Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December 2013 SDADA Column

One of a trade association’s (i.e South Dakota Automobile Dealers Association or National Automobile Dealers Association) main functions is as a representative body. A trade association advances the collective view and position of its members to government departments, agencies, regulators and legislators. It also communicates the collective view and position to the media and other opinion-makers.

It is in this capacity that the SDADA will work to work to repeal South Dakota's Damage Disclosure law in the upcoming legislative session. I know each of you recognize the many deficiencies of this law so I will not discuss that in this space.

But I will offer this experience. I opened a body shop at my Ford store in February of 2013. It has been truly amazing how many consumers have asked us to work with them to keep the damage under the $5,000 threshold for a damage disclosure. This law does not work for consumers, dealers, body shops or insurance companies. No one is well served by the law. IT IS A BAD LAW!

In order to repeal the law, however, it will take a concerted effort by our entire organization - I mean dealers and their staffs, our association staff and our vendor/partners. It is a battle worthy of fighting but we must work together to be successful. We will need support from ALL SDADA members. That means coming to our annual legislative reception, being willing to testify, making phone calls to legislators among other efforts.

We don't yet know what we will have for opposition but I know we can win this issue regardless of opposition because it is an outdated law, our organization commands great respect among legislators and we have the political capital necessary to win. But it will take a broad, grassroots effort.

I am committed to do what I can to repeal this law. I urge you to consider how you might help with this effort!

Bill to Reduce Paperwork at Auto Dealerships Advances in House

The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday approved by voice vote a bipartisan bill, H.R. 724, which would eliminate some red tape required by the Environmental Protection Agency when buying a new car or truck. The bill would repeal a 1977 mandate, which requires dealers to certify that a vehicle complies with the Clean Air Act. (This form is required to be presented by the dealer to the purchaser of a new vehicle even though all vehicles must comply with the Clean Air Act before being sold in the United States. Additionally, a Clean Air Act certification sticker can be found under the hood of most vehicles, or in the owner's manual, making an additional certification by the dealer redundant.) The legislation now goes to the floor of the House for consideration.

NADA Convention Mobile App for 2014 Now Available

The mobile app for the 2014 NADA Convention & Expo is now available for download for smart phones and tablets. The free app, which syncs with myNADAplanner, allows attendees to maximize their convention experience by providing: up-to-the-minute updates on workshop sessions and events; workshop handouts and presentations that can be downloaded; a customized schedule builder; walking maps to navigate the convention center and expo floor with exhibitor descriptions and booth locations; and tools to stay organized.

The app is available for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android devices. To download, visit the App Store or Google Play Store and search for NADA2014.