According to BHPHinfo.com, the long-suspected merger of NABD with NIADA has officially come through. The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association announced late last month that it had acquired operations and assets from the National Alliance of Buy Here-Pay Here Dealers, and would be combining many of the NABD’s operations with its own.
Although the merger was mostly kept quiet, with the exception of a few rumors and the delayed announcement of the 2018 NABD conference dates, the news does not come unexpected. While the merger serves to provide the NABD with a succession plan, it also serves as a platform for new and exciting changes for for buy here pay here dealers and the industry as a whole.
For one thing, this means dealerships can stop waiting to hear news about the 2018 NABD conference date. There will no longer be a separate BHPH Conference, as the event will instead be merged with the NIADA’s educational services to produce one “Mega-Conference” involving both new car and BHPH dealers. The first of these events is expected to take place at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Fla. on June 18-21, 2018. There is discussion of a combined Las Vegas conference in the fall and the date will be released once details are confirmed.
Other changes Buy Here Pay Here dealers may see include those inherent to belonging to a larger organization. The combination of NABD’s roughly 14,000 members with NIADA’s more than 20,000 members means that dealers can expect to see larger crowds and much higher conference attendance, but it also means more potential opportunity for dealership-related businesses.
Indeed, NABD president Ken Shilson views this merger as an opportunity for used car dealers as well. “Success in this industry is about working together,” he stated in the recent press release. “Which is what this merger is about.” Both Shilson and Steve Jordan, CEO of NIADA, expressed their beliefs that this merger will, in the end, spark growth in the used car sales and BHPH industries of America.
Whether or not that will transpire to be the case remains to be seen. One fact is clear, however: from the combination of the 2018 NABD conference to the possibility of more business in the future, buy here pay here dealerships and related businesses can expect to see a lot of changes in 2018. The biggest question now is how each will utilize those changes in the coming year.