If there's any industry that's rooted in resilience and progress, it's the retail-auto industry.
Over the past several years, America's new-car dealers have survived many challenges and have a lot to be proud of today.
Last year, the nation's franchised auto dealers sold 16.4 million new cars and light trucks and generated more than $13 billion in taxes.
Dealers prove their worth every day, and car buyers benefit from the automotive franchise network because is the best and most efficient method of bringing new vehicles to the driving public.
This year, NADA's forecast calls for sales of more than 16.9 million new vehicles.
I commend all dealers for their dedication and hard work, which marked the successes of last year. Last month, NADA hosted a successful convention and exposition in the great city of San Francisco.
And, in case you missed it, I asked my fellow dealers a pivotal question: When was the best time to be a car dealer?
The thousands of dealers and dealership employees in attendance at the convention already knew the answer to that question.
Today is the best time to be a car dealer.
That was evident by 26 dealer-manufacturer franchise meetings; 66 educational workshops offered; a sold out Expo floor with 570 companies showcasing the latest and greatest products; and numerous networking events.
We're already gearing up for the 2016 NADA convention in Las Vegas, which runs Thursday, March 31, to Sunday, April 3.
But today also comes with challenges. Between government guidance that threatens the consumer benefits of dealer-assisted financing and misinformation about the franchise system, we will continue to experience serious challenges to our businesses.
When it comes to solutions, NADA is working hard to be a catalyst for progress and positive change. We will continue to show the policymakers and the public that, through competition, the dealer franchise system benefits consumers, manufacturers and local communities alike.
We will continue to show that dealers are advocates for their customers, whether they need service for warranty or recalls or assistance with financing. And we will continue to guide franchised dealers through a host of issues—from the security of dealer and customer data to dealing with future regulatory challenges and tax burdens.
No matter the obstacles ahead, NADA is the first line of defense for new-car dealers and a strong voice for dealers in Washington, DC.
So let's make this year another year for being the best time to be a car dealer.
Fox is a multi-franchise dealer in Auburn and Phoenix, N.Y. NADA represents more than 16,200 new-car and -truck dealerships with both domestic and international franchises.