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Welsh takes helm as new NADA president

March 1, 2013
By Mark Scarpelli, Chicago Metro NADA Director
Peter K. Welch became president of the National Automobile Dealers Association on Feb. 1. His hire follows last July’s resignation of Phil Brady, who accepted an executive position with Phillips 66.
Welsh, 59, had since 2003 been president and chief executive of the California New Car Dealers Association. Prior to joining the CNCDA in 1990 as its director of government and legal affairs, Peter was a partner with a Los Angeles law firm.
A native of Detroit, Mich., Peter holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree from the University of Durham, England, and a juris doctor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University of Law, Los Angeles. Welch and his wife Cheryl have three children.
“The NADA is a well-run organization. I look forward to following in the tradition of strong leadership at the NADA. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get started,” Welch said.
In connection with Welsh’s appointment, the association also announced the promotion of the following individuals:
• Joseph L. Cowden, executive vice president, chief operating officer and CFO;
• Andrew D. Koblenz, executive vice president, Legal and Regulatory Affairs and general counsel; and
• David W. Regan, executive vice president, Legislative Affairs.
In other NADA news ...
• The NADA and the Environmental Protection Agency have partnered to help new-car dealers reduce their energy consumption through the Energy Star program. As part of this effort, dealerships are encouraged to complete a brief survey that will give the agency a benchmark to better compare the energy usage of dealerships across the country and allow certification of those dealerships that perform well. The survey ( asks dealers to share their yearly utility bills, square footage — inside and out — and different types of equipment used at the dealership.
“The NADA’s ultimate goal is to help dealers learn ways to save energy and reduce their costs,” said Don Chalmers, chairman of the NADA’s Government Relations Committee, and a Ford and Lincoln dealer in New Mexico. “Before we can begin the Energy Star certification process, we need to benchmark the energy usage of at least 500 dealerships.”
To encourage participation, the NADA has launched a new program called Energy Ally. Businesses such as accounting, consulting and energy management firms which assist at least five dealerships in completing the survey will be awarded an NADA Energy Ally designation. These contractors can use the recognition to market their services to other dealerships.
The NADA has produced a video ( demonstrating the cost-saving benefits of implementing an energy-efficiency plan highlighting efforts at a dealership in Christiansburg, Va. The video also highlights the importance of dealers taking the survey and the ease of the data input.
• The sales momentum of new cars and light trucks established last year is likely to continue in 2013, predicts Paul Taylor, the NADA’s chief economist. Taylor expects more than 15.4 million new vehicles will be purchased or leased in the U.S. this year, an increase of 1 million vehicles over 2012. Last year, 14.4 million new vehicles were sold.
“Pent-up demand, affordable auto loans and enticing new-vehicle designs add up to a solid sales year that will outperform the overall U.S. economy,” Taylor said.
NADA University has introduced an all-new Special Ops training program that allows dealership managers to hone skills for specific departments by attending individual weeks of the NADA-ATD Academy’s program.
The training focuses on the following areas of dealership operations: Financial Management; Fixed Operations I – Parts; Fixed Operations II – Service; Variable Operations I – Used vehicles; Variable Ops II – New vehicles.
To learn more about dates and availability of Special Ops sessions, and to download the application, visit the Academy section at or call (800) 557-6232.
In other news ...
The Federal Trade Commission has warned 11 used-car dealerships in Jonesboro, Ark., that their failure to properly display the “Buyers Guide” on used vehicles offered for sale violates the FTC’s Used-Car Rule. FTC staff inspections in Jonesboro found that eight dealers failed to display Buyers Guides on almost all used cars offered for sale; three dealers reportedly failed to display the guides on “a significant number” of used cars. Ten dealers properly displayed the guides on all or nearly all of the used cars offered for sale. The FTC sent warning letters urging the 11 dealers to come into compliance by properly displaying the guides in a clear and conspicuous location on all used cars.
If you have issues you want the NADA to consider, please call me at my dealership, Raymond Chevrolet-Kia, at (847) 395-3900.