U.S. dealer associations convene for NADA Washington Conference

U.S. dealer associations convene for NADA Washington Conference

WANADA leadership joined together with sister dealer associations from across the country last week for the Annual NADA Washington Conference. Assembled together for the Conference at DCês Capitol Hilton, the dealers represented the U.S. auto retailing industry, whose principal purpose for being in town was to visit all members of Congress in the House and Senate to present NADAês national government relations agenda.

Curbing the federal regulator assault against auto dealers from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was NADAês first priority. Focus was placed on NADA-inspired legislation before Congress to halt CFPBês effort to limit or eliminate credit arranging for car buyers by dealers, ostensibly because dealers discriminate against minorities, who, CFPB alleges, obtain financing, but at higher rates than non-minorities.

NADA has effectively debunked CFPBês regulatory premise as the falsehood that it is, and with the support of dealer associations across the U.S., is successfully moving legislation through Congress with bipartisan support in both houses.

What the legislation does is appropriately realign CFPBês authority, which covers banks, but not auto dealers, who, as credit arrangers, do not come under the Dodd-Frank Finance Reform Act. It also puts a halt to the pressure CFPB has been systematically applying on the finance institutions it does regulate to limit indirect financing through partner dealerships. The legislation also provides for regulatory agency transparency and accountability to Congress from CFPB which currently does not exist.

NADAês legislation in the form of H.R. 1737 has already passed the House with strong bipartisan support. NADAês task now is to get S. 2663 by the Senate which presents a more challenging proposition.

Other parts of NADAês Capitol Hill agenda included keeping a check on bad vehicle recall legislation in Congress as a result of the unprecedented number of vehicle recalls in recent times. The issue here, of course, is the prospect of dealer used car inventory being grounded and rendered unavailable for sale. Fortunately for WANADA dealer members, legislation at the state level addressing recalls passed this session to both the General Assembly of Virginia and Maryland making automakers accountable to their dealers on grounded used cars as they are already by federal law on new cars.

Important changes to the tax code proposed in Congress were also presented that pose problems for dealers and other small businesses. One had to do with limitations on the longstanding deductibility of advertising expense and inventory control under the LIFO rules.

WANADA is represented at NADA leadership conferences, like the one last week in Washington, by NADA director Geoff Pohanka, Pohanka Automotive; WANADA chairman Dick Patterson, RRR Automotive; and WANADA CEO John OêDonnell.

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