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Commentary: A season of thanks

December 18, 2015
By Bill Fox, 2015 NADA Chairman
 
Though the nation’s franchised dealers have faced monumental challenges this year, we are in the season of thanks. So let’s reflect and be thankful for the great things that are happening in our industry. 
  
The NADA is proud to announce that employment and employee salaries at new-car dealerships are on the rise. The association’s latest Dealership Workforce Study showed that employee compensation and productivity at new-car dealerships increased across all job positions in 2014. 
As a result, the dealer business is now responsible for employing more than 1 million people across the country and throughout thousands of local communities. In 2014, the median weekly income for all employees at dealerships increased to more than $1,000. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that, on average, dealership employees earned nearly 29 percent more than other employees in the private-sector workforce. 
 
Dealers are proud to be local businesses in the heart of communities. They are proud to offer well-paying jobs that continue to outpace average U.S. wages; and as the data shows, these are some of the best-paying jobs available. We are proud to be part of an industry that is so important to the growth of the U.S. economy, local job growth, and stable employment opportunities following a painful recession. So it’s no surprise that we have such a bright forecast for next year. 
 
The NADA forecasts 17.7 million new-vehicle sales for next year! Moderate wage growth, declining gasoline prices, and continued low interest rates on auto loans will drive new-car and light-truck sales even higher. And 2016 will mark the seventh straight year of increasing U.S. new-vehicle sales. 
 
In addition to the national and regional data on dealership compensation, the Workforce Study found that dealership productivity increased 3.4 percent, to more than $8,000 a month per employee in 2014. In other words, as compensation increased, employee productive and talent increased as well. And due to exploding recalls and demand in warranty and other repairs, the number of dealerships open on Sunday increased to 41 percent in 2014. 
 
The NADA is thankful for the hard work, passion, and legacy of its 17,000-plus strong dealer network. We are thankful for an excellent 2015, in which dealers are expected to sell 17.3 million new cars and light trucks by the end of this year; medium- and heavy-duty trucks take the total number of vehicles to nearly 17.8 million. 
 
We are thankful for all the times these hard-working men and women have stepped up to the plate when they were needed most — whether in their local neighborhoods or in the nation’s capital. And it was this relentless spirit that led to a victory in the House of Representatives on Nov. 18.  
 
Democrats and Republicans joined forces in the U.S. House of Representatives that day to overwhelmingly pass legislation to protect consumers by bringing transparency and accountability to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s regulation of the auto finance market. House Resolution 1737, named the Reforming CFPB Indirect Auto Financing Guidance Act and  introduced by Reps. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.) and Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), passed by a 332-96 vote. 
 
The NADA is thankful for its dealer network, its partner and allies, and all those who have worked so hard to this point so that we can preserve a successful model that serves the traveling public. 
 
Most of all, we’re thankful for the opportunity to serve our customers in one of the greatest American enterprises in history. 
 
On behalf of the NADA, we wish you, your employees, and families a very happy and healthy holiday season!
 
 

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