A Message from Don Hall

December 2019

As we approach year’s end, I understand this is an important time for your businesses. It is also a magical season with family and friends. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or another holiday, I hope you enjoy this time of year with those important to you and have a safe and wonderful finish to 2019.

A common theme across the holidays just mentioned is giving. As you know, it was a year of political giving for VADA, as our political action committee financially supported various pro-business and pro-dealer candidates across Virginia before Election Day last month. In all, we donated more than $500,000 equally to Republicans and Democrats who share our vision.

Looking to 2020, the General Assembly’s Regular Session is just weeks away, and we’re already hard at work educating Virginia’s legislators – many of whom are new to public office – on issues that are important to you and your businesses. In fact, we’re just as busy this month reaching out to legislators as we will be once the session gets under way on Jan. 8.

We need you at Dealer Day at the Capitol

Our main goal is helping our elected leaders understand the value of the dealer franchise system. We’re particularly focused on how this system benefits their constituents and the Commonwealth of Virginia. For consumers, our system creates competitive pricing for vehicles, purchase protection, and safety through tactics such as an easy response network for manufacturer recalls. For Virginia, your franchises generate good-paying local jobs and a significant source of retail and employment taxes. We also work together to make the regulatory process of buying a car easy for everyone.

This campaign is the cornerstone of our annual Dealer Day at the Capitol, which will take place in Richmond on Thursday, Jan. 23, starting at 11 a.m. Our success depends on your participation, and we encourage every dealership and dealer group to send at least one representative to this event. Register here and let us know you will attend. We’ll spend some time in the morning preparing for afternoon meetings, as we’ll go in small groups to meet one-on-one with key legislators. At this point, we’re still waiting for final appointments to important committees, such as Transportation, in both houses.

Unlike previous years, we don’t have any major initiatives that we’re bringing to Senators and Delegates. Instead, we’re spending our time talking with legislators to educate and to have an ear out for issues that we would endorse or those that could directly oppose our philosophy of protecting consumers and the Virginia dealer community.

Time of change in Virginia

Our outreach also aims to reinforce how generations of lawmakers have applied thoughtful consideration to regulating our industry. As you know, our industry abides by those laws that help provide additional protection for consumers.

However, our industry is facing outside influences that are changing today’s landscape. New corporations, which have parachuted into Virginia recently, tend not to live with those laws, tend to ignore them, and even say they don't apply to them because they’re not transportation companies. Some choose to define themselves as tech companies – and they “just happen” to have technology in a car.

Now, more than ever, we need to illustrate the value that VADA and the franchise system delivers for all Virginians.

It is important to note we do not support simply stopping these new companies from coming in with new business concepts and ideas. Our dealers have been embracing change in our industry for generations. What we can and will do is insist that they play by the same set of rules that apply to Virginia’s franchised dealerships. In doing that, we will work to have a voice to adapt to regulations in ways that make sense, particularly as we take a pro-consumer position.


More in this issue

December is a busy month, but we hope you take a few moments to read some important news. This month’s issue includes many great stories, but here are a few you certainly don’t want to miss:

Happy New Year!

We’ll launch right into 2020 with lots of legislative activity as the General Assembly opens its session. In the meantime, enjoy every moment you spend with all your loved ones during this holiday season. We wish you all the best for the coming year.