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.
It is that belief in working together and the "power of numbers" that has resulted in today's Northwest Automotive Trades Association.
NATA has accomplished an impressive list of successes in a short period of time:
- NATA 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.
- NATA 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 SkillsUSA state competitions.
- NATA 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.
- NATA 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 2016, NATA members can save 14 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.
- NATA has developed a national affiliation with the Automotive Recyclers Association, and represented its diverse membership at regional and national industry events.
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.