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November 30, 2015 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
Cyber Monday: Early-Bird Registration for the NADA Convention Extended to Dec. 4
Letter to The New York Times: Insulting Consumers Won't Help EV Sales
U.S. Auto Sales Head Toward Records as Carmakers Pour On Deals
FTC Settles Another Complaint Against Dealers for Federal Advertising Violations
Cadillac to Refocus Incentives for Dealers
Ford Ends 'Friends & Neighbors' Campaign for Consumers
Top Stories
Cyber Monday: Early-Bird Registration for the NADA Convention Extended to Dec. 4

For dealers and their managers planning to attend the 2016 NADA Convention & Expo in Las Vegas, this is the final week to receive the early-bird rate—a $100 discount from the onsite registration rate. Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the early-bird discount rate was extended to Friday, December 4.


As one of the most popular destinations in the country for meetings and conventions, the popular hotels in Las Vegas are filling up quickly. The NADA convention, which runs from Thursday, March 31, through Sunday, April 3, will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Considered the “Automotive Industry Event of the Year,” the NADA convention includes keynote speakers and entertainers, dealer-manufacturer franchise meetings, new educational workshops for dealers and managers, hundreds of exhibitors on the expo floor showcasing the latest equipment, services and technologies for dealerships and numerous networking events.

Dealers and their managers who register by Friday, December 4, will receive the early-bird rate—a $100 discount from the onsite registration rate. For more information or to register, visit www.nadaconvention.org/register
Source: NADA


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Letter to The New York Times: Insulting Consumers Won't Help EV Sales
By Peter Welch

Take it from a car dealer: Insulting consumers isn't a great recipe for retail success. Nevertheless, that's exactly what The New York Times did in a Nov. 24, 2015 article, "A Car Dealers Won't Sell: It's Electric."

According to The Times, auto dealers "are showing little enthusiasm for putting consumers into electric cars," and thus bear responsibility for the fact that "only" about 330,000 electric vehicles are on the road today. But this assertion simply isn't supported by the facts, or by common sense.

Car dealers are in the business of helping consumers find vehicles that best suit their needs, desires and budgets. And the reality is that electric vehicles – and the infrastructure that supports them – don’t yet suit the needs, desires or budgets of most car buyers.

Will I be able to find a recharging station if my errands run longer than anticipated? How long will recharging take? What if a new job doubles or triples the distance of my commute? Can I really afford the additional up-front cost of an electric vehicle, especially with the price of gas under $2 a gallon in many parts of the country? These are real-world questions that, understandably, lead many consumers to conclude that an electric vehicle simply isn't right for them.

That's why accusing auto dealers of being the chief skeptics standing in the way of increased electric vehicles sales assumes a rather dull and, quite frankly, insulting view the consumer. Does The New York Times really believe that consumers do not put any thought behind the second-biggest purchase many of them will ever make? That they don't come to the dealership with a pretty thorough understanding of what they need out of a vehicle, and what they can afford to pay? Or that their desires and demands don't manifest themselves in the form of the products automakers ultimately produce?

Car dealers fully embrace the importance of electric vehicles to growing segments of the market – which is exactly why dealers have fought so hard to be able to include them in their franchised fleets. But dealers know better than anyone that, at the end of the day, the consumer is king. The New York Times isn't doing its readers any favors by simply glossing over that reality.
Source: NADA

Peter Welch is president of the National Automobile Dealers Association.

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U.S. Auto Sales Head Toward Records as Carmakers Pour On Deals

Automakers, already poised to break U.S. sales records for both November and the year in a strengthening economy, are leaving nothing to chance: They’re boosting rebates and other deals in an effort to swipe market share from rivals.
Source: Bloomberg

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FTC Settles Another Complaint Against Dealers for Federal Advertising Violations

Two Ohio auto dealers have agreed to settle a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint alleging that they engaged in lease advertising that was deceptive and violated the disclosure requirements set forth in the Consumer Leasing Act and its implementing regulation (Regulation M).  According to the FTC, the dealers advertised a zero down, sign and drive lease that failed to adequately disclose material conditions to obtaining the lease.  Specifically, the FTC stated that “[o]nly at the bottom of the advertisement, in fine print and not in close proximity to the advertised vehicles, does the advertisement disclose the term of the lease, that the payment does not include tax, title, and fees, and that the offer is ‘[s]ubject to 800 beacon score or higher with approved credit.’”  The FTC then noted that the “typical consumer” neither has a 800 beacon score or higher nor understands what a beacon score is or how it may differ from a generic credit score. Consequently, the FTC cited the dealers for (i) engaging in deceptive advertising for failing to adequately disclose that typical consumers cannot qualify for the advertised terms, and (ii) violating Regulation M by using a trigger term (a monthly payment amount) without clearly and conspicuously including additional disclosures that Regulation M requires.  The terms of the proposed consent agreement are available here.  Dealers are reminded to seek a legal review of their advertisements before they are presented to the public.  
Source: NADA Regulatory Affairs

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Cadillac to Refocus Incentives for Dealers

Cadillac is drafting a retail incentive program that could significantly boost factory payments to dealers who invest in their stores, new technology and other elements to improve the customer experience. Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen said the program could add as much as $850 million to $1 billion in "incremental profit for the dealers" over the next four to five years. Cadillac is working out details of the program, which will be floated to dealers at a national meeting in February.
Source: Automotive News

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Ford Ends 'Friends & Neighbors' Campaign for Consumers

Ford said Friday it will end its "Friends & Neighbors" incentive program just one month after it began and at least one month before it was scheduled to end. For the past month, the automaker extended the same discount rate given to suppliers and other business partners to all customers through the promotional campaign. Ford billed the incentive program as "hassle free" pricing in commercials that featured Ford employees and was counting on it to generate big sales gains through the end of the year.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Quotable
"There are still many old cars on the road so there will be continued strong demand. We want to maintain discipline but some competitors have dialed incentives up."

    -- Alan Batey, president of GM North America, commenting on the strong U.S. retail-auto industry as the year comes to a close, Bloomberg, Nov. 30

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