The Florida Automobile Dealers Association (FADA) marked a significant milestone on November 2 by inaugurating its first class of Hall of Fame inductees, which included 15 esteemed automotive retailers. These individuals were celebrated for their unwavering dedication to excellence in business and service and their remarkable journeys toward success were highlighted to a room of 300 auto industry professionals.

CBT News proudly participated in this event, with news anchor and co-founder Jim Fitzpatrick emceeing the event and introducing the honorees. On today’s episode of Inside Automotive, we’re joined by Ted Smith, President of the FADA, who reflects on the ceremony and discusses its wider impact on the industry overall.

Meet the exceptional 15 inductees here.

Key takeaways:
1. The FADA was inspired to organize its Hall of Fame ceremony by the success of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), Time Magazine, and Ally partnership in recognizing national dealers. Emulating this concept, FADA decided to honor Florida dealers’ philanthropic contributions and celebrate its 103-year history.

2. At the inaugural event, FADA emphasized the collective achievement, honoring not just the inductees but their families, friends, and employees for contributing to their success. The event highlighted the dealers’ community contributions, a message reinforced by the presence of legislators and the Lieutenant Governor.

3. Representing Florida’s new car franchise dealers, FADA prides itself on its substantial economic impact, with a $105 billion footprint and contributing 15% of Florida’s sales revenue, amounting to $6.2 billion.

4. Despite their significant economic contributions, FADA acknowledges that dealers gain more recognition for their community work with local schools, Boy Scouts, and health organizations, highlighting their commitment to local communities.

5. The FADA also successfully advocated for major franchise legislation this year, aiming to protect dealers from OEMs’ direct competition. The bill asserts the dealers’ expertise in selling cars and maintains their significant role in the economy, receiving strong support from Florida legislators.

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