Pub. 2 2022 Issue 2

MONTANA AUTOMOBILE DEALERS ASSOCIATION EVP’S MESSAGE BRUCE KNUDSEN EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT GOVERNMENT RELATIONS BKNUDSEN@MTADA.COM I 406.461.7680 Bruce Knudsen Executive Vice President The past couple of years have been interesting for auto dealerships. From the COVID-19 pandemic to inventory constraints to global supply chain issues, we have all had to adapt, regroup and change our ways of dealing with issues. But we’ve taken these issues head-on and dealt with them with dignity, grace and the camaraderie that exists within the auto industry. With all that said, not wanting to ask, “What’s next?” doesn’t seem so unreasonable. But whatever does happen next, I’m certain the MTADA will see it through, and with grateful hearts. Moving on, I’d like to thank everyone who attended the MTADA 108th Annual Family Convention held in Billings in June. We all had a lot of fun, were able to network and meet with like-minded individuals and share our experiences. I’m happy to announce that the 109th Annual Convention will be held in Big Sky on June 22-25, 2023. It will be nice to see everyone again. Hotel reservation info will go out soon. I want to remind you that the FTC’s Safeguards rule is now in effect, and dealers MUST comply with this federal requirement by December 9 of this year. The Safeguards Rule requires financial institutions under FTC jurisdiction to have measures in place to keep customer information secure. It creates significant technical and administrative compliance requirements for dealers and others, like internal penetration testing, vulnerability assessments, data encryption, security awareness training, and the performance of written risk assessments. Apparently, the implementation of the Safeguards rule was not enough for the FTC, and now they are at it again with a new UDAP rule. This proposed rule includes a prohibition on add-on charges that do not provide value to the customer, new record retention requirements for advertisements, training materials and marketing, and specific disclosure requirements for a vehicle’s “offering price,” and optional add-on products. However, the FTC fails to provide sufficient support to justify its sweeping set of proposed duties and restrictions. And finally, as I told you in my last message, EV production has kicked into high gear, and the market is increasing; EV sales have picked up momentum. Although adoption will be uneven throughout the States, manufacturers are shifting their focus away from combustion engines. On a national level, there will be a great deal of money for building charging stations so drivers can take road trips and have plentiful choices about where to charge their vehicles. And the good news is, state agencies have submitted a final plan to the Federal Highway Administration that will allocate $43 million in federal funds to establish an EV charging station program in Montana. EV charging stations will be required to provide 150 kilowatts to a single vehicle along with universal Combined Charging Systems (CCS), a standard for charging electric vehicles. The plan also requires that stations be within one mile of amenities like restrooms and restaurants that will be available for drivers to use while their vehicles are charging. If you want to read more about this program, go to As always, it is my pleasure and privilege to represent you. Remember, when association members stick together and pool our resources, I am certain we can continue to prosper no matter what situations are thrust our way. Best, 6