Sacramento

Three proposals tightening laws on buy-here/pay-here transactions have advanced in the California legislature. Two of the bills would ban in-store payment and the third would cap the Federal funds rate at 17.25 percent. Arkansas’s rate is second highest in the U.S.-17 percent. Dealers in publicly-owned groups are relatively a satisfied bunch, but those in privately-owned stores are less so.

Pressure from automakers for dealers to reconstruct or annex showroom and service-center property is on the rise. Six publicly-owned groups are engaged in retail-store expansions or modifications, mostly designed to upgrade the images of their brands and franchises. Dealer accountants, writing in five CPA newsletters, urged clients to take advantage of the tax breaks ire by a January 1, 2013 threshold and act swiftly to acquire property parcels to enlarge showrooms and service shops.

The flap accentuates dealer/factory differences that have underlined vehicle crunches at Buick, Hyundai, Kia and Ford.

Six image programs are being touted for dealers by the Boyer & Ritter CPA Group: Toyota Image USA II, Mercedes Autohaus, Nissan NRE D1, Infiniti iRED, GM EBE, Kia Gallery and Hyundai Image.