Thursday, November 17, 2016

November 2016 SDADA Column

The ground beneath me still quakes from the aftershocks of the 2016 presidential election. Donald J. Trump delivered the most improbable of election victories in United States history as he completely shocked pundits, media and other experts.

Now the business of governing begins. What does that mean for Americans? What does that mean for car dealers?

Fortunately for businesses, Trump will be working with a Republican majority in both the House and the Senate. He should have a decent chance to advance some of his agenda.

He is likely to seek vast cuts in regulations that have hampered the small businesses across our country. This bodes well for car dealers.

Trump has said he would dismantle Dodd-Frank Wall Street regulation. Hopefully, that means he is likely to reel in the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. Regardless, the environment is right for NADA's S 2663, our next effort to tame the CFPB, to be passed.

He has indicated a desire to revise our tax system to make our business tax rate more competitive to keep jobs in America, create new opportunities and revitalize our economy. Again, this likely will serve for small businesses well.

NADA's agenda should find a more favorable environment across the regulatory agencies in DC. That should mean less government in our dealerships.

Hopefully, Trump can focus on those issues that will find some consensus in Congress. There are many issues that both sides agree need attention. Mr. Trump, stay with those....and relinquish your Twitter account!

Small Store Owners

You may have seen my smiling mug in Automotive News recently. That came about when AN reporter Arlena Sawyers interviewed me for a special piece they did on Ron Tonkin. I mentioned to Ms. Sawyers that Tonkin was a wonderful advocate for small dealers despite the fact that he was a very large dealer.

She inquired about small dealers and their plight and I shared with her some of the challenges that small dealers face. She followed up later with that interview.

I have heard from many dealers across the state and across the country since that article appeared. All seemed pleased to have an advocate for small dealers. Many had a story or experience they wanted to share. Most were extremely frustrated with manufacturer relations. All agreed that the cards were stacked against the small dealers.

NADA and SDADA are important players in this fight. We need our associations to take a strong stand. We must remember that the associations are us and we are the associations. Neither of them exists without dealers. Dealers must stay engaged.

Scarpelli, Lutz Elected

The NADA board elected Mark Scarpelli as chairman for 2017 at our fall board meeting. Mark is a Chevrolet, Kia and Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram from the Chicago area. Mark is a good guy and will do a good job.

Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram dealer Wes Lutz from Jackson, MI was elected as vice chairman. The new term officially begins at the 2017 NADA Convention and Expo in New Orleans in January.