History Repeats Itself

Chairman's Blog: Invested In America 01/17/23

During this past week, I read Destiny of the Republic, the story of the history, election, and death of President James Garfield. It is a fascinating account and I highly recommend the book.

Garfield was selected to be the Republican nominee for President in 1880 after 36 ballots at the convention in Chicago. That probably sounds familiar if you paid any attention to the recent, and fascinating, Speaker of the House elections. While that process only took 15 ballots compared to Garfield’s 36, it was definitely compelling! When Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) ran to the well of the House early on Saturday morning to change his adjournment vote, you immediately knew that the tide had turned and Kevin McCarthy had won the chance to be Speaker.

As we know, history repeats itself in all aspects of life. When we think something is new, more often than not it happened in the past with much greater stakes - how quickly we forget!  AIADA was started in 1970 by a group of automobile dealers that banded together to protect their interests against government policies that would have put international nameplate dealers out of business. I had the great pleasure of serving as AIADA Chairman, like my dad in 1978, and soon we will get to welcome New Jersey dealer Mike DeSilva as our new Chairman, a role his dad held in 2010.

Similar to 1970, we faced a direct government attack against our industry in 2022. The current administration endorsed plans to offer tax credits for only union-made EV purchases and then helped develop a convoluted EV tax credit plan that has made it difficult to know if any of our international brands even qualify.

AIADA is the team that supports and protects international automotive dealers. While we saw a lot of bad legislation targeted at us in 2022, it is no different than what we faced in 1970. The one constant over the last 50+ years has been AIADA. Through thick and thin, AIADA is there for its members. When I became a car dealer, it was a no-brainer that I would do anything I could to support AIADA — it is a vital insurance policy for your business.

Next week, Mike DeSilva will take the helm as AIADA's 2023 chairman. He will be an exceptional leader of this organization. Unlike President Garfield and Speaker McCarthy, Mike was chosen in the first ballot by unanimous consent! I’d also like to mention that AIADA has an incredible line-up on their Board of Directors which will assure a great future for the organization and for the support of our industry — we are in great hands.

I’d appreciate it if you will join me at our cocktail reception during the NADA convention in Dallas on Friday, January 27th, 2023 at the Adolphus hotel in the Rodeo Bar. We have it scheduled from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. I’d like the opportunity to thank you for all of your support during the past year and toast a successful new year!

I am always here if you need me. Never hesitate to reach out and I will be happy to help. Thanks for the opportunity.


John Connelly

Chairman's Blog: Invested In America

Invested In AmericaChairman John Connelly offers up a dealer's perspective on the 2022 auto retail industry.