September 13, 2023

A Word from MTIADA President, Chad Randash

We have a lot of exciting changes that we are making at your MTIADA. Our kickoff meeting in August had national sponsors that are interested in the success of the smaller associations such as the MTIADA.

Sponsors such as Buckeye Dealership Consulting LLC, PassTime and Kinetic Advantage are excellent resources for Independent Dealers, and I urge you to reach out to them and see what they can offer you and your dealership. 

A few issues that are on our radar locally-Mickey Flynn with MVD Express noted that Odometer dates are an issue in the Merlin system the State uses when there is a registration involved. Most of the dealer titles are title only, but when you title an MCO, you must register the vehicle. When the vehicle is titled before you sell the vehicle, there is not an issue. But when the vehicle is sold before the first title is made, the odometer date will be off because the Merlin system uses the received date as the odometer date. The DOJ

has a work around on this issue in the meantime to get the information correct. They recommend that you give MVD Express a request on a MV100 prior to titling- instructing MVD Express to do a second pass and reflect the actual sale date and odometer.  Mickey also noted that this is not done on every vehicle because it requires two titles and is not needed most times. MVD Express does have a more detailed solution if you believe this will be an issue and I would highly recommend reaching out to them before you send in the title paperwork. And as a value partner to MTIADA, MVD Express is a dealers one-stop location for your title needs.

For all members and non-members, I wanted to thank everyone involved and trusting in the association. The most common thing that I hear from all independent dealers is what can the association do for me? As the President of this association, it is my intention to first deliver a consistent message of local and national news items that may affect your business. In addition, I have asked for strategic partners like Buckeye Dealership Consulting, Passtime, Kinetic Advantage, MVD Express, ADS and others to help light our way. But we also need Dealer Participation. With a consistent message and dealer participation on the board as well as in our communities, our mission is to serve all independent dealers in our great State of Montana. 

The Do’s and Don’ts of GPS Compliance

Most everyone in the automotive industry is well aware of the increased attention and focus the CFPB, FTC, and other state and federal organizations have placed on the industry over the past several years.

We’ve seen the FTC’s Safeguard Rule revision go into effect in June 2023. The rule, which was designed to protect sensitive personal data, was revised to expand the definition of a financial institution and included added provisions regarding how to develop and implement specific aspects of an information security program.  Some of these provisions include data encryption, multi-factor authentication, and secure disposal of information, as well as the requirement of companies to designate a specific, qualified individual to manage it.

We’ve seen state legislation proposed and enacted on a multitude of topics affecting the automotive and finance industries. We’ve seen the CFPB issue bulletins regarding wrongful repossessions, add-on products, event algorithmic bias in credit decisions and then proceed to take legal action against banks, auto dealers, and finance companies.

Certainly, it is not always easy to navigate all the rules, orders, and bulletins that make up the regulatory landscape. Dealers often need to rely on legal counsel, compliance officers, and specialized software solutions to help them manage and track regulatory requirements. Staying informed about changes in laws and regulations and maintaining a commitment to ethical business practices is essential for the long-term success of their businesses. Partnering with trusted service providers can also be a key to success and an additional resource for dealers to rely on.

PassTime, a leading provider of GPS asset tracking solutions has been in business for over 30 years, and has been a leading voice on compliance in the automotive industry. Part of the reason the company remains a leader in automotive telematics is because of its commitment to compliance, live client and customer support, rigorous client training, and a nationwide installation network. PassTime’s adherence to best practices across the board ensures customers have the tools and resources they need to meet their goals while staying in compliance.

Here are some tips to help you stay in compliance with one aspect of your business: GPS devices. 

The “Do’s”

  • Create written policies and procedures for the use of GPS devices.
  • Fully disclose the installed device to the consumer as a condition of financing.
  • Provide written disclosure to the end-user consumer of an installed SID/GPS device as a condition of the credit extension under the RISC.
  • Have the consumer sign the disclosure.
  • Quickly resolve and track complaints related to the device.
  • Use trained and/or certified in-house, third-party, or vendor-supplied installers.

 The “Don’ts”

  • Do not pass on the cost of devices (including service costs or installation) to consumers.
  • Do not discriminate in any way regarding who you require to have a device and who you don’t, as this could violate federal and state anti-discrimination laws.
  • Do not disable a customer’s vehicle without giving prior warning.
  • Do not leave the vehicle disabled after a customer makes an appropriate payment.
  • Do not use GPS tracking for any improper purposes, which could include excessive tracking, or tracking without a specific and valid reason, such as a loan default.

When it comes to staying compliant as a dealer or finance company, it takes a lot of work to understand and keep up with all the rules and regulations. One source of help may come from service providers themselves, and their ability to inform customers about things to pay attention to. Ask them for their best practices and how to create an effective GPS usage policy. 

How to Purchase the Best Used Vehicles for Your Dealership 

As more used car inventory becomes available, dealers need to make sure they are making informed purchasing decisions. Not only do you want to select vehicles that are going to sell quickly, but you also need to make sure you’re purchasing vehicles at a price that will allow your dealership to turn a profit.

Here are some ways to make sure you’re making the best inventory purchases for your dealership:

Pay Attention to Vehicle Price

With inventory availability increasing, so will the competition for the vehicles in demand in your market. It’s important that you take time to research every vehicle you purchase to ensure that you’re not overpaying for your inventory.

Don’t Let Repairs and Body Work Eat Away at Your Profits

No matter where you source a vehicle from, if it needs some extra TLC, those expenses will impact your overall sticker price. So, make sure any additional costs are factored in when purchasing a vehicle.

Use a Multi-Channel Purchasing Approach

Getting the best quality used vehicles at a competitive price is easier when you utilize different sourcing options. There are more inventory sourcing options than ever, including wholesale, online platforms, off-street purchases, and trade-ins, so don’t be afraid to cast a wider net when you’re ready to purchase more inventory.

Pay Attention to Your Turn Times

If you suddenly see your turn times increasing, take some time to figure out why. It could be that your customers’ preferences are changing, and you need to make some changes to your inventory selection.

Sponsored by Buckeye Dealership Consulting, Kinetic Advantage, & Passtime