NADA’s primary mission as the Voice of the Dealer is to advocate for dealers: to auto and truck manufacturers, to Congress and the federal government, and to the media and the public. This timeline details NADA actions on dealers’ behalf and includes links to additional information, including and NADA Headlines and NADA-TV reports.
The NADA Story
NADA’s long history of advocacy began in 1917, when 32 dealers traveled to Washington, D.C., to convince Congress not to impose a luxury tax on automobiles. They knew then what we know today: automobiles are not a luxury, but a necessity of American life. Congress decided not to impose the tax. Nearly 100 years later, manufacturing has changed, dealerships have changed and automobiles have changed, but one thing remains the same: NADA is still fighting for dealers and their customers.
• NADA publishes NADA Data 2012, an overview of the financial performance and economic impact of new-car and -truck dealerships. The detailed information is critical to NADA's efforts to represent dealers effectively to Congress, the federal government and OEMs. Dealers are urged to use the state-specific economic data when meeting with their legislators.
• A study commissioned by NADA reveals higher vehicle prices resulting from higher fuel economy rules will cut as many as 7 million potential new-car buyers out of the market in 2025. The proposed rules will hike average fuel economy to 54.5 mpg for cars and trucks by 2025 — and will add about $2,000 to the typical cost of a car or truck, the Obama administration estimates. When combined with nearly $1,000 average cost hike for the 2012-2016 rules, a car in 2025 will cost $3,000 more than in 2011 — after adjusting for inflation. NADA says nearly 7 million lower income consumers, such as college students and working families, will not qualify for auto financing to cover the additional cost. [Headlines, NADA-TV]
• 2012 NADA Chairman Bill Underriner publishes an editorial, “Factory-Mandated Dealership Renovation Programs Must Be Fair, Reasonable and Flexible.” NADA helped elevate the current national debate over manufacturer-mandated facility upgrades by commissioning the first-ever facility study.
• NADA files extensive written comments with the Federal Trade Commission to rebut a series of allegations that consumer advocacy group representatives made against dealers during a series of FTC roundtables. The comments include a detailed critique of a 2011 report issued by the Center for Responsible Lending that attacks the dealer-assisted financing model.
• NADA raises serious concerns with the Obama administration about the NHTSA/EPA $150+ billion proposed fuel economy rules for model years 2017-2025 passenger cars and light trucks. NADA estimates that the proposal will add an average of about $5,000 to the cost of light-duty cars and trucks in MY 2025, knocking millions of potential buyers out of the new-vehicle market. [Headlines, NADA-TV]
• NADA again defends dealer assisted financing at the FTC's third and final roundtable on the topic. This roundtable focused on alleged misrepresentations and other misconduct in consumer leasing transactions; consumer and business education; alleged abuses by automobile dealers that significantly harm consumers; and widespread dealer conduct that currently is lawful but may nevertheless harm consumers. The subject of spot delivery transactions received the most attention; NADA stressed that, despite repeated requests for empirical information from the FTC, the consumer groups' allegations of dealer misconduct were anecdotal and unsupported by current and reliable data demonstrating that they are widespread.
• Immediately after the Obama administration announces a proposed fuel economy increase to 54.5 mpg by 2025, NADA issues a statement questioning whether consumers would be able to afford price increase necessitated by the fuel economy hike.
• NADA publishes in Time magazine a special section, “Driven by Innovation,” focusing on how the auto industry is being shaped by advances in everything from clean-car technology to mobile apps. The 12-page section also highlighted the resiliency of the auto industry and dealers through difficult economic times, stressed the importance of consumers in the hybrid/electric car buying process and highlighted the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation’s support of the 9/11 families. Time is published weekly with a U.S. audience of more than 20 million and a global audience of more than 24 million.
• In a speech to the Detroit Automotive Press Association 2011 NADA Chairman Stephen Wade details the NADA-commissioned facility upgrade study, generating wide coverage of the issue in the auto and consumer media.
• NADA commissions an independent, fact-based study of the ROI of manufacturer-mandated facility upgrades.
• NADA again defends dealer assisted financing at the FTC's second roundtable on the topic. This roundtable focused on whether dealerships try to exploit military personnel.
• NADA publishes NADA Data 2011, an annual overview of the financial performance and economic impact of new-car and -truck dealerships. The detailed information is critical to NADA's efforts to represent dealers effectively to Congress, the federal government and OEMs. Dealers are urged to use the state-specific economic data when meeting with their legislators.
• The Obama administration scraps a proposal — to which NADA strongly objected — to assign new cars a letter grade from A to D based on their fuel efficiency. [Headlines]
• After a review of 50 dealerships, the Federal Trade Commission announces that all are properly notifying customers that they can sue the banks that provide their loans if problems arise with their new vehicles, as is required by an FTC rule. NADA says the findings highlight the significant push within the industry to frequently and thoroughly train dealership employees on ethics, regulatory compliance and the value of transparency and professionalism. The findings also underscore the positive efforts dealers have made to develop a vehicle financing process that is fair, efficient and competitive. [Headlines]
• NADA vigorously defends dealer-assisted financing at a Federal Trade Commission roundtable, the first of three held to examine consumer protection issues related to five discrete areas of vehicle sales and leasing. NADA made a compelling case that the problems identified by consumer groups on the panels are (i) not representative of the industry and therefore lack the prevalence necessary to justify the imposition of a new rule, and (ii) already may be addressed through an array of consumer remedies that exist under current federal and state law. Most importantly, NADA explained in detail the extraordinary benefits that optional dealer-assisted financing provides to millions of consumers, including how dealers’ access to multiple finance sources and their efficient pricing allows dealers to (i) routinely offer consumers very competitive rates and (ii) in many cases, secure financing for “unbanked” consumers who otherwise would not have the means to obtain the transportation necessary to secure employment. [Headlines]
• Dealer and NADA board member Forrest McConnell tells a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee that a redundant set of three fuel-economy standards could hurt auto sales by increasing costs and restricting vehicle availability—directly affecting the nation’s fragile economic recovery and hurting job creation. He urged Congress to return to a single standard that takes into account national factors, such as jobs, safety and consumer demand as it will more effectively increase fuel savings, enhance economic growth and protect the environment. [Headlines]
• NADA pushes back against a White House proposal that would require dealers to temporarily cover federal tax credits for consumers who purchase plug-in electric cars. The government currently offers tax credits of up to $7,500 for the purchase of electric vehicles, and consumers claim the credit on their tax returns. NADA said the change could leave dealers on the hook for the rebates if applications are denied by the government. [Headlines]
• With the opening of the 112th Congress, NADA highlights some of the undue regulatory burdens dealers face that have hindered job creation in a letter to incoming House Oversight and Investigations Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif. In addition to touching on specific issues, the letter points out how the cumulative effect of the staggering number of federal rules has impaired dealers’ ability to grow their businesses and expand their workforce. [Headlines]
• Following numberous meetings with NADA, the IRS has creates uniform capitalization (UNICAP) "safe harbor" methods of accounting that favorably resolve several contentious and potentially very costly income tax issues arising during IRS audits of franchised dealers over a five-year period.
• In a speech to the Detroit Automotive Press Association, 2010 NADA Chairman Ed Tonkin warns that a federal proposal to hike fuel efficiency standards to 60 mpg by 2025 could make cars and trucks more expensive and fill showrooms with ultra fuel efficient cars that won't sell. Tonkin's remarks are reported in print and broadcast media around the world.
• NADA responds immediately to the Obama administration’s announcement on setting new fuel economy mandates for the 2017-2025 model years, vowing continued support for fuel economy improvements while raising serious concerns about the impact on vehicle affordability. [Headlines]