Most automotive managers are so pre-occupied with bottom-line results (driving profits) above all else. And that's fair enough since today's auto retail industry is more competitive than ever. Nevertheless, the cowboy car dealer days are well over.
Both state and federal agencies are actively regulating the automotive retail business, and the increased complexity that tags along may be difficult for the average dealership manager or car salesperson. While avoiding these terms at family holiday get-together is a smart choice, you shouldn't dare that at your dealership unless you can afford a $100,000 fine.
So how do you strike a balance between the daily operations of running and growing your dealership while keeping afloat with a dynamic regulatory environment? We understand how overwhelming it can be to parse out which new regulations and rules to apply to your dealership.
Our detailed two-part blog highlights the ultimate ways to ensure compliance in your dealership, including important car dealership regulations in America.
- Perform Monthly Audits
A monthly audit of your dealership's internal system is important to ensure you are at par with legal requirements round the clock. You do not have to look very far to understand the plight of dealerships suffering the consequences of compliance mistakes.
Federal and state regulators are quite aggressive in enforcing dealership compliance laws, and even a minor mistake can lead you to major fines or, worse, criminal penalties. Schedule regular checkups throughout your business to ensure that all aspects and processes remain current and correct.
- Pay Attention to News and Announcements
You cannot achieve compliance overnight. It is a continuous process of actively scanning (In the press and industry journals) for changing laws and regulations. This will help you identify your affected areas and implement new policies as you keep up with the continually changing dealership laws.
You can consider carefully reviewing recent communications that refer to changes in industry laws and processes. When you are prepared for upcoming changes, you eliminate the risk of being overwhelmed when new legislation is being enforced.
- Meet with Your Team to Review Updates and Changes
Your team may not easily adapt adjustments in dealership laws, requirements, and policies. Some may be ignorant or reluctant to change practices in their daily workflows. To enhance compliance, make sure that updates are documented and readily available across your company.
All employees (and stakeholders) should understand their roles in complying with the changes. You may also want to organize training and education programs while scheduling support and follow-ups to bring everyone on board.
It is also important to brief your team on why requirements and procedures have changed or why they are the way they are.
- Attend Automotive Expos and Seminars
The dealership laws continue to evolve in response to consumer demand (and other factors), and you need to stay informed about the latest developments. Attending industry seminars and expos allows you to be proactive and learn about best practices in matters compliance.
Sensitive dealership issues are addressed in these meetings. You also get to learn from the experiences of other dealers facing similar regulatory burdens, which can help you avoid costly fines and lawsuits.
In addition, seminars give you insights to cater to customer demands while avoiding legal dragnets, thus giving you a competitive advantage.
- Do Not Go Alone, Work with A Vendor Who Offers Ongoing Deal Audits
The entire compliance effort must be well coordinated to protect your dealership from exposure. If you need to stay ahead of dealership compliance, consider working with a vendor who provides excellent continuous deal audits.