Trouble With Motivation?

One way I have found to keep my teams motivated is to take a step back from practice and let the athletes play a game. No matter what the age is, from tinies all the way up to senior age, they all love to play games once in a while at practice. The key is to let them play games that are age appropriate. I have found that the youngest age teams like to play games as simple as “Duck, Duck, Goose”, as for the older athletes, this is not the case. One of the most popular games that my teams have played is a game we call “Classes”. This game is where you split the team up into two different teams. You then explain the rules (you can really make up whatever you would like). As a coach, we would just give them a task to do and whoever completed it first would get a point. All of the athletes found this to be tons of fun and quite possibly their favorite game to play at practice, even though it is a simple concept. These are just a few ideas of games, nevertheless you can have your team play any game you or they want.

Another way I have found to keep a team motivated is to set goals that are to be met by a specific date. Something as simple as that will keep a team positive and allow them to have it set in their minds that they need to keep on working. At the gym I work at, we have the athletes all get in a circle and hold a piece of ribbon that connects them all as one. We then go down the line letting each athlete state their personal goal and their team goal. Once we get through everyone on the team each athlete cuts off a small piece of the ribbon and ties it to his or her shoe. That way they have a constant reminder of their goal and promise to the team.

Another great way to keep a team motivated is to get them out of the gym as a team. You can do something as simple as have a party at someone’s house. Many times my team would have pasta parties or pizza parties at someone’s house. We would each chip in for the costs and then bring in a dessert, drinks, snacks, appetizers, etc. This is always a fun way to get the team together outside of practice. It is very inexpensive and creates great memories. It also brings the team closer together because they are hanging out and having fun outside of practice.

An additional fun way to get the team out of the gym and motivated is to go to a team building activity together. Team building activities can be almost anything; a great one is obstacle courses. As a team, we went to an outdoor facility together (called Iron Oaks). There we did fun activities that kept us all thinking. Alongside of it keeping us thinking, it assured that we all worked together to accomplish a goal. The way that this keeps a team motivated is because it is keeping a team working together to accomplish a goal, just as a team needs to keep working together to push through competitions.

Another key tool to keep a team motivated is simple, communication. Keep communicating with your athletes. Talk to them about things that are going on in their lives, if they are having troubles outside of the sport, then chances are they will take the problems with them into the gym. This causes for distractions, and everyone in cheerleading knows it is really hard to push through practice when you have other things on your mind.

Be sure to give your team the right tools to stay motivated. Make sure they have the right equipment to succeed, whether it is the right type of shoe or clothing to the right type of mats or trampolines. This will help them train hard and correctly. Athletes will not be able to advance their skills if they do not have the correct tools to keep working and advancing.

The most important way to keep a team motivated is to lead by example. Be a good example to your team, whether you are a coach, athlete, parent, or a gym owner. Setting a good example will cause the team to look up to you and want to work just as hard as you are. If you are a hard worker and positive about things, then your team will look toward you for guidance and want to learn from you.

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Allocation of Bluesky – Goodwill in an Automobile Dealership Sale

The IRS defines goodwill as “the value of a trade or business based on expected continued customer patronage due to its name, reputation, or any other factor.” IRS Publication 535: Business Expenses, Ch. 9, Cat. No.15065Z.

The American Society of Appraisers defines goodwill as: “that intangible asset arising as a result of name, reputation, customer loyalty, location, products, and similar factors not separately identified.” And as “that intangible asset arising as a result of elements such as name, reputation, customer loyalty, location, products, and related factors not separately identified and quantified.”

Goodwill, however, can be separated into personal and business (enterprise) goodwill. Unlike enterprise goodwill, personal goodwill is the intrinsic value of services of a specific and identifiable person to a business.

The distinction between personal and enterprise goodwill is important insofar as: (a) saving taxes in the sale of businesses; and (b) dividing assets in a marriage.

In divorces, enterprise goodwill is considered marital property and can be divided, while personal goodwill is the sole property of the individual. See: May v. May, 589 S.E.2d 536 (W. Va. 2003) and Ledwith v. Ledwith, 2004 Va. App. LEXIS 488 (October 12, 2004).

When a C Corporation is sold the enterprise goodwill is taxed at the corporate rate (which could be as high as 35%), and then again as a dividend (another 5 – 15%) when it is distributed. Not including any state taxes that may be owed, a $3,000,000 gain could result in only $1,500,000 after-tax dollars to a shareholder.

With some exceptions, sales involving S corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships or other pass through entities, blue sky gets taxed only once as a capital asset. Note: One can also incur C Corp. tax with an S Corp, if the S Corp. is not at least ten years old and does not have, for example, adequate built in gains. (Visit your accountant for the fine details).

In this article we are interested in car dealership sales and are looking at assigning a portion of the sale proceeds to personal goodwill because, as CPA Carl Woodward notes in the Spring 2006 publication of The AutoCPA Group’s “Headlights”: “For some dealerships, much of the total blue sky value is due to this personal goodwill.”

The concept of separating goodwill with personal and enterprise distinctions first appeared in the 1986 Nebraska case of Taylor v. Taylor 386 N.W.2d 851 and then spread to other states. See: Beasley v. Beasley, 518 A.2d 545 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1986); Hanson v. Hanson, 738 S.W.2d 429, 434 (Mo. 1987); Prahinski v Prahinski, 75 Md App 113, 540 A2d 833 (1988); In Re Marriage of Talty 166 Ill 2d 232, 652 NE2d 330 (1995) and Martin Ice Cream Co v. Commissioner (110 T.C. 189 1998).

In 1998, Norwalk v. Commissioner TC memo 1998-279 held personal goodwill stems from an intangible asset that is the property of the individual, not the corporation, and that personal goodwill could be paid to owners because the employment contracts of the individuals expired when the corporation was sold.

(Some courts suggest a seller enter into a non-competition agreement to protect the value of personal goodwill, however, if the personal goodwill portion of a purchase price was paid for a non-competition agreement, it would create ordinary income rather than capital gain.

Also, while Norwalk held personal goodwill is not transferable without a covenant not to compete, in most states and the Restatement of Contracts non-competition agreements are controlled by, among other things, standards of “reasonableness.” And, in some states, enforceability is questionable.

Personal goodwill allocations have ranged between 10% and 90% of the total purchase price. In sale of Tresco Dealerships, Inc., roughly 40% of the goodwill was allocated to the dealer principal as “personal goodwill,” resulting in a tax savings of approximately 27 cents on the dollar.

In on case a medical practice had a total appraised value of approximately $600,000, with hard assets of $165,000. The appraiser then allocated $165,000 to the equipment and supplies, $35,000 to corporate goodwill, and $400,000 to the personal goodwill of the doctor.

When structuring asset sales of “C” corporations, buyers are usually agreeable to such allocations because it does not produce adverse tax consequences to them.

The IRS’ evaluates personal goodwill in the context of the facts revolving around each sale and the selling corporation’s contracts, articles, minutes, and such. Did the shareholder, for example, have a non-competition agreement with the corporation? Was there an employment contract that gave the corporation the benefit of the shareholder’s personal goodwill? Did the buyer think he was purchasing personal goodwill? Did the seller think he was selling it? (See: Private Letter Ruling 9621002).

This article is limited to discussing “personal goodwill” and is not intended to cover all of the tax-saving methods available in the sale of a dealership. Talk to your accountant and tax attorney about other options, such as installment sales and such.

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Decorative Car Floor Mats: Get Them In Your Automobile

The beauty is something that is reflected through your eyes. It brings shine and sense of satisfaction in your eyes. It is not the external beauty that always matters. One should give the same importance to internal beauty, which is most of the times not visible. The case is similar in automobiles. Everybody appreciates the external prettiness of the car, but nobody cares or even pays attention towards its internal beauty. There are so many things that contribute to this internal beauty. These objects vary from interior lights, seats, steering wheel and floor mats. People mostly wonder how floor mats can contribute in enhancing the external splendor of any automobile. Let’s understand how the floor mats and car liners are significant for car interior.

Car Mats are designed to protect the floor of the vehicle from dirt, dust, wear and salt corrosion. Manufacturers equip them to keep the vehicles clean for long. These mats are considered as an imperative car accessory that does not always come with the car. You have to buy them from the companies dealing in car parts and accessories. These experts produce this special car accessory by properly following Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) guidelines and ensuring manufacturer credibility and quality. Factors that are considered vital during the manufacturing of car floor mats and liners are:

• Durability

• Odor Release

• Performance at various heat levels

• Anti-slip bottom side

• A heel pad for added safety

• Wear and tear proof

Car Mats are available in a range of materials that not only have ample strength but also increase the interior aesthetics. These consist of:

Cloth Mats: Cloth Mats are available in different colors. These are soft and have a rubber back which avoids slipping. These mats are supple, washable and highly absorbent which make them idyllic for rainy and muddy conditions.

Rubber Mats: Rubber mats are recognized for their toughness, but the drawback of these types of mats is that they cannot absorb water and mud like cloth mats.

All-Weather Mats: All-weather mats are porous, and the turned edges put a stop to the water from leaking over the sides. Therefore, these mats are better than basic rubber mats. These are most commonly used floor mat type. Designer all-weather mats contain company logos, advertisements or cartoon characters.

One will find universal and custom fit mat options where the universal mats can fit into multiple cars. On the other hand, custom fit mats are specifically designed for a car brand and model. The features and specifications of these mats remain the same.

These mats are:

• Waterproof

• Mould and mildew resistant

• Stain and fade resistant

• Long-lasting grade of carpet

• Come up non-skid rubber backing

• Easy to customize in the way you want with different custom selection options

• Available in sets of 2 front or 4 front and rear mats

• Accessible with Greek Lettering styles

• Obtainable with the monogram of your initials, name or favorite saying

Make sure that the car mats you are buying are designed to handle the scorching heat and effects of salt.

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Uses Of Automotive Equipment And Tools

Automotive equipment and tools are a very important part of the automobile industry. They can range from simple hand held devices to large structures that can even lift a heavy truck. The uses of these equipments in the world of automobiles cannot be undermined. For carrying out repairs, for changing a tire, for lubricating, for servicing, for charging up the battery, and for cleaning the vehicles, these equipments are very important.

Here Is A Brief Note On Some Of The Uses Of These Equipments.

Automobile Equipment Usage

* Automotive Lifts: Hydraulic lifts are very common in the industry and are used in showrooms, repair shops, and automobile factories. They generally come in the form of a platform fixed on a zigzag leg that can be raised or lowered as required. Heavy vehicles can be raised by the use of this equipment. These are how cars reach the first or second floor of a showroom or how the repairs to the lower part of vehicles are carried out in a mechanic’s shop. These lifts can be of different types like motorcycle lifts, runway lifts, drive on lifts, in-ground lifts, etc.

* Lubrication Equipments: As the name suggests, these are used to lubricate parts of the vehicle. There is a long list of lubrication equipments available and each is used for different lubrication purposes. Oil and grease reels, grease guns, oil drains, and oil and grease pumps are all examples of such commonly used equipment. Blacrank is a good brand when it comes to these equipments. Blacrank oil pumps are indisputable masters of the group.

* Compressors: Air compressors are used to do various works on automobiles. Generally, air compressors give additional pressure to drive in screws and give more power to tools like wrenches and nail guns. These are also used to remove dirt from the vehicle.

* Service Equipments: A vehicle needs to be serviced from time to time to ensure its proper running. This is where service equipments come in. These are battery chargers, fuel transfer device, brake fluid exchangers, coolant service equipment, tire changers, etc.

* Reels: These come in different shapes and sizes and are an important member of any automotive equipment list. Reels could be air reels, exhaust hose reels, grease reels, etc. Reels help to keep the pipes and hoses in place and also to extend its life. They can be easily reeled out to the required size and stored by reeling back.

* Jacks: Jacks are important not only in the shop but also for every vehicle owner. They enable the person to lift up the vehicle for the purpose of changing tires or doing some emergency repairs on the vehicle.

The list of automotive equipment is quite long and their uses quite large. Companies who sell such equipments also deal in car parts, thus making the store a one stop place for all things related to automobiles. Nowadays, there are thousands of online stores selling these equipments making them more accessible to all in need.

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Have You Seen a FBI Surveillance Van Parked in Your Street?

What do FBI surveillance vans look like? Such a vehicle may look like a flower delivery van, or a utility truck, or a black van that appears to be a stuffed bear delivery company. If the FBI is breaking the law and not using a marked van, the plate will begin with the letters SV, following a five-digit number which identifies its van number. But, in the real world the FBI can use any type of vehicle such as a RV and a Mini Cooper, to be more precise. These two vehicles can be loaded with cameras and dumped in your street for months for carrying out passive surveillance.This area is under cctv surveillance. Consequently, these vehicles are transformed into big cameras with wheels!

So, how can you identify these vehicles that are being use by the FBI for surveillance? You can usually tell if the FBI is equipping automobiles with cameras by how many are lined up at any residence. For example, if a home has four or five automobiles parked before its front lawn, this is a sure indication they are equipped with a superabundance of cameras. Another indicator: if you see a relatively new automobile parked in the street corner with a sale sign, the car might be fitted with cameras. Another indicator: do you see the same car models parking constantly around you? Do you see the same car models parked everywhere you go and around your neighborhood? If yes, this is yet another indication they are carrying cameras. Anything connected with a public service like school buses, post office, and UPS may be participating in covert surveillance operations by their vehicles being fitted with cameras. Here is yet one more indicator: automobiles that are positioned strategically for surveillance, often collect massive amount of dirt from immobility; they stand out like a sore thumb. If you see two very familiar car models parked directly across one another, this is probably a tactic of surveillance that resembles a checkpoint.

The FBI uses highly advanced surveillance radio equipment to spy on anyone. Though government surveillance is wrong and it should be clear why government surveillance of citizens is bad, some people are ignoring the vast negative consequences of big brother spying on you day and night. Government officials claim surveillance is needed to combat potential terrorist attacks, but that just a pretext, a lame excuse to justify and to keep the machinery of aggressive surveillance going strong.

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The Automobile: Profit and Status, Waste and Pollution

Originally used as basic transportation for home and business the automobile has become much more since the days of the Model T Ford. Today it supports a major industry as well as a wonderful convenience and better standard of living for so many. But the negative aspects of this great invention are now becoming more apparent.

Consider the mess that cars are making of our beautiful natural world as they spread fumes and noise into a once serene environment. And in their production and usage, cars chew up Mother Nature's resources at an increasing rate.

As in other industries the car companies' drive towards achieving greater profits has changed the way cars are produced, marketed and sold to consumers. The product that manufacturers want to sell most is not your basic transportation needs, and the advertising departments work feverishly to influence your choices. They have done a good marketing job over past decades as new owners proudly park impressive, shiny newer styled cars in their driveways, much like the TV commercials.

Automobiles are marketed aggressively for maximum corporate sales and profits as in other areas of merchandising. As long as companies need to increase their bottom line their efforts to sell products, good and sometimes bad, will be strenuous in the presence of strong competition.

This bigger, pricier car sales strategy is not new. In a dealer showroom way back in the 50's I had my mind set on a certain economy model but I was continually steered away from it. In fact the salesman refused to sell me the smaller model and I left. 35 years later and in a showroom helping my daughter with her concerns about choice and cost, the salesman turned to me and asked; "Who's buying this car, you or her?" As we headed to another dealer I remarked that he must have some personal problems, perhaps at home, maybe with his sales manager.

The automobile industry is a prime example of how shrewd marketing can sell maximum corporate benefits. Consider the car commercials on TV; They are not seriously trying to sell small and plain autos that use up the least resources. Most are for bigger and flashier styles, and with extra features that your friends will envy. Hybrids or electric cars may take the lead in future years but they will be made expensively and sold to generate maximum profit. Most by far will not be modest in design.

Along with continually remodeled styles the newest products can include frivolous gadgets and features that apparently are good selling points if marketed just right. And there has been a strategy where a model's size grows year-by-year until it's time to buy again; then your favorite model has grown in size and features and cost, and you gotta ante up considerably more than expected. Because what will your neighbors think if the choice is downsizing to a more practical purchase as the one you want to trade in?

Car commercials are amongst the noisiest on TV and can interfere with the family conversation if they are not muted. But the invasive annoying clamor attracts attention and results; It's how so much of advertising works. Rude and in-your-face works for them. In targeting the young and young at heart, commercials often sensationalize performance showing high speed maneuvers on city streets and highways. They are sending the wrong message considering the lives lost to excessive driving speeds. This is callous and harmful but it sells product. One has to wonder where the conscience of the corporate manager is hiding; Perhaps ethic is a detriment in rising to top managerial positions with some businesses.

The general outcome of many years of this massive marketing effort is that cars are now commonly purchased for superficial status, even though they may be too costly when excessive to the owner's budget or needs.

It's unfortunate that in the richer areas of the world consumers are so infatuated with these environmentally unfriendly, sleek, roomy, gadget featured, 'Look At Me' cars. But that's what they have been telling us to buy, most days of the year; and we are like sheep as we are herded towards industry showrooms.

We are being taken for a ride.

Marketing and branding are continually at work, and so the ongoing push to consume more steel, plastic, oil, and gas. But why would industry promote a basic product that represents modest, caring and friendly lifestyles when it would shrink business?

On TV during an earlier oil crisis a smiling spokesperson from the Automobile Association was defending why they aren't marketing more smaller cars. "People couldn't just sell their cars and buy smaller ones." The TV commercial which immediately followed the newsbyte was for a flashy full size SUV. Funny and grim.

Friendlier vehicles are coming off the design board as public interest in the environment rises. Can consumers resist the persuasions towards pizazz and extra extras that they could drive into the workplace parking lot? Can we practically expect them to change to economy autos? Granted, there is a case for increased comfort for longer commutes, but where is the practical limit?

Let's face it, this inefficient, costly and unnatural way to get around must be changed. It may be necessary to own a car to get to work, school and shopping; That's the way planning has designed our urban layouts, but that has turned out to be one big mistake.

Even if we are inclined to use public transportation it probably isn't there or not practical to use if the government has had other interests. And if it is available and convenient it probably still isn't what most of would consider; every one else is driving and peter has a new super spitter xyz !!

The public's desire for improving the way we live and treat the environment will change, but it will not be easy if we are continually confronted with massive persuasions to consume more. This necessary means of transportation needs a review of its design, marketing, and effects on society. The average person does not need luxury on wheels when spending only a few hours a week in the car. Nor does the car require fast speed and polluting power to drive within the speed limit. A description of the fuel efficient car should include: The smallest vehicle that will suit your transportation needs in reasonable comfort.

The automobile must take a less destructive and healthier place in our society, but can it happen? When the car industry hit a brick wall during the financial crisis the bailed out industry reorganized, redesigned and retooled for energy efficiency to some degree. Then came the familiar and glitzy, 'Show Me Off' ads. There is little advertising of small and simple transportation – so they can later proclaim that people did not want to buy them.

Why not review your automobile requirements to see if you can make some changes to more basic, downsized selection. And consider a reduction in usage. If public transit is available give it a try. I have been positively surprised at how convenient and relaxing transit riding can be. The ride is free time, and there are no expensive parking requirements when you arrive.

Businesses must continue to make money and so a drive into a brick wall may lie ahead unless politicians make a serious timed effort to tackle these problems for society and nature.

If the emerging economies follow the same pattern that we have, won't this world be one big ugly mess?

Albert Einstein once noted, "We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive." We had better start changing soon as we are running out of time.

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Automobile Dealers – Do You Really Have a Right to Refuse New Vehicles?

According to a recent article in the NY Times:

The Chrysler Group said Monday that it had not yet accounted for tens of thousands of cars in its inventory numbers, which are already considered high by industry standards. Chrysler said it had routinely excluded these vehicles, worth billions of dollars, from its tally of unsold cars and trucks because they had not yet been assigned to a specific dealer or ordered by a customer. (New York Times, October 24, 2006)

When I began learning about the automotive industry, dealers and manufacturers had a name for manufactured, but unordered vehicles. That name was: “sales bank.” The “sales bank” is a practice that the manufacturers allege they abandoned after being ravaged by the system during the oil crises of the 1970s.

By the early 1980s, when the dust settled, Automotive News was running stories like:

Ernest D’Agostino of Rhode Island filed suit, in the U.S. District Court against Chrysler Corporation, alleging Chrysler terminated his franchise because he refused to buy “gas guzzlers” — large cars with low gas mileage. A federal court jury found against Chrysler and Chrysler, in an unreported case, appealed. Chrysler agreed to drop its appeal and paid D’Agostino a settlement (Automotive News, October 1982); and

Fred Drendall, of Drendall Lincoln-Mercury/Pontiac sued Ford Motor Company alleging that when he attempted to cancel orders he was intimidated by Ford spokesmen and when he bowed to the pressure and ordered the vehicles, the high flooring costs forced him to refinance his dealership. He was eventually was terminated and suffered a heart attack. (Automotive News, December 1982).

Those were hard times in the car business.

Today, most Sales and Service Agreements have provisions such as the following:

2. (D) STOCKS. The dealer shall maintain stocks of current models of such lines or series of VEHICLES, of an assortment and in quantities as are in accordance with Company GUIDES therefor, or adequate to meet the Dealer’s share of current and anticipated demand for VEHICLES in the DEALER’S LOCALITY. The Dealer’s maintenance of VEHICLE stocks shall be subject to the Company’s filling the Dealer’s orders therefor. (Ford Motor Company, Mercury Sales and Service Agreement, Standard Provisions.)

Most states, however, have Dealer Day in Court Acts with provisions such as:

Art. 4413(36), SUBCHAPTER E. PROHIBITIONS. Sec 5.02. Manufacturers; Distributors; Representatives. (b) It is unlawful for any manufacturer, distributor, or representative to: (1) Require or attempt to require any dealer to order, accept delivery or pay anything of value, directly or indirectly, for any motor vehicle, appliance, part, accessory or any other commodity unless voluntarily ordered or contracted for by such dealer. (Texas Motor Vehicle Commission Code)

It shall be unlawful and a violation of this code for any manufacturer, manufacturer branch, distributor, or distributor branch licensed under this code to coerce or attempt to coerce any dealer in this state: (a) To order or accept delivery of any motor vehicle, part or accessory thereof, appliance, equipment or any other commodity not required by law which shall not have been voluntarily ordered by the dealer. (Section 11713.2 California Vehicle Code)

In addition to state laws, the National Dealer Day in Court Act also proscribes manufacturer and distributors from coercing a dealer into accepting “automobile, parts, accessories, or supplies which the dealer does not need, want or feel the market is able to absorb.” 1956 U.S.Code.Cong. & Admin.News, page 4603.

But, the law is always a two-edged sword and there is generally a fine line drawn between actions that are proper and actions that are improper. For example, it has long been settled that a dealer’s refusal to take all of the manufacturer’s line of vehicles, choosing instead to sell a competitor’s models, is grounds for termination. See, for example: Randy’s Studebaker Sales, Inc. v. Nissan Motor Corporation, 533 F.2d 510 (10th Cir. 1976), at 515.

Consequently, prior to deciding whether to accept or reject delivery of vehicles, a dealer should check with a competent automotive attorney, that is familiar with the laws in the jurisdiction where the vehicles are to be delivered, with respect to his or her particular circumstances.

Note: This article is not intended to provide legal advice, nor should it be interpreted as so doing.

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Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Model T Ford

The year 2008 marks the 100th anniversary of the production of the first Model T Ford. All around the world enthusiasts are hosting events to mark the introduction of a modest little car that transformed the automobile industry.

The historic importance of the Model T Ford stems from Henry Ford’s ambition to build an affordable automobile for the masses. In 1903 when Henry launched his company the automobile was typically built by hand. They were produced in small numbers and sold for a substantial price that only the wealthy could afford. These vehicles were typically fragile and unreliable and difficult to maintain and keep on the road. These early automobiles were generally considered to be the frivolous toys of the rich, not a viable form of transportation. Henry set out to build an automobile that was affordable and simple to maintain and repair. With the development and production of the Model T he achieved this remarkable feat. It was the first automobile to be produced in large numbers and sold at a modest price that most people could afford. It was also a simple design – light but sturdy and generally reliable and easy to keep running.

After 2 years working on the design of the Model T, the first production model was produced in Detroit in October 1908. Ford introduced the moving assembly line in 1913 and was able to produce the vehicle in large numbers. This was an important innovation and had enormous implications for the company and the automobile industry. Within five years of the introduction of the Model T, Ford was producing over 300,000 vehicles per year – a massive increase in production for the company which had built less than 9000 vehicles in 1906. Within a short period the Ford Motor Company became the dominant manufacturer of automobiles and as other manufacturers adopted these methods of mass production this industry became the dominant manufacturing industry in the USA. The contribution to the American economy was substantial and large numbers of working men flocked to the automobile factories to obtain work in this burgeoning industry.

The Model T was exported to a large number of countries around the world and Ford factories were established in many countries including Canada, England and Australia. The Model T Ford continued in production until 1927 and over 15 million were built. It is long been a favourite among vintage car enthusiasts and it has been estimated that there over 500,000 are still in existence around the world. The centennial celebrations for this famous car are being held throughout the year and include rallies, displays and special museum exhibitions.

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Automobile Dealerships – Out of Trust Situations – Tips For the Dealer

Almost every financial organization has a workout department. Their names are as varied as Problem Loan Administration; Central Loan Department; or Special Assets Department. A dealer may be assigned to one of these special departments, or a member of the department may start appearing at meeting with the dealer’s regular bank officer.

The courts have consistently upheld the rights of lenders to have workout teams and to have those teams, within broad parameters, take affirmative actions to protect the lenders’ interests.

Matching the average dealer’s experience with work-outs, to that of the lender’s experience, would be equivalent to matching a high school football team against a professional team. The professionals have played the game hundreds of times. They have seen and heard hundreds of presentations, arguments, excuses and reasons for a dealership’s problems, while the dealer, lacking experience, is encountering the trauma for the first time. Realizing the dealer will probably be a neophyte, with respect to workouts, the following rules are provided the dealer, as a plumb line, to be followed throughout the workout procedure:

1. Do Not Confuse Friendship with Business. Factories and lenders have seen and heard most of the workout plans any dealer could suggest. The have probably seen versions of each plan which have been refined over generations by some of the best minds in the business. Their experience, however, cannot help the dealer get the best benefits for the dealer.

Employees of the factory/lender have an obligation to their corporation and in turn to its shareholders, to get the best contract for their corporation. There is nothing wrong with that; they have a legal duty to their shareholders and creditors to protect them, not you.

They will, however, indicate whether or not you workout plan is “acceptable” or “unacceptable” to them. If the proposed plan is “unacceptable”, one of two things can happen. The dealer can keep proposing plans, until one is accepted, or the factory/lender might suggest an acceptable alternative.

If the factory/lender suggests a plan acceptable to them, it means just that: the workout plan is acceptable to the factory/lender. It does not mean, and should not mean, the factory/lender will not approve some other plan, which may be more beneficial to the dealer, if the dealer knows what to request and how to structure it.

2. Do Not Confuse Optimism with Confidence. Optimism means expecting a plan will work. Confidence means knowing what to do if it does not. Never act without confidence.

3. Do Not Value a Dealership by the “SOT + Assets” Formula. The odds against that plan working are about the same as the odds against winning the lottery, except the ante is higher.

4. Do Not Say “SOT”. Sometimes a dealer talks in terms of SOT (Sold Out of Trust) or OT (Out of Trust) with the factory or lender, when the dealer actually has SAU (Sold and Unpaid) units. Once the dealer refers to an out of trust situation, it puts the factory/lender in a precarious position. All sorts of rules then come into play, both legal rules and company rules, which would not have had to take effect if the dealer used the phrase SAU. The factory/lender can’t read minds to know the dealer really meant SAU, instead of SOT. From the moment the phrase SOT is used, the only thing the listener knows for certain is, if there is a law suit and the listener were asked if the dealer said he or she were SOT on such and such a date, the listener would have to answer “yes.” Don’t put them in that position.

5. Do Not Lie. Don’t lie to yourself; don’t lie to the factory; don’t lie to the lender.

Dealers, who lie to themselves about their problems, how they got there, or their ability to solve them, base their entire solution upon a lie and, without exception, compound and complicate the original problems.

A lie to the factory/lender will alienate the only entities which have both the ability to help and the most to gain, besides the dealer and the dealer’s family, in finding a workable solution. When in doubt, remember what Mark Twain said: “I never got hurt by anything I didn’t say.” He also said that when he was ninety, he recollected he had worried about a lot of things in life, most of which never happened.

6. Do Not Panic. There are many challenges in business, and being short of cash is but one of them. Numerous dealers have been there before and numerous dealers have survived.

Analyze the problem as if it were someone else’s problem, and compose a short letter as if you were giving advice to another dealer. The advice should be to get professional help. A storm at sea, calls for seasoned sailors. No one would want a crew with little experience in storms, unfamiliar with navigation, no charts, no radar and no one to call upon for advice. A dealer with a SOT problem is in a big storm, except it won’t go away with time. Without help, the dealer’s family, friends and employees will all be affected. The dealer has to make tough decisions, or time will make them-and the dealer will not like the decisions time makes.

At the time the lender has the second meeting, referred to above, wherein the lender wants the dealer to sign the work-out agreement, the dealer should be prepared to structuring of the work-out plan, the handling of a keeper, the method of repayment and such.

As soon as you know you are OT, your first call should be to us (or someone as experienced as us) and your second call (after visiting with us, your attorney and accountant) should be to the credit company. Telling the credit company you have sold and unpaid units before they tell you, is vital to establishing a foundation upon which to build a work-out plan. At the same time, Automotive Advisors’ experience is vital to the dealer and the dealer’s attorney and accountant, in providing constructive suggestions and in planning and recognizing realistic options.

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National Auto Insurance Company Review

Automobiles have been a part of American society for about a century now and in today’s society, they are an essential part of everyday American lives. Although in big cities, mass transportation systems such as subways, buses and metros have been developed, most average Americans get to and from work through the means of automobiles. It is for this reason that the Federal Government decided to allow each state to design its own automobile insurance laws, so that they could have a say about under which conditions an automobile was to be used within their respective state borders. With the population of the United States growing everyday and more and more people entering this great country, it is imperative that Americans have automobile insurance so they can drive safely and without risk on the roads of this nation.

Nowadays, most people can find an automobile insurance company within a 25 mile radius from their residence. While there are big car insurance companies such as GEICO, Allstate, and others that are trying to get bigger in order to control this sector of the economy; there are some other ones that are unknown nationally and work within their state’s borders. In this article we will only be discussing those “top dogs” in the auto insurance business by looking at their history, what they offer and how they have become well known through the years.

Esurance: Although this company was founded only in 1999 through the Internet, they have progressed much through the years. The company started in four states and it was quickly bought by the White Mountains Insurance Group. Today, Esurance claims to insure about 85% of the nation’s drivers and they are continuing to grow by providing coverage in 28 states. Since they were founded, this company has strived to give customers the best rates in the market with the best coverage. They pride in their customer service techniques and on the fact that their customer service agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This insurance is said to be the first one to offer their products entirely online, making it a little easier and convenient for people to get quotes and enroll from the comfort of their own home of office. The company has grown so much that they have expanded to offer not only automobile coverage, but also life, health, homeowner and motorcycle insurance.

GEICO: One of the biggest automobile insurance companies in the United States, GEICO is best known for their little gecko talking in a British accent, or for the caveman commercials that highlight the fact that getting a quote online is “so easy a caveman can do it.” The Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) was founded in the 1930’s when the Great Depression was still hitting this great nation. Leo and Lillian Goodwin started the company in the state of Texas because they had a vision of lowering premiums for selected customers. The company became more and more famous around the United States and it was in 1936 that they established operations in Washington D.C. Nowadays, the company is functioning in all the states and its assets have climbed up to a record $21.9 billion. They have an estimated 7 million members, 21,000 associated in 12 major locations nationwide. This incredible growth has been due to three key elements that GEICO focuses on: excellent coverage, low prices and outstanding customer service.

Allstate: With their motto “You are in good hands” this company strives to be the best by giving their customers peace of mind and enriching their quality of life through the excellent management of their risks. The company was founded in 1931 and it only became a public trading company in 1993. Based in Northbrook, Illinois; Allstate is one of the nation’s leading insurers in urban and regional areas and it has offices in all of the states of the nation. They pride in the various numbers of awards they have won through out the years and because they have supported auto and highway safety reforms including seat belts, air bags and teen driver education. A Fortune 100 company with $157.5 billion assets, the Allstate Corporation encompasses more than 70,000 professionals with near 30% minorities and 59% women. The company provides insurance products to an estimate 17 million automobiles and one out of every 9 autos on the road are insured by them

SF Insurance: This Company was founded in 1922 by a retired farmer and insurance salesman by the name of George Jacob Mecherle. He started the company for the sole purpose of lowering automobile insurance premiums for farmers, because he knew they drove way less than the average customer. Today, SF Insurance claims to insure more cars than any other auto insurance company in North America and it is available in all 50 states and in the neighbor country of Canada. In 2006, the company became the first to promote a major film, when they sponsored the Pixar movie CARS and they have extended to life, homeowner and property insurance. The company has over 17,000 agents and 68,000 employers that help over 76 million customers in every single type of insurance imaginable. They are ranked A+ by A.M. Best and they are also 31st in the list of Fortune 500 list of largest companies.

Nationwide: Another “top dog” of automobile insurance in the United States. The company was founded in 1925 by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation in order to provide excellent low-cost rates for rural drivers in the state and in the span of 80 years Nationwide has been transformed from a small automobile insurance for Ohio farmers to a big company that receives an estimated $157 billion in assets. Nowadays, Nationwide is not only an auto insurance provider; but it offers financial services as well. They are known for excellence in their service simply because their associates have a variety of skills, experiences and backgrounds that make them more compatible to their customers. The company is ranked 104 on the Fortune 500 magazine and has about 36,000 employers. Is also of note to mention that Nationwide ranks as the 6th largest auto insurance company in the United States based on premium ratings as ranked by A.M. Best.

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