During the usual bombastic opening ceremony at last week’s NADA show in America, outcoming chair Annette Sykora played a short film detailing the association’s successes during 2008.
Every dealer – US, UK, wherever - should watch it.
What was most striking was not the level of influence that the NADA enjoys with the US Government, although it was impressive watching Sykora give evidence to the Senate committee alongside the Ford, GM and Chrysler CEOs.
No, what was most striking was watching the results of the NADA’s call to arms for dealers to take action by writing to their local Congressman and newspaper editors.
We saw clip after clip of congressmen testifying to the Senate about why it was important to protect car dealers.
They emphasised the role these businesses played in the local community; their worth in terms of employers, trainers, supporters of community issues and charities – it was a convincing story.
And it’s working: a loan guarantee programme has been launched for dealers, while mechanisms are now in place to increase liquidity in the credit markets.
NADA has been successful because it has the support of dealers who have strength in their local community; who will act when called upon; and who know which levers to pull with their local Congressmen.
There’s no reason why the UK can’t copy its example.
Having just judged the AM Awards, I know there are plenty of dealers that play a key role in their local communities.
If ever there was a time to use that position, it’s now.
Write to your MP
Write to you local MPs telling them about the number of people you employ; your contribution to GDP and your contributions to tax that supports the local infrastructure, education and health services.
Tell them about how you regularly train and produce skilled individuals; about the investments you have made in your business to allow manufacturers to distribute their products efficiently; about your investments to service and repair those vehicles; about your efforts to support local initiatives and charitable causes.
Most of all, outline all the things the community stands to lose if your business does not survive.
Tell them to take your story to Parliament.
We’ve produced a letter that you can send to your local MP outlining everything you do; you’ll need to add in details pertinent to your business, but it gives you a template from which to work.
- Click here to download a letter you can use to send to your MP.
With more than 5,000 dealerships in the UK turning over around £75 billion and employing more than 200,000 people, this sector has a strong voice.
RMIF is doing its bit with national Government, but it needs your support as individual businesses within your local area. Together you can make a difference.
Buy a car campaign supporters
Leading motor finance providers Black Horse fully support AM’s Buy A Car Campaign. Black Horse Managing Director Chris Sutton said:
“This campaign is a step in the right direction in helping to restore customers’ buying confidence. Black Horse dealers can further help to stimulate sales by giving their customers access to credit at the point of sale.”
Leading Dealer Systems provider DMS fully support AM’s Buy a Car Campaign. Simon Verona of DMS said :
“This campaign demonstrates to the consumer that now is the best time ever to make a car purchase. Users of DMS’s system – Navigator - can use the system to assist in targeting this message to existing and new dealer prospects”
BCA is delighted to support the 'Buy a Car campaign'. As the UK's largest vehicle remarketing company, healthy new and used car markets are critical to our business and the myriad others that service and support the car retail and wholesale sectors.
But more than that, new and used car sales combine to make a sizeable contribution to the UK's economic well-being. Thanks to this and similar campaigns, motorists are becoming increasingly aware just what good value deals are out there for them to enjoy.