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How import auto dealers drive success for their brands

Global vehicle franchises require organized communities of import auto dealers in countries like America, where direct-to-consumer sales models are largely banned. Franchised dealership networks are crucial to these corporations, as they can drive higher sales and penetrate new markets for their brands.

On this episode of Inside Automotive, hosts Jim Fitzpatrick and Shyann Malone are joined by Cody Lusk, president and CEO of the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA), and Mike DeSilva, the association’s chairman and co-owner of Liberty Auto Group in New Jersey. As AIADA leaders, Lusk and DeSilva have worked tirelessly with import car manufacturers to develop mutually beneficial strategies for both OEMs and import auto dealers while also driving retail and service excellence among their association members. Now, they join the show to discuss how the vehicle import sector is navigating the current automotive landscape.

Key Takeaways

1. Like domestic brands, international car manufacturers are pushing import auto dealers to sell more electric vehicles even though demand in the segment remains low.

2. Driving ranges and affordability are critical issues that international brands and car dealers will need to resolve before demand can grow.

3. AIADA is striving to boost confidence in the American economic and political system as import auto dealers face an ongoing labor strike in manufacturing and a looming government shutdown.

4. Import sales have increased in 2023, with many retailers seeing substantial growth in the segment thanks to better new vehicle supply.

5. Auto dealers and international brands are both working with Congress to develop long-term strategies that work for both consumers and businesses.

"We like to bring the members of Congress to the dealership...We want them to understand how complicated and exciting and dynamic our business is before they go making laws that can negatively impact us." — Cody Lusk, AIADA

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Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

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