Today on CBT News, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Jason Wilson, President of the Kentucky Automobile Dealers Association (KADA). Wilson joins the show to discuss all the challenges currently facing the automotive industry.
Wilson begins the conversation by sharing his perspective on the 2021 first quarter as President of KADA. He says that Q1 was a phenomenal time for car dealers as gross profits remained high and demand stayed up from its historic levels last year. The main challenge to start the year is centered around a lack of inventory due to the shortage of automotive microchips. Wilson says that one of the car dealers in his association said that his car lot is beginning to look like Swiss cheese.
Car dealers have also benefited from the desire of consumers to return to a sense of normalcy. Families are once again looking to travel, friends are finding time to meet for social gatherings, and consumers are looking to spend the additional money they have received from tax refunds and stimulus checks on new vehicles. Wilson says that his association holds a convention every year in Florida, and it sold out immediately this year as car dealers look to break free from pandemic restrictions.
Wilson then takes time to discuss the arrival of electric vehicles. He says that the EV movement is very real, adding that car dealers need to be prepared for industry changes regarding EVs over the next decade. The reality of the EV revolution hit Wilson when Harley Davidson introduced its LiveWire electric motorcycle. A traditional brand, like Harley Davidson, making the move to electrification should signify that EVs are here to stay.
Wilson concludes the conversation by discussing the role car dealers play in their state associations. He says that KADA has experienced a lot of turnover since the last legislative session, bringing many new faces to the table who are less familiar with the industry. Wilson believes that connection and communication are crucial to grow and develop an association of car dealers. He plans to improve these areas include district visits and providing car dealers a podcast as an industry learning platform.
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