The franchise model is facing threats from all directions: The Internet, dealership consolidation, regulation, car sharing, autonomous cars. What is the future of the franchised dealership system?
What is the future of NADA itself? Some dealers want the association to take on automakers more forcefully. But that's not the top aim of the organization's leaders, who are taking their lead from a membership survey.
The dealership model evolves but stays intact during the next eight years, a consultant hired by the National Automobile Dealers Association concludes. But look for bigger changes and more threats looming beyond 2025.
I grew up in rural southwest Oregon in the 1980s and watched as our local timber manufacturing industry died off. Unemployment skyrocketed. Many of our family friends lost their jobs. Dealerships, however, remained strong.
Like many other dealers, I am at my core a car guy. I get excited about product. I get excited about the year ahead. I get excited about the new store I'm opening.
For nearly 70 years from its founding, NADA had never published a book. But in 1984, the association's executive committee -- on a split vote -- gave the go-ahead to Betting on the Franchise: Car & Truck Retailing into the 1990's, written by Jake Kelderman and me.