By Steve Bassett, Chairman, American Truck Dealers

For more than 50 years, the American Truck Dealers has represented thousands of franchised medium and heavy-duty truck dealers. While initiatives may change with time, ATD’s core mission stays the same: to serve and represent the needs of truck dealer members through advocacy, industry relations, education and premier member services. Fulfilling the ATD mission falls on the shoulders of the dedicated men and women of the ATD board, and I’d like to acknowledge some of the leaders who will be fighting for you through the year.

I’m pleased to congratulate the newly elected line representatives on the ATD board: Jon Pritchett, CEO of Nextran Truck Centers, is in his third term as the Mack line rep.; Scott Pearson, president of Peterbilt of Atlanta, became the Peterbilt line rep.; Kim Mesfin, general manager of Affinity Truck Center, began her second term as the Volvo line rep.; and Mark Parker of Baltimore Potomac Truck Center serves as the new ATD NextGen representative. Last but not least, Scott McCandless, president of McCandless Truck Center, has been elected as 2021 ATD vice chairman. These are more than just names.

My fellow board members are some of the most knowledgeable and efficient leaders I’ve had the privilege of working with. They are the first line of defense for your business and are staunch advocates for you with our OEMs, our suppliers, and the federal government. Your elected board members will continue to work through the challenges of 2021, so that our truck dealer landscape remains strong despite industry disruptions and a continuing pandemic.

I encourage you to get to know the faces on the ATD board and build relationships with your fellow dealers. Communication is a two-way street and now, more than ever, ATD needs you to weigh in on the issues we’re facing today. We will continue to see industry disruptions thanks to new government regulations, evolving technology and new entrants into the business. Truck dealerships are still coping with a workforce shortage due to a lack of diesel technicians. And we are still working hard to repeal the outdated and harmful federal excise tax.

These complexities (and more) are the reason you must stay up to date on dealer issues through our publications, including ATD Insider, ATD Truck Beat, and the ATD website. After seeing how a pandemic can ravage American businesses, I’ve learned it’s never too late to invest in your legacy. Consider enrolling in one of our renowned ATD Academy classes—the next session starts March 9. This is a five-star program that prepares dealership leaders to understand and improve each department’s profitability, while highlighting how new technology and innovations are reshaping the industry. There are classes for you no matter your level of experience. Take advantage of ATD’s educational resources at every turn whether online or in-person.

And remember: ATD depends on your responses to the OEM and supplier dealer attitude surveys to further our relationships with OEMs. ATD’s 2021 Dealership Workforce Study is now open for enrollment. This is your opportunity to tell us what is affecting your business during these critical times, including demographic trends, employee compensation and retention numbers—remember all data is confidential. In return, you will receive results of this industry survey allowing you to compare your numbers to other ATD members nationally and in your region. The deadline to complete the survey is April 15, 2021. Finally, ATD looks forward to seeing all of you at the 2022 ATD Show in Las Vegas. We have worked tirelessly to build a show for you, created by you.

The outlook for our industry is good. The U.S. economy, along with trucking, is poised for a strong second half of the year. But our greatest strength lies with our members. You don’t have to be on the ATD board to realize we all have a stake in this collective mission. Let’s continue to learn, communicate and advocate so our truck dealer landscape continues to thrive into the future!

Posted by NADA

National Automobile Dealers Association