The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has elected Mike Alford as its chairman for 2022. The decision was announced shortly after the group’s board adjourned on Tuesday.
Alford — who heads Marine Chevrolet Cadillac in Jacksonville, North Carolina — currently serves as NADA vice chairman and will be taking over for Paul Walser next year. Geoffrey Pohanka was chosen as the vice-chair, setting him up as a strong contender for the top position in 2023.
“It is an honor and privilege to be elected to serve as NADA board chairman for 2022,” said Alford. “Since 1917 NADA has been an ardent advocate for franchised new-car dealers. The opportunity to chair this dynamic group of automotive leaders is both exciting and humbling. We have an engaged board and talented team that stands ready to advance the interest of our more than 16,000 franchised dealers. I appreciate the trust and confidence of the board as we tirelessly pursue our work with all stakeholders on behalf of the dealer body.”
Considering the current state of the automotive industry, we don’t envy Alford.
While we’re not overly fond of trade organizations, NADA reports are a good way of keeping ahead of industry trends, tabulating regional sales data, and staying informed on the changing regulatory/legislative landscape. The group likewise represents over 16,000 U.S. dealerships that might find themselves at odds with manufacturer trade groups that are vastly more powerful.
Of course, it also has a political action committee (NADA PAC) designed to forward its own agenda. Formerly known as the Dealers Election Action Committee, the group funds political individuals it believes will be “pro-dealer, pro-business Congressional candidates” and does not discriminate between Democrats or Republicans.
Looking ahead, Automotive News has already claimed Geoffrey Pohanka as the likely successor to Alford’s year-long stretch. He’s is a third-generation dealer with a father that previously led NADA. He’s also currently the head of the Pohanka Automotive Group, which is based in Maryland and consists of 16 stores spread across the American South.
“I grew up in the car business. It’s an amazing, rewarding and exciting business, and we’re all so fortunate to be in it,” said Pohanka. “My family has been involved in NADA for generations. NADA helped our company tremendously, and we’ve been giving back ever since. NADA has an amazing board and an amazing staff. And if we can help create a good environment for the industry, we can help create a vibrant economy and stronger communities. That’s what I want to do, and I promise to give it my utmost 110 [percent].”
Their new terms begin at the 2022 NADA Show in Las Vegas, which is being planned for March 10th but has been canceled for the last two years.
[Image: Gretchen Gunda Enger/Shutterstock]
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