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NADA insight: McEleney dealer/manufacturer relations

At the to opening of the North American Dealers Association convention on Orlando this month, NADA chairman John McEleney had this to say in his welcoming speech, raising two pertinent points: one regarding the economic crisis and the other the Toyota recall. I thought AM users would like to read it.

McEleney said:

"We hope the manufacturers have learned something from this crisis. Three lessons come to mind: Listen to your dealers; respect your dealers; and help your dealers succeed. If it’s positive results you seek, then embrace a positive approach.

While I am personally disappointed that we don’t have participation from all manufacturers at this convention ... in the future it’s important that every manufacturer support NADA and present a cohesive front. Ultimately, dealers and manufacturers are in the business of selling cars ... and we have to do that together.

An excellent example of this is the Toyota recall. Of course, it remains to be seen how Toyota’s sales and market share will be affected. But dealers are working diligently to install the remedy on vehicles as quickly as possible, and that will prove to be an important component in bolstering Toyota’s reputation. This underscores the importance of having a strong dealer network in place to handle just such situations.

And while I’m talking about Toyota, let me assure you that NADA is asking Congress, as it begins to investigate the recall, not to give countenance to any unsubstantiated rhetoric, which has the effect of unjustifiably alarming the public about the Toyota brand.

It’s also important that they not rush to judgment. Ill-advised comments reverberate through the entire buying public, impacting auto dealerships, their employees and our local and national economies.

For years Toyota has been a leader in producing quality automobiles, and Toyota dealers are among the best in the industry. It has been our experience over many years that Toyota and its dealers place customer safety as our first priority."

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