Colorado Dealer Aims to Unify Members, State Associations and NIADA into a ‘Force’ to Elevate Services, Advocacy
San Antonio, Texas (Aug. 25, 2021) – Joe McCloskey, owner of McCloskey Motors in Colorado Springs, Colo., began his term as president of the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association for 2021-22 by receiving the President’s Ring during Tuesday’s National Leadership Awards at the 75th annual NIADA Convention and Expo at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.
In his inaugural address, McCloskey, who succeeds 2020-21 president Louis Tedeschi, said he is committed to improving NIADA’s services to its members and advocacy for the used vehicle industry, as well as implementing the association’s strategic plan.
“My priority is to work to unify all members, state associations and NIADA to join as one force to elevate our joint efforts to new levels of service to our membership and better protect the interests of our industry,” he said.
“I believe we can accomplish that by continuing to serve NIADA’s renewed commitment to be the national association to all members, regardless of their size or business model. … We’ll also continue to assist and develop the management of regional, state and local independent dealer associations.
“The NIADA Dealer 20 Groups program is an NIADA priority. It’s poised for amazing growth this year. Look for exciting things to happen with our 20 Groups and education programs. Our commitment this year is to make 20 Groups available and affordable for all dealers, regardless of their size or business model.”
As NIADA celebrates its 75th anniversary as an association, McCloskey is celebrating his own milestone – 50 years in the car business.
In 1971, 13-year-old McCloskey got his first industry job – sweeping the garage floors at Bear Axle and Wheel in Pueblo, Colo. But it didn’t take long for him to start moving up. He was soon recruited by a Volkswagen/Mercedes dealership in Pueblo as what was then called a “lot man”. By the time he was a 17-year-old high school junior, he’d worked his way up to selling cars.
McCloskey went into business for himself in the summer of 1989, but the first location of McCloskey Motors didn’t exactly inspire confidence in his wife, Ann.
“We started in a garage in an alley with one light bulb and no phone,” he recalled. At the time we had four children and not much money. I showed Ann this sketchy garage in an alley. I flung open the garage door and there was one light bulb, hanging on a string.
“I told Ann, ‘This is our future! This is the future of McCloskey Motors!’ And being supportive, she said, ‘Yes.’ ”
That business has since grown to three locations in Colorado Springs – McCloskey Truck Town, McCloskey Imports and 4x4s and Joe’s Car and Truck Repair – with some 80 employees and 275-300 vehicles in inventory.
McCloskey’s operation has been honored by the Better Business Bureau for Excellence in Customer Service, has twice been named Colorado’s State Quality Dealer and in 2013 won NIADA’s highest dealer award – National Quality Dealer.