厦门年会 | 汽车流通无国界 当困难来临 携手共进
I’mCharlie Gilchrist, Chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association inthe United States. No matter what language we speak, we understand the dialectthat is the “automobile industry.”
It’s no secret that everyone is talking aboutthe future of the auto industry and the future of personal car ownership, notjust in the United States, but around the world. Technology is changing cars: we’regetting better fuel economy. We have safety features and driver-assistancesystems that are doing more to protect our customers. And everyone is talkingabout the rise of autonomous vehicles and electrification and how that willaffect consumer demand.
Theonly certainty in the auto industry is change. But one thing that won’tchange is that to be successful, every dealer must build strong customerrelationships and deliver a great customer experience. No matter howtechnology evolves, this is a people business at the core and that will neverchange. Customers prefer thein-person experience that dealers can provide. Even technology can’t change that.
Every automotivemarket experiences challenges at some point. The U.S. experienced the GreatRecession about 10 years ago. Twoof our biggest manufacturers were on the verge of collapse and thousands ofdealers were at risk. Hundreds of dealership doors closed, and thousands ofemployees lost their jobs. But that’s when the industry really came together.When challenges arise, we rely on our dealer association to help dealers makethe case that we are an important economic driver in the communities we serve.We cannot be naïve to unpredictable business cycles and the fact they do occur.
Here is another aspect that won’t change: whendifficulties arise NADA and CADA will stand by our members and ensurethat our collective interests are protected with our manufacturerpartners. And when challenges to the dealer franchise system pop up, NADA is onthe front lines to preserve, protect and defend one of the most powerfuleconomic engines in the country: the franchised automobile dealership.
There’s an important foundation that allsuccessful dealers must build, and this is my advice after more than 30 yearsin this business:
oMaintaingreat customer relationships at the point of sale and for a lifetime.
oHire,train, and retain world-class employees and skilled technicians for the long term.
oBuildlines of communication with your manufacturers.
oAndlean on your association, especially during the tough times.
We’ve weathered many economic downturns,especially since the recession. Today, U.S. dealers are poised to sell close to17 million new vehicles for 2019 despite disruption to the dealer model. Acrossthe globe, 80 million vehicles were sold last year. That’s the greatestnumber in history! And most of them were sold by local auto dealers. Believein this business. Believe in the prosperity that this industry brings. Theproof is in the numbers.
CADA members, always rely on your associationto speak up for you—especially with the government. Rely on CADA to help youget through the ups and downs of the market and to rally your dealers togetherwhen it’s needed. But dealers are the KEY. You are the force that drivesyour agenda and missions. I remember when the U.S. economy began to swingupwards again…it was because the dealer community held many conversations. Webuild relationships more than ever. We educated our lawmakers on what policiesharm our businesses and our customers. We were united with manufacturersin a common interest to not just survive—but to thrive. And today, dealers areengaged so we can adapt to the technological evolution in our industry.
Ourwork is not easy. A national association is the lifeline that connectsthousands of dealer members, and you must remain active and engaged so you canhelp shape the future of your business. A lot of that work starts with strongadvocacy and making sure lawmakers understand who we are and what we do.
NADAis lucky to have an amazing grassroots presence and thousands of dealer membersunder its umbrella.
Seeingand hearing from other industry leaders throughout the world, reminds us thatthe auto industry is a global community. You are not alone. And NADAwelcomes the opportunity to work with you in the future and discuss ourchallenges and goals.
Dealers are cut from the same cloth, no matterwhere we’re from! We’re resilient, we’re adaptive and we are a shining exampleof the strength of entrepreneurs.
I commend the work that CADA does on behalf ofits dealers. And always remember: we can always learn something from each otherdespite our distance. And together, we will shape the future of our industry!
NADA wishes you the best for the future.