NADA Chairman: Diversity Strengthens the Auto Industry
McLEAN, Va. (July 18, 2013) - NADA Chairman David Westcott emphasized support for diversity in all aspects of auto retailing in a speech to the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers at its annual meeting in Miami last week.
"As a national trade association that represents all dealers, NADA is committed to helping minority and women-owned dealerships succeed in this fiercely competitive business," said Westcott, a new-car dealer in Burlington, N.C. "NADA has added minority dealer development programs to its mix of educational offerings and special opportunities."
Thomas A. Moorehead, chairman of NAMAD, in an interview said he sees a bright future for the auto industry in terms of diversity.
"At this year's conference, we saw an uptick in the number of commitments from auto manufacturers to award franchises to minority dealers, hire interns to work with various OEMs and a commitment to help with technician training," added Moorehead, a new-car dealer in Sterling, Va. "All of the OEMs now recognize by the year 2025 that there will be a need for dealerships to look like the community they will be serving."
NADA has a long history of supporting NAMAD's mission to help minority dealers succeed by providing solution-based diversity education through the NADA Academy, 20 Groups, Custom Training Workshops and online educational courses.
NADA also has created a new 20 Group for women, which is a subset of GM's minority dealer group. Through NADA's advocacy, manufacturers have expanded their diversity programs to include women as well.
"We are also working with OEM's to provide minority dealer development through NADA University's Custom Training Workshops," Westcott added. "For example, we've continued to work with Chrysler to develop qualified dealer candidates."
To promote diversity throughout the year, NADA meets with dealer association members at its Minority Leadership Conference, sponsors networking events for minority and women dealers at the NADA Convention & Expo and holds a minority leadership meeting at its annual legislative conference in the nation's capital.
"Let's continue to work together and embrace all those who want to be included in the most successful business venture in American history," Westcott said. "Diversity allows us to find creative educational solutions instead of reaching for outdated ones. And diversity is part of the character of our business, not just a condition of it."
The three-day conference hosted by NAMAD set an attendance record, which included attendees representing auto retailing and manufacturing.
The National Association of Minority Auto Dealers, founded in 1980 and based in Largo, Md., represents ethnic minority new franchised auto dealers (African American, Latino American, Native American and Asian/Pacific Islanders). For more information, visit www.namad.org.