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Fact Sheet

The NADA Story


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 was born the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). Today, NADA represents nearly 16,000 new car and truck dealers, with 32,500 franchises, both domestic and international.




  • Founded in 1917, NADA is a trade and lobbying group representing franchised new-car and truck dealers. American Truck Dealers (ATD), a division of NADA, was founded in 1970.
  • From blacksmiths and carriage makers to bicycle-shop owners and wagon builders, many of America’s new-car dealers have been in the transportation business for more than 100 years.
  • The franchise dealer system recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. Over the years, it has provided a strong auto retail network serving consumers, dealers and vehicle manufacturers.
  • NADA is governed by a 62-member board of directors—consisting of auto dealers—who volunteer their time and efforts to lead and the association.
  • With offices in McLean, Va., and Washington, DC, a professional staff of about 320 employees conducts the day-to-day operations and implementation of numerous programs and services.

Membership Profile


  • NADA has nearly 16,000 members—both domestic and international—who sell new and used motor vehicles, and engage in service, repair and parts sales.
  • NADA members operate nearly 32,500 separate franchises in the U.S.
  • More than 90 percent of total U.S. new-vehicle dealerships are NADA members.


Retail-Auto Industry Profile


  • U.S. new vehicle dealerships employ nearly 1 million people.
  • At almost a trillion dollars per year, the auto retailing business is the largest U.S. retail business. New vehicle dealers account for about $700 billion dollars or 70 percent of the auto retail business.
  • About 20 percent of total retail sales in the U.S. are generated at new vehicle dealerships.
  • NADA’s Industry Analysis division, which produces the annual publication NADA Data, is a major source for research, industry data, sales trends and market growth information for the retail-automobile industry.

About NADA:


  • NADA provides dealers with guidance on legal and regulatory matters; develops research data on the auto industry; operates extensive training programs to improve dealership business operations and keeps members informed about news and events that affect their businesses.
  • NADA represents dealers in legislative, regulatory, industry and public/media affairs arenas.
  • NADA Headlines, a daily e-publication, has more than 35,000 subscribers.
  • NADA Official Used Car Guide®, setting the gold standard since 1933, provides trade-in, retail and loan values for cars and light trucks in 10 regional editions.
  • Launched in 2000, provides consumers with information on how to buy, sell or trade in vehicles.
  • NADA University, launched in 2010, operates extensive training programs to improve dealership business operations.
  • The National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation, a tax-exempt, non-profit organization was established in 1975.
  • NADA Retirement Administrators or NADART has provided and administered 401(k), pension and profit-sharing plans for dealers and their employees since 1957.
  • Official Web site: