RIO RANCHO, N.M. -- Don Chalmers, an auto dealer who represented New Mexico on the board of the National Automobile Dealers Association and was chairman of NADA’s government relations committee, died Sunday, April 20. He was 65.
After working briefly for Ford Motor Co. in Houston, Chalmers became a manager at a dealership in San Antonio. Afterward, he became a partner at Sound Ford in Seattle. He would go on to manage eight dealerships in the Seattle area before selling his stake and returning to his native Tulsa, Okla., where he owned two stores.
He later sold his Tulsa dealerships and moved to New Mexico, where he owned Don Chalmers Ford in Rio Rancho and Chalmers Capitol Ford-Lincoln in Santa Fe.
During his NADA tenure, which began in 2006, Chalmers spoke out on issues such as the effect of corporate average fuel economy standards on the affordability of vehicles, ways dealers can save energy and cut their costs, and federal regulators’ “attack” on dealers’ third-party financing model.