Important video from President Ted Smith
A major theme runs through 2018
Lately it seems that every week a dealer contacts us at FADA with a new concern over something that one of their OEM’s is getting ready to announce in Florida. Incentive programs are changing and the terms are no longer dealer friendly. Some components are even violations of Florida law. New facility programs are blatantly unfair and not available to all dealers. Performance standards are constantly being revised. 

FADA is investigating at least five OEM programs and we are contacting the factory leadership when we believe a provision of Florida franchise law is being violated.

Your FADA leadership is also talking to the Department of Highway Safety to seek their help in enforcing Florida’s franchise laws. We plan to go into the 2019 Session with your issues in our briefcase and seek more changes that will benefit every FADA dealer member.

So what can you do?
First, just think of your local legislator as a customer of your store who has the power to change your industry. This week, 44 new House and Senate members came to Tallahassee to be introduced into the 2019 Legislature. These are citizen legislators who will vote on dealer specific legislation that FADA will bring to protect your significant investment in your dealership(s).

Please think of them as customers you need to know. Find out who they are by clicking here with our FADA legislator connection. Then just do one simple thing: call them in January and ask them to meet with you at your store . The agenda is just to get to know them. Simply talk to them about what keeps you up at night. Let them know your FADA team will be meeting them soon to discuss legislation in more detail.

FADA is reacting to OEM incentive programs

This week FADA is writing to Lincoln, Mazda, Audi and Volvo. We are challenging their potential programs that we believe violate elements of Florida franchise laws, but more importantly, do damage to your role as the retailer of their products with the large investments that you have made. Our focus is incentive programs, potential violations of our allocation law, and end runs around franchise provisions protecting your rights as the retailer.
New discretionary sales surtax rates in 2019

The Florida Department of Revenue has issued a list of the discretionary sales surtax rates for 2019 (Form DR-15DSS) on Department's Forms and Publications web page.

Effective January 1, 2019, the following counties have changes to their local county surtax rates:  Alachua, Bay, Broward, Calhoun, Collier, Hamilton, Hillsborough, Lee, Martin, Okaloosa, Polk, St. Lucie & Washington .

Dealers need to make sure these changes are reflected in your DMS.
Hope Scholarship – Your chance to give us input
In just a few weeks DOR will hold a workshop on the Hope Scholarship Program and FADA will have an opportunity to speak into this new program.

The initial Rule was put into place by DOR and it was fair to dealers but now other groups will be commenting and perhaps trying to make changes that may impact you as a collection agent.

We must have your input as we prepare our positions and frankly the first month of collections has us baffled. 75% of the $4 million collected came from 489 FADA dealerships. Some stores are reporting a 80% or higher customer participation level. But many of you are indicating your dislike of this new regulation.

Out of state titling and registration software available now
FADA is so proud to learn that DealerDMV is now the largest provider of titling and registration transactions in Florida. But we know that most dealers find themselves needing to register vehicles sold to those who reside in other states and there has been no really credible provider for out of state titling – until now! Contact FADA at for more information.
What did the November elections mean for you?
This week the first committee hearings for the 2019 Legislature have commenced in Tallahassee and fortunately most conservative leadership has remained in the Florida House, Senate and four Cabinet offices.

Democrats claimed 5 new seats in the Florida House consisting of 120 members and only one Senate seat went to the Democrat party.
We anticipate that the leadership in the Cabinet offices, especially the Attorney General’s office, will be moderate to conservative and we do not expect intense regulatory scrutiny that may have been present if other candidates had emerged.
So what should be on your radar?
Even though we may have dodged some proverbial pro-consumer intervention into our industry there are some areas of your operation that deserve a double-take and perhaps an overhaul. Some of the trends we are seeing in the advertising silos of our business may become a target and FADA wants to provide you with a narrative if you are not sure whether you are coloring within the lines.  Read More.  

 Additionally , the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has stated that it will waive some hazardous waste regulations for auto dealers and businesses disposing of airbags, a decision designed to ensure proper disposal of potentially deadly Takata air bag inflators.

Dealers will instead send airbag parts to a certified disposal facility that will handle the airbags under hazardous waste rules, the agency said; otherwise dealers may feel overwhelmed by regulations and be tempted to dispose of airbag parts in the municipal waste stream.
Texting Customers? Know the rules please!
According to a recent JD Power study, when dealers text their customers, customer satisfaction increases. Dealers using text messages are getting ahead of most of their competitors and are creating more satisfied customers. Luxury dealers use email and text messaging more frequently than mass market dealers (25% and 21% of the time vs. 17% and 15% of the time, respectively), so mass market dealers have an opportunity to increase engagement through these channels.

But do you know the rules under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)? Dealers not getting the proper written permission to communicate via text can find themselves in class action lawsuits. Read More.  
Dealership licenses must renew by 12/31

You must renew both your dealership license with DMV and your MVRIS license with OFR by December 31.

This is just around the corner and there will be no tolerance for those who simply do not respond. Read More.
Year end sales tax tips

Another year has passed, and more regulations have been put on dealerships. Now is the time to address issues for 2018 for Florida sales and use tax purposes.To prepare for a potential audit of your dealership in 2019, here are some items you might be able to resolve now.   Read more

Do you have a long-term solution for controlling group health insurance costs?
Have you experienced higher than expected group health insurance renewals or other related instability in your group health insurance program? FADA is in the initial stages of researching the possibility of a group health insurance program as a member benefit and we need your input. If you would consider this as an option for your dealership, please click here to take our short 2 question survey now.