2010s: Bouncing back

2010s: Bouncing back

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2010-2017 Timeline of Events (click to enlarge)

In early 2010, as part of financial reform legislation passed after the Great Recession, NADA strongly supported an amendment protecting dealer-assisted financing from further regulation. As a result, Congress soon passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which excluded dealers from the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).


But the next year, NADA had to defend dealer-assisted financing during a series of Federal Trade Commission roundtables. Despite the forums being stacked against dealers, no new regulations resulted from these roundtables.


Fair credit law compliance

In 2013, the CFPB pressured auto-finance sources to change how they compensated dealers for arranging financing, which NADA and the National Association of Minority Dealers (NAMAD) argued would end the consumer’s ability to negotiate a discounted interest rate. A number of legislators agreed, repeatedly asking the CFPB for more information, which the agency never fully provided. NADA continued to pressure the CFPB on its methodology. NADA—along with the American International Automobile Dealers Association and NAMAD—also released the Fair Credit Compliance Policy and Program to help strengthen a dealership’s efforts to comply with fair-credit laws.


NADA also supported its recession-battered members in other ways, with favorable action on SBA-guaranteed loans, stabilizing the estate tax, preserving LIFO and other issues. NADA helped defeat “right to repair” legislation—a push by aftermarket manufacturers to obtain OEM proprietary data—as well as an amendment in a federal highway bill in 2015 prohibiting dealers from selling or wholesaling used vehicles under open recall.


NADA went to the mat over CAFE, noting how proposed new fuel-economy mandates would increase vehicle prices and force 6.8 million buyers out of the market. NADA pushed for legislation to address the increase in costs caused by duplicative fuel-economy regulations from NHTSA, the EPA and the state of California, and short-circuited a government plan that would have required dealers to fund an electric vehicle tax credit, then seek reimbursement from the IRS.


To foster good relations with Capitol Hill, NADA reached out to regulators and legislators by inviting them to various NADA committee meetings each year.


New events launched for dealers

Also during the 2010s, NADA hosted its first annual Auto Forum NY, with dealers, automakers, analysts and other industry experts discussing the latest economic trends affecting the business. NADA then began what is now the Auto Conference LA, with a special focus on the California marketplace.


Phil Brady, then NADA president, left the association in 2012 and was replaced by Peter K. Welch, who had been president and CEO of the California New Car Dealers Association since 2003. Welch is now also NADA CEO.


To help streamline operations, NADA sold its retirement division and Used Car Guide in 2015. NADA also began a major rebranding, with new logos for NADA and ATD. The next year, after a nine-year comeback from the Great Recession, new-vehicle sales hit a record 17.55 million.