Monday, March 12, 2018

March 2018 SDADA Column

South Dakota Automobile Dealers:

This is my final column as the South Dakota NADA Director so I want to start off by thanking you, my fellow dealers, for the opportunity to serve in that capacity for the past nearly 11 years. I appreciate the input, feedback and support you have given me as we worked together on the challenges facing the automotive industry both nationally and in our state.

I reflected upon the (over one hundred!) columns I have written during my tenure. What a long, strange trip it's been!

Among the challenges we faced together were: The Great Recession of 2008, CAFE Standards, Red Flags Rule, bridge loans for automakers, automaker bankruptcies, "Cash for Clunkers", facilities image programs, the Dodd-Frank bill and creation of the CFPB (and our exclusion from their oversight), navigating the barrage of Obama Administration regulations (Risk Based pricing, Privacy notices, etc.), the threat to repeal LIFO, stair step programs, electric cars, autonomous vehicles, disparate impact allegations, recalls and, most recently, tax reform.

While on the board, I had the opportunity to serve on every NADA standing committee. I was fortunate to chair the IT Committee for two years and, most recently, have had the great challenge of chairing the Legislative Affairs Committee the past two years - which many of you know is my passion. I ran for, was elected to and served a term on the Finance Committee, and was also elected to NADART board and served on the Executive Committee.

While I was on the NADA board, we made some major strategic decisions for our association. We sold the NADA Used Car Guide to J.D. Power in 2015. We established an affinity relationship for our retirement program, NADART, with Empower Retirement. We made the decision to and are currently planning a transition from the Frank E. McCarthy building to a newer facility.

As a member of the SDADA executive board during this same time, I've worked with many of you on numerous threats and attempts to undermine our state franchise laws, we fought off many factory challenges to our businesses, we looked at forming a SDADA Finance Company, and we repealed South Dakota's Damage Disclosure law among other things.

Judy and I have taken pride in representing South Dakota and its dealers as well as small dealers throughout our association. We are grateful for the friendships we've forged with dealer families across our state and across our country. We take many fond memories with us as we leave the board.

Representing my fellow dealers has been the most noteworthy privilege of my automotive career. I look forward to working with each of you in that capacity going forward.

With sincerity and gratitude,

Doug Knust

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