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Inside this issue
Commentary: Navigating the Maze of Federal Regulations
FTC Announces 'Crackdown on Deception, Fraud in Auto Sales, Financing and Leasing'
NADA Statement in Response to FTC Announcement of Auto Enforcement Actions
Their Ranks Thinned, the Surviving Car Dealerships Thrive
CNBC to Live Stream Interview with Buffett and Van Tuyl at Auto Forum in NYC
Concept Cars: 'Star' Cars at the New York Auto Show
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Commentary: Navigating the Maze of Federal Regulations
By Bill Fox/ NADA chairman

It's clear by now that new-car dealers are not just responsible for facilitating the complex transactions of vehicle sales to the American public, but also for complying with numerous federal and state regulations on a daily basis. And to assist dealers with this ongoing challenge, the National Automobile Dealers Association is providing its members with another essential tool to help navigate the maze of federal regulations. It's called A Dealer Guide to Federal Advertising Requirements.

In January 2014, NADA rolled out a vital resource for its members. The NADA Fair Credit Compliance Policy & Program serves as an optional tool to help dealers comply with fair credit requirements. Just like auto finance, several important federal requirements govern the field of advertising, and cover everything from credit and lease advertising to prize promotions to green-marketing claims.

To demonstrate its commitment to advertising compliance, NADA released its comprehensive guide on federal advertising requirements at the 2015 NADA Convention and Expo. This provides a compliance resource in an area that has come under intense scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission, and that has resulted in a series of enforcement actions against dealers across the country. Click here for the full commentary.
Source: NADA

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FTC Announces 'Crackdown on Deception, Fraud in Auto Sales, Financing and Leasing'

The Federal Trade Commission and 32 law enforcement agencies announced on March 26 the results of Operation Ruse Control, which the FTC describes as a “nationwide and cross-border crackdown to protect consumers when purchasing or leasing a car.” According to the FTC, since January 2014, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have collectively brought 187 enforcement actions in the United States and 65 enforcement actions in Canada against dealers (both licensed and unlicensed), dealer employees, service providers, auto lenders, auto title lending companies, auto loan modification companies and others for a variety of civil and criminal charges. The charges include claims of deceptive advertising, automobile loan application fraud, odometer fraud, deceptive add-on fees and deceptive marketing of car title loans. Click here for a chart detailing these actions.  

The enforcement actions announced today include six new actions by the FTC involving alleged violations related to advertising (3 actions), disclosures related to “add-on” products (2 actions) and conduct related to an auto loan modification (1 action). The FTC press release contains links to FTC blogs addressing several of these issues.
Source: NADA Regulatory Affairs

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NADA Statement in Response to FTC Announcement of Auto Enforcement Actions

In response to March 26 announcement by the FTC that the agency has initiated six new enforcement actions against four auto dealerships and two financial services entities, NADA released the following statement:

"NADA strongly supports governmental efforts to address fraud and other prohibited conduct in the marketplace, and we continuously work with federal agencies to provide comprehensive compliance information to our members. It is important to recognize that the enforcement actions announced today are not indicative of any systemic problems within the auto industry - nor, as the agencies acknowledged, are they reflective of the overwhelming number of honest businesses that make up the nation's franchised dealer network. They do, however, involve serious allegations, and while we have no first-hand knowledge of the facts surrounding these individual cases, we share the agencies' view that there is absolutely no place for fraud or deceptive practices in any part of the business community."
Source: NADA

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Their Ranks Thinned, the Surviving Car Dealerships Thrive

Only a few years ago, in the depths of the recession, the local car dealership seemed to be living on borrowed time. Franchises were closing by the hundreds as buyers stayed away from what were increasingly seen as outmoded showrooms. Now, with the economy back, auto sales are booming, and investors seemingly cannot get enough of the hardscrabble business of “moving metal.” This month, Berkshire Hathaway, Warren E. Buffett’s holding company, completed its acquisition of the Van Tuyl Group, the largest privately held dealership group in the country. The franchise car dealer is not only surviving, but even thriving. “What you’re seeing now is the culmination of lots of changes that have been building in recent years,” said Steven Szakaly, chief economist with the National Automobile Dealers Association.
Source: The New York Times

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CNBC to Live Stream Interview with Buffett and Van Tuyl at Auto Forum in NYC

The fireside chat during the sold-out NADA / J.D. Power Automotive Forum with Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and Larry Van Tuyl, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Automotive, will be streamed live by CNBC at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 31. The panel session will be moderated by Becky Quick, co-anchor of CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” To view the live stream, visit www.cnbc.com, and click the link on the homepage. In addition, Quick will sit down with Buffett and Van Tuyl for an exclusive live interview on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” at 1:35 p.m.

The 6th annual Automotive Forum, hosted by the New York International Auto Show, is a full-day event that provides insight into the global auto industry from several perspectives—retailing, manufacturing, economic, marketing and technology. Other industry speakers include NADA’s Bill Fox and Peter Welch, J.D. Power’s John Humphrey, Cadillac’s Johan de Nysschen, Subaru’s Tom Doll, Nissan’s Fred Diaz, Lexus’ Mark Templin and IHS’ Nariman Behravesh and many others. For the full agenda, visit www.autoforumny.com.
Source: NADA / J.D. Power

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Concept Cars: 'Star' Cars at the New York Auto Show

At the 2015 New York International Auto Show, concept cars provide a glimpse into the future by pushing the boundaries of design, technology and fuel efficiency. By gazing at these 'star' cars, visitors will get a glimpse of the vehicles that could be driven in the years ahead. For enthusiasts, nothing beats the excitement of seeing a car of the future before it makes its way into production. Check out some of the amazing concept cars that will be on display at this year’s show: See page 2 of Show News. The auto show runs from Friday, April 3, to Sunday, April 12, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.
Source: NYIAS

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Quotable

"NADA's goal this year is steadfast; to defend the efficient business model of dealers from the challenges posed in our nation's capital, and be an effective advocate for the thousands of franchised new-car dealers across the country."

    -- NADA Chairman Bill Fox in an NADA commentary, March 2015

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