With a new decade upon us and NADA Show 2020 less than a month away, there is no better time than now to reflect on the past year and look to our future as One NADA.
2019 was a great sales year in the automotive industry with 17.1 million new-vehicles sold. But what makes 2019 a truly terrific year in my mind is that more dealers became involved in NADA. We had a record setting year in 20-Group membership and graduated more than 540 NADA Academy graduates. I also experienced first-hand the incredible passion and drive of our members and staff to make our business better. And it’s been an incredible honor serving with the dedicated men and women of our NADA Board.
This year, I look forward to dealer involvement continuing to grow significantly under Rhett Ricart’s leadership.
You may ask yourself: Why does my involvement matter? Owning and operating a dealership has never been more complex and our challenges will only continue to grow as dealers are getting hit from all sides. But together, as One NADA, we can tackle these issues as a team—whether they involve impractical federal regulations, new legislation across the industry, or a workforce shortage.
All dealers should get involved with NADA and you have the opportunity to do this in many ways; join a NADA 20 Group, send a key member of your NADA Academy for training, or meet with your elected officials – city, state or federal. When an issue comes up, sometimes one dealer’s involvement and voice can make a difference and lead us to success. That is why we need your engagement more than ever.
Finally, if you haven’t done so already, I urge you to register for NADA Show 2020, the premier event for our industry, which is just around the corner in Las Vegas from Feb. 14 to 17. It’s a great way to meet your fellow dealers and get more involved. You’ll learn about the latest legislative and regulatory topics that impact dealerships and gather information on how to stay up-to-date with dealership processes, including how to navigate the constantly changing digital world for dealerships.
As my time as your NADA Chairman is coming to a close, I encourage all dealers to continue your engagement and remember that YOU ARE NADA. Every voice counts. Every step you take moves us forward. Together, as One NADA, our voice is far more powerful than alone.
Charlie Gilchrist, 2019 NADA chairman, is president of Gilchrist Automotive in greater Dallas-Ft. Worth.