In the first quarter of 2021, automotive dealers dealt with several looming challenges, but as Paul Walser became Chairman of NADA he revealed his top priorities aimed at improving the franchise system. We now stand in the final quarter of 2021 and want to take a look at the past year of retail automotive from Paul’s lens. He joins us now to discuss the current state of retail automotive, where NADA stands on the priorities today, and we’ll also get into the NADA show happening in March.
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I wake up every morning with a new surprise, says Walser. This state of the industry is anything other than predictable. Most dealers that Walser spoke with are doing well when it comes to inventory shortages and profitability. He does believe dealers have backed off on their marketing efforts. Walser says, traditionally, they are a high-ticketed item with low margins. He doesn’t believe dealers should go back on having too much inventory.
Walser says consumers are tuned into the shortages, so they come in with an expectation that they’re not going to get the same level of discounting that may traditionally have gotten. I do believe the worst is behind us says Walser. It’s not going to be an overnight situation because he believes we are behind. It may take up to several months to get back to what people consider normal.
Walser says there’s a big win when it comes to OEMs relationships. He believes it’s due to everyone being in the current situation together. Walser says he’s proud of what NADA has done in connecting two associations. The weekly meetings between both associations discuss electrifications, direct sales, data sharing, cybersecurity, and customer service.
NADA has been involved with the Chrysler Minority Dealers Association providing training and opportunities for advancement. Walser says, there’s a big surprise on the horizon for diversity and inclusion. Although he can’t announce it yet, Walser says they are working with a national organization on initiatives that will be game-changers.
Walser believes one of their pressing issues, is solving the LIFO issue. More than 50% of dealers use the LIFO method of accounting. NADA is requesting temporary relief from The Treasury Department for dealers to return to normal times.
This is going to be the best convention we ever had says, Walser. There are some new and fun initiatives. This is going to be the show of all shows.
For more information visit: www.nada.org
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