By Charlie Gilchrist, 2019 NADA chairman

It’s time we stop thinking of NADA simply as an organization we belong to. If you are part of NADA, it’s not just a membership; it’s a badge of honor. Because all of us are, in fact, NADA.

One NADA: it’s a mantra that I want you to remember this year. As dealers, we embody powerful traits. But as one association, these individual traits come together and form our character. Our character defines who we are; how we respond when things get tough; and how we rely on each other through the highs and lows. During the 2019 NADA Show in San Francisco, I passed out a card that symbolizes how we are one NADA.

Nurture  We nurture and develop our dealers and train them for excellence. We set high expectations and inspire others.

Advocate  We work with state and metro association partners to advocate for policies—with manufacturers, the government and the media—that help local dealerships, their employees and customers flourish.  

Deliver  We deliver results, deal positively with our business realities, develop comprehensive and competing plans, and defend the franchise system.

Accountability  We hold ourselves and others responsible and accountable, and work with our NADA team to deliver results for each member.

Dealers are getting hit from all sides, and NADA is the force that unites us against the obstacles we couldn’t overcome individually. Today, we face an evolving business model with intense pressure on our sales departments. At the same time, our service departments—which are busier than ever—have the responsibility to get cars back on the road safely and efficiently. And whether it’s preserving affordability of new vehicles, battling against proposed industry tariffs or getting skilled technicians through every dealership’s doors, we must tackle our issues as a team.

Each and every member is what makes NADA great. It’s a comfort that we’ve never been alone in our challenges, but we need your engagement more than ever. Give us your feedback. Be active and involved in our latest Workforce Initiative for auto technicians. Try to host your member of Congress at your dealership if you haven’t already. It’s time we all roll up our sleeves and take accountability for the future of our industry. One voice has carried us through more than a century in the automobile industry. One NADA will carry us through the next.

Charlie Gilchrist, 2019 NADA chairman, is president of Gilchrist Automotive in greater Dallas-Ft. Worth.

Posted by NADA

National Automobile Dealers Association