Michigan dealer set to be 2018 NADA chairman

NADA’s board of directors elects new officers for 2018 with Wes Lutz, right, being chosen as chairman and Charlie Gilchrist, left, being tapped as vice chairman. (Photo courtesy of NADA)
DANA POINT, Calif. - 

NADA’s top dealer leader again is hailing from near the Motor City.

The National Automobile Dealers Association’s 63-member board of directors elected Wes Lutz as chairman for the 2018 term.

“I am honored to serve as NADA chairman as we begin the next century following NADA’s 100 years of existence,” said Lutz, who represents Michigan’s new-car dealers on NADA’s board.

Lutz is president of Extreme Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram in Jackson, Mich., about 80 miles from Detroit. Lutz added that he will continue to advocate franchised dealer concerns in the industry, legislative and regulatory affairs arenas as well as encourage dealers to adapt to the retailing challenges ahead.

“From start to finish, the nation’s franchised new-car dealership network has to benefit consumers in newer ways than ever before,” said Lutz, who has been a dealer since 1976. He is currently serving as NADA vice chairman, and previously served on NADA’s board from 2001 to 2004.

Charlie Gilchrist, who represents Northern Texas’ new-car dealers on NADA’s board, was elected vice chairman. Gilchrist is president of Southwest Ford in Weatherford, Texas, and a Buick-GMC, Nissan and Mitsubishi dealer.

Bill Willis, president of Willis Automotive Group (Chevrolet-Buick-Ford) in Smyrna, Del., was re-elected as secretary.

Bob Shuman, president of Shuman Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in Walled Lake, Mich., was elected treasurer.

The new term officially begins at the 2018 NADA Show in Las Vegas next March.

The election took place at NADA’s board meeting in Dana Point, Calif., on Tuesday.

The NADA story began in 1917 when 30 auto dealers traveled to the nation’s capital to convince Congress not to impose a luxury tax on the automobile. They successfully argued that the automobile is a necessity of American life, not a luxury. From that experience, NADA was born.

Today, NADA represents nearly 16,500 dealerships, with both domestic and international franchises.

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