Dealer associations from across North America convene to discuss hot button industry topics

Dealer associations from across North America convene to discuss hot button industry topics

Dealer associations from NADA on down to MADA, VADA and WANADA and all state, provincial and metropolitan area groups in between in North America came together last week in Banff, Canada to compare notes on dealer organization programming and member services. Topping the agenda at the multi-day conference of the Automotive Tarde Association Executives (ATAE) were franchise protection, misguided government regulation, auto safety recalls and auto shows, which had its own separately arranged conference through Auto Shows of North America (ASNA).

Franchise protection focused on challenges to state dealer licensing laws, posed by Teslaês ongoing plan to retail its high end ECs without dealers. Franchise relations was covered in a high level OEM presentation of its plans to reposition its brand in the U.S. market with the support of its national dealer network.

Government relations conversations included the Consumer Financial Protection Bureauês ongoing quest to reorganize dealer credit arranging through banks they regulate. Responding to CFPBês allegation that minorities are discriminated against in dealer credit arranging, NADA presented their member guide for dealers to document their fair credit practices. NADA further reported on legislation theyêre shepherding through Congress to compel regulatory policy transparency and agency accountability from CFPB to elected leaders (see Senate Bill 2663, reported in WANADA Bulletin, #25-16, July 7, 2016).

Other government relations challenges spotlighted and discussed were new anti-employer actions by the National Labor Relations Board attacking such long established NLRB polices as the exemption of dealer service writers from federal overtime pay provisions.

Managing vehicle safety recalls at the dealer level was another hot button with the unprecedented level of NHTSA inspired recalls that have occurred in recent times.

Innovative state legislation, like the bills enacted in Virginia and Maryland this year regarding automaker obligations to their dealers and the industryês overall obligation to consumers on recalls, were also shared for comparison purposes.

The ASNA meeting that preceded the ATAE Conference gave WANADA staff the opportunity to discuss successful promotional programming among the dealer associations that produce auto shows, along with important logistical systems to facilitate such things as the need for tighter show security.

WANADA CEO John OêDonnell and some of his senior staff attended ATAEês Summer Conference and the ASNA meeting. Mr. OêDonnell, who was elected to the ATAE Board of Directors by his peers earlier this year, participated in the ATAE leadership meeting that occurred before the general session.

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