Peter Welch, CEO of the National Automobile Dealers Association for the past seven years, will retire at the end of the year.
"For the next eight months, I will be focused entirely on helping dealers get through the pandemic and unprecedented economic downturn, and assisting the NADA Board in its selection of my successor," Welch, 67, said in a statement.
The announcement triggers the association's succession plan, according to the statement, which includes the appointment of an NADA director-led search committee.
The association has tapped international search firm Spencer Stuart to oversee the transition process. The firm also assisted with NADA's CEO selection process in 2012. Welch joined NADA in January 2013.
He had previously served as CEO of the California New Car Dealers Association since 2003. He joined California’s dealer association in 1990 as its director of government and legal affairs. Prior to that, he was a partner with a Los Angeles law firm.