Five young men and women were named as the recipients of the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association's 2017 Scholarship Awards during the 71st Annual NIADA Convention and Expo at The Mirage in Las Vegas.
Logan Brinks of Marne, Mich., earned NIADA's scholarship from Region I, joining Braden G. Martin of Nashville, Tenn. (Region II), Riley J. Raynor of Enid, Okla. (Region III) and Juan Carrillo of Oxnard, Calif. (Region IV) as winners of NIADA's regional scholarships.
Each year, the NIADA Foundation sponsors a student who has displayed outstanding abilities in education from each of the association's four regions across the nation with a $3,500 scholarship to the college or university of his or her choice, thanks to the assistance of Manheim. The foundation and Manheim also award a $10,000 national scholarship each year for an outstanding student to attend or continue his or her education at Northwood University in an automotive-related field.
All students' entries are judged by Northwood University.
Insurance Auto Auctions Inc. announced the construction of a new facility near Fort Worth, Texas.
The new branch, scheduled to open in November 2017, is located north of the Dallas-Fort Worth area and complements IAA branches in Grand Prairie and Wilmer. This is the 16th IAA location in the state of Texas.
The new 200-acre facility will include 18,000 square feet of office, run & drive and warehouse space. The office space will include multiple conference rooms and offices that will be available for IAA's insurance customers to use for training claims adjusters on site.
In keeping with IAA's environmental philosophy, the branch will incorporate enhanced sustainability features, including using recycled asphalt and concrete for resurfacing as well as the use of recycled water for landscaping.
IAA Fort Worth North is strategically located at 11863 Harmonson Rd., Justin, Texas, within a mile of Interstate 35.
David Andrews is the incoming president of the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association. Andrews is president of City Auto, with locations in Murfreesboro and Memphis, Tenn., is also chief executive officer of Dealer’s Auto Auction Group. He also owns Pace Financial.
What is your background and how did you get into the automobile business?
I’m a third generation used-car dealer.
I started out working for my dad for a couple of years and I’ve been in business for myself for 45 years. I went in business for myself when I was 20 years old.
We’ve got four independent retail locations and five auction locations. It’s a full-time job. City Auto’s been around since 1986.
I had a business called Andrews Motor Co. – that was the foundation of City Auto. I also was a Ford dealer for 25 years and enjoyed that.
I sold that business in 2005. But I was an independent dealer before I was a Ford dealer.
I got into the auction business by accident.
I made an investment in an auction in November of 2001 as a silent partner. That was Dealers Auto Auction of the South in Mississippi. The business partner had a massive heart attack and called me up and said, ‘I can’t work.’
So then I was in the auction business.
But I always liked the auction business.
In 2004, we bought a second auction in Huntsville, Ala., and we never looked back.
We now have five auctions and we’re still looking.
What kind of model do you have for your dealerships?
We’ve got two different models. We’ve got the model at City Auto, which is like CarMax. We’ve got a big location with a lot of cars.
In Memphis, we keep 1,250 cars and in Murfreesboro, we keep 1,000. Both of those lots are called City Auto. Then we’ve got two other car lots called AutoNext, also in Memphis and Murfreesboro, and they are more like DriveTime.
The Internet has been the biggest change I’ve seen over the years.
If you can’t do business on a smartphone, then you won’t be in business in 10 years.
How can your auction experience help you in leading an association made up of used-car dealers?
I think it’s really simple. It gives you two perspectives into what a dealer needs.
If I were just running an auction business, I wouldn’t know how to run a used-car lot. If I were just running a used-car lot, I wouldn’t know how to run an auction. So it gives you both perspectives.
What are the top issues that you see affecting the used-car business today?
The times are changing and the dealers are going to have to change. People say, ‘Oh, I’ve got a terrible location where I’m at.’ I think, ‘You don’t know what a terrible location is. Come to City Auto where we’re on a dead-end street. You have more traffic at your location on Jan. 1 than we have all year long.’
But we draw people to our business through the Internet.
We do very little TV and no print advertising. We’re all digital. Now, I don’t know where it’s going to be in five years.
But you’re going to have to change with the times.
I’m on an advisory board for Wells Fargo. I did an analysis on what millennials want.
They want the truth, they want transparency and they want it now.
They want to buy a car as fast as you can drive through a Starbucks drive-thru.
If you go to a dealership to buy a car and have to spend eight hours in the dealership, you’ll say you have to go somewhere else to buy a car.
When I talk to my people, I ask them, what are we going to do differently this year?
If they say, we’re going to do the same thing we did last year, I tell them we have to be better than last year.
But it’s hard to get better every year.
It costs money to get better every year. You have to do more training to get better every year.
You don’t want your customers to know more about the car you’re selling than you do.
Also, treat your salespeople like they are part of the family.
Everybody thinks you take care of the customer first. They’ve got it all wrong.
If you take care of your employee first, he’ll take care of your customer.
The used-car industry is seeing more cars coming back from auction due to the leasing boom a few years back. How will this affect independent dealers going forward?
I think it’s going to be great for the car business.
It’s going to depress used car prices and make the price between the new car and used car wider and make those used cars more affordable.
It’s also going to give people a bigger selection.
So we’re going to sell more used cars.
What can NIADA do to help dealers with the increase in regulatory scrutiny?
We try to educate dealers with the Certified Master Dealer program. I’ve got three of my general managers that work for me who have gone through the program.
We also have the National Leadership Conference and Day on the Hill in Washington D.C. each September. Last year we had 200 dealers go up there.
We lobbied Senators and U.S. Representatives against the CFPB.
We also lobbied for the right to sell cars with open recalls on air bags.
Now, with the Day on the Hill, lawmakers know who the NIADA is and what we do. Now they welcome us to get our perspective on different situations.
I think the thing that the government doesn’t realize is when something bad happens, (legislators) pass more laws and regulations.
But we have plenty of laws and regulations if they would just enforce the ones we have.
The NIADA also has lobbyist Sante Esposito, with Federal Advocates, who watches the rules and regulations as they are developed that affects the used car business. So we’re on top of it.
The NIADA also has a PAC fund that gave out about $85,000 in campaign contributions.
We also monitor the state (legislatures). The association does a lot for the used-car business.
UCN:. On the digital side, how is NIADA helping dealers to continue to adapt and get ahead of the curve in digital business?
Andrews: If dealers will show up to our conference in Las Vegas, they’re going to learn everything they want to know about the Internet.
UCN: What would be the most important goal you hope to achieve during your term as NIADA president?
Andrews: We are steadily building a better reputation for the used-car industry. I think it’s at an all-time high. The first (reason is) people are running a better business and doing a better job. But also, if you look around at your communities, independent dealers are involved in so many efforts to help out.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
The NIADA has great leadership under Chief Executive Officer Steve Jordan. I can’t say enough good things about him. He thinks big. We’re moving this association forward. All signs are positive and all lights are green.
I love what I do every day. I was thinking about retiring about a year ago. I was talking to my wife and she said, ‘You know, you could probably find something you like to do.’ Then I thought, why would I want to quit what I love to do to try and find something that I like to do. Right now retirement is not in my future
DAA Seattle is seeing strong growth after four years in operation.
General manager David Black said the Auburn, Wash., sale’s consignment rose 20 percent compared to this time last year.
The auction was a homecoming of sorts for the McConkey family, who also own DAA Northwest in Spokane, Wash., and KCI Kansas City in Missouri.
Bob McConkey Sr. helped found and then owned and operated what is today Manheim Seattle for 31 years before selling it in 1985. His son, Bob McConkey Jr., opened this new facility on a 16-acre site in May 2014.
Blake said there was a need for a non-corporate alternative in the Seattle market, with the area’s other two auctions owned by Manheim and ADESA. The reception from both dealers and commercial accounts has been strong, especially as they have seen the sale grow.
“They’ve seen us run for a few years and know we’re not going anywhere,” Blake said.
“They get to experience – from an independent auction – customer service, personal approach, on-site decision-making and operational care and passion.”
The auction’s location makes it especially attractive for Canadian sellers, who make up 25 percent of DAA Seattle’s dealer consignment.
The auction is just launching a new video-only specialty sale for oversized units and motorsport products. The first sales will feature about two dozen motorcycles, RVs, boats, box trucks and oversize units.
Each sale draws about 450 bidders, with a conversion rate in the low 60s.
The average price is $11,000, up about $500 from last year, Blake said.
The auction is growing physically as well. Last year, DAA Seattle expanded eight acres and renovated an additional two acres.
“There was a lot of focus and energy to get us prepared for this year,” Blake said.