Nov 7, 2023 | Industry

Embracing ESG: Paving the path to sustainable dealerships

The automotive industry is currently undergoing a profound transformation, marked by a shift towards Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles. Brandon Cohen, National Chairperson of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA), underscores the significance of this transformation. “In today’s ever-evolving business environment, the automotive industry faces a pivotal moment of transformation. What was once a mere blip on the radar has now emerged as an undeniable force reshaping how we operate our franchised motor dealerships,” says Cohen. Sustainability is now a fundamental requisite for ongoing success. ESG plays a pivotal role in ensuring the longevity of businesses by providing tangible measures of performance. Cohen explains that in the modern landscape, a vehicle dealership operates a new car business, used car business, finance & insurance business, workshop business, parts business and administrative function. This necessitates a firm grasp of legislative requirements within the organisation to ensure full compliance with the variety of laws applicable to the operations of a dealership. It can be costly if dealer personnel are not familiar with the requirements and able to implement them. “ESG in the retail automotive space can be as simple as looking at the immediate environmental requirements such as dealers moving to energy-saving lamps and timers or sensors and looking into greener energy solutions, ensuring the dealer has plans to hire, train, upskill, and retain a diverse workforce, and complying with laws and regulations to avoid reputational and financial damage to the business,” advises Cohen. He highlights how a notable advantage of an effective ESG programme in a retail motor dealership is the enhanced trust it builds with consumers during transactions. It mitigates potential issues that may arise during or after these transactions, a crucial factor given the evolving financial and banking regulations. Even in regions like the USA, where ESG has been a highly politicised topic, surveys indicate that a majority of people believe large corporations should consider social issues, environmental impact, and gender-related matters,” notes Cohen. “NADA continues to advocate for the establishment of ‘living’ ESG programmes among its members to benefit both businesses and customers alike.”

“ESG integration should become a way of life for dealerships, securing their long-term prosperity and enhancing the financial outcomes for their employees,” concludes Cohen. Dealerships emerge as thriving hubs of innovation and growth In an era marked by an ever-accelerating technological revolution, automotive dealerships have undergone a remarkable transformation, emerging as dynamic hubs of innovation and career prospects. No longer confined to the traditional realm of salesmanship, these establishments now present a rich tapestry of career paths for individuals with diverse interests and skills. A myriad of opportunities abound within the dealership environment, emphasising the industry’s limitless growth potential and the promising financial prospects it offers to aspiring professionals. As we delve into the heart of this dealership renaissance, we invite you to discover the exciting possibilities that await within this vibrant and ever-evolving sector. A mini company with limitless growth Growth knows no bounds within the vibrant ecosystem of a dealership. Much like a miniature company, it provides the ideal environment for professionals to explore their potential across different departments. The amalgamation of roles and responsibilities ensures a continuous learning curve and unparalleled personal development. As young talent discovers the wealth of opportunities within these establishments, the industry’s growth trajectory amplifies accordingly. Unravelling the earning potential The dealership landscape boasts not only professional growth but also lucrative earning potential. As technology continues to drive consumer demand, dealerships play a pivotal role in meeting those needs. This symbiotic relationship fosters rewarding prospects for individuals who seek financial success, incentivising young professionals to capitalise on the vast opportunities available. Numerous career paths within a dealership environment The transformative power of dealerships extends far beyond salesmanship. The industry now boasts a diverse landscape of career paths to suit various interests and skills. Aspiring professionals can delve into technical workshop skills, honing their expertise in handling sophisticated machinery and troubleshooting. Others can set their sights on management, where leadership and organisational prowess shine. Moreover, finance and insurance offer lucrative avenues, making the dealership a self-sustained microcosm of business possibilities. At the heart of the technological revolution, dealerships now showcase an impressive assortment of leading-edge products. From the latest electric vehicles to state-of-the-art technology, the industry has become a hotbed of innovation. By changing the perception of dealerships, we hope to attract a new wave of talent eager to be at the forefront of groundbreaking advancements.