For the automotive retail industry, signs of recovery are starting to emerge as dealers concurrently face uncertainty in the coronavirus environment. While full recovery is months ahead, Chairman Rhett Ricart, and President and CEO Peter Welch addressed dealers during NADA’s second all-dealer virtual town hall on Thursday, May 22. The NADA leaders discussed economic recovery efforts, business operations and other topics as dealerships continue to reopen their doors – some for the first time in months – under new health and safety guidelines and a much different operational landscape.
“As I told you back in February, at the NADA Show, there is going to be disruption, obstruction and corruption. We just got one big dose of disruption, but we’re dealing with it very effectively,” said Ricart, CEO and owner of Ricart Automotive Group in Columbus, Ohio.
While dealers across the country are opening as their local and state governments allow, Ricart underscored that NADA is at the forefront of protecting dealers’ business interests. “There is enough support out there to be able to build your business and complete your digital platform so you can grow business for the future,” added Ricart.
“Dealers in the United States are resilient. My dad always said we are chameleons and we are going to adapt,” Ricart said. “This is just the beginning of a long process for all of us. I can assure you that NADA is looking over everything every day and making sure everyone’s best interest is taken care of.”
“We are in the siege now,” Welch added. “We’ve been attacked by an invisible enemy.” Welch provided dealers an update on the status of NADA’s advocacy efforts in Washington, including prospects for additional economic stimulus, and provided updates on the tools and resources NADA has made available to dealers, including the NADA Coronavirus Hub that provides members with real-time information on NADA government advocacy, regulatory compliance and educational resources.
“The rules of the game haven’t changed much for our dealer members,” Welch said. “Preservation of capital, liquidity and resources to repel the damage being caused to our industry and economy by the virus is still first and foremost in everyone’s mind.”
Additionally NADA Executive Vice President of Legal and Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel Andy Koblenz, and Executive Vice President of Legislative Affairs David Regan joined the webinar to answer detailed questions from dealers about pending legislation and regulations affecting the vital Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
During the town hall, Chairman Ricart made certain to let the dealer body know that while dealers are operating at varying degrees: “Every dealer across the country is in our thoughts at NADA.”
A recording of the webinar is now available to NADA members here.
Note: NADA’s webinar is offered to assist its dealer members in the operation of their dealerships and for general informational purposes only. Each dealer must seek their own legal counsel and make their own independent business decisions and work with their attorneys to ensure social media posts and advertising comply with state and federal consumer protection laws. Before attempting to sell vehicles online, dealers must consult with their attorney or state/metro dealer association or licensing authority to better understand the requirement in their state. The presentation of this information is not intended to constitute legal advice nor encourage concerted action among competitors or any other action on the part of dealers that would in any manner fix or stabilize the price or any element of the price of any good or service.