hairman Korengold lauds robust year for WANADA and industry

Chairman Korengold lauds robust year for WANADA and industry

WANADA Chairman Danny Korengold spoke at the Annual Meeting and Luncheon of the –robust year for the auto industry” and the challenges and triumphs for the association and the U.S. dealer associations coalition in 2014 and beyond.

This year the industry is poised to approach 17 million sales, reminiscent of the glory days of 2000 and 2001. But the recent midterm elections showed that Americans continue to be concerned about the nationês overall direction.

Two of NADAês and WANADAês biggest challenges this year, said Korengold, were dealing with the negative fallout from the auto finance guidance of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau and with Teslaês efforts to retail its cars without dealers.

–CFPB decided that dealer credit arrangers should only be compensated by lenders on a flat fee basis, as opposed to the sliding scale lenders have used with dealers from time immemorial,” said Chairman Korengold. The reason: Discrimination against minority consumers of car loans, the net result being something called –disparate impact.” Despite efforts by NADA and the National Association of Minority Auto Dealers, CFPB regulators donêt seem to realize that –credit, once arranged by the dealer, then finalized by a lender, is a numbers game, pure and simple,” Korengold said.

He referenced H.R. 5304, a bill introduced in Congress with NADAês backing that would rescind CFPBês inappropriate regulatory guidance to lenders on dealer credit arranging.

As for Tesla, Korengold credited VADA for working through the DMV such that Tesla is limited to a single location in Tysons Corner from which to directly retail its cars in Virginia. Tesla continues to press its dealership retail model with some states replicating Virginiaês limited location approach, while others, such as Michigan, prohibit Tesla sales without dealers entirely.

In Maryland, Korengold noted two actions that helped dealers this year. The first is a second generation warranty reimbursement law that will –align dealers and franchisor OEMs on proper compensation for performing new vehicle warranty repairs.” The second is a law that has raised the vehicle sale processing fee maximum from $200 to $300.

Chairman Korengold also highlighted the success of The Washington Auto Show, now recognized by the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs dêAutomobiles (OICA), the international OEM group headquartered in Paris that accredits tier one shows around the world. Washington is one of only five OICA auto shows in the U.S.

Regionally, The Washington Auto Show was recognized by DC event evaluator BIZBASH as one of the Top 100 events in town, placing the Auto Show in company with events ranging from DC Fashion Week to the State of the Union. In the Trade Shows and Conventions subcategory, the Auto Show was rated number one.

The 2014 Auto Show was a big success despite a snowstorm on industry/media days last January, when Ford Motor CEO Mark Fields gave the keynote address at the automotive press breakfast and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz spoke later in the day. During the public days, Vice President Joe Biden toured the show with his family.

Korengold highlighted two important WANADA programs for dealer association members: Employee Benefits Planning and the Auto Dealer Education Institute (ADEI).

–WANADA dealer leaders have engaged first rate insurance professionals to put together employee benefits plans that maintain the highest quality of coverage and customer service, while ensuring compliance with the new and challenging Affordable Care Act,” Chairman Korengold said.

ADEIês NATEF-Certified Technician Development Program trains adults for two and a half years while they work in a dealership service department. Each trainee completes ADEI as a full-fledged, line technician for the sponsoring dealership. The program has been operating successfully at Montgomery College in Rockville, and more recently through the adult education division of Fairfax County schools at Marshall Academy and Hayfield Academy.

Finally, Chairman Korengold referenced an important 2014 event at WANADA, that being a well-attended, memorable evening last May commemorating John OêDonnell stepping in as WANADAês new president and CEO, taking over from Gerry Murphy who held the job for 32 years. The transition evening took place at the new Washington Marriott Marquis where 80 plus years of the automobile business in Washington was enjoyably reviewed.

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