. “It caught fire from an electrical component under the driver’s seat that was recalled and never fixed,” Knotts said, standing next to the van parked less than five feet from his home. “My house could have caught on fire, or I could have been driving it. Had it spread to the back of the van, where I keep a propane torch and glue that’s highly flammable, it would’ve been a complete fireball. “Not knowing there was an unfixed recall cost me $8,000.” One way to tell if a car has an open recall is to check the vehicle history. Most manufacturers report their open

recall information to CARFAX. When you’re evaluating a vehicle or looking at the auction run list, consider getting a CARFAX Vehicle History Report to help you pinpoint which vehicles have open recalls before taking them into inventory. “We understand that recalls are a concern for our customers,” said Ryan Corey, president of Autoline Automotive in Atlantic Beach, Fla. “It’s up to us to make sure the cars we’re selling have had potential issues addressed. “As an independent dealer, we take full advantage of tools like CARFAX reports that help identify open recalls. Any recalls that show up are taken to get fixed before we retail that vehicle. In fact, as a CARFAX Advantage Dealer, we run a CARFAX report on every vehicle we sell as well as any vehicle we buy. It’s a key part of our everyday operations and builds trust with potential buyers. We know we’re doing right by our customers and are putting the best cars on our lot.” Checking the vehicle history for every unit on your lot helps you make better buying decisions and builds confidence with customers. It can be to your advantage to let your customers know upfront about an open recall and help them get it fixed. Auto manufacturers understand the importance of informing their customers about a recall. Customer safety and the company’s reputation are at stake. With so many of those vehicles changing hands before they’re fixed, most manufacturers choose to work directly with CARFAX to reach the greatest number of buyers and sellers. “Ford is committed to communicating safety recall information to vehicle owners in an open and transparent manner as part of our commitment to top quality,” Ford recall and service programs operations manager Robert Case said. “Ford was the first major automaker to establish a relationship with CARFAX to provide open safety recall information as we recognized the CARFAX Vehicle History Report as a

valuable tool used by many consumers and business entities.” Independent dealers can save time and choose the right cars by checking for open recalls through a vehicle history report prior to acquisition. If you already have vehicles on your lot with open recalls, the smart and safe thing is to take them in to be closed. Show your customers the report and the service receipt with the recall completion. Customers will appreciate your honesty and focus on safety. “Unrepaired open recalls are an important factor in vehicle evaluations,” CARFAX communications director Larry Gamache said. “Estimates are that nearly a third of all recalled vehicles aren’t fixed by their owners. CARFAX is working with leading manufacturers, our dealer customers and consumer advocates to alert people to open recalls and make sure more of these are fixed.” Used car shoppers are looking to dealers to make them aware of any issues like open recalls. Be informed about the cars you’re retailing before they even reach your lot – CARFAX can help. To become a CARFAX subscriber, NIADA members can visit www.carfaxonline. com, call 877-606-9119 or visit www. niada.com and click on the “Links” tab.

BY CARFAX

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I S I T R E A L LY A B AT T L E , O R A R E T H E Y O N E A N D T H E S A M E ?

BHPH Success: Sales vs. Collection The very last thing I wish to do is start an article by upsetting the salesperson who is out on the front line of a Buy Here-Pay Here dealership every day. But let’s be honest. Selling a vehicle to customers with terrible credit scores, not much (if any) money down and/or an abnormal quality of life is not a terribly complicated or difficult task. The objective here is to get you, the dealer principal or general manager of a BHPH operation (no matter what the size), to reposition your thought process and put your priority and focus on the collection process – not the sales procedures – at your store. You need to invest your time as well as your dollars on training your salespeople, and all personnel, in the “art of the collection.” Let’s look at the entire process from the point of the typical BHPH customer. I have always contended you must always treat them as impulse or emotional buyers, even though they are credit-challenged. They all still have the following major concerns: vehicle year, make and model; overall pricing structure; weekly, biweekly, or monthly payment; and mileage and overall condition of the vehicle. Obviously there are many more issues associated with the average BHPH transaction at your dealership. But in general, when it comes right down to it, there is no price negotiating and no negotiating of the interest rate, and most of the time the dealership tells the customer which vehicle he or she can purchase that day. The salesperson does not have to overcome all the major objections listed above, and many more, as he or she would when facing a conventional finance customer. In most instances, the dealer is not overly concerned with back-end profits, or even if any aftermarket products are sold, because he will be financing all the extras anyway. The only big objective left is the ever-important down payment. In reality, Mr. Dealer, you are the bank or lending institution and you solely determine what amount you will accept to proceed with the sale. Do not misunderstand – first, you must always make a sale, and all the factors prior to that are definitely important, such as first impressions, cleanliness of your facility, attitude of salespeople, dealership reputation and vehicle selection, etc.

What I am trying to get across is that having a first-rate quality collection system in place will have a much greater effect on your profits in a BHPH operation than a good selling process. The real fact of the matter is you will not even start to make a profit in most cases until you are somewhere well into the age and depth of the note. So you have an obligation to convince each and every one of your customers that it is vitally important (and in their best interest) to make all payments on time as agreed. Thus, this all-important and high-priority task now becomes the responsibility of your collectors. So think with me here. Now your collectors become your salespeople. Allow me to ask you honestly: Have you ever considered your collectors as salespeople? The collectors must “sell” on each and every contact why your customers must maintain their payment schedules as agreed and why they must maintain constant open communication at all times with their personal collector – whoops, I mean their “salesperson.” With a lot of small BHPH stores, the collection process is left up to office personnel and basically passed off under the category of a clerical job within the office operations of the dealership. Do you as the dealer principal or decision-maker contribute hands-on involvement on a daily basis to your own established collection process? Do you have a complete and through understanding of all your collection policies and procedures? Do your collectors (salespeople) exercise the proper attitude and demeanor when it comes to collecting on each and every personal contact? Because I do business on a daily basis with BHPH dealers all over the United States, from single-point operations that sell 10-15 units a month to BHPH dealers with 65 million dollars worth of notes on the street, it jumps out at me that collections is the single most important process with the most direct effect and instant impact on whether or not you are successful as a BHPH dealer. Many experts and consultants have thousands of ideas on how you can be successful in a conventional retail used car dealership. But with a BHPH operation, Mr. Dealer, you ain’t in the car business – you

are in the finance business. You must know and understand the separation of the two entirely different operations and concepts. If you are a current BHPH dealer or are considering getting into that part of our industry, the key to being successful is not rocket science. There are no magic pills you can take to establish and maintain a great BHPH operation with a professional and productive collection process. Good collecting skills go hand and hand with good sales skills. Or are they both the same? A negative and confrontational sales call or a bad retail experience out in front of the store really translates into “no sale today.” A negative and confrontational collection call can result in “no money” for you today, which can ultimately turn into an expensive repossession and/or a possible charge-off. Both situations cost you money right now. I hope you I’ve helped you get the point loud and clear and find the answer to the question: Is sales versus collection really a battle, or are they one in the same? Prioritizing collections over sales sounds like it is out of proper sequence in the entire process, but really, it is not. So, Mr. BHPH Dealer, why not take the necessary time and money to educate and train your collectors as salespeople as well as collectors? Your answer should be that it just sounds like good old simple common sense.

BY ROD A. HEASLEY

ROD HEASLEY IS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF PERITUS PORTFOLIO SERVICES , A SOUTHLAKE, TEXAS-BASED SPECIALTY FINANCE COMPANY THAT SPECIALIZES IN THE PURCHASING OF OPEN BANKRUPTCY ACCOUNTS. HE HAS MORE THAN 30 YEARS’ EXPERIENCE IN THE RETAIL AUTOMOTIVE SALES INDUSTRY AND IS A NOTED WRITER AND SPEAKER ON THE SUBJECT. HE CAN BE REACHED AT RODH@PERITUSSERVICES.NET OR 866-831 5954, EXT. 5.

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MONEY MATTERS T H E F I R S T O F A T H R E E - PA R T S E R I E S O N T H E B A S I C S O F B A N K R U P T C Y P R O C E D U R E S A N D W H AT I T M E A N S T O D E A L E R S / L I E N H O L D E R S .

Understanding Your Customer’s Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Congress enacted the federal Bankruptcy Code in 1978, and it has been amended several times since. The procedural aspects are governed by bankruptcy rules and the local rules of each bankruptcy (BK) court. There are 90 BK courts – one in every federal judicial district in the country. The court official with the decisionmaking power in each district is a United States bankruptcy judge. Much of BK process is administrative and conducted away from the courthouse. In Chapter 7 and 13 cases, the ones that affect dealers and lien holders, the process is carried out by a trustee. What’s the Difference? The consumer bankruptcies that affect you most will be filed as Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Chapter 7 – liquidation: A chapter 7 case does not involve the filing of a plan of repayment, as in chapter 13. Instead, the trustee gathers and sells the debtor’s nonexempt assets and uses the proceeds to pay holders of claims (creditors) in accordance with the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 13 – wage earner plan: Chapter 13 offers individuals a number of advantages over Chapter 7 liquidation, including an opportunity to save their homes from foreclosure. By filing under Chapter 13, individuals can stop foreclosure proceedings and may cure delinquent mortgage payments over time, though they must still make all mortgage payments that come due during the Chapter 13 plan on time. Chapter 13 allows individuals to reschedule secured debts, other than a mortgage for their primary residence, and extend them over the life of the plan. That could lower the payments. Chapter 13 also has a special provision that protects third

parties who are liable with the debtor on “consumer debts,” a provision than can protect co-signers. Chapter 13 acts like a consolidation loan under which the individual makes payments to a trustee, who then distributes payments to creditors. Any individual, even if self-employed or operating an unincorporated business, is eligible for Chapter 13 relief as long as the individual’s unsecured debts are less than $360,475 and secured debts are less than $1,081. A corporation or partnership cannot be a Chapter 13 debtor. How Chapter 13 Works A Chapter 13 case begins by filing a petition with the bankruptcy court serving the area where the debtor has a residence. Unless the court orders otherwise, the debtor must also file schedules of assets and liabilities, a schedule of current income and expenditures, a schedule of contracts and unexpired leases, and a statement of financial affairs. When an individual files a Chapter 13 petition, an impartial trustee is appointed to evaluate the case and serve as a disbursing agent, collecting payments from the debtor and making distributions to creditors. The bankruptcy clerk gives notice of the bankruptcy case to all creditors whose names and addresses are provided by the debtor. Between 21 and 50 days after the debtor files the petition, the trustee will hold a meeting of creditors. The debtor, the trustee and those creditors who wish to attend will then come to court for a hearing on the repayment plan. The debtor must file a repayment plan with the petition or within 14 days after the petition is filed. The plan must be submitted for court approval and must provide for payments of fixed amounts to the trustee on a regular basis, typically

biweekly or monthly. The trustee then distributes the funds to creditors according to the terms of the plan, which can offer creditors less than full payment on their claims. If the debtor wants to keep the collateral securing a particular claim, the plan must provide that the holder of the secured claim receive at least the value of the collateral. If the obligation underlying the secured claim was used to buy the collateral – such as a car loan – and the debt was incurred within certain time frames before the bankruptcy filing, the plan must provide for full payment of the debt, not just the value of the collateral. If the court confirms the plan, the trustee will distribute funds received under the plan “as soon as is practicable.” Making the Plan Work Once the court confirms the plan, the debtor must make the plan succeed by making regular payments to the trustee either directly or through payroll deduction, which requires living on a fixed budget for a prolonged period. While confirmation of the plan entitles the debtor to retain property as long as payments are made, the debtor cannot incur new debt without consulting the trustee. Next: The basics of Chapter 7 filings. Note: The information presented should not be cited or relied upon as “legal authority” and should not be used as a substitute for reference to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.

BY ROD HEASLEY

ROD HEASLEY IS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF PERITUS PORTFOLIO SERVICES , A SOUTHLAKE, TEXAS-BASED SPECIALTY FINANCE COMPANY THAT SPECIALIZES IN THE PURCHASING OF OPEN BANKRUPTCY ACCOUNTS.

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DRIVING TRAFFIC

Radically Increase the Results of Your Advertising Smart dealers understand they are in control of their own destiny, growth, success and profitability this year and every year. The answer to the burning question about increasing sales and profits is better marketing, better response. What you really need to do is to dramatically increase your car advertising results. How? Good question. You must create marketing that grabs people’s attention, delivers value and causes them to be attracted to you, so you can start a relationship with them. We have found the best way to do that is to deliver information. You see, we live in the information age and to get people’s attention and get them to respond, marketers have to create marketing messages that look, feel, and sound like objective, unbiased, useful

information that helps consumers solve a problem, fulfill a want or desire, make their lives easier or streamline their decision-making process. So why does information-focused marketing work radically better than traditional marketing? Because traditional automotive marketing is all about the dealership, the vehicles and the features, and nobody really cares about those things. Gravitational Marketing, the kind of marketing that uses information to attract customers, is built around education and solutions. The true goal of effective marketing and advertising should be to educate, to clarify and simplify, to help aid the decision-making process. Gravitational Marketing is about captivating, invigorating and motivating.

All of those are accomplished through deliberately constructed content, not flashy images, misleading promotions, pink gorillas, window paint or clever slogans. Good marketing provides solutions. Solutions to problems your customers face right now and want to alleviate. A well planned and executed Gravitational Marketing strategy delivers a muchneeded cure to the pain your prospect is suffering. If you can give your prospects the information they need to eliminate their problem and ultimately provide them with a clearly defined set of steps to take, you will win their business and create a customer you can keep for life. You will become the expert in their eyes and they will flock to you. Price concerns will be secondary to the solution they seek,

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making your profits soar to new heights. Why does this Gravitational Marketing approach skyrocket response rates and beat the pants off traditional marketing? By offering information, solutions and education in your advertising instead of trying to make the sale from a single ad, you give the prospect a low-risk way to respond and indicate to you they are interested in becoming a vehicle intender. Armed with their contact information, their permission to market to them further and the knowledge that they need and want your help, you can tell your whole sales story because you have their trust and attention. That makes your marketing job easier, your response rates higher and your marketing more cost-effective. If you have ever been single and tried to get a date, you’ve used this two-step approach. Think back to when you met someone you wanted to get to know better. What did you do? Did you offer to buy them a drink, go to dinner, a movie or coffee? A small next step? Surely,

you didn’t go right up to them and ask for engagement, a one-night stand or marriage? Most dealers do just that in their marketing all the time. They go right for the big one without the romance or relationship-building. Sales and profits are all about relationships. You don’t sell a car to sell a car. You sell a car to create a client. Or at least you should. A client is someone who buys from you multiple times in his lifetime, doesn’t nickel and dime you and refers repeatedly. That’s the kind of relationship you want to create with all your customers. And it all starts with the first point of contact. In today’s extremely cluttered marketplace, successful automotive dealers have to think like consumers and become marketers. In order to dramatically increase the effectiveness of their advertising, dealers must not look at every single prospect the same way. There isn’t just one group of people they are selling cars to, there are many.

With the proper Gravitational Marketing message, you can attract nonintenders and pull them into the buyers’ circle today, dramatically increasing your pool of potential buyers. It gets better. Those new buyers you pulled into the market are 100 percent yours for the taking. You don’t have to split the spoils with anyone else because, if done right, they believe you are the only dealer who can help them now. So you don’t have to worry about losing them to the dealer down the street. Yes, there are many pitfalls and trip wires that can derail your success and keep you from reaching the goal – more ups, better quality ups, dramatically higher response to your advertising and increased sales and profits. It’s not all fun and games. But it’s not rocket science, either.

BY JIMMY VEE AND TRAVIS MILLER

JIMMY VEE AND TRAVIS MILLER ARE EXPERTS ON ATTRACTING CUSTOMERS AND THE AUTHORS OF GRAVITATIONAL MARKETING: THE SCIENCE OF ATTRACTING CUSTOMERS AND INVASION OF THE PROFIT SNATCHERS. FOR A FREE COPY OF THEIR CONTROVERSIAL NEW BOOK, VISIT WWW. PROFITSNATCHERSBOOK.COM AND USE COUPON CODE UCDM1211.

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INDUSTRY NEWS

IAA Raises $140,000 to Battle Childhood Cancer Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc., helped quench its customers’ thirst this summer and, more importantly, raised a little money to fight cancer _ $142,084, to be exact. Employees at 142 of IAA’s 160 North American branches took part in Alex’s Lemonade Stand’s National Lemonade Days, selling lemonade at the auctions as part of a major fundraising initiative held in June of each year by Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) to help raise awareness and funds in the battle against childhood cancer. Last year, IAA raised $10,000 for ALSF. “More than 1,800 of our IAA employees came together in this effort by selling lemonade onsite during auction sale days and helped IAA surpass our fundraising goal by more than 40 percent,” IAA chief executive officer Tom O’Brien said. “I am proud to lead this team and to continue to provide support for Alex’s Lemonade

Stand in the fight against childhood cancer.” Families affected by childhood cancer attended auctions at IAA’s Anaheim and Philadelphia branches to help create awareness for IAA’s fundraising efforts. In addition to cash donations, dealers, insurance companies and other donors provided cars to help support the cause. IAA’s buyers and providers contributed to the effort. “It was quite an honor to partner with IAA in support of its Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation fundraising efforts and to help generate awareness for pediatric cancer research,” said Joanna Moore, chief claims officer of Mercury Insurance Group, which donated funds generated from auctioning a 2012 Kia Optima SX at an IAA event. “We share IAA’s commitment to give back to the communities we serve to help those in need, and continue to look for ways to support worthy causes and organizations such as Alex’s Lemonade Stand.”

ALSF has created fundraising opportunities that allow people who would not usually participate in fundraising, especially children, to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer. As part of that effort, National Lemonade Days is held annually with the goal of raising $1 million for childhood cancer research over the course of three days. ALSF emerged from the front-yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott, who as a 4-yearold in 2000 announced she wanted to open a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since then, the foundation named for Alex, who died in 2004, has evolved into a national fundraising movement that has raised more than $55 million toward fulfilling Alex’s dream of finding a cure. For more information, visit www. AlexsLemonade.org.

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N AT I O N A L H I G H WAY T R A F F I C S A F E T Y A D M I N I S T R AT I O N P R E S S R E L E A S E

V I S I T W W W. D R C O L O R C H I P. C O M .

Dr. ColorChip Introduces Systems for Dealers Volvo to Pay $1.5 Million for Delayed Reporting of Recalls The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that Volvo Cars North America, LLC has agreed to pay $1.5 million in civil penalties in response to the agency’s assertion that the automaker failed to report safety defects and noncompliances to the federal government in a timely manner. The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act requires all auto manufacturers to notify NHTSA within five business days of determining a safety defect exists or that the manufacturer is not in compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standards – and to promptly conduct a recall. “With millions of vehicles traveling our highways every single day, we take our responsibility to safeguard the driving public very seriously and we expect automakers to do the same,” Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said. “Manufacturers are required to handle safety issues both quickly and appropriately.” In January 2011, NHTSA launched an investigation to determine whether Volvo met its obligation under the law to notify the agency of a safety defect and conduct a recall in a timely manner. NHTSA’s evaluation of six recalls issued in 2010 and one recall announced in 2012 found evidence that Volvo failed to report known safety defects and non-compliances to the agency in accordance with federal law. As part of the settlement, Volvo Cars North America, LLC and its parent company, Volvo Car Corporation, agreed to make internal changes to its recall decision-making process to ensure timely reporting to consumers and the federal government in the future. “It’s critical to the safety of everyone on our roadways that automakers promptly report safety defects – and take immediate action to resolve the issue,” NHTSA administrator David Strickland said. “NHTSA expects all manufacturers to obey the law and address automotive safety concerns without delay.” The fines received from the automaker will be paid into the general fund of the U.S. Treasury.

Dr. ColorChip, a nationwide provider of automotive touch-up paint, has introduced a new line of commercial automotive paint chip repair systems catered to dealership owners looking to decrease the cost of cosmetic reconditioning of used car inventory. Dr. ColorChip now offers an entry-level basic commercial system designed for dealers with fewer than 40 used car sales per month. It is a customizable 30-color system that enables small dealerships and dealers specializing in the resale of a particular make of vehicle to effectively touch up their inventory. Dr. ColorChip’s standard commercial system is a more comprehensive 80-color system meant to accommodate a dealer serving from 40 to100 cars per month. Large dealers, chain dealers and auction houses will benefit most from the 160-color deluxe system, which covers the full spectrum of car colors. “The option of bringing this system in-house is extremely attractive and makes great financial sense” to dealerships, Dr. ColorChip co-owner/developer Dan McCool said. “Its impact is immediate – driving cash to the bottom line and generating higher profits.” For more information, contact (561) 845-6122 or sales@drcolorchip.com, or visit www.drcolorchip.com.

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T H E S E C O N D O F A T H R E E - PA R T S E R I E S O N T H E B A S I C S O F B A N K R U P T C Y P R O C E D U R E S A N D W H AT I T M E A N S T O D E A L E R S / L I E N H O L D E R S .

The Ins and Outs of Chapter 7 A chapter 7 bankruptcy case does not involve the filing of a plan of repayment as in chapter 13. Instead, the bankruptcy trustee gathers and sells the debtor’s nonexempt assets and uses the proceeds to pay holders of claims (creditors) in accordance with the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code. To qualify for relief under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, the debtor can be an individual, a partnership, or a corporation or other business entity. Subject to the means test for individual debtors, relief is available under chapter 7 regardless of the amount of the debtor’s debts or whether the debtor is solvent. The debtor has no liability for discharged debts. In a chapter 7 case, however, a discharge is only available to individual debtors, not to partnerships or

corporations. While an individual chapter 7 case usually results in a discharge of debts, the right to a discharge is not absolute, and some types of debts are not discharged. How Chapter 7 Works A chapter 7 case begins with the debtor filing a petition with the bankruptcy court serving the area where the individual lives. The debtor must also file schedules of assets and liabilities, a schedule of current income and expenditures, a statement of financial affairs, and a schedule of contracts and unexpired leases. The debtor must also provide: • A list of all creditors and the amount and nature of their claims. • The source, amount and frequency of the debtor’s income. • A list of all of the debtor’s property.

• A detailed list of the debtor’s monthly living expenses – food, clothing, shelter, utilities, taxes, transportation, medicine, etc. Filing a petition under chapter 7 automatically “stays” (stops) most collection actions against the debtor or the debtor’s property. In some situations, the stay is effective only for a short time. The stay requires no judicial action. As long as the stay is in effect, creditors generally cannot initiate or continue lawsuits, wage garnishments or even telephone calls demanding payments. Between 21 and 40 days after the petition is filed, the case trustee will hold a meeting of creditors. The debtor must attend the meeting and answer questions regarding the debtor’s financial affairs and property. C O N T I N U E D O N N E X T PAG E

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Role of Trustee in Chapter 7 When a chapter 7 petition is filed, the U.S. trustee (or the bankruptcy court in Alabama and North Carolina) appoints an impartial case trustee to administer the case and liquidate the debtor’s nonexempt assets. In the typical no-asset chapter 7 case, there is no need for creditors to file proofs of claim because there will be no distribution. If the trustee later recovers assets for distribution to unsecured creditors, the bankruptcy court will provide notice to creditors and will allow additional time to file proofs of claim. The primary role of a chapter 7 trustee in an asset case is to liquidate the debtor’s nonexempt assets in a manner that maximizes the return to the debtor’s unsecured creditors. The trustee accomplishes this by selling the debtor’s property if it is free and clear of liens.

call the customer’s attorney and ask the customer’s intention. That conversation will dictate your next move prior to discharge. Next: Your options when a customer files bankruptcy.

Note: The information presented should not be cited or relied upon as “legal authority”

and should not be used as a substitute for reference to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.

BY ROD HEASLEY ROD HEASLEY IS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF PERITUS PORTFOLIO SERVICES , A SOUTHLAKE, TEXAS-BASED SPECIALTY FINANCE COMPANY THAT SPECIALIZES IN THE PURCHASING OF OPEN BANKRUPTCY ACCOUNTS.

Chapter 7 Discharge A discharge releases individual debtors from personal liability for most debts and prevents the creditors owed those debts from taking any collection actions against the debtor. Because a chapter 7 discharge is subject to many exceptions, debtors should consult competent legal counsel before filing to discuss the scope of the discharge. Generally, excluding cases that are dismissed or converted, individual debtors receive a discharge in more than 99 percent of chapter 7 cases. If a debtor wishes to keep certain secured property, such as an automobile, he or she may decide to “reaffirm” the debt. That’s an agreement that the debtor will remain liable and will pay all or a portion of the money owed, even though the debt would otherwise be discharged in the bankruptcy. In return, the creditor promises not to repossess the automobile or other property so long as the debtor continues to pay the debt. The debtor must reaffirm a debt before the discharge is entered, and must sign a written reaffirmation agreement and file it with the court. An individual receives a discharge for most of his or her debts in a chapter 7 bankruptcy case. A creditor may not initiate or continue any legal or other action against the debtor to collect a discharged debt. Your customer has three options in a chapter 7 filing: surrender the vehicle, redemption or reaffirm the note. We recommend that when you as the lien holder receive a chapter 7 notice of filing, you 23

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MARKET NEWS

Report: Expect to See More Hybrids Expect to see more hybrids cruising around the world’s highways in the next few years. According to market research report distributor ReportStack.com, the global hybrid car market is expected to grow at a rate of 18.92 percent over the next three years. The cause for the potential doubledigit growth: increasing global oil consumption, the report, titled “Global Hybrid Car Market 2011-2015,” explained. Moreover, as governments around the world try to cut down on fuel emissions, the hybrid car market has “been witnessing an increase in initiatives by governments to create awareness and acceptance of hybrid cars,” the report said. The report also cites labor arbitrage,

such as the various advantages offered by the hybrid car to the end user, such as energy efficiency, less pollution, better performance, reduced dependency on natural resources and more, as reasons for the hybrid market expansion. That said, even with the push from politicians, the high cost of hybrid cars is acting as a barrier to the market growth, the report said. ‘’With the time and research on the development of the battery systems of hybrid cars, the overall cost of batteries and total cost of ownership will decrease,” an analyst from the publishing automotive team said. “By 2014, the total cost of ownership of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with a battery of 10 kilowatt-hours will be below that of an internal combustion engine vehicle, and by 2017, the total

cost of ownership of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with a battery of 15 KWh will be lower than an internal combustion engine vehicle. “The total cost of ownership of battery electric vehicles will be less than an internal combustion engine vehicle by 2020 with the development of batteries. This reduction in cost will fuel the growth of the global hybrid car market.” Who will benefit most from this potential growth? The vendors currently dominating the hybrid market space include Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co., Ford Motor Co., and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., the report noted. General Motors Co., BMW AG and Volkswagen Group are also expected to play a role in the future fuel-efficient vehicle market.

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F U N FA C T

Studies Say Consumers Interested in Alternative Powertrains Accord­ing to two new stud­ies, dri­vers want and will pay for more fuel-effi­cient cars, including hybrids and plug-in cars. Ford Motor Co. hired Penn Schoen Berland to con­ duct a study that found seven in 10 dri­vers are tak­ing steps to reduce gaso­line con­sump­tion. A quar­ter of them told researchers that if they had an extra $1,000 avail­able at the time of their next vehi­cle pur­chase, they would pre­fer a hybrid over a con­ven­tion­ally pow­ ered vehicle. In another study con­ducted by Phoenix Mar­ket­ing Inter­na­tional, a solid major­ity of Amer­i­can motorists say they’re now will­ing to con­sider some form of alter­ na­tive propulsion, whether it’s hybrid, pure batteryelectric or some­thing else even more radical. The study found con­sumers in the lux­ury mar­ket more open to alter­na­tive tech­nolo­gies by a mar­gin of three-to-one. For main­stream prod­uct seg­ments, the margin of those willing to consider alternatives was closer to two-to-one. Car buyers under 40 years old are even more inter­ested – only 10 percent of them are not open to cleaner or more fuel-efficient pow­er­ train technology.

OHIO DEALER NEWS

Bonds No Longer Required for Used Dealers The bond is no longer required for used car dealers. We did pass mandatory pre-licensing education which requires all new applicants to attend an educational seminar prior to getting a used car license. Bonds: Not required of certain new and used motor vehicles. Set at $25,000 for title defect bond statute. Dealers in business three years or less are required to have a bond to sell vehicles without title present. After three years in business, they may join the Ohio Title Defect Rescission Fund. Call 800-3648833 for bonds and/or more information. Dealer License: New dealers must submit a license application, statement(s) of contract from the manufacturer(s), personal credit report, police report, photographs of the establishment and a financial statement. All dealer locations are physically inspected. Card-sized salesman’s license issued.

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COMPLIANCE OVERDRIVE

Out with the Old and In with the New? The year’s end is a time of reflection. When it comes to auto finance and compliance challenges, the story can sound similar from year to year. There are usually a handful of new regulations facing dealers and lenders that have made a big impact on the industry over the previous 12 months. But this year doesn’t really fit the mold. That’s because 2012 arguably hasn’t been as much about new regulation as about the additional scrutiny of regulators enforcing laws that have been in place for some time. That has been particularly evident in the areas of state-specific forms, model language and loan documentation. Some recent examples suggest a trend that state regulators are taking a closer look at existing motor vehicle retail sales financing authority and transaction documentation: New Mexico: Since 2009, a New Mexico attorney general’s regulation has required creditors to provide a summary or a translation of English-language transaction documents in consumer sales negotiated in a language other than English. Its coverage is very broad and

somewhat difficult to understand. This year, the New Mexico attorney general proposed additional changes to the regulation. After receiving comments, the AG acknowledged issues with the proposed changes and with the existing regulation itself. As a result, it pulled back the changes and repealed the existing regulation to allow for further study. Michigan: Years ago, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR) said bad check charges are not allowed in motor vehicle retail contracts in spite of statutory authority that seems to allow it. This year, the OFIR published a letter saying bad check charges cannot be collected on retail motor vehicle sales contracts unless the contract contains a bad check charge provision, indirectly reversing its prior position. The OFIR now holds that bad check charges are allowed as long as they are specifically authorized in the retail contract. Montana: The Montana late charge authority is a bit ambiguous and has been that way for many years. Because of the ambiguity, there were vastly different interpretations in the marketplace. In response to a request, the Montana Division of Banking and Financial Institutions recently published a letter clarifying its interpretation of the state statute. The apparently heightened state scrutiny might be just a coincidence. It could also be that states are demonstrating their diligence and control to the public and to the new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB regulates dealers who don’t routinely assign their financing contracts to unaffiliated third parties. For the most part, that means the CFPB regulates Buy Here-Pay Here dealers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) continues to regulate the rest of the auto sales and finance industry. The net result is there are two federal regulators in the auto finance marketplace. It’s possible states are more actively clarifying and enforcing their existing laws and regulations in an effort to maintain a level of control over the auto finance industry – hoping to minimize federal oversight. In addition to reflecting on the year that has been, it’s also time to think about what might lie ahead. What will the new regulatory environment look like in 2013? Many thought the CFPB would have done a lot of regulatory change in auto financing by now, but that hasn’t been the case. One reason is it has been focused on real estate financing practices and disclosures. The CFPB also seems to be carefully studying the consumer finance marketplace – and even consumers – to lay a solid foundation for its regulatory oversight. The CFPB’s strategic plan for 2013-18 notes one of its strategies is to “develop and maintain an efficient fact-based approach to developing, evaluating, revising and finalizing regulations.” “Fact-based” is a key term. We have seen the

CFPB asking good questions and conducting extensive research on areas it is tasked with overseeing. For example, the CFPB tested draft real estate disclosure documents with consumers in shopping malls. The Dodd Frank Act requires the CFPB to research and provide policy guidance on whether arbitration provisions should be allowed in consumer credit (non-real estate) transactions. To start that process, the CFPB published a request for suggestions, data sources and strategies to study the issue. It’s also clear the CFPB is not afraid to take a fresh approach to presenting transaction information to consumers. For example, the CFPB published a proposed rule in July regarding integrated mortgage disclosures under RESPA and the Truth in Lending Act. Leading up to the proposed rule, it published a number of drafts trying various new disclosure formats and designs. That was one of the first significant proposed rules from the CFPB, and the planning process involved extensive research and solicitation of industry and consumer feedback. As a result, the proposed rule and explanatory materials are more than 1,000 pages. The upside is the CFPB is trying practical, consumer-tested ways to present information so average consumers can understand key transaction terms. The downside is the volume of information in the proposal is overwhelming. It’s hard to know when the CFPB will complete its foundation-building and begin proposing new regulations or revising existing ones that affect the consumer auto finance industry. It’s likely big changes will come to the market. It’s just unclear when. While we’re in this waiting period, dealers might feel there are a lot of variables out of their control, but the focus needs to be on the areas you can control. Since a number of states seem to be focused on clarifying and enforcing existing requirements, dealers should review and button down compliance documentation and processes to make sure they are satisfying those requirements. Additionally, reviewing and tightening transaction standards and communication within the dealership is key. Make sure your sales and finance teams are describing financing terms and options, vehicle features, and add-on products and services in a correct and consistent manner. Educate your buyers and be direct and honest about each element of a transaction and the risks each party is assuming. Investing in those areas can go a long way toward maintaining compliance now and preparing for what lies ahead.

BY CHIP ZYVOLOSKI

CHIP ZYVOLOSKI IS A SENIOR ATTORNEY FOR INDIRECT LENDING AT WOLTERS KLUWER FINANCIAL SERVICES. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WWW.WOLTERSKLUWERFS.COM/INDIRECT.

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Independent Dealer Nov/Dec 2012  

Ohio Independent Automobile Dealers Association magazine for November and December 2012

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