2014 ATD Year in Review

2014 ATD Year in Review

Eric Jorgensen Takes the Helm as the New Chairman of the American Truck Dealers.

Eric Jorgensen, president and CEO of JX Enterprises in Hartland, Wis., is the new chairman of the American Truck Dealers (ATD). He replaces Dick Witcher, chief executive officer of Minuteman Trucks in Walpole, Mass., who served as chairman for two years. “We’ve made so much headway these last few years thanks to this man here,” said Jorgensen, referring to Witcher, in remarks at the 51st annual ATD Convention & Expo in New Orleans.

“You’ve done a tremendous job leading ATD and helping pave a better path for truck dealers across the nation,” Jorgensen added. “It was a pleasure working with you!” In his remarks, Jorgensen urged the nation’s commercial truck dealers to continue to reach out to their members of Congress to inform them about the industry and what it does. He also highlighted the importance for dealers to be active and learn the key issues.

Strategic Plan

To the ATD board of line representatives’ knowledge, this is the first written strategic plan in the more than 40 year history of ATD.  The 2014 ATD Board and staff developed the plan using a brief on line survey of the board, select members and NADA staff to assess Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  In depth interviews of each board member via telephone and selected staff via in person meetings followed.  The preliminary work culminated in a four hour planning session during the June board meeting.  The results of that planning session were remarkable, resulting in validation of the ATD mission, creation and articulation of a 10 year planning vision, and strategic initiatives and goals.


ATD, a division of NADA, is the recognized voice of commercial truck dealers and their premier source for advocacy, industry relations, and education. ATD membership is integral to dealers’ business

  • ATD assesses member needs through surveys and other means. ATD is agile, anticipatory of and adaptive to changes in dealer needs and in the business environment.
  • ATD takes a leadership role in federal legislative and regulatory issues that may affect truck dealers’ business in order to achieve positive solutions.
  • ATD effectively represents and communicates dealer interests to manufacturers; and those manufacturers in turn recognize the value of this relationship through active participation in ATD activities.
  • ATD is the premier provider of business management education for truck dealers and their employees through services such as the Academy, 20 Group, NADA University online, Convention and an e-newsletter.
  • ATD effectively communicates policy positions, initiatives and services to members, the media, the commercial truck industry, political leaders and the general public.
  • ATD effectively prepares emerging leaders for a successful future.

As a result of ATD’s voice, the general public recognizes the critical role truck dealers play in enhancing the US economy through their commitment to quality service and high ethical standards in the provision and maintenance of safe, environmentally responsible and fuel efficient trucks.


To serve and represent the specific needs of franchised commercial truck dealer members through federal advocacy, industry relations, education and other services.

Core Values

ATD members value integrity, participation, professionalism, advocacy and community.

Strategic Initiatives

Mission Driven

  1. Participation and Engagement: Achieve universal truck dealer participation in ATD programs.
  2. Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy: Ensure ATD members have a voice in each relevant issue.
  3. Industry Relations: Increase and strengthen ATD member relationships with OEMs and allied industry partners.
  4. Education: Improve the quantity and quality of truck specific content in NADA/ATD business management education curricula and programs.

Legislative Summary

In 2014, ATD continued its leadership in support of legislation in the U.S. House, House Concurrent Resolution 52.  The legislation puts Congress on record in opposition to an increase in the 12% heavy-duty truck federal excise tax (FET).  Any increase in the FET would inhibit the sale of the newest, cleanest, safest and most fuel-efficient trucks.  Looking forward, as Congress struggles to address the issue of how to raise sufficient revenues to pay for highway building and maintenance, ATD will continue to actively work on Capitol Hill to ensure that the FET is not increased.

In December, ATD supported and successfully advocated for legislation that retroactively increases to $500,000 the annual cost of business equipment eligible for expensing under Section 179 small business expensing and extends the 50 percent bonus depreciation deduction for new business equipment acquired and placed in service in 2014. 
Click here for ATD-NADA’s priority issues and click here for the FET issue sheet.

Policy Roundtable Held June 9th and Scheduled for December 17th

ATD continued its leadership by inviting industry representatives to participate and discuss pending legislative and regulatory issues impacting the truck industry. These valuable meetings provide ATD with an opportunity to hear candid feedback from its peers within the truck industry.  Over 30 people participate in each of the semi-annual Truck Industry Legislative Roundtables hosted by ATD at NADA’s Capitol Hill office.  Among the participants are senior executives along with government affairs professionals from all major medium and heavy-duty truck OEMs along with key staff members from  other major trucking associations including ATA, OOIDA, EMA, TRALA, NATSO, MEMA and NTEA.

ATD Members Host Members of Congress At Dealerships

In 2014, at least eleven (11) ATD members hosted members of Congress at their dealerships to educate and inform policymakers about the impact of legislative and regulatory issues. Truck dealers are effectively positioned to build long-term grassroots relationships with members of Congress. Most Representatives and Senators would welcome the opportunity to visit dealerships in their districts and interact with those whose livelihoods depend on the continued success of the franchised dealers. If you are interested in hosting a Member of Congress at your dealership, please contact Patrick Calpin, Director of Grassroots Advocacy at pcalpin@nada.org or 202.547.5500.

Truck Dealers Convene for Legislative Conference in Washington

Nearly 400 new-car and truck dealers, including ATD board members, from across the country attended NADA's annual Washington Conference and fly-in in September. The conference included a first-ever NextGen session dedicated for younger dealers, legislative briefings from NADA staff, lawmakers and other federal government officials. Commercial truck dealers also met with their members of Congress to discuss issues affecting their businesses, including ATD’s support for H.Con.Res. 52, that would put Congress on record in opposing to an increase in the federal excise tax (FET) on heavy-duty trucks and trailers.

ATD Academy Classes Attend Federal Policy Briefings

In June and November, students from the American Truck Dealer (ATD) Academy classes attended  federal policy briefings at NADA’s Capitol Hill office. It is a new NADA/ATD Academy initiative to inform and educate the next generation of commercial truck dealers and managers about federal regulatory and legislative issues that can affect dealerships as well as encourage greater grassroots involvement and engagement with lawmakers on important federal issues.

Truck Dealers Host EPA and DOT Officials

Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation recently toured three commercial truck dealerships to learn more about the industry. ATD Chairman Eric Jorgensen, who hosted one of the visits last month, explained to officials from the EPA’s office in Ann Arbor, Mich., how the 2004-2010 emission changes resulted in adverse consequences. ATD supports the goals of lower emissions and better fuel economy but wants to be sure the goals are technologically feasible and economically practical, he added.

ATD NextGen Spotlight Stories

ATD's “NextGen ATD Spotlight” is a series of stories that feature dealers participating in the NextGen program.

NextGen ATD includes an online, LinkedIn group that connects members with similar backgrounds. It is designed to help the next wave of medium- and heavy-duty truck dealers make a smoother transition when it’s their time to run a dealership. Click here to sign up for NextGen ATD or join the ATD NextGen LinkedIn page here.
Here are the NextGen feature stories that were published in ATD Insider:

  • Justin Fink, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Summit Holdings, Collierville, Tenn. (May 2014)
  • R. Kyle Treadway, president and dealer principal, Kenworth Sales Co., Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah (May 2014)

ATD Dealer Academy Classes Graduated in January & August

ATD Dealer Academy graduates were honored at a graduation ceremony during the ATD Convention & Expo in New Orleans in January. August graduates attended a graduation ceremony held at the Westwood Country Club in Vienna, VA. The Academy is the premier management education and training center in the U.S. for current and future automobile and truck dealers and managers. Led by NADA University, a division of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), it is designed to build business performance, leadership skills and customer service in all areas of the dealership. The nationwide groups of dealers and managers graduated from the Academy following 11 months of intensive classroom and in-dealership training. Due to high demand, there will now be three ATD Academy classes held in 2015.

NADA University Webinars at No Cost to NADA and ATD Members

In 2014 the following webinars for truck dealers were held:

  • RO Cycle Time for Trucks
  • Discounting Trucks
  • Body Shop for Trucks

The archived webinars are available at no charge at www.nadauniversity.com.

New Member Benefit

ATD is pleased to offer a complimentary subscription to Transport Topics for all ATD member companies.

ATD Truck Beat

ATD Truck Beat, a report produced by ATD-NADA’s Industry Analysis division, was launched in September. The monthly report provides an overview of commercial truck sales.
Here are the ATD Truck Beat issues:

  • October 2014
  • September 2014
  • August 2014

2014 Truck Dealer of the Year Speaks to Business Students at Indiana University

Kyle Treadway, president, dealer principal and legal counsel of Kenworth Sales Company in Salt Lake City, Utah, spoke to students at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. As the winner of the 2014 Truck Dealer of the Year, an annual award sponsored by the American Truck Dealers (ATD) and Heavy Duty Trucking magazine, Treadway was invited to speak to students about entrepreneurship and marketing.  “Kyle raised the bar for our students,” said Chris Littel, lecturer in the management and entrepreneurship department at Indiana University. “His presentation, insight and answers to students’ questions were spot on and blended perfectly with our course content and goals.”  Treadway spoke to students enrolled in the school’s New Venture Growth Management class, an undergraduate course that focuses on business case studies. He also spoke to a New Venture Business Planning class, a graduate level course that focuses on key tools and methods to create and grow a new business venture. 

Truck Dealers Nominated for National Award

The American Truck Dealers (ATD), Heavy Duty Trucking magazine and Procede Software announced the nominees for the 2015 Truck Dealer of the Year award. The six nominees are:

  • Brian M. Bruckner, president of Bruckner Truck Sales, Inc., with multiple locations in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas;
  • Kevin G. Holmes, president and CEO of Tri State Truck Center, Inc., in Shrewsbury, Mass.;
  • Scott McCandless, president of McCandless Truck Center, LLC, with multiple locations in Colorado;
  • Robert A. Neitzke, president of GATR Truck Center, with multiple locations in Iowa and Minnesota;
  • Kari J. Rihm, president and CEO of Rihm Kenworth, with multiple locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin; and
  • Jim Sayre Jr., president of GL Sayre Inc., in Conshohocken, Penn.

The winner and runner-up will be announced on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, during the 52nd annual ATD Convention & Expo in San Francisco, which runs Jan. 22-25.

ATD Announces Nominees for 2015 Commercial Truck of the Year

The American Truck Dealers (ATD) announced three nominees for the 2015 ATD Commercial Truck of the Year, an annual award recognizing the top truck entries in the heavy- and medium-duty categories. The nominees are:

  • International WorkStar 7600
  • Kenworth T880 Vocational Truck with PACCAR MX-13 Engine
  • Peterbilt Model 567

Dealer Attitude Surveys

The results of the ATD Dealer Attitude Surveys were presented to senior management of your manufacturers and suppliers.  Results were presented by your ATD line representative, dealer council chairs and ATD staff.  The presentations provide an opportunity to share your collective views on key issues.  The in person meetings allow for valuable discussion of the results.

ATD Director Appointed to Serve on American Transportation Research Institute Committee

Barbara Robinson, director of the American Truck Dealers (ATD), was appointed to serve on the 2015-2016 Research Advisory Committee of the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI).
“It is an honor and a privilege to have been appointed to serve on the committee,” said Robinson. “As director of ATD, I look forward to bringing a truck dealer’s perspective to the committee.”
ATRI’s research committee is responsible for identifying top research priorities for the trucking industry. Members represent a diverse cross-section of trucking industry stakeholders, which includes motor carriers, industry suppliers, commercial drivers, shippers, law enforcement, academia and government.

Coming Up:  The ATD Convention and Expo in San Francisco

San Francisco will host the 2015 American Truck Dealers (ATD) Convention & Expo from Thursday, Jan. 22, to Sunday, Jan. 25. The four-day event kicks off on Jan. 22 with the ATD Super Workshop, “The Asking Formula.” The two-hour interactive session will teach attendees six powerful steps on how to achieve professional and personal goals by asking the right questions and being persuasive.
ATD Chairman Eric Jorgensen, president and CEO of JX Enterprises Inc. in Hartland, Wis., and Thomas Frey, executive director and senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute, will deliver keynote remarks. New for 2015 is a networking general session on Saturday, Jan. 24.
The ATD convention runs concurrently with the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention & Expo at the Moscone Center. For more information and to register, visit www.atdconvention.org

Click here for the current ATD board members.