ATD has made tremendous strides in 2022! Our team is proud to take stock of the many accomplishments that have served our members and our great commercial truck industry. I had the privilege of becoming ATD Chair during a unique time in our association. For the first time in our history, we have an ATD President at the helm; we’re seeing the highest membership count ever; and we’re doing more to equip truck dealers with the tools and resources they need to meet the demands of a changing business landscape.
Since April 2022, ATD President Laura Perrotta has served alongside me—and with the combined leadership of the ATD line representatives—we ushered in a new era of engagement and outreach. In the Fall, I proposed a resolution to the NADA Executive Committee to increase ATD board representation in 2023 by four seats to include every major medium- and heavy-duty brand. Gaining more seats on the ATD Board will allow us to increase our impact on important truck dealer issues and priorities. This step perfectly aligns with our strategic planning efforts.
In that regard, we are currently engaged in new strategic planning that will result in a three-year Operational Plan and a three-year ATD Show Plan. Our planning process has incorporated both executive and membership input to ensure our approach is through multiple lenses. We are close to finalizing the plans thanks to hard work across the board, and we look forward to launching both at the end of January 2023.
Outreach has been a top priority during my term. Throughout the year, ATD has made a concerted effort to increase member outreach. Since beginning her role as ATD President, Laura Perrotta has personally called 57 dealers since April. She has gathered feedback about how ATD can be most helpful going forward. She, along with ATD executives, visited seven truck dealerships and met with their teams, toured their facilities, and found out how ATD can best serve them. ATD is also building stronger relationships with OEMs, suppliers, and outside industry stakeholders. This year our staff delivered five industry presentations across the country on truck dealer priorities, and we will continue this work into the new year.
Our success is reflected by our membership rates. I’m proud to announce we currently have the highest member count since 2016: over 1,800 members, a five-year high in ATD’s membership. Our members are receiving more educational tools and communication than ever before. ATD 20 Group participation is at a record high; the ATD Academy is seeing high student enrollment across all classes; and the first commercial truck-specific live online seminar was launched for truck service advisors this year. This year, ATD Academy proudly graduated 41 full-time students.
We also began “Member Spotlights,” which are featured in the weekly ATD Insider. These spotlights highlight the good things our truck dealers are doing around the nation. If you have a story about a new location or charitable event that you are leading in your community, please send it to ATD so we can acknowledge you in future articles.
I want to thank dealer leaders for making your voices heard throughout the year. In June, ATD hosted our annual Legislative Fly-In in Washington, D.C. It was a tremendous success with 35 dealers and Automotive Trade Association Executives from 18 states in attendance. Their efforts resulted in over 75 congressional meetings on our most pressing legislative issues.
Our hands are full on the legislative front. ATD’s top priority will be continuing to push back on the EPA’s NOx rulemaking, which will lead to tens of thousands of dollars added to the cost of a new truck and create reliability issues; opposing the REPAIR Act which has little to do with repairing a vehicle and raises major data and privacy concerns; and building support for enactment of catalytic converter theft legislation.
FET repeal continues to be a top priority and for the first time to bicameral, bipartisan Senate and House FET bills were introduced in Congress. We will continue to advocate that a 12% tax that was created to fund World War I no longer has a place in our business in 2023.
There’s no slowing down. We have already begun planning the inaugural ATD Truck Industry Forum and Legislative Fly-in, which will take place June 20-21, 2023. The ATD Forum in June will feature key business leaders and policy experts who will offer their views on the challenges and opportunities facing the truck industry. Panel discussions will focus on the economy, the future of electrification and regulatory impacts to your business. We will also host several members of Congress and discuss the issues affecting our daily operations.
It wasn’t all work and no play. I’ve had many fond memories throughout the year, too many to recount here. The ATD Show in March will always have a special place in my heart as I was able to see our industry come together live in Las Vegas. I personally attended an ATD Academy class at our headquarters with Laura. It reminded me of the important role the next generation of dealers will play in this industry.
We have accomplished so much together in 2022! On behalf of ATD, we look forward to achieving even bigger things in the New Year ahead! Stay tuned!