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April 22, 2016 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
Justices Consider if FLSA Covers Car Service Advisors
Legal Hurdles Remain for Volkswagen in U.S. Clean-Diesel Cases
Mercedes-Benz Parent Daimler Launches U.S. Emissions Probe
Dealers Urged to Turn to Salespeople to Win New EV Customers
Top Stories
Justices Consider if FLSA Covers Car Service Advisors

Supreme Court ponders if Labor Department reasonably construed an FLSA exemption for certain car dealership employees not to cover service advisors. A court decision expected by June 30 could affect the overtime pay status of some 45,000 service advisors nationwide.
Source: BNA

Editor's note: Supreme Court Hears Argument on Whether Service Advisors are Exempt from Overtime  

The U.S. Supreme Court on April 20 heard oral argument in Encino Motorcars v. Navarro, an appeal from a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the applicability of federal overtime rules to dealership employees variously described as service writers, service advisors or service salesmen. The Ninth Circuit decision deferred to a 2011 DOL ruling that reversed 30 years of prior agency interpretation and contradicted numerous court rulings holding that service advisors are exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Thanks to NADA's support, former Solicitor-General Paul Clement expertly argued on behalf of the petitioner, a southern California Mercedes dealership. The petitioner was also supported by a "friend of the court" amicus brief filed by NADA and the nine state dealer associations in the Ninth Circuit (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington). That amicus brief was cited several times during the argument.  

A decision by the Court is expected later this year. A ruling for the dealership would reverse the Ninth Circuit's decision, effectively reverting to the DOL's time-honored pre-2011 position that service writers/advisors are "salesmen" exempt from overtime. A majority ruling against the dealership would compel all dealers nationwide to reconsider how and how much their service writers/advisors are paid. A four-four tie would leave the Ninth Circuit's decision in place, forcing just those dealers in Ninth Circuit states to reconsider their compensation policies. For additional information, contact Doug Greenhaus at dgreenhaus@nada.org or 703.821.7040.

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Legal Hurdles Remain for Volkswagen in U.S. Clean-Diesel Cases

Volkswagen AG faces further legal fights on several fronts in the United States despite its announcement on Thursday it reached a preliminary deal to resolve consumers' and regulators' claims over vehicles outfitted with software to cheat on diesel-emissions tests. The U.S. Department of Justice said its criminal investigation into the conduct of Volkswagen remained ongoing, and a multi-state probe into consumer and environmental violations will continue, according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, whose office is among those leading the investigation. It also remains unclear whether the consumers behind the 600 class actions filed over the scandal will ultimately accept Volkswagen's offer, or choose to keep litigating.
Source: Reuters

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Mercedes-Benz Parent Daimler Launches U.S. Emissions Probe

German automaker Daimler, parent company to the Mercedes-Benz and Smart car brands in U.S., says it is conducting an investigation into how it certifies its emissions at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice. The disclosure comes as another German automaker, Volkswagen, deals with fallout from its disclosure that it added software to its diesel-powered cars to allow them to cheat in emissions testing. But Daimler's report didn't focuses just on diesels, but its emissions program in general.
Source: USA Today

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Dealers Urged to Turn to Salespeople to Win New EV Customers

NADA releases new Driven publication, “A Dealer Guide to Marketing Electric Vehicles”

Dealers shared advice, experience and recommendations for capturing and retaining electric-vehicle customers during a workshop and panel discussion at the recent NADA Convention & Expo in Las Vegas. For participants and attendees alike, the message was clear: Successfully marketing EVs hinges on a dealer’s ability to turn salespeople into “EV experts” in order to make a customer feel confident about investing in a vehicle that may require them to think differently about commuting, long-distance travel, service, financing and even parking.
Source: NADA


Editor's note: In addition to hosting the EV workshop at the 2016 convention, NADA released its new Driven
publication: "A Dealer Guide to Marketing Electric Vehicles" (available at no charge to members. Sign in and click "Continue" to download). The guide provides dealers and their employees with detailed information and a list of resources they can use to address customer issues regarding battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

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          Quotable
          "I think the secret is to find the 'Electric Einstein,' the passionate person in your dealership who can sell these. They take it on as their own entrepreneurship, and then the rest falls into place."

              -- Dave Rolf, executive director of the Hawaii Auto Dealers Association, on how to successfully sell EVs in remarks during a workshop and panel discussion at the NADA Convention in Las Vegas, NADA, April 22

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