May 17, 2024

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2023 NADA Chairman Brings Policy Experience During a Challenging Time

2023 NADA Chairman Brings Policy Experience During a Challenging Time

The Pohanka household has a very long heritage with NADA. In reality, each the Pohanka family’s company and NADA begun about the exact same time.

Frank S. Pohanka opened his very first dealership in Washington, D.C., in 1919—just two years immediately after NADA was launched. “I have a extensive spouse and children connection with NADA and I know the organization inside of out,” suggests Geoffrey Pohanka, Frank’s grandson and the 2023 NADA chairman. “When my father took over the business enterprise in 1959, the NADA headquarters was 3 blocks away from the dealership.”

Pohanka’s father, John, went on to develop into the NADA director for Maryland and, in 1976, NADA chairman. “Giving back again to NADA is in our spouse and children historical past likely way again to the 1950s,” suggests Pohanka.

Creating a Enterprise

Pohanka was 13 when he began performing in his family’s dealerships during summers in the 1970s. He attended Colgate College and prepared to attend business college, but his father suggested he operate two years full-time in the dealership initial (Oldsmobile-Honda-Fiat). “We marketed a whole lot of automobiles but experienced a quite poor service section, which virtually drove me from the organization,” Pohanks suggests. “When I told my father I preferred to do anything else, he asked if I would go to a monthlong instruction program at the General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan. There, I wrote a in depth report about what my father desired to do to ‘fix his small business,’ and then I would shift on. My father liked my report so substantially he offered to put me in cost of the preset functions to carry out the improvements, which I approved and did. So listed here we are these days.”

Now, the Pohanka Automotive Group has 20 locations in Maryland, Virginia and Texas, and ranked 34th on Automotive News’ 2021 list of the nation’s top 150 dealership groups. And the fourth and fifth generations of the relatives are now functioning at the dealership group, like two of Pohanka’s children—daughter Laura and son Kevin.

Doing the job With NADA

Like his father, Pohanka turned included with the Washington Area New Car Sellers Association (WANADA), ascending to chairman in 1998 and serving as chairman of WANADA’s Washington, D.C., Auto Demonstrate in 2016.

Pohanka initially served on the NADA board from 2001 to 2009 but left to relocate three of his legacy dealerships. He returned to the board in 2015 and has served as chairman of the Field Relations Committee.

Pohanka was elected vice chairman of NADA in 2022 and represents Washington, D.C.-location dealers on the NADA Board of Directors.

“It is vital that sellers give back again to our sector,” Pohanka claims. “My skill sets are the appropriate ones for the instances and the quite a few difficulties that our field faces. I carry a good deal of retail expertise but also working experience doing the job with manufacturers and politicians.”

Mission 2023

Among the problems Pohanka will tackle as 2023 chairman are combating polices that harm the business, bolstering car retail’s changeover to electric automobiles, and strengthening the connection involving companies and car sellers, such as the use and sharing of client data—addressed by NADA’s new Guiding Rules.

“One of the major troubles we confront is all around messaging,” suggests Pohanka. “Basically, car or truck dealers and producers want the identical thing—sell a lot of cars and get treatment of customers—but we really do not go about it the exact way and we don’t comprehend each and every other completely.”

As for electrical automobiles, Pohanka is all-in and is currently driving his third EV—a Volkswagen ID-4. “When sellers began inquiring thoughts about electrification, persons imagined we ended up opposing it,” he states. “We’re not opposed. We’re worried about affordability and the charging infrastructure.”

As somebody with deep roots in the Washington, D.C., spot, Pohanka states he is uniquely competent to guide NADA and the automobile vendor human body. “I’ve been included in sector and govt relations for a extensive time and I comprehend how points do the job.

“We’ve experienced challenges from government and some others, but we have a great deal of strengths, including our group involvement,” Pohanka adds. “We’re consumer focused, alter to modifying circumstances, and there is resiliency in the franchise program. Persons outside the house the franchise method really don’t realize the strength we have in terms 
of what we do so very well.”

52
Amount of a long time Pohanka has worked in the auto retail business enterprise

1919
Year Pohanka’s grandfather Frank S. Pohanka opened the family’s to start with dealership in Washington, D.C.

1998
Calendar year Pohanka served as chairman of the Washington Region New Automobile Sellers Affiliation

1,700
Variety of workers at Pohanka Automotive Group

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