After 21 months on the job, I attended my first in-person TADA Board meeting. The opportunity was long overdue and far exceeded my expectations. The dealers were enthusiastic to be back together, and the stories about what has happened since the COVID challenges began were entertaining and insightful. Dealers on the TADA Board are representative of our membership across the state. Although many of the board members are from family-run dealerships, the board represents the entire ownership spectrum that exists today in Texas dealerships. Dealers bring a positive, can-do attitude in the face of a pandemic, chip shortages, and numerous other challenges. Texas dealers have found ways to be successful in the difficult environment of these past several years, true to the entrepreneurial spirit that has defined members of TADA for more than 100 years.
It seems like forever ago since we faced the challenge of ensuring that sales were included in the definition of essential business. We were successful, and as Texas consumers have shown, they want and need access to safe, reliable transportation, and they expect their local dealers to be there.
Here are the numbers for Texas new vehicle sales and vehicle registrations over the last 10 years.
Many dealers say that business has never been better. We all know this will not last forever. The successes of TADA in preserving our strong franchise dealer system have been built over time. We have achieved positive results on the legal, regulatory, and legislative fronts because of a great team here in Austin and strong dealer relationships with elected officials throughout Texas. We must be constantly vigilant and continue advancing these efforts together.
If you are a current member of TADA, thank you. Of the more than 1,400 dealerships in the state, 1,230 are members. If you are not currently a member, I would encourage you to become part of the TADA family.
The Texas Legislature is in the process of finishing up its latest special session, where they have been focused on redistricting. The Texas Legislature has the responsibility to determine Texas Senate, Texas House, Texas Congressional, and State Board of Education (SBOE) districts based on new U.S. Census population data. The number of members in the House (150), Senate (31) are established by the Texas Constitution, the SBOE (15) is set by statute, and the Congressional numbers (38) are determined by overall population growth in the state.
The next election will be significant because all 181 Texas House and Senate seats are on the ballot as well as every Congressional seat. Several of our friends in the Texas Legislature have already announced their retirement. Many more will follow. We will be traveling the state educating the prospective new members on issues important to Texas dealers. I would encourage you to please join us, get involved, and personally get to know your elected representatives.
This November, I also want to encourage each of you to support State Proposition 2 which gives Counties the flexibility to advance transportation and infrastructure projects. You will see more information from TADA soon.
As a business leader in your community, you have the power to build connections critical to advancing the public policy issues impacting your business. The individual dealerships are the glue for our grassroots lobbying model. TADA will continue to be successful on the legal, regulatory and legislative fronts as long as we are united and working together.