Welcome Todd Maul as 2018 CADA Chairman
Dear Colorado Dealer:
As your 2018 Chair, I have hit the floor running. With the board’s strategic planning in 2017, an in-depth Denver Auto Show Economic Impact Study, Denver Auto Show and Preview Gala strategic session and the planning of the legislative goals, we have our marching orders for 2018 and beyond. I am privileged to lead this amazing organization for the next 12 months, along with the dedicated board members and CADA staff.
A bit about me...
Without getting into how “young” I am, I have been a part of this incredible industry for quite a while, and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives and professions of our dealers is a blessing. My interest in cars goes back to age five, walking home from kindergarten in my hometown of Hastings, Nebraska, watching the cars and wondering how I would ever be able to afford one. I worked at my dad’s carpet and tile shop to save up, which actually paid my way through Hastings College. When I received my accounting degree in 1981, I got a controller job at Jerry Spady Pontiac (now Spady Chevrolet-GMC). Working for Jerry in a small dealership gave me the opportunity to learn sales, service, parts and accounting — all of which have been the foundation for my success today.
After three years in the business, moving to a bigger market seemed to be the next step, so I moved to Denver and landed a job at Crouch Motors. From there, I was recruited by Doug Spedding to work at his Chevrolet store. That is where I met General Manager Marshall Chesrown. Marshall eventually left Spedding and called me a couple months later to help him open Marshall Ford in Boulder. We grew the Chesrown Group to five dealerships, and in 1997, we were the first in the metro Denver area to sell the group to AutoNation. My career with AutoNation lasted another 12 years moving steadily upward, and by 2008, I was running 80 dealerships in four states with 8,000 employees.
After a while, I realized I was a private entrepreneur in my heart, so I left AutoNation and began looking for dealerships to buy. I was also talking with John Elway and Mitch Pierce about forming a partnership to buy stores. My former Chrysler Business Center Manager, Fernando Falcon, a dealer in Indianapolis, and I landed the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge Ram franchise in Greeley in 2010. We have since added what were Burt Chevrolet and Don Massey Cadillac to our list of stores in metro Denver, buying Fernando out in 2014.
It is very important this year to support CADA’s mission of guiding policy at both state and national levels. A short-term goal is maintaining dealer profitability. The Legislative Policy Committee, led by Don Hicks, will work at the state legislature to pass a bill for full warranty reimbursement. Our priority is maintaining what’s best for consumers — and that means having a successful dealer network.
Another goal, outlined in our strategic planning session, is working to attract and retain employees. We must educate the public that the automotive industry offers a clear career path with well-paid jobs, from technical to management. However our industry grows in selling electric, gasoline, diesel-fueled or autonomous vehicles, our buyers are best served through a strong dealer network, cutting-edge technology and excellent customer service. At the
same time, we do much more than just sell cars and provide service. We build strong communities by providing jobs, contributing to commerce and engaging in philanthropic activities.
On a personal note...
The Clear the Air Foundation (CTAF) is not only important to me, it’s a critical component to keeping the air clear in Colorado AND funding educational scholarships to those students who are entering the automotive industry. It’s easy to contribute to this amazing cause that ultimately pays it forward to us as dealers with highly trained employees. I strongly encourage you to donate at least three cars from each of your stores to the Foundation. Really, that’s all it takes.
I will close out by emphasizing CADA’s over-arching long-term goal: To be in the forefront of protecting the freedom to drive. Our industry is changing; regardless of where developments lead, we must ensure that new car dealers are still the enter of owning, selling and servicing cars. The dealership system is not broken and continues to meet the needs of the community now, and in the future.
Todd Maul, 2018 Chair