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Three ADEI techs are winners in Skills USA competition
Three students from WANADA’s Automobile Dealer Education Institute were honored with awards from the Skills USA competition recently in Fredericksburg, Va. ADEI is WANADA’s nationally recognized dealership training arm that systematically administers an “earn while you learn” scholarship program that combines NATEF Certified classroom instruction in automotive repair fundamentals with real world experience gained while working full time in a WANADA member dealer’s service department. [FULL BULLETIN]

Maryland Joins Virginia in passing
fair recall legislation
As all were made aware from here and elsewhere, the Maryland General Assembly last week passed a comprehensive bill on motor vehicle recalls that will be helpful to consumers, dealers and automakers, but most especially the motoring public. Maryland lawmakers enacted the legislation in closing hours of the 2016 General Assembly, ensuring that automaker recalls will be fairly administered and understood by dealers carrying them out and vehicle owners benefitting by them. [FULL BULLETIN]

2016 NADA Convention turns out record attendance
Maybe it was the new March/April timeframe, or the best new car sales climate in the industry’s history. Whatever it was, dealers turned out big time, and were feeling optimistic as they converged on the 2016 NADA Convention in Las Vegas, March 31 to April 3. March sales came in strong, and most dealers have had a good year – especially if they sell light trucks and SUVs. A record number – more than 25,000 new-car and truck dealers and their managers, including dealers from more than 30 countries, automaker executives and exhibitor staff – attended the convention. [FULL BULLETIN]

Strong March sales seen, but future concerns loom
Even as analysts predict strong March sales, notes of caution are coming from forecasts of flat auto sales nationwide in 2017, with sales for some franchises and geographic areas forecast to start dropping this year.
"Overall, auto sales figures continue to post strong results, but when you peel back just one layer beneath the surface, some worrisome trends are taking hold," said Thomas King, vice president of Power Information Network, at the J.D. Power Automotive Summit, which kicked off the NADA Convention in Las Vegas. [FULL BULLETIN]

Cars ‘increasingly vulnerable’ to
hacking, FBI, NHTSA warn
The FBI and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have issued a bulletin warning consumers that motor vehicles are “increasingly vulnerable” to cyberhacking and urging them to contact their dealer if there’s any question of hacking.
“The FBI and NHTSA are warning the general public and manufacturers – of vehicles, vehicle components and aftermarket devices – to maintain awareness of potential issues and cybersecurity threats related to connected vehicle technologies in modern vehicles,” the bulletin said. [FULL BULLETIN]

MADA/VADA/WANADA Reception at NADA, April 1
“One of the best parties at the convention”
Year after year, those enjoying the NADA Convention Reception that MADA, VADA and WANADA put on for their members say it is “one of the best parties at the convention!” The 2016 Tri-associations Reception, set for Friday, April 1, should be no exception, particularly in light of its spectacular Las Vegas location.
The Stratosphere Tower, this year’s venue for the Tri-association’s Reception features some of the most breathtaking views in all of Las Vegas. Dealer principals, key managers, business associates and industry guests are all cordially invited to attend. [FULL BULLETIN]

Connecticut warranty reimbursement law stands!
The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition to review a lower court decision that upheld the Connecticut new vehicle warranty reimbursement law, meaning that the law -- passed by the state to ensure fair treatment of dealers by automaker franchisors on warranty claims – stands. In April 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the Connecticut law, which had been challenged by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. The case was Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Inc. v. Melody A. Currey, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. The Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association joined the case on behalf of the state of Connecticut as the defendant. [FULL BULLETIN]

Auto dealers and franchise system attacked at FTC forum
NADA described a recent workshop by the Federal Trade Commission on auto distribution in the U.S. and the state laws that regulate it as hostile and imbalanced.
“Many of the FTC speakers, as well as the supposedly neutral academics and economists invited by the Commission to participate, brought preconceived attitudes that were hostile toward the franchise system and counterproductive to the dialogue,” NADA wrote. “The panel quickly revealed an imbalanced agenda that resulted in an exceedingly one-sided discussion.” [FULL BULLETIN]

Annual Washington Area sales of new autos
rose again last year!
Consistent with year-over-year trends, Washington area new auto sales increased again in 2015, and did so by 4.2 percent. U.S. sales, which fell farther than area sales during the Great Recession, rose 5.7 percent in 2015. From November to December, Washington area sales fell 4.5 percent and nationwide declined 4.2 percent. Compared with 2014, December was not a strong month anywhere. But the year overall logged record sales—regionally 326,516 and nationally 17.5 million. [FULL BULLETIN]

DC DMV starts electronic filing system, changes MD SIF rules
The DC DMV plans to test its Online Dealer Interface Systems (ODIS) with a single dealer by the end of February and, if it is successful, make the system available to dealers everywhere no later than April. ODIS will allow franchised dealers to register and title new and used vehicles. The system includes titling, registration and inventory control using a new Web-based format. Using ODIS, dealers will be able to title and register new and used vehicles without visiting DC DMV. The DMV will assign inventory (tags, registration and inspection stickers) to the dealers for them to issue to DC residents. [FULL BULLETIN]

Down, but not out, Washington’s Auto Show takes
DC area blizzard in stride
The unprecedented blizzard conditions that struck the Washington area, shutting down everything in a snow emergency, closed The Washington Auto Show that was originally set to open Friday, Jan. 22, the day the blizzard arrived. Opening day for The Washington Auto Show then shifted four days later, to Tuesday, Jan. 25, reducing the show’s run to the public from ten days to six, which cost the show one of its two weekends. [FULL BULLETIN]

Washington’s blizzard misses Auto Show Media Days,
but delays opening to the public
The Washington Auto Show’s Industry/Media Days -- a.k.a. Public Policy Days -- went off without a hitch, except for that pesky inch of snow that tied up traffic all evening on the first day, Jan. 20. The W.E. Washington Convention Center, with the 2016 Auto Show laid out, looked beautiful for Public Policy Day #2, Jan. 21, and for the Sneak Peek that evening. [FULL BULLETIN]

Snow in Washington’s forecast does not forestall Auto Show
Industry/Media Days, but does delay opening to the public
until Mon., Jan. 25
The Washington Auto Show that was set to open to the public Friday, Jan. 22, now will not open until Monday, Jan. 25. This is because management of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center determined that heavy snow in the forecast commencing Friday, Jan. 22, is a significant enough threat to warrant this extraordinary action. None the less, Auto Show producer John O’Donnell has the legendary Auto Show Snow Hat at the ready with its reputed mystical powers to keep winter weather from setting back attendance. [FULL BULLETIN]

Press conference schedule in place for Washington Auto Show
-- Media Day next Thursday, Jan. 21
A daylong schedule of special events and press conferences for officials in the industry, U.S. government and automotive media, launches next Thursday, Jan. 21, onsite at The 2016 Washington Auto Show. WAS Media Day commences with an eye-opener breakfast hosted by the auto press associations, WAPA and IMPA, with the industry keynote address coming from John W. Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., and the U.S. keynoter, Mark Rosekind, administrator of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration speaking at 2 p.m. An extensive media announcement schedule will occur in between times, to include OEM presentations and a variety of industry organization news announcements. [FULL BULLETIN]

Attention all WANADA members!
Look out for your Auto Show passes this week, via U.S. Mail
Everyone wants to know about connected cars, “driverless” cars and smart highways. How will these innovations change the way motorists get around? For an expert perspective, media and U.S. officials can attend MobilityTalks at the first Public Policy Day of The Washington Auto Show. Industry commentators at the Capitol Hill panel will explore the ways technology is making roads and vehicles safer and infrastructure smarter. Held from 12:00 to 2:30 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building (Gold Room #2168), MobilityTalks will explore cybersecurity, spectrum sharing, data analytics and shared-used mobility in relation to connected and autonomous vehicles. [FULL BULLETIN]

Auto Show Public Policy Days in Washington shaping up
for media, U.S. officials, industry execs
Wed., Jan.20, MobilityTalks on Capitol Hill
Thurs. Jan. 21, Media Day at W.E.WCC
Everyone wants to know about connected cars, “driverless” cars and smart highways. How will these innovations change the way motorists get around? For an expert perspective, media and U.S. officials can attend MobilityTalks at the first Public Policy Day of The Washington Auto Show. Industry commentators at the Capitol Hill panel will explore the ways technology is making roads and vehicles safer and infrastructure smarter. Held from 12:00 to 2:30 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building (Gold Room #2168), MobilityTalks will explore cybersecurity, spectrum sharing, data analytics and shared-used mobility in relation to connected and autonomous vehicles. [FULL BULLETIN]

Capitol Hill panel on smart roads, smart cars to open Auto Show
Public Policy Days to start with MobilityTalks, Jan. 20
In keeping with its theme “The Power of Mobility,” the 2016 Washington Auto Show will start its Public Policy Days on Wed., Jan. 20, with MobilityTalks, a Capitol Hill panel that will explore how technology is making roads and vehicles safer and the infrastructure smarter. Held at the Rayburn House Office Building Gold Room, the talks will explore cybersecurity, spectrum sharing, data analytics and shared-use mobility in relation to connected and autonomous vehicles. [FULL BULLETIN]

2016 Washington Auto Show lines up keynoters
forPublic Policy Day, Jan 21
Honda EVP John Mendel & NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind
In keeping with Washington’s place as the Public Policy Show on the global circuit two headliners are in place to deliver keynote presentations on Industry/Media Day, Jan. 21, 2016: John Mendel, executive vice president, American Honda Motor Co. and Mark Rosekind, administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As the industry keynoter, Mendel will lead off Public Policy Day at the Industry Media Breakfast, sponsored by the Washington Automotive Press Associations and International Motor Press Association. As the U.S. headliner, Rosekind will be the afternoon keynoter. [FULL BULLETIN]

Laura Ingraham says Republicans can win 2016 elections;
immigration, trade are pivotal
Scores hear her at WANADA Annual Meeting & Luncheon
Political commentator and radio talk show host Laura Ingraham keynoted the WANADA Annual Meeting & Luncheon last week as the media was abuzz about Donald Trump’s proposal to bar all Muslim immigrants from the U.S. But in talking about what she called the “Trump phenomenon,” Ingraham said, “It’s not about the personalities. It’s about the politics that have failed the American people.” [FULL BULLETIN]

Last call for WANADA Annual Lunch, Dec. 8
The makings of a great event in the offing!
The WANADA Annual Meeting and Luncheon is upon us: next Tuesday, December 8, at the Ritz/Tysons Corner. And this year promises to be exceptional with a splendid keynote speaker, renowned political commentator and popular talk radio host Laura Ingraham. Her program, The Laura Ingraham Show, is ranked in radio’s Top 5, putting her in demand from all sides of the political spectrum. She is also a guest host for The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News and a contributor on ABC’s Sunday show, This Week with George Stephanopoulos. With her insider perspective, Ingraham is sure to offer incisive commentary on the world at large, and, of course, the 2016 presidential election. [FULL BULLETIN]

WANADA Annual Lunch with
Laura Ingraham around the corner!
Dec. 8, Ritz Tysons
With WANADA’s Annual Meeting and Luncheon happening a week from next Tuesday, Dec. 8, the time to register is now, because it is an event not to be missed! The meeting marks an unparalleled chance to network with dealers, industry executives and government leaders. This year should be of special interest, as it will be the last Annual Meeting before the 2016 presidential election and keynote speaker Laura Ingraham will no doubt have a lot to say on the subject. [FULL BULLETIN]

Radio talk show host Laura Ingraham
to headline WANADA's Annual Lunch
WANADA dealers and associates cordially invited
If you want to get the straight scoop on world events and the impending U.S. presidential election, then you need to hear from popular radio talk show host Laura Ingraham. And, WANADA’s upcoming Annual Meeting and Luncheon provides that opportunity! Plus you’ll receive all the benefits of the meeting itself – the networking with fellow dealers and industry executives, area business leaders and political leaders from Congress, Annapolis and Richmond. You can hear an update on WANADA’s 2015 activities and automobile business trends. And, you’ll help shape the association’s course for 2016. [FULL BULLETIN]

Radio talk show host Laura Ingraham
to headline WANADA's Annual Lunch
Members & business associates invited
WANADA’s Annual Meeting and Luncheon: The networking and camaraderie are unparalleled, the business meeting useful, the setting well-appointed and convenient. But one of the best parts is always hearing a speaker with top-notch credentials reflect on the current political or industry scene set for Dec., 8 Ritz/Tysons Corner. This year is no exception, with popular political commentator and longtime radio talk show host Laura Ingraham as the luncheon’s headline speaker. The Laura Ingraham Show is ranked in radio’s Top 5 and heard in hundreds of markets across the country. [FULL BULLETIN]

Political commentator Laura Ingraham
to keynote WANADA's Annual Lunch
Tues., Dec. 8, Ritz/Tysons Corner
WANADA’s Annual Meeting and Luncheon is always a high water mark in the Washington area dealer community calendar where dealer principals and executives intermingle with key operatives from other levels of the industry and the greater Washington business region along with political leaders from Congress, Annapolis and Richmond and all points in between. The reason for the event’s popularity is the second-to-none networking and fellowship the Annual Lunch engenders for sure, but also for the automobile market report, dealer community round up, along with a timely and provocative keynote speaker. [FULL BULLETIN]

Popular political commentator, Laura Ingraham,
to keynote WANADA Annual Lunch
Tues., Dec. 8, Ritz/Tysons Corner
In keeping with WANADA Annual Meetings and Luncheons of recent years, the upcoming Washington Area New Auto Dealers Association membership event will be keynoted by a well-known, highly-regarded news commentator with inside-the-Beltway expertise. Laura Ingraham, WANADA’s 2015 Annual Member Meeting and Luncheon speaker, will cover the complete range of presidential election year issues that are being brought to the forefront with increasing frequency and intensity by the well-publicized full field of candidates. This year’s Luncheon will again be at the Ritz/Tysons Corner, set for Tuesday, December 8, 2015. [FULL BULLETIN]

WANADA dealers join other industries in celebrating
career training at annual FATE Partners Dinner
delivers successful tournament
WANADA was pleased to attend a recent celebration of FATE, the Fairfax Applied Technical Education program at Fairfax County high schools. FATE trains students in several different trades, including auto repair. WANADA's ADEI (Automobile Dealer Education Institute) runs the auto tech training program through Fairfax County schools, and WANADA-ADEI is a sponsoring business partner of FATE. [FULL BULLETIN]

Senators press dealers on recalls; study highlights dealer role
Recalls have been in the news a great deal the last couple of years, and with the Volkswagen scandal, they are about to hit the headlines again. Two Senators are weighing in as an industry study shows the critical role of dealers in getting consumers with recalled cars to the dealership.
In letters to NADA and NIADA, Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) pressed for dealers to fix all recalled vehicles before they are sold. New cars under recall already must be repaired before sale, and a Senate transportation bill would require the same with rental cars. The Senators wrote, "we remain very concerned that used car purchasers will be the only category of vehicle consumers unprotected against potentially dangerous recalled vehicles." [FULL BULLETIN]

NLRB joint employer decision marks trend to extend liability
A recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is noteworthy for dealers both in their relationship with their franchisor and as the hiring entity for contractors such as F&I service companies.
The NLRB ruled that a California-based recycling facility is a "joint employer" for collective bargaining negotiations with employees of a temporary staffing company. The term now applies if the company has the right of "actual control, whether direct or indirect." This latest decision, coupled with an NLRB memo on McDonald's franchisees in July, "points to a trend in the NLRB to extend liability under the National Labor Relations Act to companies not previously considered to be employers," said Michael Charapp, auto dealer lawyer with Charapp & Weiss and a WANADA Kindred-line member. [FULL BULLETIN]

Dealer leaders from across the U.S. convene in
Washington to carry industry agenda to Congress
New auto dealer leaders from every corner of the U.S. were in DC this week to attend NADA's Annual Washington Conference where they were brought up to speed on the national dealer legislative agenda, which they in turn took to their members in Congress. Regulatory overreach by federal agencies aimed at dealers was a recurring topic this year as members of Congress, a commissioner from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Washington political pundits, the like of Charlie Cook, addressed the conferees. The conference itself was comprised of dealer association representatives from the national boards of NADA, NAMAD and AIADA, along with dealer group leaders from state and metropolitan associations affiliated with the Automotive Trade Association network (ATAE). [FULL BULLETIN]

New Maryland spot delivery law goes into effect, Oct. 1
Dealers finally get a workable approach
to vehicle sales on credit
As all are aware, the new law in Maryland establishing a tangible, workable approach for dealers delivering vehicles sold to consumers before the financing is finalized went onto the books after the General Assembly passed it last spring and becomes effective this week, October 1, 2015.
Maryland dealers, led by MADA with WANADA's support, came together earlier this year withthe Motor Vehicle Administration to fashion a bill acceptable to legislative leaders that recognized, at long last, the widespread, time honored auto business reality of "spot deliveries" and the pressing need for a proper law to take the legal uncertainty out of the practice which gets sellers and buyers of vehicles on credit the consumer financing required from lending institutions. [FULL BULLETIN]

MD MVA Dealer Advisory panel gains solid footing
with new MVA administrator
Franchised and independent auto dealers assembled last week with the new Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration’s administrator, Christine Nizer, and her senior staff for the second meeting of the recently formed Dealer Advisory Forum to MVA. The Dealer Advisory Forum’s purpose is to bring regulators who enforce vehicle sales laws into regular contact with the state’s auto dealers who make the automobile business happen for the benefit of Maryland vehicle consumers everywhere. [FULL BULLETIN]

Registration, housing now open for Auto Show
Industry/Media Days in 2016
Registration and housing are now open for industry, government, and media representatives for Industry/Media Days at the 2016 Washington Auto Show. With the theme “The Power of Mobility,” Auto Show Chairman Geoff Pohanka, the Auto Show Committee and the rest of WANADA’s team have been hard at work on assembling Washington’s annual new vehicle exposition for 2016. Once the 2015 Washington Auto Show closed, work started on 2016, which will be open to the public for ten days, Friday, Jan. 22, to Sunday, Jan. 31. [FULL BULLETIN]

Many consumers don't use their cars'
technology, says J.D. Power
Automakers are spending billions of dollars to put technologies in their vehicles that are not being used by the owners, according to the J.D. Power 2015 Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience (DrIVE) Report. The report measures driver experiences with in-vehicle technology features in the first 90 days of ownership.
Owners who say their dealer did not explain a feature are more likely never to use the technology. If features are not activated when the vehicle is delivered, the owner likely will never know he/she has the technology. [FULL BULLETIN]

U.S. dealers set for record sales per store; Md., Va. gain stores
The average number of new vehicle sales per dealership is set to achieve an all-time high this year of 945 units, based on projected vehicle sales of 17.1 million, says Urban Science. That would mark the fourth straight year the U.S. auto retail network set a new throughput record. Urban Science's latest Franchise Activity Report shows a 0.3 percent increase in the number of U.S. dealerships from the end of 2014, with a total of 18,011 as of July 1. The number of franchises also rose by 0.3 percent, to 31,714. Most local markets haven't seen any change in the number of dealerships, but Maryland and Virginia each gained five stores. Texas, California and Florida gained seven to ten stores each. [FULL BULLETIN]

Metro Washington New Vehicle Sales track U.S. at mid-year,
with industry poised for best annual performance since 2000
New vehicle sales in the metropolitan Washington market, January through June 2015, pretty much mirrored mid-year results from a year earlier, being 1.5% improved. But that's good news, with the industry regionally and nationwide set to deliver the best calendar year performance since 2000, the year that new vehicle sales reached the U.S. market record of 17.4 million.
The WANADA Area Report, June YTD from R.L. Polk (see below) documents that the metropolitan region is in scoring position to eclipse 300,000 new vehicle sales in 2015 for the second consecutive year. [FULL BULLETIN]

U.S. July auto sales best in ten years: 17.55 m. SAAR
Auto sales continued their relentless upward trajectory in July, thanks to readily available credit (and long loans), falling gas prices and seemingly unending pent-up demand. Light trucks continued to rule, constituting 56 percent of sales, up from 52 percent a year ago. (In the Washington area, car sales generally top trucks.) Last month saw the best July sales in a decade, with overall sales up 5.3 percent.
"The second half of 2015 is off to a great start, with industry sales above expectations," said Kurt McNeil, General Motors U.S. vice president of sales operations. [FULL BULLETIN]

Maryland Dealers & MVA launch long awaited industry panel
Panel roll-out wastes no time getting down to business
The debut late last month of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration's Auto Dealer Advisory Panel was no small matter. Indeed, it represented the fruition of visioning and discussions between dealers and dealers, dealers and lawmakers, and dealers and MVA regulators, that was years in the making. Then, two weeks ago, with the pro-business direction of Gov. Larry Hogan (R), the approach by MVA and dealer industry representatives to the advisory panel seemed to be "Let's do it and then talk about it!" And the beauty of it all is in the simplicity: An industry advisory panel of six – consisting of four franchised dealers, one used car dealer and one motorcycle dealer – which will meet with the MVA administrator four times per year to discuss MVA/dealer matters in need of review, analysis, clarification and/or reassessment. [FULL BULLETIN]

H.R. 1737 clears House committee as Congress moves
to curb regulator overreach into auto financing
Yesterday, July 30, 2015, legislation that is critically important to America's auto dealers and their consumer lending partners successfully passed out of the House Financial Services Committee that would rein in overly aggressive federal regulators who have been on a mission to curtail auto dealer credit arranging in financed vehicle sales. Impressively, the bipartisan vote on H.R. 1737 was 47 to 10, which bodes well for the prospect of the "Reforming CFPB Indirect Auto Financing Guidance Act" passing successfully out of the full House, where it now goes, before heading to the U.S. Senate. [FULL BULLETIN]

2016 Auto Show prep in Washington underway
Auto shows everywhere show their value
As you're sweltering in the Washington summer, WANADA is hard at work preparing for the 2016 Washington Auto Show next winter. The theme is "The Power of Mobility," and the dates are set: January 20 is Policy Preview Day on Capitol Hill, and January 21 is Policy Preview Day at the W.E. Washington Convention Center, with a daylong schedule of events for government, industry and media capped off by the annual Sneak Peek Reception on the Auto Show floor. The consumer days for the Auto Show are January 22 to January 31. Start wishing now for some of summer's warmth to seep into January - or at least for a snow-free show. [FULL BULLETIN]

Industry veteran chairing Washington Auto Show
Geoff Pohanka steps in as WAS chairman for 2016
As producer of the Washington Auto Show, WANADA is especially pleased to announce that long time dealer association leader, Geoff Pohanka, Pohanka Automotive, is chairing the 2016 event as well as WANADA's Auto Show Committee. As chairman of WANADA in 1998, Pohanka put Washington on course to becoming a world premier auto show when he, along with former WAS chair, Daniel Jobe, got WANADA leaders systematically interacting with OEM exhibitors at their headquarter locations and at the tier one industry auto shows in the U.S. and Europe. [FULL BULLETIN]

Higher minimum wage now in effect in Md., DC; Va. unchanged
July 1, last week, brought a host of new laws to Maryland, Virginia and DC. Here's rundown and reiteration of some important ones that affect dealers, including minimum wage.

In Maryland:
  • The new minimum wage is $8.25, up from $8.00. The rate will increase to $8.75 in July 2016, to $9.25 in July, 2017 and $10.10 in July 2018. Although former Gov. Martin O'Malley had pushed for increases beyond 2018, none were enacted. Exempt from minimum wage: employees younger than 16 who work less than 20 hours a week; those 62 or older who work less than 25 hours a week; salaried employees; and salespeople.
  • Tolls have been lowered on Maryland roads and bridges. For example: The $6.00 fee to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge has dropped to $4.00. The Intercounty Connector toll schedule has also decreased. [FULL BULLETIN]

  • Supreme Court decision leaves Healthcare Reform Law intact
    As reported here, and widely elsewhere last week, the 6-3 Supreme Court ruling in King v. Burwell on The Affordable Care Act (ACA), allowing federal subsidies for healthcare insurance in all states, means that nothing will change in the way the law is implemented. Maryland and DC have state/jurisdictional health care exchanges, and their insurance was not in question. But a decision the other way would have had a big impact in Virginia, and 34 other states that used federal exchanges in lieu of establishing state constructed and operated healthcare exchanges, www.healthcare.gov. [FULL BULLETIN]

    Important changes in Virginia for dealers effective July 1
    1.) The graduated .05% year over year vehicle title tax increase that commenced in 2014 is increasing again, July 1, from 4.05% to 4.10%. Dealership data processing contractors likely on top of this from last year when the year over year increase went into effect. Dealers should take care, however, that vehicle sales and finance and insurance staff are tuned into the increase which will affect all vehicle sales starting, July 1 and thereafter. [FULL BULLETIN]

    Cash reporting for dealer transactions
    besides retail vehicles sales
    The indictment of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has brought the subject of illegal cash transactions back to the public eye. It's a good time, then, for dealers revisit with staff, everyone's obligation to report cash transactions over $10,000. Historically, dealers looked only at cash reporting on retail vehicle sales. But what about in other departments? [FULL BULLETIN]

    Rain holds off and WANADA Open
    delivers successful tournament
    Golfers get off and play through at Lansdowne Resort
    The forecasted rain held off on the day of the 2015 WANADA Open, Wednesday, June 3 and the event proceeded as planned and everyone was pleased. The overcast clouds sufficiently cooled temperatures for optimal golf and no one needed sun screen. Preceding the tournament many took advantage of the driving range and were able to enjoy lunch on the clubhouse patio. Others got in a few morning holes of golf (or a few rounds of tennis). The chance to catch up with colleagues at the reception, banquet and awards presentation also enhanced the experience. [FULL BULLETIN]

    Are Express lane lube techs exempt from overtime laws?
    The short answer is no, says NADA chief regulatory counsel Doug Greenhaus. That's because the law requires that technicians who are exempt from overtime must be primarily engaged as technicians. To be conservative, he says, lube techs who spend most of their time doing work such as lubrication and tire rotation should not be considered exempt from overtime. But, Greenhaus says, many dealerships compensate lube techs, detailers and painters in a way that triggers the "commission employee" exemption. That requires that commission pay make up the majority of compensation and that total compensation be at least 1.5 times the applicable minimum wage/hour rate. [FULL BULLETIN]

    Thank you to all our supporting sponsors
    at the 2015 WANADA Open
    ABC7/NewsChannel 8
    Auto/Mate
    Automotive Development Group/EasyCare
    Autotrader
    B&R Associates
    Baker Tilly Accountants & Advisors
    BB&T Dealer Finance Division
    BG Products
    BGR CPA’s
    BMO Harris Bank
    Capital One Auto Finance
    CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
    CARFAX
    Charapp & Weiss, LLP
    Chesapeake Employers Insurance
    Chesapeake Petroleum & Supply
    Comcast Spotlight
    Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell, PC
    Group Benefit Services
    Hamilton & Hamilton
    Hargrove
    JM&A Group
    Kaiser Permanente
    M&T Bank
    Manheim Pennsylvania Auto Auction
    Merchant Lynx Services
    Montgomery Printing & Solutions
    PDP Group
    Penney Design Group
    Planning Solutions Group
    PNC Dealer Finance
    Pomerance & Associates
    RBC Wealth Management
    SunTrust Bank
    The Washington Post
    U.S. Bank
    Yoffe Exposition Services
    Zurich

    Massive airbag recall: What to do?
    Dealers are no doubt fielding questions from customers about the latest, and probably largest ever, airbag recall. As reported in the May 22, 2015 Bulletin, NADA advises dealers to reassure customers that if their vehicle has been recalled, they will receive a notice in the mail from the manufacturer. In the meantime, consumers can go here and look up their VIN to see if their car is on any NHTSA recall lists. This information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is based on data from the OEMs. At this writing, however, the NHTSA site is not up to date with the vehicles and their airbags affected by the latest Takata recall. So dealers should encourage customers to check the site periodically for updates. [FULL BULLETIN]

    NHTSA ramp up on Takata airbag defect
    prompts largest recall in U.S. history-
    But ground rules for dealers on recalls remain unchanged
    The recall of airbags supplied in a variety of vehicles for years by the Japanese parts manufacturer Takata was broadened this week by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which expanded the mandated vehicle airbag recall from the 17 million recalled to date to an estimated 34 million. Far beyond the largest automotive recall in history that befell Ford in 1983 involving 23 million vehicles, the newly announced Takata airbag recall will also trump Tylenol as the largest recall of any product in the U.S. which called back 31 million bottles of anti-inflammatory pills in 1982. The defect involves the airbag deflator that can degrade over time, in part, due to exposure in the car to heat and humidity. [FULL BULLETIN]

    Does your dealership have a social media policy? It should
    Every dealer should have a policy about employee communications in digital and social media. If one is in place, when was the last time it was reviewed? Here are two important reasons to have a policy and review it regularly:
    • Digital communications change constantly. There are often changes to existing programs and introductions of new programs, new apps and new challenges.
    • Regulatory oversight of your practices is increasing and changing. For example, the National Labor Relations Board has issued several decisions about employer policies prohibiting limitations that the NLRB views as interfering with open communication by employees about working conditions. Another example: Communications during non-work hours could lead to overtime claims by some employees. [FULL BULLETIN]

    SPECIAL BULLETIN!
    Reports on the 2015 legislative sessions in MD & VA

    2015 Maryland Legislative Update: (click to view)
  • MD Handout
  • MD Webinar



  • 2015 Maryland Legislative Update: (click to view)
  • VA Handout
  • VA Webinar
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    After six weeks, DC Title Tax Calculator seems to be working
    The DC DMV's new Vehicle Title Tax Calculator has been up and operating now for six weeks and appears to be up to the task for dealers. The Calculator was launched April 1 after DC DMV regulators sorted through operational questions and issues with dealer tag and title processors facilitated by WANADA. The Calculator is based on the NADA Used Car Guide for the Eastern U.S. and must be used for all vehicle sales, new and used. Only when a vehicle value is not available in the Title Tax Calculator - such as when the calculator system is down - may the dealer compute the tax based on the actual sale pricing of the vehicle. [FULL BULLETIN]

    WANADA/ADEI Tech Training front and center
    at Rotary Day in Farragut Square, DC
    Technician Training through WANADA's Auto Dealer Education Institute was center stage, literally and figuratively, at the Rotary International Day of "Service above Self" that was staged in Washington's historic downtown DC park, Farragut Square. As one of a number of prominent community projects, supported by the four Rotary Clubs in the District of Columbia, ADEI Technician Training was afforded prime exhibitor space for its sponsorship of Rotary Day in the park. The sponsorship was a role reversal for WANADA since Rotary clubs across the Washington Area are longtime grant supporters of ADEI.
    Rotary Day took over the prestigious K Street, NW side of Farragut Square from 10am until 3pm, last Saturday, April 25, gaining exhibitors the opportunity to visit with scores of official and unofficial weekend visitors out and about in the park. [FULL BULLETIN]

    2015 MD legislature clarifies spot delivery
    and Tesla sales and reworks "Rain Tax"
    The Maryland General Assembly helpfully addressed the automobile business practice of "spot deliveries" as the 2015 session was winding down earlier this month by passing important legislation that once and for all recognizes the time honored practice of dealer credit arrangers selling vehicles to consumers before the financing is finalized. Spot deliveries that have long been standard operating procedure in dealerships have correspondingly been mischaracterized by consumer groups and plaintiff lawyers who sue dealers as "yo-yo" sales. These industry critics have long contended that dealer credit arrangers regularly, and by design, "bait" vehicle buyers into loans with unrealistically low rate offers, that these same dealers change up into higher rates when the financing is ultimately concluded after the vehicle is delivered. [FULL BULLETIN]

    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 It’s 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]

     

       
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