A New Year – and a New Chairman for AIADA

Chairman's Blog: Strong's Opinions 01/04/19

The New Year has always meant a fresh start, and for AIADA, on January 27th, it brings with it a new Chairman. I spent 2018 leading our association through some of its greatest challenges – included threats of 25 percent national security tariffs on imported autos and auto parts and the many complications created for our industry by a newly renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement.

The issues we faced in 2018 were mighty big – but our response, united along with the entire auto industry, was mighty strong. We’ve managed to protect your businesses so far, but the fight isn’t over yet. I wouldn’t be comfortable handing over AIADA’s reins to anyone in this situation, and that’s why we’re so lucky that it isn’t just anyone taking over.

Howard Hakes has politics running in his veins. Most dealers have to be dragged kicking and screaming into meeting with their legislators and engaging in local and national politics. Howard runs in full steam ahead. He’s an auto guy who loves politics – and truly believes in the power of policy to stimulate positive change for all people. He’s not scared of the challenges we face – he’s energized by them. As chairman he will be an inspired leader, and I know we’re in good hands with Howard.

If you’ll be in San Francisco during the NADA convention please join me on Sunday January 27th at AIADA’s 49th Annual Meeting where I’ll pass the Chairman’s Gavel to Howard and we’ll hear from our keynote speaker Bob Carter, executive vice president of sales for Toyota Motor North America.

I’m sorry to leave my chairmanship behind in just a few weeks, but grateful for the opportunity to serve my association and my fellow dealers. Now, with the experience behind me, I can sincerely encourage you all to get involved with this association. You won’t be sorry. In addition to being able to say that you didn’t stand on the sidelines when your business was under fire, you will make great friends, great connections, and likely discover that a little bit of politics runs in your veins as well.

Thank you all for your support. I look forward to what this New Year holds, and all the places Howard will take us.

Brad Strong
AIADA Chairman

Chairman's Blog: Strong's Opinions

In Strong's Opinions, AIADA Chairman Brad Strong provides a look at the issues and trends facing the international nameplate auto industry.