Independent dealers face many unique challenges in the used-vehicle market. Today on CBT News, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Bob Voltmann, CEO of the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA). Voltmann joins the show to provide an update on the association, to discuss the obstacles independent dealers overcame in 2021, and to preview the association’s upcoming live, in-person conference and expo.
Voltmann begins the conversation by talking about how independent dealers managed the challenges of 2020. Voltmann says that, while many lower-class families were devastated by the lockdowns, middle and upper-class families were able to navigate through the pandemic without being completely devastated. Many Americans ended up having more money through government stimulus checks and less traveling expenses. Consumers used this money to buy vehicles. Voltmann believes the additional stimulus will lead the market to boom in the coming months for both franchise and independent dealers.
Voltmann then talks about the competition for used-vehicles. Franchise dealers are currently looking to fill their lots with used-vehicles as the new car inventory continues to dwindle due to the ongoing chip shortage. Large retailers such as Sonic Automotive and AutoNation are making major investments in expanding their presence in the used-vehicle market. Voltmann says the reliability of vehicles continues to improve every year, setting up independent dealers for success.
Voltmann concludes the conversation by talking about the association’s upcoming convention and expo. The event marks the 75th year anniversary of the start of the convention, and NIADA is excited to be meeting in-person after not being able to meet in 2020. The convention will be live and in-person but also available on a virtual platform for independent dealers who can’t attend. The convention will be held on August 23-26 in San Antonio, TX.
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