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Next NADA chairman to tackle public’s credit fears

John McEleney will be NADA chairman for 2009.
The National Automobile Dealers Association has elected Iowa dealer John McEleney as chairman for 2009.

McEleney, owner of McEleney Autocenter Inc. in Clinton, Iowa, and McEleney Autoplex Inc. in Iowa City, says his top priority will be reassuring consumers that they can obtain credit through dealerships. His election at a San Diego meeting of NADA’s board of directors comes in a tight credit market as car buyers worry whether they will be able to finance their vehicles.

“It’s important for consumers to know that credit is available,” said McEleney, who will represent the nation’s 20,000 new-car and -truck dealers starting in January. He is now the association’s vice chairman.

“It may be a tough time for business, but it’s a great time for consumers who have a stable job and solid credit scores. There are plenty of incentives that lower costs. Dealers can help find financing. And the quality of today’s vehicles is the best ever,” McEleney said.

The NADA board of directors also elected Oregon director Edward Tonkin as 2009 vice chairman. Tonkin is vice president of Ron Tonkin Family of Dealerships in Portland, Ore. Typically, the vice chairman is next in line for NADA chairmanship. Tonkin’s father, Ron Tonkin, headed NADA in 1989.

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