The role of NADA has never been as important as it is today. As new entries in the auto business challenge retail models, the franchised dealer is well-represented by an association that for 100 years has provided guidance and leadership.
NADA is made up of mostly stand-alone dealers who long ago realized they were much stronger together. This industry association is one of the most powerful groups in America. And at times, when it needs to, it can flex its lobbying power to support and protect its members.
The complexity of technology in current vehicles requires dealers to play an even more important role in the shopping experience. Educating buyers requires a huge amount of training. And in many cases, customers need to return to the dealership several times.
Shopping habits of this younger one-touch generation are also completely different from those of their parents. This group is armed with vast amounts of information that's readily available on their mobile devices. They will not participate in a process that takes hours to complete. As dealers navigate this new experience, the association will have another opportunity to help its members.
Growing up in this business, I've been fortunate to know a lot of dealers from all over the country. These dealers play a pivotal role in not only our business but also in their local communities. They support schools, charities and all sorts of local programs. They put kids through college and help solve a significant number of social issues. They are the fabric of communities, and their generosity is extraordinary.
Car dealerships have always been a generational business. There are countless families that pass the business from one generation to the next. It's not unusual to find a store that has two or even three generations working under the same roof. That is something rare, and it's what makes dealers' stories so unique. Representing the third generation at my family's business, I truly appreciate how special family businesses are.
As Crain Communications finishes celebrating its 100th anniversary, it gives us great pleasure to congratulate NADA as its odometer hits 100! We're excited to cover this fascinating business for generations to come.