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Inside this issue
Opinion: Orlando Was the Place to Be
Auto Lenders' Business is Great. Now What?
Latta Bill Would Assist Auto Dealers
First, Burger King is Hit, Then Jeep in Cyber Attack
Text Me, Maybe
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Opinion: Orlando Was the Place to Be
By Keith Crain

Click here for the commentary on the NADA convention from Automotive News.

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Auto Lenders' Business is Great. Now What?

Business is so good for auto lenders, it actually scares them a little. "If you ask me what keeps me up at night, I worry that the best day for us and for our dealers was yesterday," said Nick Stanutz, auto finance group director at Huntington Bancshares Inc. of Columbus, Ohio. "The fundamentals of the business are never going to get any better than they are today," he said during a panel discussion at the American Financial Services Association Vehicle Finance Conference. Stanutz itemized business factors that already are souring: "Interest rates are going up. New-car prices are going up. Used-car prices are going down. There's the possibility of new regulations. The consumer is more knowledgeable. Dealers are selling cars for less gross margin while making major capital investments." A separate panel discussion at the conference was dedicated to the question: Is this as good as it gets? That panel, discussing the auto finance landscape, also noted some of the same threats but overall hit a more optimistic note than Stanutz's comments. Several auto lenders interviewed at the conference and at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention had specific concerns about the future. Some worry that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could impose new regulations for auto finance.
Source: Automotive News

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Latta Bill Would Assist Auto Dealers

U.S. Representative Bob Latta (R-Ohio), along with Representative Gary Peters (D-Mich.), introduced legislation [last Thursday] that would repeal a duplicative mandate that requires auto dealers to certify if a new vehicle has an emissions system. “This bipartisan effort to eliminate outdated and duplicative regulations will relieve auto dealers from unnecessary red tape they must deal with on a daily basis. This redundant paperwork requirement is from an outdated law that has been superseded by modern technology and standard vehicle warranties. Small business owners are already compliant with the law and the only impact of this unnecessary paperwork requirement is increased costs for auto dealers and consumers,” said Congressman Latta. “Repealing laws that burden small business with no discernible benefit to consumers is something both parties should agree on,” added David Westcott, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). “I commend Reps. Latta and Peters for their effort to repeal this obsolete mandate.”
Source: The Van Wert Independent

Editor's note: To build support for H.R. 724, dealers are urged to call their Representatives and ask them to cosponsor the bill. Congress can be reached through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3121. Operators can direct dealers to the proper office.

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First, Burger King is Hit, Then Jeep in Cyber Attack

Hackers dragged Jeep's name through the mud, splattering profanity and wreaking cyber havoc on the brand's Twitter account for more than an hour Tuesday. In tweets that began shortly after 1 p.m. the Jeep logo on Twitter was swapped with a Cadillac logo and tweets implying drug use by company executives were published online. It was the latest in a wave of social media mischief. Burger King reported Monday that someone hacked its Twitter account, changing its profile picture to a McDonald's logo and spewing inappropriate tweets similar to those found on Jeep's account.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Text Me, Maybe

Text chat and text marketing are driving customer engagement, and two innovative dealers say they're the perfect ways to reach their Gen Y buyers

The Internet department at Cincinnati's McCluskey Chevrolet is always looking for the latest tool to keep a digital lead in the palm of their hand. Lately, their tool of choice has been a text chat solution that allows them to answer questions posed by smartphone-wielding customers. Kate Wessendorf, McCluskey's Internet director, says her team is successful at converting 11 percent of mobile leads, 14 percent of which originate from the dealership's text chat service. Click-to-call and e-mail are responsible for generating 80 and 6 percent of the dealership's mobile lead volume, respectively. “We have a lot of focus [on texting] ... We expect this number to continue to grow as texting becomes the globally preferred form of communication, and [we] feel confident that our vision in technology has prepared us to meet this challenge.” Wessendorf says. “It's the wave of the future, and you have to be ahead of the game.”
Source: F&I and Showroom

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Quotable
"Repealing laws that burden small business with no discernible benefit to consumers is something both parties should agree on. I commend Reps. Latta and Peters for their effort to repeal this obsolete mandate."

   
-- NADA Chairman David Westcott, commenting on a bill that would repeal a mandate, which requires auto dealers to certify if a new vehicle has an emissions system, The Van Wert Independent (Ohio), Feb. 16


  

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