American dealerships are local.
They are diverse.
They are modern.
They save people money.
And they create jobs.
These are five facts of life in the auto retail business and they are now powerful mantras at the National Automobile Dealers Association. Auto dealers have known the consumer benefits of the dealer franchise system since its inception, and we're proud to spread the word with a new national campaign: www.MyDealership.org.
This initiative aims to help local dealerships-as well as state and metro new-car dealer associations-showcase the benefits of America's auto dealers and the more than 16,500 dealerships across the nation. This is a movement to educate others about our business, whether it's the general public, policymakers, opinion leaders, journalists, OEM executives and stakeholders throughout the auto industry.
You may be thinking, “how is this effort different?”
MyDealership.org is unique because it does not come from the dealer perspective. You will not see me in any of the five featured videos which, by the way, is a hallmark of the campaign-along with the newly launched website. The testimonies and stories that you will see are straight from the mouths of real customers-customers who have benefitted through lower prices on sales, finance, and service. It also comes from the perspective of real dealership staff, who benefit from gainful employment at all levels and acknowledge the great opportunities for advancement. Finally, you will get the perspective of local community leaders, who also benefit when local businesses like ours plant roots and contribute to the tax base.
MyDealership.org is a smart campaign. It capitalizes on social media platforms and PSAs, assuring that our messages reach as many people as possible. The site also highlights data that outlines the economic advantages and job creation at dealerships in each state.
But the facts and testimonies are just one piece. The true strength of the campaign lies with all of you! I am calling on each and every one of our members to share MyDealership.org today if you haven't already. The ads are designed to be used by any dealer on their own websites, in their marketing or in their dealerships. Use this campaign to your advantage and target your state legislators and your local media. NADA has also created a toolkit where you can access and download the videos and banner ads directly: www.MyDealership.org/toolkit.
Finally, why is this campaign so important today?
During NADA's 100th anniversary convention in January, I told thousands of attendees in New Orleans that I would serve as the gatekeeper for this industry. Above all, that means being the gatekeeper between Washington's policies-whether well-intentioned or not-and your doors. As we've seen over the past few years, the consequences of federal regulations can negatively impact not just us, but our customers-including higher prices, fewer inventory choices, and less convenience. Gatekeeping also extends to our manufacturer relationships. NADA is encouraging our OEMs to enact programs that help dealers strengthen our relationships with customers, not weaken them. This campaign will not only educate the public on multiple levels but it will showcase the strong relationships we have built with customers over the past century.
Let us all be a gatekeeper for our great industry. Share MyDealership.org today and share the good news: you are local, you are diverse, you are modern, you save people money, and you create jobs!
Scarpelli is 2017 NADA chairman and president of Raymond Chevrolet and Raymond Kia in Antioch, Ill., and co-owner of Ray Chevrolet and Ray Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram in Fox Lake, Ill.