WASHINGTON - Frank McCarthy, 63, president of the National Automobile Dealers Association, has told the board of directors he will retire Dec. 31, 2001.
McCarthy, who has been the chief executive of NADA for 30 years, gave the board four years of lead time to rethink the association and to look for his successor.
'Dealers used to be pretty much the same 20 years ago, so NADA services would apply to all dealerships,' says McCarthy. 'Today, you've got Republic Industries and other public companies that are growing. You've got the Ford Retail Network - that's a completely different category (of dealership). We have to find ways to serve them that are meaningful.'
NADA is surveying 600 dealers, as well as interviewing manufacturers and state and local dealer association executives to ask how the organization should change to meet the needs of the changing dealer population, McCarthy says.
The NADA board will form a committee to propose ways to reshape the association based on dealer surveys.
To replace McCarthy, NADA expects to form a search committee by the middle of 2000. The committee will try to select McCarthy's replacement a year before he retires, so McCarthy can help train his successor and ensure a smooth transition.