Tag Archive | "California"

Dealertrack Rolls Out Registration and Titling Solution to California Dealers


LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y. — Dealertrack launched today a new “In-State Registration and Titling” solution desgined to simplify the registration and titling process for California dealers.

The new web-based solution features fast transaction speeds; same-day shipping of plates and stickers submitted before 1 p.m.; transaction audit results within 48 hours via Dealertrack’s Audit and Scan Service; one-page entry; single-click processing for most transactions; no wait time for data entry; DMS import from all major systems; and point-to-point shipment tracking of vehicle license plates and registration documents.

“We have worked closely with title clerks, business managers and controllers in California dealerships to get their guidance as to how we can make their jobs easier and their work processes more efficient. The result is a simple, fast solution with powerful functionality,” said Bill Rountree, vice president and general manager at Dealertrack. “With this new software, users will also have greater visibility into every deal — at every step of the process, at any time — allowing for better transaction tracking and workflow management.”

Dealertrack manages more than 45 million vehicle titles nationwide and has more than 20 years of registration and titling experience.

For more, visit Dealertrack.com.

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Tom Hudson Joins Dealer Summit Roster


TAMPA, Fla. — Prominent consumer finance attorney Thomas B. Hudson has agreed to speak at the upcoming Dealer Summit, organizers said Wednesday. The event will take place May 3–5, 2016, at the Sheraton Riverwalk Tampa Hotel. Hudson’s session, “Subprime and BHPH Dealers: How Regulators Have Changed Your Business Model,” will begin at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4.

“Tom Hudson is universally admired as a dealer advocate and unwavering voice of reason,” said Greg Goebel, president of DealerStrong. “We couldn’t have asked for a better speaker to tackle this important topic.”

Hudson is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Hudson Cook LLP and one of the automotive industry’s foremost legal minds. He a frequent speaker and prolific writer, authoring a number of legal guides and publications and serving as a regular contributor to Auto Dealer Today and F&I and Showroom magazines.

Hudson is expected to analyze recent enforcement actions by federal regulators and their effect on automotive finance, including special finance and the buy-here, pay-here (BHPH) segment. Dealers must be willing to adapt to a “new business landscape” and change their business models, he warned, or face legal action that could cost them their livelihoods.

“There are two kinds of dealers in the world — those who know that the regulatory ground has shifted beneath them and those who don’t,” Hudson said. “Dealers need to understand and conform to the new rules or get out of the business before the regulators force them out.”

Registration for Dealer Summit is open at the event’s website. Dealers who register by April 1 will enjoy a $100 early-bird discount. They will also have access to several pre-show activities, including F&I Think Tank and Jim Ziegler’s Profit Masters.

For information about exhibition and sponsorship opportunities, contact show chair David Gesualdo via email hidden; JavaScript is required or at 727-947-4027.

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Volkswagen Fix Rejected by California Board as Setbacks Grow


Volkswagen AG’s work to overcome the emissions-cheating scandal was set back after the California Air Resources Board rejected its proposed engine fix as “incomplete,” just a day before Chief Executive Officer Matthias Mueller meets regulators to discuss ways out of the crisis.

“Volkswagen made a decision to cheat on emissions tests and then tried to cover it up,” Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the state board, said Tuesday in an e-mailed statement. “They need to make it right”

The rejection closely followed a bumble by Mueller, who in a Sunday interview appeared to dismiss the crisis by saying Europe’s largest automaker “didn’t lie” to regulators about what amounts to a “technical problem.” The timing couldn’t be worse: VW also is in the midst of complex technical talks with the California board counterparts at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about possible fixes for about 480,000 diesel cars with 2-liter engines.

On its website, the California board said it “determined that there was no easy and expeditious fix for the affected vehicles.” The EPA seconded the idea on Tuesday, saying it agreed with the state regulator that VW’s plan can’t be approved.

The German automaker reiterated Tuesday that it’s committed to cooperating with regulators in California and elsewhere and said it will present a reworked proposal to the EPA tomorrow at the meeting in Washington. California’s rejection related to initial plans submitted last month, VW said. At that time it asked for an extension to submit additional information and data about the diesel engines and turbocharged-direct injection, or TDI.

“Since then, Volkswagen has had constructive discussions with CARB, including last week when we discussed a framework to remediate the TDI emissions issue,” VW said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday.

CARB said it and the EPA will continue to evaluate VW’s technical proposals.

Mueller’s Flub

CEO Mueller had apologized Sunday in a speech on the eve of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. “We know we deeply disappointed our customers, the responsible government bodies and the general public here in the U.S.,” Mueller said. “I apologize for what went wrong at Volkswagen.”

That was the same night he made the controversial comments in an interview with National Public Radio appearing to downplay the company’s role in actively deceiving regulators. On Monday morning, the company asked NPR for a do-over, where Mueller blamed a noisy atmosphere for his earlier comments and apologized again.

Mueller is scheduled to meet with EPA chief Gina McCarthy and members of Congress Wednesday morning in Washington. On Monday evening, Mueller had dinner with Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee. VW has a manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, which is undergoing a major expansion. Corker said VW views the meeting with EPA as “very important.”

U.S. Meetings

“They understand fully the order of magnitude of mistakes that have been made and my sense is they are very committed to resolving this in an appropriate way,” Corker said in an interview Tuesday, before ARB announced it had rejected VW’s recall plan.

The CEO’s appearance in Detroit and in the nation’s capital mark his first trip to the U.S. in his new role as CEO. Mueller, the former head of VW’s Porsche sports-car unit, was named CEO in September after Martin Winterkorn was forced out as the “dieselgate” scandal erupted.

Beyond developing an effective fix for each of the three types of non-compliant 4-cylinder engines, VW must document any adverse impacts on vehicles and consumers. And since the emissions scandal centers on Volkswagen’s use of a sophisticated “defeat device” to skirt regulations, any proposed remedy — whether that’s retrofitting cars with new parts or revising software codes — will need to be tested by California technicians before the plan is rolled out to consumers.

Rebecca Lindland, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, said Tuesday that the rejection was not a surprise.

“Volkswagen has been working on an additional potential fix involving the catalytic converter. Those details have not been worked out. The reasons for the rejection involve needing more details and specifications,” she said in a statement.

“Today’s actions do not preclude a recall, but allow for a broader array of potential remedies,” the board said in the statement.

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California on Track to Sell 1.8 million New Units in 2014


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — New-vehicle registrations in the state continued to improve during the first half of 2014 vs. 2013, according to a report from the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA). With an increase of 7.3% this year, California’s sales are still on track to approach 1.8 million new units.

California also continues to outpace the U.S. new-car sales growth of 5.4% this year. “Thanks to consistently better technology and improved fuel economy in these new models, the growth gain in new-vehicle sales compared to used sales is three times higher,” said Randy Denham, CNCDA chairman and owner of S.J. Denham Chrysler Jeep in Redding, Calif.

California’s used-vehicle market is also on an upward trend of 2.4%, though the vast majority of vehicles sold at franchised dealerships are new — more than 910,000 through June.

The Toyota Camry took over as the state’s best-selling new model, slightly beating Toyota’s Prius and Corolla and Honda’s Accord and Civic. The Japanese brands continued to increase their sales by 10.2% and now account for 49% of the California new car market.

Domestic brands held steady at 27.7% and Korean brands increased slightly at 7.9%. The Hybrid segment continues to trend at a decrease this year, while Plug-in and Electric vehicles experienced a slight increase. Interestingly, for the second consecutive quarter, Tesla experienced the sharpest year over year decline of any manufacturer listed in the report, officials said.

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Tesla Shares Down After Stolen Vehicle Crash in California


Tesla Motors Inc. TSLA’s shares declined 2.9% to $222.66 on Monday following the violent crash Friday of a Model S that burst into flames after it hit a pole in Southern California, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Tesla is awaiting a police report and access to the remains of the vehicle.

There were seven injuries but no deaths reported after a man stole a vehicle from a Tesla store in Los Angeles and led police on a wild chase through the city, hitting speeds of 100 mph, before crashing into several cars and then a pole in West Hollywood, according to a report on television station KTLA-TV. A report from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which is investigating the crash, wasn’t immediately available. A Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman said the car was stolen around midnight, and police officers pursued the car but were involved in a crash during the pursuit.

Following the crash, the lithium-ion batteries from the car—spread around in clumps on the street—began to burn, some popping like fireworks and shooting into the air. Bystanders recorded the wreckage and burning batteries in mobile phone video shown by the television station.

The Model S split in half, with the front landing on another car and the back wedging between two walls at a synagogue.

This is the second report of a Tesla being crashed at high-speeds and burning after impact. The other was in Mexico. In both cases, the drivers weren’t killed. The driver of the stolen Model S was thrown from the vehicle and was in critical condition, according to the television report.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said he is proud that there has been no fatal injuries in any accidents with Model S vehicles. Still, of the roughly 30,000 vehicles sold globally, at least four have ended up burning following a collision. Two other Model S vehicles burned after hitting road debris, which led Tesla to install shielding to the underbody.

Car fires are relatively common in the U.S. A study by the U.S. Fire Administration said there were about 65,000 car fires a year from 2008-2010, leading to 300 deaths. Collisions were attributed as a factor in 4% of these fires, or roughly 2,600 fires a year out of the U.S. vehicle fleet of about 250 million. Most vehicle fires occur from electrical wiring, engine or tire malfunctions.

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Calif. Lawmaker Introduces Vehicle History Bill


SAN DIEGO – Sen. Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) introduced legislation on Monday to fix a new law that will require dealers to provide consumers with vehicle history reports starting on July 1.

Senate Bill 990 aims to change the requirements under legislation passed last year, which requires that dealers provide a government report, known as the National Motor Vehicle Titling Information System, to consumers who purchased a used car, reported F&I and Showroom magazine.

Citing a study conducted by auto industry experts, Vargas said the NMVTIS doesn’t track detailed vehicle history events, such as air bag deployment, open recalls and structural or frame damage. His legislation will allow dealers to source vehicle history reports from companies like Carfax.

“My legislation is an important fix to better ensure that Californians have the opportunity to receive the best and most accurate information possible when purchasing a used vehicle,” said Senator Juan Vargas. “For many working families, their car is their lifeline and it is essential that they are confident that it is safe and free of damage. SB 990 will simply provide Californians with an option to obtain more information about a car’s vehicle history before making a purchase.”

The law that takes effect July 1 will discourage the use of commercially available vehicle history reports and create an opportunity for widespread fraud in California, Vargas added.

More than 9,000 state titling agencies, insurance carriers and auto recyclers or junkyards are required to report to the NMVTIS, which was created in 1992 and is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice.

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