John Bowis Concludes Tenure as WANADA Board Chairman, Discusses Industry Resilience

Outgoing WANADA Board of Directors Chairman John Bowis concluded his two-year term with an address to the WANADA Annual Luncheon audience, telling attendees that industry fundamentals remain strong, and that franchise dealers continue to provide a unique value-add in a competitive auto industry marketplace.

Bowis told the crowd that the industry nationwide is on pace to clear 17 million units sold, the fifth straight year hitting that threshold. Even amidst changing preferences in transportation, various state and federal regulations, and competition from direct-sale car retailers and ridesharing, Bowis franchise dealers have once again showed the kind of resiliency any industry needs to have in order to survive for more than 100 years.

“The truth is that if you spend enough time in this industry, you know that we have to adapt to all kinds of challenges that come our way. The one thing that seems to remain the same…is that nobody is better equipped to sell these products to consumers than we are.”

Bowis noted that, among all businesses in the U.S., nearly one-third go out of business within two years, and less than 35 percent make it past the five-year mark. Mentioning Pohanka Automotive, which recently celebrated its 100th year in business, Bowis said a century of success demonstrates the long-term strength of the industry overall.

“Even the best companies that represent the Fortune 500 last only 40 years,” Bowis said. “We will have several WANADA members hitting that 100-year milestone soon, which is another testament to the resiliency of the auto dealers in this room.”

Following Bowis’ address, incoming chairman Kevin Reilly presented him with a plaque commemorating his service to WANADA. Bowis said he was excited to assume “the best title in the organization – immediate past chairman.”

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