This past week, members of AED’s executive team completed a 10-day, nine-city, 2,600-mileroad trip via motor coach to visit dealers across the Midwest, Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, and the West. While this year has certainly brought on more challenges than anticipated, AED is determined to push forward. The association chose to adapt its schedule to visit dealers in person while adhering to strict safety guidelines due to COVID-19.
In addition to getting first-hand updates from AED members on the state of their businesses, Driving for Dealers shined a spotlight on the need for a long-term infrastructure bill. “Infrastructure has long been neglected in North America, and the threat of industry instability remains uncertain without securing a well-funded, multi-year infrastructure package,” stated AED President & CEO Brian P. McGuire. “Our executive team felt it was our responsibility to bring awareness to the topic with in-person visits, resulting in significant media coverage.”
“While I am pleased to say that virtually all members we visited report business is currently good, it bears repeating that projects may soon evaporate without significant infrastructure investment in 2021,” McGuire continued. “We know there is certainly room for such investment as according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the overall United States infrastructure grade is D+ and no state we visited scored higher than a C+.
Overall, AED met with more than 30 members one-on-one, in small groups via AED local dealer groups. All meetings were met with safety protocols that required social distancing practices, masks, and sanitation measures to ensure everyone’s safety. The trip also included a stop in Las Vegas, where the AED executive team visited a dealer celebrating their 25th anniversary and met with key staff at the Mirage Hotel & Casino to go over plans to manage the 2021 Summit and CONDEX safely. The event is scheduled for March 29-31, and you can register at www.aedsummit.com. Finally, the trip culminated in a visit to Bejac Corporation in Placentia, CA to meet with AED Chairman Ron Barlet.
For more information on AED’s Driving for Dealers Tour, please visit AED’s social media outlets, and search the hashtag #aeddrivingfordealers, for daily messaging, interviews with members, and media coverage.