NADA Chairman: Policy Goals Can’t Be Achieved On the Backs of Our Customers

Carlson Addresses Automotive Press Association in Detroit

DETROIT (Oct. 5, 2016) - NADA Chairman Jeff Carlson on Wednesday sounded another warning to Washington, D.C., about implementing policies that would inadvertently make buying, financing, trading-in, and servicing cars and trucks harder and more expensive for consumers.

Carlson, in NADA's annual policy speech to the Automotive Press Association in Detroit, illustrated a number of real-world examples of how decisions in Washington and elsewhere are leading to increased prices for consumers when they go to buy new vehicles, when consumers obtain financing for those vehicles, and when consumers go to trade-in older vehicles for newer, cleaner and safer cars and trucks.

“If Washington wanted to implement a policy that would add $600 to the cost of financing a new car, what would you call that?” Carlson asked. “What about a policy that would take anywhere from $1,200 to $6,000 out of a customer's pocket when they went to trade-in a used vehicle in order to buy a new one? How about a policy that would add thousands of dollars to every single new vehicle that every manufacturer makes, up and down their entire lineups, right out of the gate? Or what if new-car buyers had to pay hundreds of dollars more at the retail level because Washington thought it was no longer beneficial to consumers to have multiple, independent retailers competing with each other for the same customers?”

“Leaving aside what Washington calls it, what would that feel like as a customer?” Carlson continued. “Do you think that customer feels like they just got taxed? You're darn right they do.”

Carlson - who is also the president of Glenwood Springs Ford and Glenwood Springs Subaru in Colorado, as well as Summit Ford in Silverthorne, Colorado - has been leading the efforts of franchised auto dealers to remind leaders in Washington that their policy objectives can't be achieved if vehicles become too expensive for consumers to afford.

“NADA is in the business of telling Washington that they better get it right. And getting it right means keeping it affordable,” Carlson said. “So what NADA has said to leaders in Washington is that: We understand your goals, and we agree with many of your goals, but we cannot accomplish those goals on the backs of our customers.”

“What we're doing is standing up for our customers, and helping Washington find a better way that protects our customers but still gets us across the policy goal line.”

View Carlson's complete remarks.