Pub. 62 2021-2022 Issue 2

Texas State Capitol Building

A Message From TADA President Darren Whitehurst

The year 2021 is now in the books … and what a year it was. The continuation of a worldwide COVID pandemic, a contested federal election, the 87th Texas Legislature, the Texas winter freeze, the chip shortage, and mask mandates were but a few of the challenges that we all had to face. Texas dealers have navigated these challenges and more. You worked with the resources you were given and then improvised and achieved impressive results for the year according to various state and national reports as well as sales tax numbers from the Texas Comptroller’s Office.

Dealers were also there for their communities in 2021. Not only did you provide good jobs and wages for employees, but your organizations also supported local charities and sponsored events and groups that produced tremendous benefits.

As we look to what 2022 and the future hold, there is an air of uncertainty. No one knows for sure the trajectory of COVID or the government’s response. One thing we do know — the federal government is all-in on replacing internal combustion engines with electric ones to power vehicles. Manufacturers are enthusiastic as well, and there has been rapid acceptance by most that the electrification of automobiles is the future, and they are investing heavily in production. They are also pushing this enthusiasm down to dealers with requirements to invest in infrastructure to handle electric vehicles. We know that dealers will meet the consumer’s demand, and while that might not yet match the aforementioned enthusiasm, we do want to be sure that any consumer interested in EV thinks of Texas franchised dealers first. We know that when the customer is interested or ready to try the new technology, Texas dealers will be there to help educate the buyer and make the sale and that you will keep the vehicle in good repair.

While you are focused on all this, the political world also turns. All 181 seats in the Texas Legislature are up (150 House/31 Senate), as are all the major statewide elected offices, and 38 members of our Congressional delegation. There will surely be several issues of interest to Texas dealers, some positive and some detrimental, and TADA’s Legislative Committee and staff will be working diligently this next year to identify and prioritize the issues most relevant.

There are a few things I encourage you to do throughout this year. First, get to know your local elected officials. This is particularly important after redistricting with so many new folks running for office. Although the candidates already know their local dealerships because of your community work, it is important for them to know you personally as well. Invite them out to meet your employees, tour your facilities, and learn more about you and your commitment to your customers, employees, and community. Take a picture with them and send it to us as well as sharing it on your social media.

If you participate financially in campaigns, please let us know and when possible, reach out to TADA staff to learn more about a particular candidate or elected official’s commitment to franchised dealers and the communities we serve.

We also encourage you to let TADA know about your local community’s philanthropy efforts. I ask you to send your stories of volunteering and giving back to so that we can package these stories and share them with relevant political leaders and on our TADA social media channels. Likewise, when you are doing employee recognition or training, please share some of those stories with us. Your investment in the people you employ is something of which we are proud and want to share.

TADA’s messaging is focused on the value of the franchised dealer system to Texas and Texans. Texas dealers will continue their commitment to providing customers with the vehicles they want. They also are the most efficient and effective way to reach these goals and meet the state’s transportation needs.

TADA will continue to keep you posted on the outcomes of the primary elections, interim legislative areas of focus, and all the other efforts that can impact your business. Thank you for all you do.