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NADA Principles to Guide Auto Retail’s Future



2021 NADA Board Member Michael Alford

Michael Alford

NADA Board Member - North Carolina
Industry Relations GM Co. Liaison

During my remarks earlier this year at NADA Show in Las Vegas, I shared that I have seen glimpses of a working relationship between dealers and OEMs that accounts for the array of changes happening in our industry and moves us into the future. I see us, dealers and OEMs, as two necessary components of a single automotive ecosystem. In this single ecosystem, where the retail and manufacturing channels coexist, we can bring about a customer experience that could be the envy of every other industry in the world. Moving towards this approach brings opportunity for everyone.

NADA recently unveiled our Guiding Principles on Evolving Business Models and the Dealer Franchise System, which lay the foundation for this approach that will help dealers and OEMs work to improve the customer experience and ensure business success for all. The principles, which can be downloaded at, reflect countless hours of conversations between NADA leadership, state and metro ATAEs, dealer councils and our OEM counterpart trade association, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation. The principles offer us a transparent message at the national and state levels, and with our OEM partners. And they clearly articulate NADA’s position on the major issues impacting our business, as well as common core values that both dealers and manufacturers could agree upon.

As dealers, we are fully committed to evolving and improving our processes. Nothing demonstrates this commitment more than the evolution we all undertook during the coronavirus pandemic. We mobilized quickly to offer digital retailing, home deliveries and service and ensure our customers had their personal transportation needs met during an unprecedented time.

In that same vein, we developed these principles to provide a pathway for the franchise system to continue to evolve and flourish as the best system for selling and servicing new cars and trucks while positioning our industry for the future.

I encourage you to review the principles here and read our editorial that recently ran in Automotive News. You can also see a video feature from Automotive News where we talk about the principles.

The response to our principles has been overwhelmingly positive. While presenting the results of the Summer 2022 Dealer Attitude Survey results to our OEM partners, we also shared these new principles and were met with positive feedback and, most importantly, invitations to return and engage in more detailed discussions about the principles specifically.

I will be attending state dealer conventions and other meetings constantly over the next few months to both explain these principles and answer dealer questions in real time. We are 100% focused on ensuring that the franchise system is resilient not only today, but for future generations of dealers as well.