Maryland Dealers & MVA launch long awaited industry panel

Maryland Dealers & MVA launch long awaited industry panel

Panel roll-out wastes no time getting down to business

The debut late last month of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administrationês Auto Dealer Advisory Panel was no small matter. Indeed, it represented the fruition of visioning and discussions between dealers and dealers, dealers and lawmakers, and dealers and MVA regulators, that was years in the making. Then, two weeks ago, with the pro-business direction of Gov. Larry Hogan (R), the approach by MVA and dealer industry representatives to the advisory panel seemed to be –Letês do it and then talk about it!” And the beauty of it all is in the simplicity: An industry advisory panel of six consisting of four franchised dealers, one used car dealer and one motorcycle dealer which will meet with the MVA administrator four times per year to discuss MVA/dealer matters in need of review, analysis, clarification and/or reassessment.

–This is a formalization of the MVAês relationship with dealers that is informal,” said WANADA Chairman Dick Patterson of RRR Automotive, one of the six industry panelists. At the same time, Patterson said, the MVA industry panel recognizes the reality that dealers and MVA regulators have a common objective, namely, to ensure — as much as possible — that vehicle retailing across the state operates efficiently, fairly and successfully for everybody.

–As dealers, we are in business to take care that our customers get what they want and need in vehicle sales and service, while MVA makes sure that this happens as it must under Maryland law,” Patterson said. –Itês no more complicated than that, but it requires regular interaction between the organized dealer group and MVA to pull it off,” he said. It is noteworthy, too, that the dealer advisory panel approach was chosen instead of a formal motor vehicle board such as exists in Virginia and other states, since, among other things, an MVDB would require enabling legislation.

Joining Patterson on the panel is J.P. Bishop, Bob Bell Ford Hyundai & Kia, who is chairman of MADA; then rounding out the franchised dealers are Geoff Pohanka, Pohanka Automotive, and Paul Ritchie, Hagerstown Honda. Representing independent used car dealers is Tom Hodges, Tom Hodges Auto. A representative for motorcycle dealers is TBD.

As he did for the inaugural meeting of the advisory panel, MVA Administrator Milton Chaffee hosted the industry representatives along with his senior staff. Gov. Hoganês representative at the meeting from Maryland Department of Transportation was Deputy Secretary James F. Ports, Jr.

Business at hand for the first meeting included enhanced Electronic Lien Services at MVA, criminal conviction impediments to business licensing, and dealer advertising. Dealer panelists set the stage for more and better regulator-to-dealer communication in shaping MVA policies and in agency compliance directives to dealers statewide. Clear, concise and unambiguous regulation of Maryland dealers by MVA is a goal all agreed was job one for the new Auto Dealer Advisory Panel.

WANADA salutes all participants at the first meeting launch of MVAês Auto Dealer Advisory Panel not mentioned above to include Peter Kitzmiller, MADA, John OêDonnell, WANADA and Mike Johansen, Esq., Rifkin, Wiener, et al.

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