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Lusk lauds actors pulling together 'so we can live to fight another day'

Friday, May 01, 2020 7:02 PM | Anonymous
Cody Lusk, the president and chief executive of the American International Automobile Dealers Association, reflected April 28 during his Beltway Talk podcast on how the industry is weathering the storm by pulling together.
"This industry is so competitive. It’s one of the most competitive and cutthroat industries from a day-to-day standpoint," he said. "But when the industry is threatened, it really pulls together.
"And it’s been fantastic to see what the dealers do in their communities, how they’ve rallied around their first responders, the workers, the hospital nurses and doctors. They are sending food, providing cars.
"I think you’ve seen the state and metro associations, the national associations all coming together; the manufacturers doing their part; the other partners in the industry doing what they can because we all know we have to pull together to save this industry, to keep it moving forward so that we can live to fight another day."
Lusk pointed to how the industry’s actors united in advance of the Paycheck Protection Program rollout to help dealers. The economic relief is administered through the Small Business Administration, and a number of dealers did not have a SBA code number.
"The AIADA worked with the National Automobile Dealers Association to get codes to enable our members to access this capital when it became available, because we knew there was not going to be near enough, the supply was not going to meet the demand. And it didn’t."
Lusk said that, in fairness to the SBA, the agency was faced with processing about 20 years’ worth of loan applications in just two weeks.
To help jump start the industry, Lusk ruminated about a sequel to the Cash for Clunkers program. But whereas the 2009 version incentivized consumers to trade in older vehicles that obtained poor mpg, a follow-up in 2020 might try to motivate consumers with older vehicles to trade for a model with more safety features.
"We’ll be supportive of that, but we want the industry to work together," he said. "We all need to coalesce around one thing that we’re pushing for that we can all support.
"We’re one step closer to the other side, and we’re going to get through this together."

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