Incoming NADA Chairman McConnell: Regulators Don't Grasp Value Of Dealer Financing

Montgomery, Ala.-based Honda dealer Forrest McConnell, newly minted Chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, spoke briefly during the closing keynote event featuring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Among other things he touched on the current fight dealers are engaged in with regulators around dealer financing.

In his speech, before closing keynoter Hillary Clinton took the stage, McConnell said the government is trying to control what regulators don't understand.

"Government has been trying to put more regulations on our finance business,” he asserted. “But 80% of customers come to us because finance is convenient and easy. Dealers don't add credit costs to customers, we save customers money."

He said dealers have a similar problem with auto manufacturers, whose products they sell.

"We buy their products -- we build expensive facilities -- but we have to build partnerships with our manufacturers, as well," he said, noting that the most prosperous dealers are the ones with a good relationship with their OEM, as well.

Besides its huge lobbying operation, NADA, representing some 16,000 dealers in the U.S., meets with 30 manufacturers twice a year to voice concerns.

"And the NADA dealer attitude survey tells us how the relationship with your manufacturer is going. It's your chance to give them a report card,” he said, making a pitch for dealers to have a greater voice in the process.
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