Reminder: upcoming SOS holiday closures

Most state government offices will be closed on Tuesday, Nov. 6 because of a 2004 agreement with labor unions that makes Election Day a state employee holiday. However, Secretary of State Johnson is keeping several offices open with minimal staffing. See the list here.
Secretary Johnson also reminds residents that, in honor of Veterans Day, all Secretary of State offices and the Office of the Great Seal will be closed Monday, Nov. 12.

Steering clear of vehicle history report scams

A recent blog article from the FTC warns consumers about a new vehicle history report scam, and while dealerships are unlikely to be a target, it doesn’t hurt to be aware…
The FTC has been hearing about a new scam targeting people who are selling their cars online. They’re getting calls or texts from people who claim to be interested in buying the car – but first want to see a car history report. They ask the seller to get the report from a specific website, where the seller needs to enter some information and pay about $20 by credit card for the report. The seller then sends it to the supposed buyer but never hears back. Weird, huh?
Well, it gets weirder. When the car sellers go to one of these websites, they’re automatically redirected to sites ending in ‘.vin’ – which seems like it might be related to your car’s vehicle identification number or VIN, right? Scammers hope you’ll think that, but no. In this case, .vin is a relatively new website “domain” – like .com or .org – that groups can apply to use. This domain was intended to be used for sites that relate to wine, since “vin” is the French word for wine, but others are not prevented from using it. So yes, that’s a clever take on .vin for cars, yes, but you still might want to think twice if anyone asks you to do car-related business on a site ending in .vin.
So, if you are selling a car online and someone asks you to get a car history report from a specific site, ask why and think twice. You may have no way of knowing who operates the site, especially if it’s one you’ve never heard of. It might be a ruse to get your personal information, including your credit card account number. It also could be a way for companies called “lead generators” to get information, which they sell to third parties for advertising and marketing purposes.

Statewide proposals appearing on the Nov. 6 ballot

Coalition to Regulate Marihuana Like Alcohol: Proposed initiated law to authorize the personal possession and use of marihuana by individuals aged 21 years and older and control the commercial production and distribution of marihuana. Initiative petition filed on November 20, 2017. On April 26, 2018, the Board of State Canvassers determined that the petition contained a sufficient number of valid signatures.
Voters Not Politicians: Proposed constitutional amendment to create a commission of citizens for redistricting purposes and authorize the Commission to adopt reapportionment plans for Congressional, State Senate and State House of Representatives districts. Initiative petition filed on December 18, 2017. On June 20, 2018, the Board of State Canvassers determined that the petition contained a sufficient number of valid signatures.
Promote the Vote: Proposed constitutional amendment to regulate authorize no-reason absentee voting, require a straight party voting option on general election ballots, provide for automatic and Election Day voter registration, require post-election audits, and other voting changes. Initiative petition filed on July 9, 2018. On September 6, 2018, the Board of State Canvassers determined that the petition contained a sufficient number of valid signatures.

NADA Chairman Wes Lutz Injects Dose of Reality Into Mobility Debate

NADA Chairman Wes Lutz  injected a dose of reality into the conversation about the future of mobility, directly challenging media narratives suggesting that ride-hailing will replace personal vehicle ownership, that self-driving vehicles will be immeasurably safer than human drivers, and that dealers are reluctant to sell electric vehicles.


SOS upgrade in 2019: many licensing transactions will be available online

For the past few years the Secretary of State’s office has been working on an extensive system upgrade. The first phase of the Customer and Automotive Records System (CARS) project launches in February 2019. As part of this upgrade, many of the business and professional licensing transactions the Secretary of State’s Office conducts with auto dealers, repair facilities and mechanics will be available online for the first time.
MADA has provided the SOS with feedback on the process when requested. Currently, the state is still manipulating the program and testing final aspects of the upgraded system. They are unable to provide specific details at this time, but the desire is that most of the work will be in the background and dealers will see minimal changes. Mr. James Fackler with the department will be on-hand during the December 5th MADA Annual Meeting to provide further details about this update and what changes dealerships can expect.

SOS & Treasury Training for Dealerships

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at Eagle Crest in Ypsilanti

We have heard from a number of dealers that there is a need for additional State of Michigan training, especially due to new compliance and regulatory changes that have taken effect in recent years. To make the best use of your time, we have invited the Michigan Secretary of State and Michigan Treasury to provide a joint program in October – specifically to cover topics of importance to new car dealerships.

This will be a great program for new employees or long-time employees interested in a refresher course.

Full program details, times and registration information are available here. If you have additional questions please call MADA at (800) 292-1923 or email

Annual Meeting: Create a Strong Dealership Employment Brand

Kevin Baumgart, VP of Business Development with Hireology, will get our December 5th program started with a conversation about creating a strong dealership employment brand.  Many dealerships are feeling pressure to hire people who can speak the same language as today’s consumers. Kevin will provide best practices to leverage a strong employment brand with a consistent hiring process to drive higher performance, improved gross and ultimately a reduction in costs.

Additional information about the MADA Annual Meeting is available here.  Registration details will be mailed to dealers in October, or call MADA at (800) 292-1923 to register in advance.

Sept. 23-29: Child Passenger Safety Week

Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. Many times, deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters and seat belts. On average, two children under 13 were killed per day in 2016 while riding in cars, SUVs, pickups, or vans.

NHTSA and the Ad Council launched a new series of public service ads (PSAs) that urge parents and caregivers to protect their child’s future at every stage of life, by making sure they secure them in the correct car seat for their age, height, and weight.

Interested in helping to spread the word?

The campaign materials were created pro bono by Campbell Ewald, Casanova McCann, Mister Face, and Wordsworth & Booth and include English and Spanish radio, print, outdoor, and web banner ads. The English PSAs direct to and the Spanish PSAs direct to, where parents can find more information on how to determine if their child is in the right seat for his or her age and size. Use these free safety materials to generate awareness about child car safety in your community throughout the year.

MADA Annual Meeting: Don’t Become Extinct! Join the Sales Evolution

We are excited to be joined by keynote speaker Shawna Suckow during the December 5th MADA Annual Meeting.  Shawna is a speaker with some serious knowledge of consumer behavior. Her style has been described as relatable, authentic, insightful and a fun delivery of serious facts. Shawna was a million-dollar buyer for more than 20 years. She began studying business-to-business and business-to-consumer behavior in earnest in 2009, and speaking to audiences of salespeople, marketers and retailers who were frustrated with the shifting marketplace and the influences of technology. A best-selling author of three books, Shawna has spoken on five continents in 16 countries, helping businesses to understand the ever-evolving customer landscape.


Presentation Overview:

Welcome to the era of Relationship Marketing! Consumers all over the world are evolving and changing, and American consumers are particularly different than they were just a few years ago. Following the recession, buyers changed how they behave, how they prefer you to connect with them, and how they make their buying decisions. The days of cold calling are over, and buyers don’t respond to email anymore. They’re using technology and procurement processes more and more to lock you out of their process. Is the traditional sales role dying? What’s a salesperson supposed to do?

Additional information about the MADA Annual Meeting is available here.  Registration details will be mailed to dealers in October, or call MADA at (800) 292-1923 to register in advance.

Soft pull solutions – how to use them at your store and stay in compliance

700Credit invites dealers to participate in this complimentary webinar. Soft Pull, Prescreen, Pre-Qualification – these terms are gaining popularity in discussions at dealerships across the country. What do they all mean? Where are they utilized throughout your dealership? How are they the same or different? What are your compliance obligations around using a soft-pull?

Many vendors offer these solutions today but not all are created equal.  In this session, we will review the terms, the technology, and most importantly, your compliance obligations in using these solutions at your store.

Learn more or register here >>