Stan Norton has developed a deep appreciation for the automobile industry in his nearly four decades in the business.
Wanting to see it thrive and benefit fellow dealers and consumers, the general manager of City Auto in Memphis, Tenn., is heading to Washington, D.C. in September with NIADA to advocate on behalf of the industry.
“Someone has to take the role to work for the greater good of the industry and make sure legislators understand the needs of dealers and consumers,” Norton said. “Legislators need our guidance.”
The NIADA Policy Conference is Sept. 19-20 at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City. Registration is open. Dealers are requested to register by Friday, Aug. 11 to ensure the ability for the NIADA to set up meetings with your legislators. The deadline to book a hotel room is Aug. 16, but the limited inventory may sell out before.
The two-day event brings dealers together with members of Congress and regulators to discuss real legislative and regulatory issues facing the independent automobile industry.
Dealers participation will play a critical role discussing the unique problems and challenges facing the industry with legislators and describing the impact of policies on their business.
Norton has attended the Policy Conference multiple times, walking the halls of the Capitol to explain the concerns of the industry to lawmakers.
“They are learning from us. They are not aware of the circumstances of what we’re telling them and how it affects constituents,” Norton said. “We have common interests. We’re here to serve people.”
Among issues the NIADA will be addressing with lawmakers are the Federal Trade Commission’s Vehicle Shopping Rule, Right to Repair and legislation to prevent catalytic converter thefts.
The NIADA is asking Congress to stop the Vehicle Shopping Rule, which would add costs, more paperwork and extend the sales process. The FTC published the rule in July 2022 and the NIADA supported industry comments in opposition of the rule. On July 13, the House Appropriations Committee reported out the Fiscal Year 2024 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill, which included language that stops the FTC from finalizing, implementing, or enforcing the Vehicle Shopping Rule.
NIADA continues to support the proposed “Preventing Auto Recycling Theft Act” in the House of Representatives and Senate, which would assist law enforcement in their efforts to combat catalytic converter theft by marking catalytic converters and creating a more transparent market that deters its theft.
In February, the NIADA acknowledged support for Congressman Neal Dunn (R-FL-2), reintroducing the REPAIR Act.
The legislation would ensure consumers have access to data relating to their motor vehicles, critical repair information, tools, and provide them choices for the maintenance, service and repair of their motor vehicles.
The conference will include meetings with federal agencies and regulatory dignitaries Sept. 19. The PAC Cup dinner will end the day, where the region which contributes the most to the PAC Fund between the NIADA Convention and the Policy Conference will be honored. In the past eight years, the competition between the four regions has raised more than $800,000.
The PAC Fund helps NIADA support candidates for office who share NIADA’s philosophy.
On Sept. 20, there will be Capitol Hill meetings around lunch at the Library of Congress. A Capitol Hill debrief and farewell reception will conclude the conference.
“During this year’s conference we will be going back to the Hill, putting our dealer members and industry partners face-to-face with legislators and their staff has always been the most effective way to get our message across,” said NIADA President Gordon Tormohlen.
Register today here.