Chairman Patterson highlights recalls, CFPB and Auto Show
Speaking at the Annual Meeting, Chairman Dick Patterson highlighted the yearês ups and downs for Washington area dealers and the auto industry overall. They ranged from the biggest recall ever (Takata airbags) to a successful bill NADA helped get through The House of Representatives to curb the regulatory overreach of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Patterson began by spotlighting the steady climb in auto sales. From the low point of the recession in 2009, new vehicle sales have risen in the U.S., year over year, and are poised to be higher than ever in the industryês history, he said.
As for industry challenges, Patterson said that when 11 automakers had to respond to NHTSA over the recall of Takata airbags, NADA came up with guidance to dealers, which has been very helpful.
On the subject of recalls, generally, Patterson talked about NHTSAês effort to control the way dealers handle their used car inventory. Dealer associations across the country are moving to write recall legislation at the state level to lay out dealer responsibilities in handling vehicles with open recalls, he said. Such legislation will be introduced next month in Maryland and Virginia, where WANADA will be working closely with MADA and VADA to ensure that dealers are on sound footing.
The doings of the CFPB has been a topic of great interest for dealers this year with Patterson referencing its actions toward dealers as nothing short of outrageous. With the goal of limiting, or eliminating, the dealersê time-honored role in arranging auto loans for car buyers, he said. CFPB has brought pressure to bear on the financial institutions it does regulate to restrict their agreements with dealers on arranging auto loans. The CFPB has told banks that dealers are systematically discriminating against minorities a contention that Patterson called rubbish, but one against which he said it is difficult to mount a defense.
In response, NADA worked with the National Association of Minority Auto Dealers and other associations to get HR 1737 passed in the House of Representatives by an overwhelming margin. The bill requires CFPB to reverse its instructions to banks aimed at curtailing indirect financing by dealers and sets up a goal of greater regulator accountability. NADA has also worked with others to create a Fair Credit Compliance Policy Program, to ensure that dealers use best practices in the F&I department.
In the region WANADA has offered tools to help dealers use best practices. The association, with Kindred-line member JM&A, runs quarterly best practice seminars for Finance & Insurance professionals. Recently, WANADA, VADA and dealer lawyer Mike Charapp presented a dealer briefing covering the best practices dealers can adopt to handle recalls.
On the state legislative front, WANADA, supporting MADA, got legislation passed in Maryland to clarify the practice of spot deliveries. Correspondingly, the Maryland MVA has been working with state dealers through a newly created Dealer Advisory Forum operated by MVA Administrator Christine Nizer, who was attending the Annual Lunch and was acknowledged by Patterson for her leadership.
Patterson spoke of some of WANADAês accomplishments in the past year starting with another successful Washington Auto Show. It has become one of the foremost annual events of its kind on the global industry circuit, he said. Washington has distinguished itself as the Public Policy Show and been certified by the Paris-based Organization of International Automakers. Washington now has one of the top five auto shows in the U.S. and one of the foremost in the world.
The ADEI (Auto Dealer Education Institute) Technician Development Program is another successful WANADA initiative. The program now operates at Montgomery College in Rockville and in Virginia, at Marshall Academy in Falls Church and Springfield High School adult education center. This process of developing or home growing the next generation of dealership auto techs has been hailed as a solution to the industryês technician shortage crisis, Patterson said.
He also singled out for praise WANADAês Insurance Program for dealers and Kindred-line members. Its role in providing employee benefits in dealerships has never been any more important than today with the continual ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act.Download Bulletin PDF