ARLINGTON, Texas — David Andrews, owner of City Auto in Memphis, Tenn., and other automotive enterprises, began his 2017-’18 term as president of the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) by receiving the President's Ring during last week’s National Leadership Awards Banquet at the association’s 71st annual convention and expo at The Mirage in Las Vegas.
During his address at the banquet, Andrews, who succeeds 2016-17 president Billy Threadgill of South Carolina, encouraged his fellow independent dealers to keep pace with the rapidly changing automotive marketplace.
"Are times changing? Definitely," Andrews said. "We are all pioneers, we are all trailblazers and we are all visionaries. These are times ripe with opportunities, times for making the seemingly impossible possible.
"There are millions of low-mileage late-model cars hitting the used car market, and the availability of credit has never been better,” he added. “Now is the best time ever to be a used car dealer."
Andrews, 65, got his start in the car business as a teenager, working at his father Sonny's dealership. He soon went into business for himself, opening his own dealership at age 20 — "and I never looked back," he said.
Andrews has grown that single underfunded lot into a thriving operation that includes four retail dealerships — two each in Memphis and the Nashville areas — as well as five wholesale auctions located throughout Tennessee and Alabama, a management company, a floorplan company and a finance company.
Andrews previously served on the NIADA executive committee as a regional vice president, senior vice president and president-elect, and is a past president of the Tennessee Independent Auto Dealers Association (TIADA).
Others honored at Wednesday's ceremony included Auction Direct USA CEO Todd Hoagey, who was named NIADA CPO Dealer of the Year. Hoagey also won the inaugural award last year.
The honor recognizes the quality of dealership operations, the quality of dealership operations, the vehicle certification process, the number of CPO vehicles sold and the dealer's commitment to providing a better product and level of service to his customers and the community.
Auction Direct USA has stores in Rochester, N.Y., Raleigh, N.C., and Jacksonville, Fla., all of which ranked among the top sellers in the NIADA Certified Pre-Owned program in 2016. Hoagey's operation earned praise from Chris Murphy, executive vice president of NIADA CPO program administrator Warrantech, as one that shares new ideas, invests in staff development and training, and uses innovative technology to exceed its customers' expectations.
Additionally, 17 NIADA members were presented with the Crystal Eagle award in recognition of their outstanding efforts in generating new members for NIADA.