ATD Insider | A service of the American Truck Dealers and the Public Affairs Group of the National Automobile Dealers Association
July 17, 2013
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Top Stories In This Issue
Registration for ATD Convention in New Orleans Opens Monday, July 22

Dealers and managers who register by Oct. 7 will receive a $150 discount off the onsite registration rate

The city of New Orleans will host the 51st annual ATD Convention & Expo next January. The Big Easy has recently undergone major restoration projects, such as a 55 percent increase in the number of restaurants over the past seven years, nearly $800 million in hotel upgrades and $77 million in street improvements, including a new streetcar line connecting the Sports District to the Central Business District and French Quarter.

“We encourage commercial truck dealers and their managers to register early to ensure a room at the Hilton Riverside, the ATD headquarters hotel,” said ATD Convention Chairman Steve Parker.

Keynote speakers include Philip Byrd, incoming chairman of the American Trucking Associations; Lt. General Russel L. Honoré (Ret.), commander of the Joint Task Force Katrina and Global Preparedness Authority, who led the Department of Defense response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana; and ATD Chairman Dick Witcher, chief executive officer of Minuteman Trucks in Walpole, Mass.

The ATD convention runs concurrently with NADA from Jan. 24-27 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, which was renovated this year.

Dealers will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with their manufacturer executives at 11 franchise meetings and with exhibitors in the ATD Zone on the expo floor. ATD-NADA University will be offering seven workshops for truck dealers and their managers. The ATD Super Workshop, featuring Stu MacKay, president of MacKay & Company, will take place on Friday, Jan. 24.

The annual ATD Sunday Gala will be held at the historic New Orleans landmark restaurant, Arnaud’s, which is located in the French Quarter. 

ATD attendees can attend any of the NADA general sessions and workshops. Keynote speakers at the NADA convention include Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media; NADA Chairman David Westcott, a new-car dealer in Burlington, N.C.; and J.R. Martinez, Army veteran and winner of the 13th season of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

Online registration for the ATD convention opens Monday, July 22. For more information or to register, visit www.atdconvention.org.
Source: ATD-NADA Public Affairs

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Congressman Carson Visits Kenworth of Indianapolis Truck Dealership


Jake Nichols (left) with U.S. Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) during a tour of the dealership. 

Earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) visited Kenworth of Indianapolis for a visit and tour of the dealership. Palmer Truck Group Dealer Principal, John Nichols, and his son, Jacob “Jake” Nichols, were the hosts and provided Congressman Carson the opportunity to meet dealership employees and learn more about the expanding use of natural gas in commercial trucks. In addition, other federal policy issues discussed were the rising cost of healthcare, funding for federal highways and the possibility of tax reform in Congress. If you are interested in hosting a member of Congress at your dealership, contact Director of ATD-NADA Legislative Affairs, Patrick Calpin, at pcalpin@nada.org or (800) 563-1556.
Source: ATD-NADA Legislative Affairs

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NADA Opinion: Franchised Dealers Deliver Best Results
By Peter Welch, NADA president

Let states set the rules for auto retailing

Franchised auto dealers are on track to sell more than 15 million new cars and trucks this year, including a half-million electric, natural gas, hybrid and other alternative technology vehicles. These Main Street businesses — the backbone of their communities — are leading America's economic recovery. Franchised auto dealers employ nearly a million people, provide good jobs that can't be shipped overseas and engage in robust market competition. For more than 100 years, automakers have contracted with franchised dealers to sell and service their vehicles for one simple reason: It's the most efficient and cost effective way of doing so. Franchised auto dealers' cumulative investment in land, equipment and facilities exceeds $200 billion — expenses that auto manufacturers would otherwise have to incur. Ford and General Motors tried owning their own dealerships and failed. These experiments proved that factory stores did not deliver better customer service or reduce consumer costs.

A question has been raised as to whether automakers should be licensed to sell directly to consumers. A better question is who should decide this licensing issue, and the answer is the states. In our federal system, states have the right to license lots of important retail industries — everything from eye wear to alcoholic beverages. The states are best positioned to decide what level of accountability, regulation and competition is best for their citizens. Although all states regulate the auto retail marketplace, their approaches differ widely. Many allow automakers to sell directly; others require a local licensee as an additional layer of accountability. This reflects the fact that, when it comes to auto retailing, one size doesn't fit all.

It is easy to see the rationale behind state laws that foster a well-capitalized, independent dealer network. New vehicles are expensive, generally require financing and often involve a trade-in. Consumers are better served by multiple retailers competing for their business. A Ford dealer's biggest competitor, for example, is usually another Ford dealer. Most buyers, according to the Harvard Business Review, value a combination of online service, personal service and physical locations over stand-alone Web distribution. That sounds exactly like the dealer franchise system currently in place.
Source: USA Today

Editor's note: NADA’s opposing view, “Franchised dealers deliver best results,” was published in response to the USA Today commentary, “Car buyers shouldn’t have to go to middleman,” which took the position that automakers should be able to sell their products directly to the consumer.

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Big-Truck Sales Rise 5.8% in U.S. in June

Sales of medium- and heavy-duty trucks posted a 5.8% increase in June on strong performances by Classes 4, 5 and 6. Class 6 deliveries led all groups, jumping 58.9% last month due to triple-digit percentage increases by Ford, Peterbilt and class-leader Daimler. Class 8 was the only declining group in June, down 5.4% as about half of its manufacturers posted declines. International's 23.2% drop was the steepest, with Volvo Truck's namesake brand close behind, down 22.5%. Freightliner again made Daimler the leading Class 8 manufacturer in June, with sales climbing 20.2% compared with like-2012. Daimler sold 6,143 units in total last month. The positive results in Classes 4, 5 and 6 pushed medium-duty sales up 21.1% from June 2012.
Source: WardsAuto

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Trucking Concerned Over Rates of Return

Despite increasingly tighter truck capacity of late, many carriers believe they are still not earning a decent enough rate of return in the freight business to expand their fleets. Indeed, many experts project that capacity should continue to get tighter as still-sluggish cargo volumes combined with higher operating and equipment costs will convince carriers to keep expansion efforts on the back burner for the foreseeable future. “Higher equipment costs in recent years, combined with the lower utilization resulting from new HOS rules, will continue to make adequate returns on investment a challenge,” noted Steven Dutro, a partner with consulting firm Transport Capital Partners (TCP), pointing a recent survey by the firm that found only 50% of carriers believe they are getting the rates of return needed to justify further investment in new equipment – and increase of just four percentage points from November last year.
Source: Fleet Owner

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ATD Market Update With Chris Visser
Retail Volume Dropped Dramatically in June

Sales data submitted by dealers to NADA shows that the average number of trucks sold per rooftop fell notably month-over-month. June's result of 4.6 trucks per rooftop is the lowest since January of 2010 – back when the trucking recovery was still in its early stages. Retail sales volume has dipped in May of the last three years, only to recover in June, so it is likely that a one-month, late-spring “pause” is not atypical. As such, this year would be somewhat unusual in that the drop is larger than typical and occurred one month later. Preliminary, informal analysis of June's retail pricing does not point to any notable change, and general economic conditions do not support a market shift to the negative. As such, we expect July's volume to recover to an extent, and pricing to remain stable. Final pricing analysis will be completed next week. For more details, click here to see the Commercial Vehicle Blog.
Source: ATD-NADA Commercial Truck Guide

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Top Stories
Registration for ATD Convention in New Orleans Opens Monday, July 22
Congressman Carson Visits Kenworth of Indianapolis Truck Dealership
NADA Opinion: Franchised Dealers Deliver Best Results
Big-Truck Sales Rise 5.8% in U.S. in June
Trucking Concerned Over Rates of Return
ATD Market Update With Chris Visser
Retail Volume Dropped Dramatically in June
Upcoming ATD-NADA Webinars 

(All webinars begin at 1 p.m. ET. Click webinar title to register.)

- July 24: Accessory/Service Drive Warranty Sales Success

- July 31: Master the Modern Internet “Phone-Up”

- Aug. 7: Buyers' & Sellers' Perspectives on the Market

For more information about the webinars, click here.

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For more information on ATD, visit www.atd.org. Any opinions or statements contained herein do not necessarily reflect the views of ATD. Factual errors are the responsibility of the listed publication. This email may contain an advertisement of NADA products and services. Questions or comments concerning ATD Insider content may be directed to media@nada.org. To unsubscribe from future editions of ATD Insider, click here or contact ATD, 8400 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102.