National Automobile Dealers Association
 

The Franchise Dealer Network—An Economic Engine

Forrest McConnell, III — March 2014

   COMMENTARYForrest McConnell III
McConnell
2014 NADA Chairman
Next month, attention shifts to the New York International Auto Show—the host of the fifth annual NADA/J.D. Power Automotive Forum. Whether you’re a new-car dealer, automaker, supplier or journalist, the full-day forum will provide you with unique and relevant perspectives about the opportunities and challenges facing key players in the industry.

The forum is an ideal venue to talk about what makes auto retailing a true economic engine—the franchised dealer network. Last year, the industry rebounded to sell 15.6 million new cars and light trucks in the U.S, and we’re expecting sales to increase this year. New-car dealers employ 1 million people across the country.

The franchised dealer network, which as you know has been the topic of much recent debate, is the most efficient and cost-effective way of selling and servicing vehicles anywhere. From sales and financing to performing repairs, warranty and recall work, we provide our customers with unparalleled service.

It’s a message NADA and its members are promoting this year, and one that I will reinforce during my opening remarks at the Automotive Forum in New York City on April 15.

The featured industry speakers are Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors Co., and Joe Hinrichs, executive vice president and president of the Americas for Ford Motor Co.

A panel session on the luxury market includes an all-star lineup: Michael Bartsch, vice president of Infiniti Americas; Steve Cannon, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA; Uwe Ellinghaus, Cadillac’s global marketing chief; Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America; and David Zuchowski, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor of America.

IHS chief economist Nariman Behravesh will provide a macro-economic overview, and John Humphrey, J.D. Power senior vice president of Global Automotive Practice, will provide an industry briefing on the North American market.

A panel session on Wall Street’s perspective of the auto industry will feature Adam Jonas, managing director of Morgan Stanley; Itay Michaeli, Citi auto analyst; and John Murphy, managing director of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. 

Registration for the Automotive Forum includes access to all networking events and the auto show’s press preview on April 16-17.

We hope to see you there. Click here for the complete agenda or to register.

Forrest McConnell, III
NADA Chairman