Informal Discussions Between International Dealer Associations a Positive Move Forward

The AADA has been a key force in bringing together Dealer Associations from the USA, Brazil, China, India and Canada to form valuable cooperative arrangements.

A landmark decision was reached at last month’s Fenabrave Conference in Curitiba, Brazil with a number of key international Dealer Associations agreeing to work together informally, including sharing critical information about policy development and dealership operations.

Following on from initial discussions between international Dealer Associations earlier this year at the New Orleans NADA Convention and Expo, the decision was reached in a recent meeting held between Fenabrave, NADA
and AADA.

There has been a strong desire from many of the key peak bodies to learn from the experiences of each Association, particularly where similar battles are being waged on government policy.

The initial group is planned to comprise of six international Associations including USA, Brazil, Australia, China, India and Canada. The Associations representing new car dealers in Europe, UK and the Latin Americas are initially being invited as observers.

The advantages of this new cooperative arrangement for members are already very apparent.

For example, NADA has been working through a significant USA Government review into F&I commissions and income arrangements. The NADA Chairman, Forrest McConnell and NADA Chief Counsel, Andy Kohler have already outlined the Government’s position in depth as well as the steps they have taken to combat any changes that may be adopted.

AADA is working through a similar issue and both parties agree that there is much to be gained from open discussions on these matters.

Aside from this example, there are many other issues which Dealers face every day, common to the members of each Association. What will vary are the strategies each Association adopts to overcome the challenges – and it is this that will be the clear advantage in this new sharing of information.

‘Sharing key advice and proven solutions to common problems will be a very significant benefit for all parties involved’ said AADA CEO Patrick Tessier, who has been a key driver in the formation of this unofficial dialogue group.

One of the key issues outlined by NADA and AADA is the data being gained by third party businesses, such as online business providers and companies using the Dealer community to uncover data.

With the development of re-marketing technology and the ability of companies to continually market to IP addresses gained through their commercial activities, it’s the view of both Associations that there is a significant threat to the Dealer in the future.

NADA Chairman Forrest McConnell says that whilst Dealers profit from third party agreements, the erosion of the customer relationship with the Dealer is a big concern.

‘Who’s to say that this data, developed from the Dealers will not be resold to competitors? We are looking at this quite seriously’ said McConnell.

This is reinforced by AADA Chairman Ian Field who points out that the ‘dangers of third party suppliers accessing dealership customer databases are quite great.’

Overall, there are many benefits in a strong, cohesive dialogue between international Dealer Associations. The wheels are now in motion to form a supportive alliance between the AADA and its international cousins and the groups will meet next at the NADA Expo in San Francisco.

As the automotive industry increasingly shifts to a global focus, there’s perhaps no better time to band together and tackle shared policy matters as a united force.

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