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CATA News

  • Friday, February 02, 2024 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Reps. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) recently introduced the “FTC REDO Act” (H.R. 7101) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would nullify the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Vehicle Shopping Rule and require the agency to follow basic regulatory safeguards it failed to follow should the agency choose to redo the rule. A companion bill (S. 3014) was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) last October.

    The is also NADA supporting a provision in a House appropriations bill (H.R. 4664) that would deny funding to the FTC to implement or enforce the rule this fiscal year. This bill could be considered in the next few weeks. Concurrently, the NADA and the Texas Automobile Dealers Association are challenging the rule in court. On Jan. 18, the FTC issued an order stating that “it is in the interests of justice to stay the effective date of the [Vehicle Shopping] Rule to allow for judicial review.” While the FTC’s retreat is welcome news for dealers and their customers, the Vehicle Shopping Rule remains the law.

    What’s next: Dealers should urge their representatives in Congress to cosponsor the “FTC REDO Act” to stop the Vehicle Shopping Rule, which will add massive amounts of time, complexity, paperwork and costs to the car buying process.

  • Friday, February 02, 2024 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Area unemployment rate was near 4% at the end of 2023, total employment increased, and household incomes have moved higher, all positive factors for the new vehicle market.

    Rising interest rates and tight vehicle supplies resulting in higher prices put a squeeze on affordability in 2022 and the first half of last year, but the pendulum is swinging back. Interest rates are predicted to ease this year, transaction prices are drifting lower, and income growth has been positive.

    Pent up demand is the biggest positive for the area market. Auto Outlook estimates that nearly 140,000 new vehicle purchases have been postponed since the onset of the pandemic and ensuing supply chain issues.

    Find out more the latest edition of Chicago Auto Outlook: Chicago Auto Outlook - Q4 2023.

  • Friday, February 02, 2024 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Better Business Bureau has become aware of certain price advertising where EV tax credits are included in the amounts of the advertised prices.

    The Illinois Motor Vehicle Advertising Regulations address this issue in Rule 475.310 which states that purchasers “shall be able to purchase all vehicles described by the advertisement at the advertised price.”  Usually, the application of this rule involves the inclusion of limited rebates in prices. 

    Separately, Rule 475.530 promotes the same principle by requiring that only rebates that are available to all consumers may be included in advertised prices. Limited rebates available only to qualified consumers may not be included. 

    An EV tax credit is not a rebate.  The source of the tax credit is the government not the vehicle manufacturer.  However, a tax credit is an amount of money that is available only to certain consumers who qualify for it, analogous to the way limited rebates work. 

    This year there are new standards impacting how EV tax credits are applied to vehicles.

    First, the advertised vehicle must be one that qualifies for the tax credit by being assembled in America and having an MSRP of $55,000 or less for cars and $80,000 or less for SUVs and trucks.

    Second, the battery in the vehicle must qualify in two ways: the raw materials must be mined in the US, or a trade partner and a percentage of the components must be manufactured or assembled in the US.

    The BBB does not intend to delve into vehicle qualifications as it looks at EV credit issues, but these are important to understand for all.  

    The BBB focus is how the inclusion of EV tax credits in prices affects consumers and the competitive marketplace for dealers.

    In 2024 the full amount of the $7500 EV tax credit is available to certain consumers who:

    1. Meet the mandated modified adjusted gross income caps of $300,000 for married joint income tax filers, $225,000 for heads of households or $150,000 for all others;
    2. Purchase for their own use; and
    3. Use the vehicle in the US.

    Only a limited group of consumers who meet all three of these criteria are eligible for the $7500 EV tax credit.  Therefore, dealers who include the EV tax credit in prices run afoul of Rule 475.310 since consumers who do not meet these requirements cannot purchase advertised vehicles at the advertised prices. 

    Leased vehicles are also subject to the EV tax credit for a larger pool of qualifying vehicles.  Consumers must meet the requirements when they lease.  Therefore, dealers must refrain from including the EV tax credit in advertised lease offers as well because, while consumers may qualify for a lease they may not qualify for the tax credit.  

    The EV tax credit is available to qualifying consumers in the sale of used EVs with a maximum price of $25,000 by IRS registered dealers.  The amount of the tax credit is 30% of the sale price up to $4000.  Consumers with a modified adjusted gross income of $150,000 a household or $75,000 an individual qualify.  Rule 475.310 applies here as well.  Dealers may not include EV tax credit in advertised prices because the prices are not available to all consumers, only to those who qualify for the EV tax credit.

    While the area of EV tax credits can be complicated as to qualifications for vehicles and for consumers, who must determine what their modified adjusted gross income is, the idea of including these tax credits in advertised prices is very simple.  Doing so excludes consumers who do not qualify and, therefore, impacts Rule 475.310.

    The BBB will be watchful in this area to ensure that dealers have a level playing field and avoid advertising in a way that negatively affects fairness in the marketplace.

  • Friday, February 02, 2024 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As part of an ongoing process to educate and inform people about the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), the Internal Revenue Service will host a free ERC Voluntary Disclosure Program webinar on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 2 p.m. EST.

    The 75-minute webinar will focus on:

    • Who can participate and how to apply for the ERC Voluntary Disclosure Program.
    • The advantages of the program and what happens after applying.
    • ERC resources available from the IRS.

    Though primarily aimed at tax professionals, who can earn one continuing education (CE) credit for participation, the webinar may also be useful to others interested in this topic, such as employers who are exploring options to resolve an inaccurate ERC claim that was processed and paid. The webinar also includes a live question-and-answer session. Those who want to attend need to register for the Employee Retention Credit Voluntary Disclosure Program webinar.

    Protecting taxpayers

    The ERC Voluntary Disclosure Program, announced in December, is part of a larger effort at the IRS to help employers who were misled by aggressive marketing and misinformation around ERC eligibility. The program helps employers who want to pay back the money they received after filing ERC claims in error. The key benefit of the program is that they only have to pay back 80% of the ERC.

    Earlier, the IRS introduced a moratorium on processing new ERC claims in September to protect small business owners and organizations from scams.

    ERC withdrawal

    A special ERC withdrawal initiative announced in October is still available. It offers the option to withdraw a questionable claim that has not yet been processed or paid. The IRS created it to help small business owners and others who were pressured or misled by ERC marketers or promoters into filing ineligible claims. Claims that are withdrawn will be treated as if they were never filed. The IRS will not impose penalties or interest.

  • Friday, February 02, 2024 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    [From CATA Approved Partner ACV Auctions] It’s been said that without competition, there is no progress. For automotive retail, this couldn’t be truer. Since the dawn of the automobile, the concept of winning has been built into every transaction we complete. But how do we put ourselves on the path to greatness for EVERY point of interaction in the customer’s journey? It starts with a winning attitude.

    Let’s be real for a moment though. It’s officially 2024. Every company, vendor, and dealership already has a playbook for success, a toolkit for achievement, or a roadmap to victory. There are probably other generic business terms that get thrown around as well, but the point is…if you want to succeed, then you're already competitively fighting for progress.

    Automotive has always been a mixture of aspiration and inspiration. To get to the next level, we need more than buzzwords. We need practical advice based on data and leveraged by experience. From improving the customer experience to building a better program for training and development, the foundation for prosperity in the automotive industry is tenacity and determination. So, to help you win, here are four attainable cornerstones to build a winning base around.

    First, you need to be strategic in how you source inventory. The days of single-point acquisition are gone. You need to diversify your approach to securing valuable vehicles and think outside the box. Competition is fierce in this regard, so the more open you are to new avenues the higher your chances of success. As it stands, physical auctions still have practical applications. But supplementing your brick-and-mortar approach with digital auctions provides you with a slew of new opportunities.

    On top of that, wholesaling with a hybrid approach allows you to integrate data into your decision-making. The days of guessing on a car only to have it not perform on your lot are dwindling. Empower your staff to secure inventory that will sell for the highest gross possible every time. Take sourcing a step further and integrate a next-generation widget to your web properties that allows you to best approach consumers for their vehicles. 2024 is the year you need to spread your wings and strategically scoop up the right inventory for your dealership.

    Second, an important aspect of success at your used lot is how you attract, market, and acquire business. Bringing traffic to your store is about more than just running ads and hoping for the best. Instead of doing a shotgun blast, build value into your marketing materials and give the consumer what they seek. Provide educational opportunities for customers while focusing on their overall experience. A happy shopper leads to better reviews and a higher rate of referrals.

    But traffic isn’t the end all, be all of success in automotive. Having people on your lot or views online doesn’t always translate to sales. So, spend time winning the SEO battle with targeted ads and thoughtful content. Go beyond using social media as a simple vehicle and connect with your community to solve their problems. Get creative with your efforts and provide options for customers who are shopping in a hybrid method. There are a lot of quality solutions available to maximize your efforts including the use of generative AI to supplement your marketing approach and automated ads to build data-rich, high-caliber ads.

    However, winning the battle for sales is about offering more during every touchpoint. Whether you are attracting views online or in person, deliver an enhanced customer journey by streamlining the appraisal process with transparency. By being an honest advisor, you gain trust by solving problems for the shopper. Reduce friction and illustrate value. A vehicle is a big purchase. So, treat the trade-in and sales process with the same attention that you would give to friends and family.

    Lastly, to increase your overall ability to win in the used automotive market, become a student of the game. Just like your customers are learning more and more about the cars they want to purchase, trim the knowledge gap by empowering your sales team through education. Training and development will never go out of style. When your lot is filled with product experts, they will be better equipped to handle questions on any make or model.

    There are tons of resources available for your dealership to win in 2024. Take the time to establish a process that works for your lot and increase your ability to source the best vehicles, manage inventory with precise data, and sell cars at an unprecedented level. Shed light into the four corners of your dealership and build a foundation that will help you be competitive while offering the best customer experience available.

  • Friday, February 02, 2024 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The IRS extended the deadline for submission of 2023 Clean Vehicle Sales Reports until Feb. 15, 2024 (from Jan. 31, 2024) and is only accepting the reports by fax at this time. Dealers who have already submitted their 2023 Clean Vehicle Sales reports do not need to resubmit them.

    The reports are required for 2023 sales that qualify for either the Section 25E previously owned clean vehicle credit or the new clean vehicle credit under Section 30D. 

    Dealers who have not yet filed their reports must now fax them directly to 855.755.7437 until further notice. 

    NADA anticipates that the IRS may provide more information relating to 2023 Clean Vehicle Sales Reports soon and will provide additional updates as warranted. Dealers may find the most recent information provided by the IRS on the IRS Clean Vehicle Credit Seller or Dealer Requirements webpage.

  • Friday, January 19, 2024 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The 2024 Chicago Auto Show opens the doors for its 116th edition in just under a month, Feb. 10-19. The show generates interest and excitement in the latest cars, trucks and SUVs as well as kickstarts spring selling season at dealerships across the Chicagoland area. Below is information to help you and your dealership make the most of the show this winter.

    Thank you for your help in extending the message of the auto show to your customers. We look forward to seeing you at McCormick Place next month!

    Attend the Social Media Preview - Feb. 9 – Click Here to Register

    The CATA exclusively invites you to attend the Chicago Auto Show's Social Media Preview on Friday, Feb. 9 (9 a.m. – 2 p.m.). This is a great opportunity to gather content for your brand(s) – especially geared towards a social media audience – while seeing the latest from the auto industry before the public show opens the following day.

    Dealer Marketing Materials – Download Marketing Assets

    We have assembled the 2024 Chicago Auto Show and First Look for Charity digital marketing assets into an easily accessible kit for your team to use on:

    • TV screens in your showrooms
    • outdoor digital screens
    • social media posts and cover photos
    • website banners
    • customer e-blasts
    • and more!

    Please tag @thechicagoautoshow on Instagram, The Chicago Auto Show on Facebook and @ChiAutoShow on X (Twitter) when you post.

    Please contact Hayley Feichter (wrong email hyperlink) for any questions regarding this marketing kit.

    Dealer Tickets – Buy Your Tickets

    2024 CATA Member Kits are on their way to you! In the member kit you will receive 60 employee appreciation tickets and 200 weekday discount coupons. Should you want to purchase Chicago Auto Show tickets at the discounted member rate, you can do so using this form. Please email the completed form to Donna Young.

    First Look for Charity - Feb. 9 – Buy First Look for Charity Tickets

    This year marks the 32nd year of First Look for Charity. Produced by the Chicagoland new-car dealers, the black-tie gala raises funds to support 18 local charities while offering attendees a top-notch experience to see the latest vehicles, enjoy live music entertainment and taste gourmet food and beverages from a variety of Chicago’s top restaurants and McCormick Place Chicago’s premier caterer, OVG 360. Since the event’s inception, First Look for Charity has raised $60 million for wonderful location organizations who need it most.

    We invite you to join us on the showfloor for this elegant evening.

  • Friday, January 19, 2024 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NADA announced, in response to the petition for judicial review sought by NADA and the Texas Automobile Dealers Association (TADA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued an Order postponing the effective date of the Vehicle Shopping Rule pending judicial review of the petition. The FTC’s order notes that “it is in the interests of justice to stay the effective date of the rule to allow for judicial review.”

    What it means: While this action does not revoke or otherwise affect the rule’s requirements, it does mean that the previously announced effective date of July 30, 2024, is no longer the effective date for the Vehicle Shopping Rule. 

    The background: On Jan. 4, 2024, NADA and TADA filed a Petition for Review of the Vehicle Shopping Rule in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, challenging the rule on the basis that it is “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, without observance of procedure required by law, or otherwise not in accordance with law.” And on Jan. 8, 2024, NADA and TADA filed a motion with the Fifth Circuit seeking a stay of the rule and expedited consideration of the Petition for Review. 

    Also… NADA is continuing to support federal legislation to prevent the implementation and enforcement of the rule, including a provision in a House appropriations bill that would deny funding for enforcing the rule and the “FTC REDO Act” (S. 3014), which requires the FTC to follow basic regulatory safeguards should the agency choose to redo the rule.

    What’s next: Dealers are encouraged to continue to review NADA compliance materials and take steps to understand and be prepared for the rule. NADA will continue to update dealers as we learn more about timing related to compliance with the rule.

    Go deeper: A simple one-page guide provides key messaging about the rule.

  • Friday, January 19, 2024 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Poor weather conditions can often raise pay-related questions for employers.

    The issue is straightforward for non-exempt employees (i.e. employees subject to overtime pay). Non-exempt employees are paid for the actual time worked. Thus, if they do not report for work or the employer is closed, they are not paid for the day. An employer may choose to allow these employees to use vacation or other paid time off to cover the lost wages.

    The issue is a little more complicated for exempt employees (i.e. employees not subject to overtime pay). Exempt employees must be paid if they are ready, willing, and, able to work; this is so even if the employer closes for the day. An employer that remains open during a weather emergency may lawfully deduct one full-day’s absence from the salary of an exempt employee who does not report for work for the day due to adverse weather conditions. The Department of Labor considers this an absence due to personal reasons; therefore, a deduction of a full-day’s pay will not violate the salary basis rule or otherwise affect the employee’s exempt status. An employer may, as an option, require an exempt employee who fails to report for work in this situation take vacation or other paid leave to cover the full-day’s absence. Deductions from an exempt employee's salary for less than a full-day’s absence are not permitted.

    SESCO recommends that clients review all applicable policy and practices to ensure compliance. For assistance, contact us at 423-764-4127 or by email at sesco@sescomgt.com.

  • Friday, January 19, 2024 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Rev. Proc. 2022-42, Section 6.03 provides that sellers must file reports within fifteen days after the end of the calendar year (i.e., January 15, 2024).  The IRS is extending the due date sellers have to provide these reports until January 31, 2024.  As a result, for vehicles placed in service in calendar year 2023, you must submit required information about a qualifying clean vehicle sale to the IRS by January 31, 2024.

    • Submit copies of your seller reports provided to eligible buyers via email to the following email address:  IRS.Clean.Vehicles.Seller.Reporting@IRS.gov.
    • The IRS preferred format for these submissions is an excel spreadsheet containing all required data from all seller reports a seller or dealer prepared in calendar year 2023.
    • Sellers or dealers may also submit individual seller report copies of the Form 15400 or equivalent forms containing all required data the seller/dealer used in calendar year 2023.  Sellers and dealers that used reasonable alternatives to Form 15400 in providing the required seller reports to buyers do not need to prepare the information in the Form 15400 format.

    Report information to buyers

    For vehicles placed in service in 2024 or later, providing buyers a copy of the seller report submitted to IRS Energy Credits Online and the confirmation that the IRS accepted the submission meets your reporting obligation.

    For vehicles placed in service in 2023, you needed to provide the following information to buyers at the time of sale:

    • Seller/Dealer name and taxpayer ID number
    • Buyer's name and taxpayer ID number
    • Maximum credit allowable under IRC 30D for new vehicles or IRC 25E for previously owned vehicles
    • Vehicle identification number (VIN), unless the vehicle is not assigned one
    • Battery capacity
    • Date of sale
    • Sale price
    • For new vehicles, verification that the buyer is the original user

    Each report must include a declaration of accuracy signed by a representative of your business with binding authority. The declaration must read: "Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this report submitted to the IRS pursuant to Revenue Procedure 2022-42 by [insert name of Seller], and to the best of my knowledge and belief I certify that this report is true, correct, and complete.”

    Find more details in Revenue Procedure 2022-42 and Revenue Procedure 2023-33.

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