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Geoff Pohanka elected to NADA Board for Metro Washington
NADA has made it official: Geoff Pohanka, Pohanka Automotive, has been elected by dealers from NADA's Metropolitan Washington director district to represent them on the NADA Board, effective immediately. The term, 3 years, will run until March, 2018 when the NADA Convention is scheduled to commence. Mr. Pohanka replaces Tamara Darvish in this office who represented Metropolitan Washington for six years on the NADA Board. Mr. Pohanka actually preceded Ms. Darvish at NADA having served two (2) three year terms from 2002 through 2008. [FULL BULLETIN]

FITZGERALD SUBARU WINS THE SUBARU
ECO-FRIENDLY DEALER AWARD
Jack Fitzgerald Says Itís the Right Thing to Do
to Reduce our Carbon Footprint
ROCKVILLE, MD (APRIL 7, 2015) Subaru awarded the Eco-Friendly Dealer Award to both Fitzgerald Subaru dealerships in Rockville and Gaithersburg this week. The Subaru Eco-Friendly award recognizes environmental stewardship and the reduction of a dealer's carbon footprint on the environment and helping the Earth in the five key areas: energy efficiency, water conservation, recycling, waste management and community involvement. [PRESS RELEASE]

FTC, states announce crackdown on fraud in auto sales, finance
The Federal Trade Commission and 32 states announced a nationwide crackdown on deception and fraud in auto sales, financing and leasing. There were 187 enforcement actions since the agency's last sweep, including one in Maryland and 41 in Virginia. Many of the Virginia enforcement actions were against independent dealers, several of them for failure to advertise as a dealer on Craigslist. [FULL BULLETIN]

WANADA and DC DMV work through dealers questions with
the new Title Tax Calculator rolling out next week, April 1
With DC DMV launching its new Vehicle Title Tax Calculator next Wednesday, April 1, 2015, agency administrators working with dealer title processors through WANADA have sorted out the questions that arose when the project was first announced earlier in the year. Reiterating and broadening the clarification dealers processing DC title work need in order to comply with DMV's new approach, here is how it will work. [FULL BULLETIN]

WANADA working with DC DMV to ensure smooth
roll out of their new title tax calculator, Apr. 1
As has been publicized by DC DMV and in issues of the WANADA Bulletin over the past month, the city's motor vehicle agency is moving forward to bring itself into compliance with regulations that specify vehicle title tax calculations based upon the NADA Used Car Guide for the Eastern U.S. The announced departure from DMV's approach in recent years to accept dealer calculations of DC title tax based upon actual vehicle sale prices has caused a stir among Washington area dealerships which sell most of the vehicles purchased by DC residents, who in turn must register them through DC DMV. [FULL BULLETIN]

MVA Bulletin
Excise Tax Credit Request for Plug-In Electric Vehicles
Effective March 27, 2015, the excise tax credit for Plug-in Electric Vehicles will be discontinued. The funds for this program will have been depleted for this fiscal year and will no longer be available. [FULL BULLETIN]

Maryland House panel rejects Hogan's rain tax repeal bill
The Maryland House Environment and Transportation Committee last week voted down Governor Larry Hogan's proposal to repeal the stormwater remediation fee, a.k.a. "The rain tax." The bill that established the fee, signed into law in 2012, requires 10 of the state's largest jurisdictions to tax its citizens to clean up stormwater runoff from paved surfaces before it flows into the Chesapeake Bay. The bill was passed to meet a federal mandate. The amount of the fee is related to the size of the landowner's property, meaning some businesses would owe significant dollars in taxes. [FULL ARTICLE]

Area auto sales: Up 5% in 2014; 15% in fourth quarter
Like the overall U.S. market, Washington area new auto sales continue upward, rising 5 percent in 2014, from already respectable sales in 2013, to include a 15% spike for the fourth quarter. U.S. sales, which fell farther during the recession and had farther to reset than metro Washington, were up 10.7 percent for the year and 7.2 percent in the fourth quarter. Washington area figures are from WANADA's Area Report based on R.L. Polk new-vehicle registration data. U.S. sales figures are from NADA and Ward's Automotive. [FULL ARTICLE]

DC DMV delays used car tax calculator until April 1
With bugs in the launching of its online used car tax calculator that DC DMV planned to implement on March 1, 2015, city motor vehicle regulators backed the effective date off until April 1.
As reported in the WANADA Bulletin and elsewhere, the used car value calculator for DC title tax on vehicles retailed by dealers to DC residents is based upon the NADA Used Car Guide, Eastern U.S. edition. City motor vehicle regulators say they will enforce their calculator values irrespective of the actual retail sales price of the used vehicle. [FULL ARTICLE]

DC DMV's used car value calculator for title tax, eff. Mar. 1
Regulators from DC DMV announced at The Washington Auto Show regional motor vehicle law seminar for WANADA members recently that they were moving forward with an automated approach to determining title tax on used vehicles retailed by dealers to DC residents. As explained, and now up on its website, DC DMV has devised a calculator utilizing used car values from the NADA Used Car Guide, Eastern U.S. edition, that will become the agency's reference for determining if the used car sale by a dealer has had the DC title tax computed correctly. [FULL ARTICLE]

2015 Washington Auto Show turnout breaks
all-time record
set in 2013, eclipsing 2014 by 8%
Until now, the best attended Auto Show in Washington's history was 2013, the year after President Obama came down the street from the White House to the W.E. Washington Convention Center to tour the show. But the 2015 WAS that just ended was 3.5% higher than the all-time best turnout of 2013. And 8% higher than last year. "Our Auto Show organizers can all take a bow on an automotive event the like of which has never occurred in Washington," said Kevin Reilly, chairman of the 2015 Washington Auto Show. [FULL ARTICLE]

NADA Convention upbeat as dealers
hear Jeb Bush, Jay Leno
Auto sales looked good a year ago as dealers gathered at the annual NADA Convention, but by the time they met last week in San Francisco for the 2015 Convention, it was even more clear that auto sales, and the auto industry overall, are leading the economy. Dealers' upbeat mood was reflected at the convention, where attendance of 23,000 plus was the highest in many years. The exhibit floor was sold out, with 570 companies exhibiting. Workshop attendance also set a new record. Leading the general sessions, two keynoters proved to be dealer favorites: Prospective presidential candidate and former Florida governor Jeb Bush and comedian Jay Leno (no report on Mr. Leno because no press were allowed in that session). [FULL ARTICLE]

Snow burst covers Made Across America
launch of the 2015 WAS
A scene out of a Currier & Ives sketch from 19th Century Washington, snow squalled on the Made Across America event on January 21 that kicked off the Washington Auto Show's Public Policy Days. But that didn't stop industry representatives or media reporting the event at the foot of the U.S. Capitol. The display featured a range of new vehicles parked directly in front of the Capitol, driven there by teams of industry staff, journalists, and auto aficionados from their corporate headquarters. Kia, for example, was driven from the company's plant in Georgia. [FULL ARTICLE]

Speakers set for Public Policy Days at Auto Show;
Show opens to public Friday, big crowds expected
The Washington Auto Show is ready to open against a backdrop of another spectacular year just past for the auto industry, an improving economy and the lowest gas prices in years. In a year when economists are forecasting record auto sales of 17 million for the first time since 2001, area residents are expected to flock to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for the region's premier automotive event, known on the auto show circuit as the Public Policy Show. [FULL ARTICLE]

Energy Secretary Moniz to deliver U.S. keynote
at Auto Show
U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will deliver the keynote address at the Washington Auto Show next week, January 22, during Industry/Media Day. Moniz drew a big crowd last year when he announced a new program at the Washington Auto Show offering $50 million in federal funding for fuel-efficient vehicles. [FULL ARTICLE]

VIP tours with auto experts to be
offered again at Auto Show
Back by popular demand The Washington Auto Show will again offer VIP tours of the various new car exhibits at the upcoming 2015 exposition. The Auto Show happens Jan. 23 - Feb. 1 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Two auto experts and longtime industry observers will be the tour guides: John Davis, the Emmy-Award winning producer and creator of the PBS show MotorWeek, and Les Jackson, auto journalist and new vehicle evaluator who reviews 100s of new vehicles a year. [FULL ARTICLE]

Public Policy Days shaping up for industry reps
and media at 2015 Washington Auto Show
Industry leaders and the media will find a range of unprecedented activities during Public Policy Days at the 2015 Washington Auto Show - and, with any luck, better weather than last year. Made Across America: The schedule kicks off at 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 21, with a "Made Across America" press event. Based on the theme "How America Works," this program will celebrate the jobs and resources created by the auto industry in the U.S. and the communities that benefit. [FULL ARTICLE]

Duck Dynasty star Sadie Robertson
to appear at the Auto Show
After winning the hearts of countless admirers in the latest season of Dancing with the Stars, 17-year-old charmer Sadie Robertson is headed to meet her fans at the Washington Auto Show. The star of A&E's cult hit Duck Dynasty will appear on Friday, January 23, at the show, where she will spread her message to "live original". A motivational speaker, Robertson spends her summers on church mission trips and working at a Christian youth camp where she urges kids to "live original" by learning to express themselves with confidence. [FULL ARTICLE]

Cadillac president de Nysschen to keynote Auto Show
One of today's most admired automotive leaders, Johan de Nysschen, will present the industry keynote address at the 2015 Washington Auto Show, Thursday, January 22. The address will kick off Public Policy Preview Day at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. As president of the leading American luxury brand of Cadillac, with a history of leadership with several of the world's top luxury automakers, de Nysschen exemplifies a key thrust of the 2015 Auto Show: The resurgence of the auto industry. [FULL ARTICLE]

George Will cites CFPB as government overreach while
extolling the value of American individualism
Political analyst and unabashed baseball fan, George Will, entertained and enlightened WANADA members at the dealer organization's 2014 Annual Meeting and Luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner last Tuesday, December 2. He spoke of the endangered spirit of American individualism and its entrepreneurial philosophy, jeopardized by a creeping statism, or big government, which by design will increase dependency on government. [FULL ARTICLE]

WANADA Area Report:
Washington area sales up 9 percent in 3rd quarter
Washington area sales rose more than 9 percent in the third quarter, but just 2 percent year to date, according to WANADA's Area Report based on R.L. Polk new-vehicle registration data. U.S. sales rose more slowly than Washington area sales in the third quarter, at 7.8 percent, but at a more rapid pace than local sales year to date, at 5.4 percent. United State figures are from NADA/Ward's. [FULL ARTICLE]

Schedule set for 2015 Washington Auto Show;
hotel rooms open
The latest in new vehicle technology, design, innovation and alternative fuel solutions from more than 40 automakers worldwide will be on display at the 2015 Washington Auto Show. Public Policy Days unite auto industry leaders with public policy makers to drive a smarter, greener, clear and safer automotive future. [FULL ARTICLE]

WANADA Annual Lunch with George Will coming up, Dec. 2nd
Will to analyze American politics, post mid-terms
Renowned syndicated columnist and political commentator George Will is poised to speak on the new politics in America when he speaks at the WANADA Annual Meeting on December 2. The lame duck session of Congress will have 10 days to go, and judging by past experience Congress will still have plenty on its plate. Will received an enthusiastic reception when he spoke at the WANADA Annual Meeting several years ago, and dealers will be interested to hear his views on how the new Congress will affect the politics of Washington. [FULL ARTICLE]

Expanded Green Car Awards at 2015 Washington Auto Show
The 2015 Washington Auto Show will host an expanded Green Car Awards program that will include the Luxury Green Car of the Year, the Green Car Technology Award and the Green SUV of the Year. Winners will be announced at the show's Public Policy Day at the Washington Convention Center January 22. "As the central address where the auto industry meets public policy, the Washington Auto Show recognizes the critical role of sustainability in this sector and our role in promoting progress," said Kevin Reilly, Auto Show chairman. "We are delighted to expand our longstanding relationship with the Green Car Journal in putting these issues front and center." [FULL ARTICLE]

Charlie Stringfellow: WANADA's choice for 2015 Time Dealer
WANADA is proud and pleased to announce to the membership that Charles S. Stringfellow, Jr, chairman of Brown Automotive, will represent the Metropolitan Washington region for the Time Magazine Dealer of the Year to be bestowed January 23, 2015 at the NADA Convention in San Francisco. The Time Dealer of the Year Award is a high honor in the automotive retailing industry and the dealers who are so recognized are among the most successful. WANADA's CEO John O'Donnell nominated Mr. Stringfellow for the TDoY award. [FULL ARTICLE]

Ben Bradlee's reach was wide and inclusive and hands-on with WANADA dealers
The storied executive editor at The Washington Post, the late Ben Bradlee, was remembered warmly at his funeral this week at the National Cathedral in an event rivaling those of former presidents in terms of pomp and circumstance and turnout. He died a week ago on Oct. 21 at the age of 93. Typical of Mr. Bradlee, he reportedly choreographed his own funeral arrangements, which reflected a full church turnout of notables and the ordinary. He made history early into his 23 year stint as executive editor at The Post when he won the bet supporting his reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as they broke the story in the Post in 1971 on the Watergate break-in to Democrat campaign headquarters which ultimately brought down the Nixon Administration. [FULL ARTICLE]

Md. MVA now has electronic safety inspection certificates
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration has started using electronic safety inspection certificates. The new process is a result of House Bill 246 passed in the 2014 legislative session. This legislation removes the requirement for a written inspection but still requires dealers to have vehicles inspected, before sale. There are currently two formats available to present the Maryland Safety Inspection Certificate: a paper certificate (no changes) and a paper electronic certificate. For the paper electronic certificate, the control number begins with "E" and the signature is machine printed. It is accepted using the same process as a paper certificate. [FULL ARTICLE]

Dealer associations convene on public policy,
gov't relations and the franchise system
New auto dealer associations making up the Automotive Trade Associations network (ATAE) came together last week in Chicago to focus on state and national level public policy initiatives for their automotive retailer members in the context of external industry relations with the government; internal industry relations between OEMs and dealers; the integrity of the franchise system; and plaintiffs' lawyer- inspired consumer protection initiatives. [FULL ARTICLE]

Two auto shows, two national capitals:
WANADA reps present Washington to OEMs in Paris
A delegation of WANADA dealers attended press days for the Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris, which opened to the public there this week, for the purpose of meeting with OEM executives, industry leaders and industry observers to present plans for the 2015 Washington Auto Show. As one of the grandest events of its kind in the world, the Paris Motor Show is an important venue to visit because of the scores of industry pacesetters and OEM auto show organizers who turn out. [FULL ARTICLE]

George Will to speak at WANADA's Annual Luncheon
Dec. 2, Ritz Tysons Corner
Members may buy tickets now for WANADA's Annual Meeting and Luncheon December 2, which this year will feature distinguished columnist and commentator George F. Will. The event will take place at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, Va. Will is not only known for his authoritative and lively commentary on national news shows, but is also America's most widely read columnist. His column has been syndicated by the Washington Post since 1974 and appears twice weekly in 500 newspapers in the United States and Europe. He received an enthusiastic reception when he spoke at WANADA's Annual Luncheon ten years ago and will surely have plenty to say about the gridlock in Congress and the difficulties on the international stage. [FULL ARTICLE]

CFPB looks to expand regulatory reach
to finance captives on auto loans
NADA offers its fair lending program as an alternative
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed rulemaking last week that would extend its supervisory authority to overseeing auto lending practices by finance captives because the agency continues to believe that minorities are being discriminated against. Challenging CFPB on the discrimination charges, NADA proposed that the agency instead accept the association's Fair Credit Compliance Policy as an alternative to rule making that NADA believes is unnecessary. The policy, issued by NADA earlier this year, was based on a 2007 model developed by the Department of Justice to resolve a discrimination case. NADA's proposal was made jointly with the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD) and the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA). [FULL ARTICLE]

Renowned commentator George Will to keynote
WANADA Annual Luncheon
Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, Ritz Tysons
WANADA is delighted to announce that esteemed political commentator and syndicated columnist George F. Will is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at WANADA's Annual Meeting and Luncheon which is set for Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at the Ritz Carlton, Tysons Corner, Va. Well known for his authoritative and lively commentary on any number of national news shows, along with his many contributions as a syndicated writer with 400 news organizations, Will's perspective couldn't be more timely than it will be when he shares it at WANADA's Annual Lunch given Washington's dysfunctional politics and America's place in an ever more menacing and turbulent world. [FULL ARTICLE]

August sales beat expectations, break records: 17.5 m. SAAR
Despite analysts' expectations that August sales would drop slightly and automakers forecasting an overall 3 percent rise, sales for the month were up 5.5 percent from a year ago. The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate was an impressive 17.5 million. Many factors contributed to the strongest sales in eight years: increasing consumer confidence, the prevalence of 0 percent financing with long loan terms, continuing pent-up demand, attractive lease deals. It helped that Labor Day weekend fell in August giving the month five weekends. [FULL ARTICLE]

Millennials moving from small cars to crossovers
In one way, at least, millennials are just like their parents: As they get older and earn a little more income, they are moving from small cars to crossovers. The change, recorded in a new study by Maritz Research, comes as many millennials are entering their early 30s, starting families and moving to the suburbs. Half of the young people in the survey said they plan to buy a vehicle in the next four years, and 80 percent of them want a new one. As one might expect, being connected in their cars is very important for this group. [FULL ARTICLE]

Washington area sales up 3% for second quarter
Continuing their upward curve since the Great Recession, Washington area sales rose 3 percent in the second quarter. Figures are from WANADA's Area Report, based on R.L. Polk new-vehicle registration data. Nationwide, where sales had fallen much farther during the recession, second quarter sales were up 7 percent in the second quarter. (U.S. figures are taken from NADA/Ward's Automotive.) The second quarter increase here and nationwide also represents a reprieve from the sluggish sales of the first quarter of the year that were hampered by harsh winter weather. [FULL ARTICLE]

Last call to sign up for ADEI Tech Training term
Classes start next week for line tech
refresher courses & tech development
WANADA is proud to count 12 of its distinguished dealer members as part of the most prestigious wing of NADA's Dealers Election Action Committee, the President's Club. Dealers are so recognized for their continuously strong and longstanding support of the organization that gets behind congressional incumbents or prospective candidates for office in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, who are open to the auto dealer, federal level political perspective. [FULL ARTICLE]

Dealers Election Action Committee enjoys strong support,
here and nationwide
12 WANADA dealers are in President's Club
WANADA is proud to count 12 of its distinguished dealer members as part of the most prestigious wing of NADA's Dealers Election Action Committee, the President's Club. Dealers are so recognized for their continuously strong and longstanding support of the organization that gets behind congressional incumbents or prospective candidates for office in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, who are open to the auto dealer, federal level political perspective. [FULL ARTICLE]

OEMs commit to Washington's 2015 Auto Show
as they have for 3 decades: By space draw
"It's fair and it works for our OEM exhibitors," said Bob Yoffe, Washington's Auto Show manager, referring to the Space Draw process for the event WANADA produces annually in DC. "Drawing for space in the Auto Show here was going on before I came -- and that's been a while. But I can say, without hesitation, that the draw gets the job done with the floor space the OEMs lease year in and year out, and that's where our business begins." In fact, WANADA dealers began using a space draw with the Auto Show that was the first event to open the first Washington Convention Center in DC in 1983, which was 31 years ago. So how does the Auto Show Space Draw actually work? [FULL ARTICLE]

Appeals court setback on Obamacare could
curtail impending employer mandate
The much publicized decision about the Affordable Care Act by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia last week, could mean that employers in Virginia, along with employers in surrounding states with employees who live in Virginia, will no longer be penalized for failing to provide health insurance to their employees. The same holds true for states like Virginia, which opted not to create ACA state healthcare exchanges. This will only result, of course, if the DC Circuit decision stands after the legal challenge that is likely coming. By way of background, the employer mandate section of the ACA provides that employers with 50 or more employees must offer health insurance to their employees. [FULL ARTICLE]

Attacks on franchise system and dealer financing
top dealer assns. agenda at summer meeting
Senior executives from auto dealer associations across the U.S. and Canada, which comprise the Automotive Trade Associations network (ATAE), met last week on the West Coast to sort out industry issues before Congress, state legislatures and between dealers and automakers. High on the list of government relations and industry concerns for the dealer association representatives was the ongoing assault on state dealer licensing laws by high end, electric car maker Tesla, and the media fallout it has caused calling into question the relative utility and public interest of the franchise system. While the overall impact of Tesla sales in the industry is small, the continuing media flurry stirred up by the company's flamboyant owner, Elon Musk, in furtherance of his agenda that Tesla be dealerless, remains bothersome. [FULL ARTICLE]

Daniel Jobe, Capitol Cadillac, places in "Great Race"
with vintage car
Event marks Capitol's 80th year in business
In celebration of Capitol Cadillac Company's 80th anniversary, dealer Daniel Jobe drove in this year's Great Race from Maine to Florida. Driving a 1946 Cadillac Series 62 convertible 2,400 miles, Jobe and his team finished third out of 39 entries in the Rookie Division. The Great Race is an eight-day journey of vintage cars 1972 or older on public roads and is described by organizers as a "competitive controlled-speed speed endurance road rally." Instructions are given for each turn, speed change, stop and start, usually 220 to 250 of them a day. The course has four to seven checkpoints, and the goal is to arrive at each one at the correct time, not the fastest. Congratulations to Daniel Jobe, his navigator David Prueitt and third teammate Brian Love. [FULL ARTICLE]

O'Donnell officially becomes WANADA CEO this week
For the first time in 32 years, WANADA has a new chief of staff. Effective Tuesday of this week, July 1, 2014, John P. O'Donnell officially became president & CEO of the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association taking over from Gerard N. Murphy, who held the post since 1982. "To be sure, I'm new as chief of staff here at WANADA, but I'm anything but new to WANADA or its staff," President O'Donnell said, referring to his 13 year tenure as a WANADA executive and an earlier business relationship with the WANADA dealer organization that antedates that experience by an additional 10 years. [FULL ARTICLE]

 

   
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