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NADA restates priorities at convention; Scarpelli new vice chairman

April 8, 2016
In his first speech as 2016 chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, Jeff Carlson on April 2 pledged to build on the momentum the NADA established in 2015 and lead the organization into its next 100 years of successful advocacy on behalf of America’s franchised new-car and -truck dealers. 
In remarks at the 2016 NADA Convention & Expo in Las Vegas, Carlson highlighted several of the NADA’s priorities: right-sizing the association to carry out its primary mission of advocacy, promoting the value of the dealer franchise network for consumers, and helping dealers stay true to their mission by providing their customers with affordable mobility. 
"We have right-sized the association and are ready to enter into the next century, a century where we will advocate for all dealers, all of the time, everywhere, just as we have for the past 99 years," said Carlson, who operates Ford and Subaru franchises in Colorado. "We will do that in the legislative and regulatory arenas. We will do that with our manufacturers."  
The NADA will continue to build in its successful advocacy efforts on key issues, Carlson added, such as preserving the ability of dealers to discount credit and make credit affordable and accessible, and being advocates for dealers and consumers alike when it comes to ill-advised government policy and manufacturer issues. 
"The CFPB is overreaching into our business model, which will reduce consumer access to the most competitive credit market on the planet," he said. "It’s no secret that the dealer franchise system has been attacked unfairly and relentlessly. But, the best defense is a good offense. We’ve made sure to identify those in Washington who understand and respect our business."
Concerning vehicle recalls, Carlson said the NADA is working to make sure Washington understands that new-car dealers also want the driving public to stay safe.
"We need 100 percent of the dealers to perform 100 percent of the recalls, 100 percent of the time," he said. "And we will because it’s the right thing to do."
Carlson said the automotive industry is evolving at a rapid pace, but core values have remained unchanged.
"Everything we do is with intent, passion, commitment and love. A lifestyle where dealers can and do make a difference in the lives of others," Carlson said. "There’s a common core in the best of us, and it’s not how good we are at selling cars. It’s trust, honor, friendship and love.
"Most of all, we’re connected in an industry — and with a product — that generates emotion and equates to freedom," he said. "That’s the way the auto industry and the American dream have aligned for millions of Americans over our last 99 years."
More than 24,000 new-car and -truck dealers and their managers — including dealers from more than 30 countries — auto industry executives and exhibitor staff attended this year’s NADA convention, where area dealer Mark Scarpelli was installed as this year’s NADA vice chairman. He is principal of Raymond Chevrolet-Kia in Antioch.