Much progress has been made, following the landmark decision earlier this year by key international Dealer Associations to informally work together on common issues.
As reported in previous Automotive Dealer issues, there’s 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 common challenges shared amongst international associations also presents the opportunity to form common solutions
In a meeting held at the 2014 NADA Convention earlier this year, it was decided that this new relationship between international Associations would be referred to as a ‘working group.’ Informal in nature, it is anticipated that the group will help create more dialogue between international associations, strengthen relationships and also provide a means to ‘troubleshoot’ common challenges.
At the August 2014 FENABRAVE annual congress held in Curitiba, Brazil – three members of the International Working Group met, including NADA, FENABRAVE (Brazil) and AADA.
Amongst the conclusions drawn from the meeting, a preference to initially limit the size of the working group to associations from Australia, China, Brazil, India, Russia, and the United States was agreed.
Several common and current issues being faced by these associations were identified. These include direct selling by OEM’s, the importance of F&I, the impact of government regulation, variable pricing, internet selling (who owns the customer), parts warranty reimbursement and employee pricing by OEM’s.
Whilst of course, every country will have its own set of unique challenges, the topics outlined here are considered the most universal, no matter which continent you’re operating an automotive dealership.
This sentiment was consolidated at a most recent meeting in Haikou, China, where AADA CEO Patrick Tessier was in attendance and was able to witness first-hand the benefits that the new working group will have.
‘The AADA has been at the forefront of forming this new working group from the beginning. Not only is it important for the AADA to be in a prominent world position, but an open dialogue between the Association and our international cousins will help us achieve greater results for our members’ Mr Tessier said.
‘There’s no doubt that sharing information and advice between the different associations will help us develop faster, effective and more innovative strategies to combat the challenges we face on home turf.’
Moving forward, the group will use the upcoming 2015 NADA Convention to focus on pressing matters and members will be asked to submit their concerns and possible resolutions ahead of the Convention date.
The formation of this working group comes at an important time. As the automotive industry continues to change and evolve, the additional support gained from informal initiatives like this are invaluable.