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Lucky 13 for ‘13

Oh, what a difference a few years make.  In late 2008, many auto pundits lamented that we might never again see sixteen million annual new vehicle sales.  Proving that their memories are as faulty as their predictions, in 2012 they told us that, just like they always expected, sixteen million annual sales are on the […]

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Where Are Your Dead Deal Credit Applications?

It is now as important as ever to make sure that your dealership has an effective storage and retrieval capability for consumer credit applications that you receive in transactions that do not result in completed vehicle sales. Unless you are able to put your hands on a signed application that includes the authorization to run […]

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A Doc Fee by Any Other Name…

Car people speak in their own shorthand that is not always precise. For example, a franchisor is the “factory”, even though the franchisor may simply be a distributor that does not manufacture anything. Or an extended service contract is often referred to as an “extended warranty”, even though it is not a warranty at all […]

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FTC Looking at Safeguards Compliance

by Michael Charapp On June 7, 2012, the FTC announced that it had agreed on terms of a consent order with a Georgia Toyota dealer stemming from the dealer’s failure to maintain adequate control of its customer information as required by the FTC Safeguards Rule.  The FTC charged that the dealer had violated its Safeguards […]

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Make the Case Against Flat Fees

Have you wondered why industry publications are writing with increasing frequency about the expected demise of finance “markup”?  The answer is simple – proponents of flat fees are working to sell the concept that “markups” are evil to regulators like the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission with the hope that […]

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FRANCHISE LAW: IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY TO DERAIL TERMINATION

The best strategy for protecting against a franchise termination is to aggressively make your case when you get the first factory letter critical of your performance. If you wait until the termination notice is issued, you may cripple your defense. Dealers are confident that their state franchise statutes will protect them from termination. That confidence […]

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Bundling? Really?

Bundling is suddenly a hot subject for F&I consultants. Bundling is the practice of packaging F&I and after sale products. This strategy may lead, overall, to more sales than á la carte offerings. But it may also generate more problems. It may be difficult for a consumer to determine the true costs and impact on […]

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Backdating is Often a Management Issue

There has been a substantial amount of publicity recently concerning backdating retail installment sale contracts. The practice can lead to serious problems. The problem can arise when a dealership spot delivers a vehicle to a customer who signs a retail installment sale contract that is not approved by a potential assignee on its terms. The […]

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Census Results May Affect Your PMA

The results of the 2010 federal census are finally making their way into some manufacturers’ primary market area descriptions for dealers.  This could impact the measurement of your sales efficiency. The make-up of your PMA (or AOR, AGSSA, or other term depending on the franchisor involved) can be the key factor in how your sales […]

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FTC to Dealers: “Pay Us a Penalty No Matter How Much You Owe”

You’ve seen (and maybe even used) ads claiming that a dealer will pay off customers’ trades no matter how much they owe. The Federal Trade Commission has announced consent agreements with five auto dealers who ran variations of those ads.  The FTC charged that they deceived consumers into thinking they would no longer be responsible […]

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