Colorado Auto Dealers Association

Another area showing significant promise in a post-pandemic world is electric vehicles (EVs), and CADA is in the thick of things with this strengthening trend. “We’ve had EV charging stations at our office since 2014,” says Tim Jackson, “so we’ve seen this coming for a while. At the last Denver Auto Show, we worked with a local power utility, Xcel Energy, several local dealers and Drive Electric Colorado to offer EV test drives and showcase home-based EV charging solutions.” CADA is currently considering creating an in-house fleet of EVs to offer on-demand test drives in the state. Looking forward, CADA recently expanded its mandate by creating the Colorado Automotive Hall of Fame to recognize dealers who have made a significant impact on the industry. “Most of our members are on the fourth and fifth- generation, so we created the Hall of Fame and inducted 50 dealers and an auto writer and editor of The Denver Post,” says Tim Jackson. “But that was just a place to start. We anticipate inducting new members each year to serve as a living tribute to many of the high impact industry folks that are based in Colorado and have multigenerational ties to the auto retail business.” As the auto dealer industry reshapes and consolidates post-pandemic, CADA plans to continue evolving its services to serve its members better. “Cars were a safe place for people during the pandemic,” says Groves, “the one place you could go to and be safe from the virus while going wherever you wanted. In this sense, people rely on their cars for more than just moving around; they are something that brings them peace and security in a time of turmoil. The car dealers we represent help car buyers realize this value in their lives, whether through new car sales or service and maintenance, and we want to continue supporting their mandate in every way we can.” industry in the state. Tim Jackson acknowledges, “When the pandemic hit in 2020, most states issued stay-at-home orders and for that six or so weeks, new car sales plummeted 50 percent. Incredibly, by the end of the year, sales had bounced back, pushing down that deficit to only 12.5 percent. What has not yet bounced back is new car supply, with global shortages in steel, aluminum, rubber, foam, and chips reducing the amount of inventory available to car dealers. We have dealerships that would typically have 1200 to 1300 units in inventory at any given time but are now down to fewer than 50 new.” Despite these shortages, dealers in Colorado are excited that demand is up, which solves part of the equation of growing their businesses. Although they cannot currently control supply, the presence of demand provides hope that when supply resumes, exponential growth is on the way.