The new-car dealer groups in Dallas and Tarrant counties have merged into the Dallas Fort Worth Metropolitan New Car Dealers Association according to reports made by the Dallas Morning News.
Dealers voted overwhelmingly to approve the merger, which is significant because the association will represent about 250 dealers in 11 counties with annual sales of more than $10 billion. The new association is the largest dealer group in the state and should have a strong voice in state and national legislative affairs that affect the auto business.
“D-FW is now viewed as a single market, with many of our dealers having franchises in both Dallas and Tarrant county areas,” said Sam Pack, former chairman of the New Car Dealers Association of Metropolitan Dallas and a driving force in the formation of the new group.
Pack, who owns Ford dealerships in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton counties, and other dealers began considering the merger about nine months ago after Drew Campbell retired as president of the New Car Dealers Association of Metropolitan Dallas after a 25-year tenure.
Lee Chapman, 50, the former president of the Tarrant County dealers association, will head the new association. The primary goals of the new association are largely unchanged — promoting and representing new-car dealers.
“I’m really excited,” said Chapman, who was president of the Tarrant County group for 26 years. “This is one marketplace, and we want to help dealers sell more cars and help consumers have a positive sales experience.” Among other initiatives, the new association intends to call more attention to dealers’ good deeds — “everything they return to the community, from supporting Little League teams to donating to hospitals,” Chapman said.
Fort Worth and Dallas-area dealers will still put on separate new-car shows. With annual sales approaching 400,000 vehicles, dealers in the Dallas-Fort Worth region sell as many vehicles as those in some small states.
“It just made sense to combine two smaller associations into one of the biggest and strongest in the nation,” said Tom Durant, a board member of the former New Car Dealers Association of Greater Tarrant County and owner of Classic Chevrolet in Grapevine.