With Thanksgiving around the corner, we are reminded that the spirit of community and contribution are holiday trademarks, much like the trademarks of our great industry. One of the many survival lessons of the first Thanksgiving was understanding the need to cultivate relationships and broaden lines of communication for achieving goals. I encourage all members to foster strong relationships throughout our industry by participating in our ATD surveys, attending industry-wide events and staying active with the ATD community.
I can’t emphasize this enough: ATD’s goals are built around your interests, so we need to understand your dealership’s individual challenges. I want to thank all those who participated in our annual Dealer Attitude Survey of Manufacturers. Your input each year is critical. The greater the response rate, the broader our scope. We have taken all your great feedback into account and our ATD line representatives and staff have been diligently meeting with OEMs in person to discuss your concerns and ideas. These presentation meetings include senior OEM management and dealer council chairs. We are also currently distributing our annual Supplier Attitude Survey. Understanding one another’s challenges will help us build a better industry for the future.
Our work is ongoing. Throughout the year, ATD board members host events and teleconferences to find the best ways to reach our member dealers, association leaders and industry partners. The bi-annual Industry Legislative Roundtable allows us to explore the greatest challenges coming out of Capitol Hill, whether it’s repealing the federal excise tax (FET) on trucks or getting the latest information on the upcoming infrastructure bill. ATD is also well represented at partner events like the monthly Motor Carriers Luncheon hosted by the American Trucking Associations. This is another opportunity to meet with fellow industry representatives to discuss our most pressing issues, like our industry-wide workforce shortages.
Finally, there is no better place to bring our entire community together than ATD Show 2019 in San Francisco from Jan. 24-27. Our make meetings have been heralded as a top reason for ATD member dealers and managers to attend the show. We are proud to provide our members a forum to convene with OEMs and work together to overcome challenges for the upcoming year.
ATD is committed to strengthening our community by extending our lines of communication outward and onward. It’s in this spirit of community and contribution that I wish you, your employees and families a healthy and happy Thanksgiving!
Teuton is vice president of Kenworth of Louisiana, a full-service dealership with seven locations in the state (Baton Rouge, Houma, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, New Orleans and Shreveport), a full-service Hino dealership (Baton Rouge) and Southland Truck Leasing at all dealership locations. ATD, a division of the National Automobile Dealers Association, represents more than 1,800 medium- and heavy-duty truck dealerships.