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WANADA Pres. John O’Donnell weighs in on recent political turmoil and how. D.C. dealers are being affected

After the recent violent attack on the U.S. Capitol building, all eyes have been on Washington D.C. as the new Biden Administration takes office. Today on CBT News, John O’Donnell, president of the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association (WANADA) joins anchor Jim Fitzpatrick to discuss the state of the association and how the events in D.C. are impacting the local new-car dealers.

O’Donnell begins the conversation by looking back at what happened in 2020. He says that he watched dealers adapt to the circumstances better than almost any other retail industry. Dealers were diligent to protect the community by constantly sanitizing vehicles, implementing mask mandates, and giving back to the community through donations.

O’Donnell then dives into the implications of a new presidential administration. He says that regardless of the political party, the market always gets a boost based on the change of power. He then discusses the Washington D.C. Auto Show as they are currently looking for ways to safely execute the event. The show plays a major role in the industry as the D.C. Auto Show provides insight on new automotive policies. 

Digital retailing took off as dealers adjusted to the pandemic. O’Donnell says that he foresees digital retailing sticking around for the days to come. He says that almost all dealers in D.C. have been working towards having fully capable online retailing. O’Donnell says that he knows one dealer in the association that claims to conduct more than 65% of his overall sales online before the pandemic even started.

O’Donnell concludes the conversation by discussing his goals for 2021. He says that one critical element of business, was shifting everything onto the Cloud. He says the transition was very successful and they will strive to continue having a smooth migration. He says the association is also considering ways they can help distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. O’Donnell says he would love to see the D.C. Auto Show used as a method of distributing vaccines.


Did you enjoy this interview with WANADA’s John O’Donnell? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic with host Jim Fitzpatrick at jfitzpatrick@cbtnews.com.

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CBT News
CBT News
For over 10 years, CBT News has been informing and helping automotive retail professionals grow their businesses and thrive in their careers through an awarding-winning, on-demand streaming platform. With exclusive interviews featuring the biggest names in the industry, daily newscasts, up-to-date market data, and exclusive articles covering the latest trends, CBT News is your #1 source for auto industry news and content.

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