Don Hall, president of the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, says he's energized about what the Donald Trump win means for dealer concerns, particularly the attempts to fend off the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
"If we do our work properly," Hall said, and if the National Automobile Dealers Association takes on the issue "in a proper way, not a sedentary way, not the typically ho-hum "we'll try to get this done for you,' way," dealers should be able to persuade the Trump administration "that it's high time to make sure that this agency is not going beyond its authority, is not requiring us to do things that ultimately just cost more money [and] make the process more frustrating" for dealers and customers.
Hall said the Trump win has a potential strong upside for dealers, while a Hillary Clinton win would have meant status quo on the CFPB.
Legislation to nullify the CFPB's auto lending guidance already has passed the U.S. House but has stalled in the Senate and faced opposition from President Obama. Many observers believe Clinton would have opposed it, too.
Trump's business background, Hall said, also could lead to lower corporate and individual taxes that could spur car buying, changes to federal fuel-economy standards, recall reform, relief from President Obama's health care law and more funding for job training that could help address the industry's shortage of automotive technicians.
On the other hand, Hall said he has concerns about what Trump's election means for exporting and importing vehicles. "We truly are global when it comes to the auto industry," he said. "I just hope there's fairness in that."
NADA, for its part, says it's still processing the surprising result. "It's just a lot to look at," said spokesman Jared Allen, and it may take a couple of weeks to come up with NADA's agenda.
NADA Chairman Peter Welch said in a statement that NADA leaders look forward to working with Trump and Congress "to advance policies that keep automobile retailing, financing and service affordable for all Americans."