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I'm sure everyone has heard about the tussle (that's an understatement) between Elon Musk's Tesla Motors and the New York Times concerning that paper's negative review of the Tesla Model S. When Musk countered the review in his blog by citing information that the car gathered about where and how the Times reporter drove the Model S, as recorded by the car's "black box," he sparked a flaming debate about the information that our cars record. And, whether he meant to or not, he put the privacy implications of such recording technology at the forefront of public concern.
On January 31, 2013, Senator Padilla introduced a bill in the California legislature aimed at curbing factory incentive and warranty charge-back abuse, providing better rates for warranty work, clarifying factory audit rights and dealer protest rights, and allowing freedom of choice in vendors when conducting facilities upgrades.
I just returned from the NADA conference in Orlando. Amidst the talk about new federal regulations on the horizon, avoiding fraud and embezzlement at dealerships and, of course, the excitement over the new NADA president, Peter Welch, there was a lot of emphasis on internet marketing.
On Friday, February 1, 2013, as many have reported, the FTC issued a staff report with recommendations for improving mobile privacy practices. The recommendations were issued for mobile app platforms (like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon), app developers, advertising networks and other third party analytics companies, and app trade associations.
CSI is the industry benchmark for customer service. Many new tech companies talk about their products as enhancing CSI scores, but I am not aware of anybody whose product is addressing the fundamental analytical flaws in the factory's methods of gathering CSI data.
California is the largest vehicle market in the country, providing great opportunity for new technology companies, entrepreneurs and start ups to gain entry into one of the largest and most robust industries in the nation. And you can't beat the weather here.
Since the FTC just finished an investigation and issued warnings to 11 unsuspecting used car dealers in Arkansas about their Used Car Rule violations, perhaps this is a good time for a refresher on the Used Car Rule.
As mobile technology and internet marketing take hold in dealerships, dealers and providers are smart to mind their vendor contracts and disclosures. Incorporating social media and new technologies into dealerships can help them become more profitable and allow them to connect with more car buyers in better ways as long as dealers and providers use common sense.