DONNA HARRIS

Dealer myths can cost you plenty

Donna Harris covers automotive retailing Automotive News
In a recent speech, Stephen Wade, the vice-chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, said franchised dealers are often misunderstood on Capitol Hill. He stressed the need to educate government leaders about the industry.

For example, in recent discussions some members of Congress said they didn't know dealers owned their inventory — that they bought the new cars and trucks they stocked from the factories. The common belief was that automakers just provided inventory and dealers sold it for them.

The confusion could've been an obstacle to lobbyists trying to convince lawmakers and regulators of the critical need for stable sources of inventory financing and hindered NADA's efforts to expand government loan guarantee programs. Floorplan financing might have been excluded from recent initiatives to revive the credit markets.

Never assume government leaders understand the industry — the assumption could cost you.

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