Thursday, September 28, 2017

September 2017 SDADA Column

As I write this, Senator Thune and the Senate Commerce Committee are preparing legislation to advance self-driving vehicles or Highly Automated Vehicles (HAVs). As dealers, our concern is that this legislation could preempt certain state laws including our South Dakota franchise law.

While Congress seeks uniform regulation of self-driving vehicles to avoid a state patchwork that would hamper deployment of these vehicles, Congress must also ensure that the states’ traditional role to regulate motor vehicle commerce within its borders is preserved as applied to self-driving vehicles.

On Sept. 6, the House approved H.R. 3388, the “SELF DRIVE Act” by voice vote.  Bipartisan language to clarify that Congress does not intend to preempt state vehicle licensing/franchise laws as applied to self-driving vehicles was included in the bill.

The Senate Commerce Committee must ensure that their legislation explicitly preserves state vehicle licensing and franchise laws as well. Hopefully, by the time you read this, we will have crossed this threshold without incident.

NADA will be watching to ensure state laws are protected!

Washington Conference

In September, I was once again part of the South Dakota delegation (with Jim Burgess, Dutch Van Santen, Myron Rau, and NextGen delegate Karris McKie-Kaiser) to the NADA Washington Conference. Thanks to each of them for taking time to go to DC to represent South Dakota's dealers. I'm always proud to be part of this delegation.

We are very fortunate to have two Senators (Thune and Rounds) and a Congresswoman (Noem) who understand and support small business issues. I can assure you that this is not universal. As I visit with directors from others states, they are increasingly frustrated with their representation and how Washington works (or doesn't work!).

I have enjoyed my two years as NADA Legislative Affairs Chairman. The Washington Conference is the pinnacle of that committee's work. When we have 200+ dealers take to the Hill to make 350+ visits, it definitely moves the needle for the nation's dealers.

NADA has the best legislative team of ANY trade organization in Washington. It has been a true pleasure to serve with and learn from them the past two years. I can assure all South Dakota dealers that our interests are well represented by these professionals.

Keynote Speakers Announced for NADA Show 2018 in Las Vegas

NADA Show 2018 returns to Las Vegas for four days running from Thursday, March 22, to Sunday, March 25.

Keynote speakers are Mark Scarpelli, 2017 NADA chairman, and Nick Saban, head coach at The University of Alabama (Friday’s general session); Wes Lutz, 2017 NADA vice chairman, and John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo LLC (Saturday’s general session); and Robert O’Neill, team leader at Naval Special Warfare Development Group (Sunday’s inspirational session).

Online registration for dealers and their managers, which includes an early-bird discount and hotel selection, opens Oct. 2, 2017. The early-bird registration discount ends Nov. 17, 2017. I encourage you to make plans now! Learn more at

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