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Dealer finance and franchise system under attack, says NADA chairman

Franchised dealers in the USA are facing a threat to their finance sales, the new chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association told delegates at the NADA conference in Las Vegas last week.

Jeff Carlson pledged that NADA would continue to build in its successful advocacy efforts on key issues, such as preserving the ability of dealers to discount credit and make credit affordable and accessible, and being advocates for dealers and consumers alike when it comes to ill-advised government policy and manufacturer issues.

"The CFPB (Consumer Finance Protection Bureau) is overreaching into our business model, which will reduce consumer access to the most competitive credit market on the planet,” said Carlson, who heads Ford and Subaru dealerships in Colorado.

“It's no secret that the dealer franchise system has been attacked unfairly and relentlessly. But, the best defence is a good offence. We've made sure to identify those in Washington who understand and respect our business.”

His pledge follows significant changes to the point of sale motor finance sector in the UK, since the Financial Conduct Authority gained responsibility for consumer credit.

And concerning vehicle recalls, Carlson added that NADA is working to make sure Washington understands that new-car dealers also want the driving public to stay safe.

"We need 100% of the dealers to perform 100% of the recalls 100% of the time,” he said. “And we will because it's the right thing to do.”

Carlson said the automotive industry is evolving at a rapid pace, but core values have remained unchanged.

“Everything we do is with intent, passion, commitment and love. A lifestyle where dealers can and do make a difference in the lives of others,” Carlson said.

“There's a common core in the best of us: and it's not how good we are at selling cars. It's trust, honour, friendship and love.

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