Northwest Automotive Trades Association (NATA)

Portland, OR http://www.aboutnata.org/ 503 253-9898 or 1 800 730-7282
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Address:
7931 NE Halsey St. Ste., 212
Portland, OR 97213

Phone: 503 253-9898 or 1 800 730-7282

Email: cathi@aboutnata.org

Website: http://www.aboutnata.org/

Founded in 2002, the ever-growing Northwest Automotive Trades Association (NATA) continues an Oregon automotive industry tradition that harkens back to 1914. In that year, just a decade after Henry Ford used $100,000 in capital to establish the Ford Motor Company, ten Portland automotive aftermarket entrepreneurs banded together to create an organization designed to strengthen their businesses without interfering with each other's competitive independence.

Now NATA is celebrating its second decade of service. However, it is truly rooted in the first Oregon automotive association, Pacific Automotive Trades Association (PATA), formed in 1914 and merged with two other groups (the Oregon Autobody Craftsman Association and the Automotive Service Association of Oregon) in July of 2001 to create NATA. The Oregon Automotive Parts Association (PATA) merged with NATA in 2006.

"NATA is an organization with a diverse membership, but all while meeting the needs of the motoring public," said Barbara Crest, executive director of NATA.

Categories for NATA Membership:

  • Auto Sales/Parts
  • Suppliers
  • Brake/Muffler Shops
  • Specialty Automotive
  • Car Rentals
  • Tire Dealers
  • Car Wash
  • Towing
  • Collision/Body Shop dismantlers
  • Transmission Shops
  • Electric Shops
  • Body & Paint Shops
  • Gas Stations
  • Mechanical Shops

It is that belief in working together and the "power of numbers" that has resulted in today's Northwest Automotive Trades Association.

As with any new organization, NATA has faced challenges in its first decade. The automotive aftermarket has not been immune to the Northwest's struggling economy. Changes in requirements from the national ASA organization led the NATA board to drop its affiliation with the group. And there have been changes in staff over the years.

But these hurdles aside, NATA has racked up an impressive list of accomplishments in a short period of time:

  • It has held dozens of classes and meetings every year, working to bring members the latest information they need. Over two nights in the spring of 2006, for example, 100 people received NATA-sponsored hybrid vehicle service training from a foremost expert on the topic.
  • It has worked to focus on each segment of the industry it represents. The collision repair advisory committee, for example, helped NATA create a consumer education piece to help drivers understand their rights and responsibilities after an accident.
  • When Oregon auto recyclers saw the need for improvements in the way the state licenses their facilities, NATA helped shepherd through the changes in way the industry was happy with.
  • It has made presentations about the industry at about two-dozen high schools, helped save the automotive training program at several schools, and assisted with the Skills USA (formerly VICA) state competitions.
  • It was honored by the EPA in 2004 for its involvement in two environmental efforts. The association and its members, for example, have teamed up with environmental regulators on a voluntary mercury switch-out program, replacing thousands of mercury-containing switches in vehicles with ball-bearing switches that pose less threat to the environment. NATA has also taken an active role in the Eco-Logical Business program, which recognizes and promoted shops for their efforts to minimize their environmental impact.
  • It has monitored and worked proactively with regulatory agencies and the state legislature to ensure new laws and regulations do not adversely hurt the industry. One legislative victory it claimed in 2003 was passage of a law that enables Oregon shops to sell vehicles obtained through the lien process without the expense of getting a dealer's license. And this year past year, it was NATA's involvement that helped air quality regulators understand that, contrary to what was happening in other states, requiring automakers to provide a 15-year "super warranty" could cause more problems than it would solve.
  • NATA has continued to find ways to save members money. Last year, NATA members could save 4 percent on their workers' comp premiums through SAIF.
  • NATA has also worked to reduce and resolve consumer complaints about the industry. Since 2005, for the first time in years, automotive repair shops were not among the Top 10 subjects of consumer complaints to the Oregon Attorney General's office.
  • It has developed a national affiliation with the Automotive Recyclers Association, and represented its diverse membership at regional and national industry events.

"NATA now serves and represents virtually every segment of the automotive aftermarket," Crest said. "Like the automobile itself, NATA continues to change and improve. But one thing that won't change is reflected in our mission statement: NATA is committed to offering innovative ways to improve the industry and its members' businesses through education, representation, and excellent membership services."

NATA CODE OF ETHICS:

  • To uphold the high standards of our profession and seek to correct any abuses within the automotive Industry.
  • To promote goodwill between the motorist and members of this association.
  • To cooperate and maintain a system for fair settlement of customer complaints.
  • To perform high quality service by using, high quality equipment and parts.
  • To employ the best skilled and certified technicians.
  • To furnish an itemized invoice for fairly priced parts and service; which clearly identifies any used or remanufactured parts. Replaced parts may be inspected upon request.
  • To obtain prior authorization for all work done, in writing, or by other means satisfactory to the customer.
  • To offer the customer a price estimate for work to be performed.
  • To furnish or post copies of any warranties covering parts and service.
  • To exercise reasonable care for the customer's property while in possession.
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