By on October 19, 2021

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has elected Mike Alford as its chairman for 2022. The decision was announced shortly after the group’s board adjourned on Tuesday.

Alford — who heads Marine Chevrolet Cadillac in Jacksonville, North Carolina — currently serves as NADA vice chairman and will be taking over for Paul Walser next year. Geoffrey Pohanka was chosen as the vice-chair, setting him up as a strong contender for the top position in 2023. 

“It is an honor and privilege to be elected to serve as NADA board chairman for 2022,” said Alford. “Since 1917 NADA has been an ardent advocate for franchised new-car dealers. The opportunity to chair this dynamic group of automotive leaders is both exciting and humbling. We have an engaged board and talented team that stands ready to advance the interest of our more than 16,000 franchised dealers. I appreciate the trust and confidence of the board as we tirelessly pursue our work with all stakeholders on behalf of the dealer body.”

Considering the current state of the automotive industry, we don’t envy Alford.

While we’re not overly fond of trade organizations, NADA reports are a good way of keeping ahead of industry trends, tabulating regional sales data, and staying informed on the changing regulatory/legislative landscape. The group likewise represents over 16,000 U.S. dealerships that might find themselves at odds with manufacturer trade groups that are vastly more powerful.

Of course, it also has a political action committee (NADA PAC) designed to forward its own agenda. Formerly known as the Dealers Election Action Committee, the group funds political individuals it believes will be “pro-dealer, pro-business Congressional candidates” and does not discriminate between Democrats or Republicans.

Looking ahead, Automotive News has already claimed Geoffrey Pohanka as the likely successor to Alford’s year-long stretch. He’s is a third-generation dealer with a father that previously led NADA. He’s also currently the head of the Pohanka Automotive Group, which is based in Maryland and consists of 16 stores spread across the American South.

“I grew up in the car business. It’s an amazing, rewarding and exciting business, and we’re all so fortunate to be in it,” said Pohanka. “My family has been involved in NADA for generations. NADA helped our company tremendously, and we’ve been giving back ever since. NADA has an amazing board and an amazing staff. And if we can help create a good environment for the industry, we can help create a vibrant economy and stronger communities. That’s what I want to do, and I promise to give it my utmost 110 [percent].”

Their new terms begin at the 2022 NADA Show in Las Vegas, which is being planned for March 10th but has been canceled for the last two years.

[Image: Gretchen Gunda Enger/Shutterstock]

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19 Comments on “National Automobile Dealers Association Elects New Chairs...”


  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    “Kay, my father’s way of doing things is
    over… it’s finished. Even he knows that.
    I mean in five years, the Corleone Family
    is going to be completely legitimate.
    Trust me. That’s all I can tell you about
    my business.”

  • avatar
    tylanner

    Monsters…like his father before him and his father before him.

    But, thankfully, Tesla is erasing this industry. There is no reason to ban direct sales to consumers.

    • 0 avatar
      MitchConner

      Oh, please. Just because you don’t have the stones to go into a dealer and haggle for a while to get a deal or stand up to some knucklehead who tries to pull a stunt doesn’t make all dealers bad.

      A lot of dealers are always ready to help sponsor Little League teams or hold pet adoptions at their stores. In small towns they’re often the most important source of tax revenue in addition to providing a lot of good head of household jobs.

      Marine Chevy was once run by Johnny Stevenson — who was one of the kindest people ever and the leader of his 500 employee dealer group in addition to running a pretty cool racing team. How many jobs have you created? How many road racing championships how you won? Zero and zero — so pipe down and go take a seat before you fall and hurt yourself.

      Just wait. Once Tesla’s sales start to nose over and their market for carbon credits dries up as the blimp sized colostomy bag full of electrics that’s in the pipe hits the market — some spreadsheet jockey at a hedge fund is going to start screaming for them to divest its dealer network to try and reinflate its flash paper stock. Get rid of the overhead. Goose margins. Raise cash by selling franchises. And you’ll be sitting there with your mouth open wide enough for a cat to throw its litter in it.

      If you’re dumb enough to get screwed by a dealer you had it coming to you. Wise up. Better yet, man up and learn how to buy and maintain a car.

      • 0 avatar
        tylanner

        Ladies and gentlemen, this bilking industry of do-nothing middlemen, which continue to blaze the uncharted frontiers of dishonesty and nepotism, are a stain upon your local boulevard.

        Dream of a day, where your hard earned money, feeds quality and innovation, instead of supporting these leeching idiots leisure time…for direct sales are coming…and no Group, Association, Club, Society or Organization is going to stand in its way…buy your car online…do your own routine maintenance…or just get a Tesla and make every little salesmen squirm…

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        “f you’re dumb enough to get screwed by a dealer you had it coming to you.”

        What boundless confidence this attitude should inspire in your customers!

        Car dealers are rentiers, in the economic sense. If it weren’t for state franchise laws designed by and for them, they would have been gone decades ago. A few of them are nice guys (I’ve even met some) but the economic model is fundamentally based on extracting rents through regulatory capture.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        MitchConner: “Get rid of the overhead.” How about getting rid of the financial drain of these billionaire parasites? These human tapeworms take away billions in profit that the automakers could have. Are any of these pieces of crap operating at a loss?

        “A lot of dealers are always ready to help sponsor Little League teams or hold pet adoptions at their stores. In small towns they’re often the most important source of tax revenue in addition”

        Again, these billionaire parasites are sucking out far more that they give back. Creating jobs? A service and sales center for a manufacturer creates jobs too. And what about the criminals staffing the texas auto dealer association fighting to keep out one of the states largest job creators? 5,000 jobs in the Austin area and a projection of 15,000, yet they want them out of the state.

  • avatar
    BSttac

    Corrupt Thugs

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Meanwhile at the local dealer…

    “It’s a good time to experiment with staffing”:

    http://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/selling-cars-in-the-era-of-the-chip-shortage-online-chats-and-no-more-haggling-11634463001

    Alternate link:
    businesshala.com/selling-cars-in-the-era-of-the-chip-shortage-online-chats-and-no-more-haggling/

    Pro tip: He isn’t talking about -more- employees.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      @ToolGuy,

      A) The correct quote is “…because profit levels are so high, this is a great time to experiment with staffing”

      B) Why do you hate kittens and Little League?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I would rather deal directly with the manufacturer or have an Amazon like setup for buying vehicles. Having said that I would like to be able to test drive a vehicle and order my own vehicle from the list of available trims, colors, and options. If I am going to pay full MSRP or above from a dealer which is common practice in today’s buying environment and it is doubtful we will go back to the way things were pre pandemic. Yes there are some good dealers but there are many crooks in the car business. Cannot get to enthusiastic about NADA or who their chairman is.

  • avatar
    Vanillasludge

    Franchise dealerships are a throwback to the early car industry when manufacturers needed them to support distribution. Today they are a tribe of useless leeches that only continue to exist thanks to state politicians willingness to be bribed.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    “National Automobile Dealers Association Elects New Chairs”

    Do those chairs have stain protection? Would they like stain protection? Here, step into the office.

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      No, these chairs are faux leatherette upholstered, chrome over white metal chassis all-singing all-dancing swivel chairs with power back tilt. They need service to Schedule B after every 200 brown bag lunches or 300 “I’m going to be honest-with-you, folks” pitches, whichever comes last.

  • avatar
    Buckwheat

    Many of you seem to think that having the manufacturers in charge of
    retailing would be a positive development. My company represents eleven manufacturers (not auto related), and in the past ten years I’ve watched several of them venture into company-owned outlets. Despite not being pleased initially, company stores have been great for my business, as consumers get disgusted by their lack of service and flexibility. A large number of the company outlets have closed, or sold, in a booming market for the industry. Point being, people at corporate HQ probably have no idea what is appropriate (product, pricing, service) in each market, but they set the policies and procedures from afar.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Well the dealer model is out of date. There has to be a better system even if it is not run by the manufacturers.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Things change – sometimes quickly. (Is 15 years a long time?)

    https://apnews.com/article/science-africa-environment-and-nature-elephants-mozambique-048e181c6dadc591b1f43c6e963f0f0e

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