Auctions

Silverstein retiring from Ford after 35 years with automaker

CARY, N.C.  - 

After 35 years with the automaker, Linda Silverstein — Ford’s general manager of remarketing and rental operations — is retiring.

A pillar of the used-car industry, Sept. 29 is the last day at Ford for Silverstein. She has led the automaker’s remarketing since October 2002 and headed its rental operations since January 2007.  

Asked what she has enjoyed most about this business, Silverstein told AuSM by phone: “It’s all about the people,” later adding, “The people have made this industry great.”

And the appreciation is certainly reciprocated. Her awards from peers in the auction business are numerous.

They include such honors as the 2017 Barbara Cox Woman of the Year recognition from Cox Automotive, a 2009 induction into the NAAA Hall of Fame, recognition as a Warren Young fellow by NAAA and the 2010 Consignor of the Year award at the Conference of Automotive Remarketing.

Respect from her peers is also evident in emailed responses from top leaders in the business.

“Linda is a person of great integrity who has always pushed to make the entire remarketing business better and more efficient,” Cox Automotive president Sandy Schwartz said. “As a tremendous ambassador of Ford, Linda also helped promote diversity and has been a wonderful mentor to so, so many. We all will miss her acumen and big smile.”

Kurt Kohler, senior vice president of fleet and acquisition/remarketing at Enterprise Holdings, added: “Linda, you have been a great contributor to the fleet industry and a terrific representative for the Ford Family.  Congratulations on a fantastic career!  I look forward to our continued friendship for years to come.”

“Not only has Linda been a great business partner, but she also has been a friend. She has always represented the Blue Oval proudly and professionally,” said Mike Schmidt, senior vice president of fleet services at Avis Budget Group. “Our business dealings may be coming to an end, but there are still more burgers at Millers Bar to share!”

The auction industry is one where every day can be different, something that Silverstein finds enjoyable.

“It’s always been exciting,” she said.

But her three-and-half decades in the industry go far beyond the remarketing lanes or rental car lots.

According to a bio she shared, Silverstein has been with the Blue Oval since 1982, joining the company right after earning an MBA that same year at Babson College.  Silverstein graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1980 with a degree in economics.

Her first role was as an analyst in the Ford division’s district sales office in Detroit, a city she ended up working in for six years, taking on roles as truck merchandising manager, market representation manager, distribution manager and field manager. 

Silverstein went on to work in marketing and sales positions for the company’s Ford and Lincoln-Mercury divisions. Her posts also includes times in dealer communications, advertising and cross-vehicle line strategy. Additionally, Silverstein also worked in the sales operations controller’s office and in product development’s strategy and advanced planning office.

As the head of Automotive Remarketing Services, Silverstein launched a new venture for the automaker, through which the department provided remarketing services for customers outside of the automaker (now a part of the company’s vehicle remarketing division).  She later became auction department manager.

As for what’s next, Silverstein told AuSM she has not made any set plans, but said she would take some time and decide what’s next in the New Year.

 


Top 10 states that have most flood-damaged units in operation

CENTREVILLE, Va., & SANTA MONICA, Calif. - 

As Edmunds offered five suggestions for how to spot a flood-damaged vehicle, new research from Carfax released on Wednesday suggested that drivers may be behind the wheel of more than 325,000 previously flooded vehicles.

Analysts computed that number is a 20-percent increase from 2016.

Carfax also compiled a list of 10 states that have the most vehicles reported as flood damaged by a state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV) and insurance companies. That rundown includes:

1. Texas: 51,000

2. Louisiana: 29,000

3. Pennsylvania: 20,000

4. Florida: 19,000

5. Kentucky: 16,000

6. Illinois: 15,000

7. South Carolina: 13,000

8. Virginia: 13,000

9. North Carolina: 13,000

10. Michigan: 11,000

Carfax shared the frustration of one consumer who purchased a vehicle unaware of its flooded past.

“I bought a car last year, and the seller never told us anything about it being a flood car,” said Charlene Geiger from Pennsylvania. "When we got home and ran a Carfax, there it was — a flood car from Hurricane Sandy. It showed that the seller bought it as a salvage car and the title was washed when he brought to Pennsylvania. We lost $16,000 over all of it.”

In addition to the current total, Carfax suspects that several hundred thousand more flooded vehicles may emerge from hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Historically, the company said about half the vehicles damaged by floods end up back on the market.

Carfax explained that flooded vehicles rot from the inside out as water corrodes the mechanical parts, shorts the electrical system and compromises safety features like airbags and anti-lock brakes. Health concerns are an added problem, as mold and bacteria permeate the soft parts of the car.

“Our data shows there’s still much work to be done in helping consumers avoid buying flood damaged cars,” said Dick Raines, president of Carfax. “They can, and do, show up all over the country, whether it be a few miles or hundreds of miles from where the flooding occurred.

“With two devastating storms already this year, it’s vital for used-car buyers everywhere to protect themselves from flooded cars that may wind up for sale. Start with a thorough test drive, a vehicle history report and a mechanic's inspection before buying any used car,” Raines continued.

In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Carfax is letting consumers check for flood damage free of charge at carfax.com/flood.

Edmunds senior consumer advice editor Ron Montoya reiterated a similar position about watching for flood-damaged units, referencing some of the trends Carfax shared: 

“Roughly half of the vehicles with salvage titles are resold, often in places where the flood never hit, and the sale of flood-damaged cars happens most often in private-party sales than on dealer lots,” Montoya said. “Given that electrical and mechanical problems can potentially surface long after the seller is gone, used-car buyers are at risk of owning an unreliable car with no recourse against the seller.

“Reputable dealers use vehicle history reports to check cars they are offered so they can avoid such problems, and car shoppers should follow that example by checking the vehicle’s history, while looking for signs of a flood-damaged car,” he added.

Montoya then went into detail about the five ways people can spot a flood-damaged vehicle, including:

1. Be alert to unusual odors. Musty or moldy odors inside the car are a sign of mildew buildup from prolonged exposure to water. It might be coming from an area the seller is unable to completely clean. Beware of a strong air freshener or cleaning solution scent since it may indicate the seller is trying to cover up something. Run the air-conditioner to see if a moldy smell comes from the vents.

2. Look for discolored carpeting. Large stains or differences in color between lower and upper upholstery sections may indicate that standing water was in the vehicle. A used car with brand-new upholstery is also a warning sign since a seller may have tried to remove the flood-damaged upholstery altogether.

3. Examine the exterior for water buildup. Signs may include fogging inside headlamps or taillights and damp or muddy areas where water naturally pools, such as overhangs inside the wheel well. A water line might be noticeable in the engine compartment or the trunk, indicating that the car sat in standing water.

4. Inspect the undercarriage. Look for evidence of rust and flaking metal that would not normally be associated with late-model vehicles.

5. Be suspicious of dirt buildup in unusual areas. These include areas such as around the seat tracks or the upper carpeting under the glove compartment. Have an independent mechanic look for caked mud or grit in alternator crevices, behind wiring harnesses, and around the small recesses of starter motors, power steering pumps and relays.


IAS picks Columbus Fair AA to pilot latest management tech

COLUMBUS, Ohio - 

Integrated Auction Solutions announced Tuesday that Columbus Fair Auto Auction (CFAA) will be the first to experience the latest version of its AuctionMaster auction management system.

AuctionMaster Version 3 (V3-AMS) replaces CFAA’s AS400 green screen management system, which the auction has used for 25 years, according to IAS.

Following proof of viability at CFAA, IAS said the new system will be made available to other auctions after September.

“Providing the most state of the art AMS is finally here. We are strategically launching at CFAA, an auction with great size, with many third party integrations, manufacture modules, and reconditioning facilities, to just start the list,” IAS vice president of sales and business development Peter Levy said in a news release.

“We are dedicated to give the auction community options and will integrate with anyone that our auction partners desire,” he continued.

The V3-AMS system has full functionality from anywhere, allowing dealers to easily manage inventory, dealers and accounts.

It features a fully integrated block with AWG simulcast, along with a both a web-based option and tradition local server option, according to IAS.

“Our corporate mission has long been to protect the interests of independent auction owners”, added Alexis Jacobs, chief executive officer of IAS. “This technology provides our community the tools it needs to maintain sustainable, scalable, stable, industry-standard services our customers expect.”

 


Price moves reflect dealers hunting to replace damaged inventory

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - 

Damage by the horrific hurricanes impacting the United States during the past two weeks is starting to influence what Black Book is noticing at the auction.

This week’s Black Book Market Insights report showed a little strengthening in the wholesale space; most likely due to dealers looking to begin replacing damaged or destroyed vehicles caused by Harvey and Irma.

“Dealers are actively looking to buy inventory and shipping vehicles to the Houston area, anticipating strong demand due to replacement of damaged units,” said Anil Goyal, Black Book’s senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics.

Looking at volume-weighted data, editors found that overall car segment values decreased by 0.27 percent last week, better than the average weekly decrease of 0.49 percent in values spotted during the previous four weeks.

Black Book reported that the prestige luxury car and near luxury car segments declined the most by 0.62 percent and 0.46 percent, respectively.

Again viewing volume-weighted information, editors determined overall truck segment values — including pickups, SUVs and vans ticked 0.15 percent lower last week, an improvement compared to the average weekly decrease of 0.33 percent in values registered during the previous four weeks.

Black Book added that the sub-compact crossover segment declined the most among truck segments, dropping by 0.66 percent.

Beyond the raw data, Black Book’s observers in the lanes watched how dealers who needed inventory because of the storms made moves to get necessary inventory. Editors shared multiple reports coming out of Georgia.

“We would have expected the market to soften after Labor Day, instead values for some model years and segments are moving upward sooner than expected as demand picked up due to hurricane damage,” one lane watcher said.

Another report from the Peach State indicated, “Dealers from Texas were seen buying cars here because they can’t find cars in their area.”

And one more observer stationed in Georgia added, “Rental car units were lower in auctions as they were put back in rental use and the ones for sale had higher miles.”

The other two Black Book representatives who reported back to headquarters this past week shared anecdotes out of the Midwest.

One came from Michigan, which noted, “Retail is slow here, therefore dealers are being very picky in their wholesale purchases. Lots of hesitation as they place their bids.”

A recap out of Illinois mentioned, “A seller expressed that it was a great day for older vehicles and an exceptional day for clean vehicles.” 


10 steps to watch for flood-damaged vehicles

CARY, N.C. - 

With two Category 4 hurricanes striking the United States during the past two weeks, the National Automobile Dealers Association offered 10 inspection tips for prospective buyers to spot flood-damaged vehicles.

As what’s left of Hurricane Irma cut through Georgia and Alabama on Monday, the impact left a day earlier in Florida was significant.

According to updates posted on its website, ADESA did not open its Florida facilities in Tampa, Sarasota, Orlando, Ocala and Jacksonville on Monday. ADESA Atlanta was set to close at 1 p.m. on Monday. ADESA Birmingham opened on Monday, but officials said the Alabama facility was operating with a limited staff.

While ADESA said its Orlando operation still was planning to have its dealer consignment sale on Tuesday, and its regularly scheduled consignment sale in Atlanta on Wednesday was still scheduled, the company emphasized that dealers and consignors should monitor its website for potential changes.

No matter how dealerships might be acquiring inventory in the coming weeks, NADA urged used-car managers and operators to watch for potentially damaged vehicles by taking these :

1. Check a vehicle’s title history using the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s VinCheck, the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System or a commercially available vehicle history report service, such as Experian or Carfax, etc. Reports may state whether a vehicle has been flood damaged.

2. Examine the interior and the engine compartment for evidence of water and grit from suspected submersion.

3. Check for recently shampooed carpeting.

4. Look under the carpeting for water residue or stain marks from evaporated water not related to air-conditioning pan leaks.

5. Inspect for interior rust and under the carpeting, and inspect upholstery and door panels for evidence of fading.

6. Check under the dash for dried mud and residue, and note any mold or a musty odor in the upholstery, carpet or trunk.

7. Check for rust on screws in the console and in other areas water would normally not reach unless the vehicle was submerged.

8. Look for mud or grit in alternator crevices, behind wiring harnesses and around the small recesses of starter motors, power steering pumps and relays.

9. Inspect electrical wiring for rusted components, water residue or suspicious corrosion.

10. Inspect other components for rust or flaking metal not normally found in late-model vehicles.

NAMAD gets involved in hurricane relief

In light of historic hurricane disasters in Texas and Florida, the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealershas spearheaded the NAMAD Disaster Relief Fund to assist employees and families of NAMAD members in these affected areas.

In a member-wide call to action, NAMAD has asked members to contribute $2,000 for each dealership they own to this crucial Fund.

“The response has been amazing,” NAMAD chairman Irving Matthews said in a news release. “We have already collected more than $400,000 towards our goal of raising $1 million.  Even our dealerships in the affected areas have donated, despite the potential for huge financial losses. 

“All of the monies raised will be distributed to NAMAD member dealer employees and their families to help them deal with the loss of income, housing and stability hurricanes Harvey and Irma have created,” Matthews continued. “Like millions of Americans coast to coast, we've made a commitment to help those in need, and help jumpstart the rebuilding process.”

NAMAD acknowledged it will take months for the most severely damaged businesses to rebuild.  This, too, prolongs the crisis for affected families.

“NAMAD calls on the insurance industry to be expedient in processing claims for losses during Hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” NAMAD president Damon Lester said. “We also thank automobile manufacturers for accelerating vehicle removal and staging so damaged inventory can be replaced as quickly as possible.

“Texas and Florida represent two major markets for new vehicle sales in the U.S., and NAMAD and others are doing our part to assist those in need,” Lester said. “If all companies that support the automobile industry react and respond with immediacy and purpose, we can, more quickly, put Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in the history books.”


Kontos’ 4-point assessment of Harvey fallout

CARMEL, Ind. - 

KAR Auction Services chief economist Tom Kontos spent the past few days poring over data and information that he’s encountered in connection with Hurricane Harvey; a storm meteorologists are calling a 1,000-year flood event.

Kontos explained in a special edition of the Kontos Kommentary there are four primary considerations for the automotive industry to understand as gasoline prices climb and the full macroeconomic impact likely taking months to unfold.

Kontos began with looking at total loss units versus damaged vehicles.

“Historically, we know that many of the vehicles damaged in a hurricane are not total losses. For example, in 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, of the 250,000 vehicles damaged only about 160,000 were total losses,” Kontos said.

“For the non-flood damaged vehicles, a total loss is only declared if the cost of repairs exceeds a certain threshold versus the vehicle’s value. So the same storm damage — dents, scratches, shattered glass — on one vehicle may be a total loss, but not on another, depending on their relative values,” he went on to say.

As KAR chairman and chief executive officer Jim Hallett referenced during an earlier conversation with AuSM, Kontos reiterated that commercial consigners — including the company’s rental, fleet and captive finance customers — are coordinating with KAR to push more units toward Houston and the Gulf region.

Both Hallett and Kontos emphasized that the 13 ADESA auctions in the area are operational and well-positioned to take on this additional inventory.

“But keep in mind, sellers don’t necessarily have to move inventory into the market pre-sale,” Kontos said. “As we’ve seen over the past few years, the volume of vehicles sold at online auctions is growing.

“Our online capabilities can match buyers with sellers and help them find the specific car or cars they are seeking — and then transport them after the sale,” he continued. “And our analytical capabilities can help advise remarketers on the economic desirability of moving inventory versus selling online.”

Next, Kontos touched on what he’s heard from the client roster held by Insurance Auto Auctions. He explained many insured individuals receive checks for the actual cash value, or the current value, of their vehicle — not the cost of a new model.

“As a result, we anticipate an uptick in demand for quality used cars once claims begin to be paid,” Kontos said. “Timing is an important factor here, given the current oversupply of used vehicles stemming from a surge of off-lease units hitting the market.

“While the number of total loss units is still unknown, IAA expects that number to be significant, and could help mitigate some of the downward pressure on used vehicle values by helping absorb this oversupply,” he continued.

Furthermore, Kontos mentioned the regional dynamics likely in play as Houston and the surrounding areas in Texas and Louisiana try to bounce back from Harvey.

“At the micro-level, trucks are very popular in Texas and have resisted the price softening we’ve seen with cars,” Kontos said. “Trucks are holding value better, in part, because gas prices have been low and the supply has been tighter compared to cars.

“The net impact is there will be an increased demand in this region for trucks and SUVs as people seek to replace their total loss trucks and SUVs. Compared to cars, sellers may find more price justification to move truck inventory to Texas,” he went on to say.

Kontos closed with a message to dealers, especially franchised operations that saw vehicles submerged by Harvey’s record rainfall.

“For Houston-area franchise dealers trying to replace damaged inventory, obtaining used car inventory at a time like this may be their best immediate option and value,” Kontos said. “Floor-planning quality used cars is more affordable than new cars, and the current oversupply of off-lease used vehicles means these vehicles are quickly and readily obtainable.

“And a stable of quality used cars will ready-match dealer supply to demand as consumers seek to affordably replace their total loss vehicles,” he continued.

“In summary, Hurricane Harvey is a devastating event for which the whole-car and salvage auction industry stands ready to respond through efficient vehicle disposal and replacement with an abundance of supply,” Kontos concluded.


4 Manheim locations in Florida to close Friday as Irma nears

CARY, N.C. - 

With Hurricane Irma remaining a dangerous storm, Manheim regional vice president for the Southeast Mark Ford shared an update on Wednesday afternoon regarding how the company plans to handle the storm projected to impact Florida as early as Friday.

Ford indicated the following Manheim locations in Florida will be closed on Friday, including:

Manheim Fort Lauderdale
Manheim Fort Myers
Manheim Palm Beach
Manheim Lakeland

Ford added that Manheim Caribbean also will be closed until further notice.

“During severe weather conditions such as Hurricane Irma, Manheim proactively plans and prepares to protect the safety of our team members, clients and locations,” Ford said in a statement sent to AuSM. “This includes encouraging clients to retrieve their purchased vehicles at our locations prior to Friday to avoid any possible damage and moving physical sales to digital channels such as OVE for safety reasons.

“We are proactively communicating with our clients about the status of our operations and their vehicles and are helping to direct them to other Manheim digital channels for their vehicle needs,” Ford continued.

In addition, in preparation for any possible disaster relief needs for Manheim team members in the areas affected by Hurricane Irma, Ford indicated the human resources team at Cox Automotive will share relief resources and information.

As a division of Cox Enterprises, Manheim team members have access to the Cox Employee Relief Fund (CERF) should the need arise.

“Our CERF team in Atlanta is always on standby with immediate assistance for all Manheim team members as needed,” Ford said. “CERF is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization funded by donations from Cox team members to provide financial assistance to team members with unexpected needs resulting from a disaster.”

Advisories from the National Hurricane Center distributed on Wednesday said that remained a dangerous Category 5 storm with maximum sustained winds at 185 mph. Irma raged through the Caribbean on Wednesday, impacting the U.S. Virgin Islands as well as Puerto Rico with places like Cuba in the storm’s path before it possibly makes landfall in the Sunshine State sometime this weekend.

“As Hurricane Irma approaches, I am urging every Floridian to get a plan and be prepared for potential life threatening impacts from the storm,” Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement.


Former auction group CEO Steve Simon joins CARS Recon board

FRANKLIN, Tenn.  - 

Entrepreneur and former auction industry executive Steve Simon has joined the board of directors at CARS Recon, the company announced this week.

Simon was the founder and chief executive officer of the American Auto Auction Group, which was established in 2010 and then rebranded to XLerate Group in 2014.

Simon, who retired in 2012, was also the founder and CEO of Auction Finance Group and the chairman and CEO of the Canadian Auction Group

Since his retirement, Simon has served on several boards of community service organizations in Charleston, S.C., and worked as a mentor in a local elementary school system.

“We are thrilled to have Steve join our corporate family,” CARS Recon president CEO Ron Hope said in a news release. “With more than two decades of dedicated service to our industry, his amazing energy, passion and creative expertise is well known to us all.

“We look forward to Steve assisting us in growing our national and international footprint.”

Simon joins fellow non-executive advisers Tony Moorby and Tom Cunningham on the CARS Recon board. 


Dealers see rougher units in the lanes as values even out

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - 

As August closed and the quality of vehicles in the lanes deteriorated a bit, the new Black Book Market Insights report showed vehicle values didn’t soften quite as much as they had earlier in the month.

Beginning with volume-weighted car data, editors determined that overall car segment values declined by 0.36 percent last week. In comparison, depreciation backed off the preceding five-week average of 0.52 percent.

Within the car segments, Black Book found that sporty and full-size car segments had the poorest weekly retention rates, decreasing by 0.81 percent and 0.60 percent, respectively. These two segments, accompanied by compact cars, were the only segments to receive steeper depreciation rates compared to the prior week, according to the report.

Taking a look at trucks, editors indicated that volume-weighted information showed overall truck segment values — including pickups, SUVs and vans — decreased by 0.25 percent last week. For comparison, the previous five-week average for truck segments came in at 0.33 percent.

Among the truck segments, sub-compact crossover values fell 0.65 percent, followed by compact luxury crossover/SUV and minivan segments, both dropping 0.50 percent.

Moving along to the anecdotes Black Book representatives picked up while at the auction, recaps from two different regions of the country noted how rougher units are rolling over the block.

“A high percentage of edgy condition vehicles appeared in the auction today. Too many cars needing paint work, and frame damage vehicles were present, which resulted in a low sales percentage,” said Black Book’s lane watcher in Massachusetts.

Down in Georgia, a similar story appeared as Black Book shared, “Attendance was normal for early fall today. There was disappointment regarding the condition of the vehicles offered and the amount of no-sales was up.”

Before talk of Hurricane Irma began to dominate the scene in Florida, two of Black Book’s representatives in the Sunshine State collected these observations.

“Retail is beginning to drag here, which is translating into more vehicles being passed on at the auction. That being said dealers continue to buy good, clean, low- mile units to fill the holes in their inventory,” the first Florida report said.

The other recap added, “Late model rental and off lease sales carried an otherwise average auction. I spoke with several dealers who are looking for clean, older vehicles with a desirable price point for their retail lots. Competition is strong for this segment of the market.”

Finally, the stories from the lanes wrapped up in the Midwest with this observation in Indiana: “Low consignment seems to have become the norm with many more buyers than sellers. Trucks continue to be scarce along with the really nice units.”

Specialty report

As Black Book does on a monthly basis, editors shared their assessments of the speciality markets. Here is the rundown:

—Collectible Cars: Editors said the collectible car auctions held on the Monterey Peninsula in mid-August were very successful, especially at the top end of the vintage exotic market.

—Recreational Vehicles: Black Book found that the auction results last month were “a bit surprising.” Editors continued with, “Towable values did exactly what we expected them to, but motorized units, which should also be declining, shot up nearly 15 percent.”

—Powersports: Editors indicated the Powersports market continues to see downward pressure on pricing in all segments as the market heads into the fall.

—Heavy-Duty: Editors summarized this segment by saying: “We’ll see if the current fairly stable value decreases hold up when new trucks start to ship and more out of service units become available.”

—Medium-Duty: Finally, Black Book surmised here that the wholesale market continues its downward trend as it inches closer toward fall. “This past month we experienced a bit more depreciation than we did in June,” editors said.


Storm roundup: Auction arbitration change; NADA reiterates call to help

CARY, N.C. - 

The weather-related developments connected to the used-vehicle industry arise seemingly by the day now that it’s near the height of hurricane season.

While the National Auto Auction Association Standards Committee made an adjustment to the NAAA arbitration policy, Group 1 Automotive described what shape that dealer group finds itself in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Meanwhile, Texas Automobile Dealers Association president Bill Wolters reiterated the urgent need to help dealerships and their employees impacted by flooding.

And now, Hurricane Irma is churning through the Caribbean as one of the strongest storms ever observed by federal officials with the possibility of it striking Florida and other parts of the Southeast in the coming days.

NAAA on flood damage disclosure

According to a statement sent during Labor Day weekend, NAAA officials explained that currently, a flood damage disclosure (from sellers to buyers) was only required for vehicles selling under the following sale light combinations:

• Green light only

• Green/yellow light

• Yellow light only

For vehicles sold under the red light a disclosure was not required. But effective on Tuesday until further notice, NAAA indicated sellers will now be responsible for any/all flood damage disclosures to buyers when selling regardless of sale light, which includes the red light.

Officials also said the time period for flood damage via auction inspection is now extended from the “B & C” to “30 days from sale date.” They added the time period for flood damage via DMV and/or insurance company records will remain the same at “120 days.”

“The NAAA Standards Committee strongly urges all selling and buying clients to inspect the vehicles prior to the transaction to avoid arbitration issues,” officials said. “See NAAA.com’s reference page for flood damage inspection best practices.”

NADA Foundation still in need

While some dealers might be looking for inventory, of immediate concern in some portions of the Lone Star State centered on what was shared by Wolters, who implored the industry to give to the NADA Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund.

“NADA created the Emergency Relief Fund to give immediate funds to these employees to help them bridge the gap until they can get their lives back together," said Wolters, who represents 1,300 franchised dealerships in Texas, in a news release. "We need those thousands of dealerships across the country to pull together to help these dealership employees get back on their feet. We really, really need everyone to step up and help us get through this.”

The National Automobile Dealers Association elaborated more about the situation

The NADA Foundation is calling on dealers, dealer association groups and others to its Emergency Relief Fund, which is dedicated exclusively to providing financial assistance to dealership employees.

Dealership employees who sustained personal property damage caused by the hurricane and flooding .

Since 1992, the NADA Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund has provided more than $6 million to 9,200 dealership employees and their families across the country.

For more information, call (703) 821-7102.

Update from Group 1

Over at Group 1, leadership maintained that the company’s top priority is supporting its nearly 3,000 employees in the greater Houston and Beaumont areas of Texas.

Executives acknowledged that approximately 500 of their associates suffered significant property losses from flooding and storm damage. The company is assisting these employees by providing disaster pay and further financial support from the Group 1 Foundation.

Despite damage to some facilities and inventory due to record-breaking flooding in the region, Group 1 determined that preliminary assessments indicate all facilities are intact and fully operational. Group 1’s Houston stores reopened last Wednesday. The company’s Beaumont stores reopened on Thursday.

The dealer group said total damages associated with the storm are estimated at approximately $15 million. This amount includes insurance deductibles for damaged inventory and facilities, disaster pay for employees, and financial support for team members whose homes flooded.

“Our top priority is supporting our employees in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. The size and scope of this disaster is almost beyond comprehension and the losses many of our employees and their family members have suffered is staggering. Our hearts go out to all of those affected by this devastating storm,” Group 1 president and chief executive officer Earl Hesterberg said in a news release.

“Beyond helping our employees, we are also moving quickly to get our stores fully online to support the community’s needs for replacement vehicles,” Hesterberg continued. “Through some extraordinary efforts by our team, we have all of our stores in both Houston and Beaumont open. And while we did sustain some inventory losses, given that we have over 15,000 units in stock in the impacted area, we are proud of the proactive efforts taken by our dealership teams that greatly protected our new and used inventory. Their actions preserved over 98 percent of our available inventory, which allows us to rapidly assist customers in need of replacement vehicles and service.

“The company’s third quarter results will be impacted by both the non-recurring costs highlighted above, as well the impact of the business disruption for an entire week across the Houston region, which represents Group 1’s largest revenue-generating market,” he went on to say.

Roaring Irma

As Texas tries to recover from Harvey, Florida already declared a state of emergency because of Irma, which on Tuesday afternoon was classified as a Category 5 storm with sustained winds of 185mph.

Irma is approaching the strongest storm readings ever recorded by federal officials, which determined Hurricane Allen topped out at 190mph in 1980 as it swept through the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico before colliding with south Texas.

With places like Puerto Rico already squarely in Irma’s path, officials in the Sunshine State mobilized its National Guard as all 7,000 Florida members will be reporting for duty on Friday morning. The state is also leveraging its connection to regional guard resources where another 30,000 troops, 4,000 trucks and 100 helicopters could be made available, if needed, according to a news release issued by the office of Gov. Rick Scott.

“With Hurricane Irma now a Category 5 storm, we must do all we can to prepare our families and communities for any potential impact from this major weather event,” Scott said. “We do not know the exact path of this storm, but weather can change in an instant and while we hope for the best, we must prepare for the worst.”

 

Editor's Note: Video in window above courtesy of NADA. 


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