It has been exciting to watch over time as the Florida auto industry and dealership network has grown and evolved. Historically, Florida has been a melting pot of dealers with single point stores, medium-sized family owned stores with multiple locations, public groups like AutoNation, and dealers from all over the country who find out quickly that Florida is truly the best place in America to own a franchised auto dealership.
Florida dealerships today are multi-cultural, diverse in ethnicity and truly reflect the communities in which they operate and serve consumers. In the last few years the growth of private dealerships as well as continued dealer changes and challenges has resulted in new dynamics that are impacting how FADA and our ever-growing dealerships.
Today’s FADA is not like anything we have ever witnessed before. We have a blending of all these diverse dealerships, public and private, urban, domestic and international, however there is a common bond that unites us and that is the need to respond to OEM movements that threaten the future of the franchise system as we know it.
FADA officers and Board members, realizing the need for unity in the dealer ranks, have reached out to AutoNation, Sonic, Lithia Motors and large private dealers like Morgan Automotive, South/Vista Motors, Hendrick Auto, and of course our long time member and legislative ally Braman Motors.
Recently these industry giants met and agreed to begin a new era of cooperation and strategic focus in the Florida legislature. This strong dealership coalition, with the added help of our metro dealer associations in Jax, Tampa, Orlando and South Florida, will ensure timely development of legislative proposals and will focus the influence of 11 professional lobbyists and one dealer gameplan each session.
All of these groups have been working together for many years but now the agenda will be a single one. This is particularly necessary due to the opposition we are experiencing from our OEM partners. They continue to hire more lobbyists and expend more dollars in the process in order to defeat our pro-dealer franchise bills. Stay tuned as FADA reports progress over the upcoming Legislative Session.