Have you done a risk assessment of your dealership? Are you prepared for an audit by the State of Colorado, Auto Industry Division? When was the last time you attended any compliance training? If an investigator walked onto your lot, would your staff know what to do? Do your employees understand the risk of non-compliance, or do they think it's not their problem?
Can a dealer actually go to jail, or would you just be fined if you're not in compliance? Is your license in jeopardy?
The start of a new year is a great time to review procedures in your dealership. Dealers are liable for the actions of their staff, and yes, dealers and salespersons can be charged both administratively (Dealer Board hearing), and criminally (county, state, or federal courts) for compliance violations. Upon a conviction, a license can be revoked or suspended, and fines and imprisonment can be imposed.
An audit at your dealership can pinpoint areas of non-compliance, and recommend actions to resolve those issues. An audit can be customized to review specific problems within the dealership, or can be a general audit. A general audit will review state regulations, and will last three to four hours. Any areas of non-compliance will be noted, and questions answered. A detailed written report with the results of the audit will be provided within a few weeks. Training can be arranged after the audit to present the findings to your staff.
Connie Hatch is available to schedule an audit of your dealership on the Western Slope. Contact her at 970-209-7499.
(For Eastern Slope dealers, contact Todd O'Connell, CIADA, at 303-239-8000 for more information.)