Temporary Tags, the FTC CARS Rule, and an Economic Forecast for Independent Dealers

TIADA is preparing for its highly anticipated 2024 Conference & Expo. This year's event takes on even greater significance as independent dealers face many critical issues that will shape the future of their businesses. Legislative developments are proving to make this one of the most disruptive years in recent memory for the independent automobile industry. Here are the issues that will take center stage at this year's conference:

Temporary Tag Elimination Update

Everything you need to know about the elimination of paper temporary tags in Texas will be provided by senior-level representatives from TxDMV. HB 718, the law eliminating paper tags, requires several changes for dealers, including issuing metal license plates and maintaining a database of issued plates. TIADA is actively working to ensure a smooth transition for its members, and it is bringing TxDMV to the Conference to help make sure dealers are fully aware of the required changes and implementation procedures.

Economic Forecast by Jonathan Smoke

Chief Economist at Cox Automotive, Jonathan Smoke, will provide his insights on the economic future of the independent automobile industry and some larger economic factors influencing dealerships in 2024 and beyond. In the January 2024 issue of Texas Dealer, Smoke reported that he expects slow but steady growth, with vehicle supply returning to pre-pandemic levels. This will lead to increased competition and downward pressure on prices, ultimately benefiting consumers. At the 2024 Conference, he will provide an updated outlook with a deeper perspective on the economic issues dealers are facing now and in the month ahead.

The FTC's CARS Rule: A Legal Challenge Emerges

The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Combating Auto Retail Scams (CARS) Rule has been a major topic of discussion across the independent automobile industry. The Rule, which aims to protect consumers from deceptive practices like bait-and-switch advertising and hidden fees, will cause a major disruption for many dealers if it is enacted.

While the rule claims to provide a more transparent car buying experience, it has faced criticism from the TIADA, NIADA, and other groups. Opponents have expressed concerns about the rule's complexity and potential negative impact on dealership operations and competitiveness.

Important Note: Significantly, the legal status of the CARS Rule is currently uncertain. TADA and NADA have filed a legal challenge against the rule, and a court decision is pending. This ongoing legal battle adds another layer of complexity for dealerships as they navigate the implementation of the rule. TIADA and NIADA are giving their opinion on the matter in the court and exploring ways to ensure Independent Dealers are properly considered.

TIADA will keep its members updated on the latest developments regarding the CARS Rule, including the outcome of the legal challenge.

The 2024 TIADA Conference & Expo promises to be a valuable event for anyone involved in the Texas independent automobile industry. By attending, you will gain invaluable insights into the economic future of the industry, learn about the latest regulatory changes, and stay informed about the ongoing legal battle surrounding the FTC's CARS Rule.


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