5 regional dealer associations recommend opposing proposed merger by EDA
Editor’s Note: The letter below has been sent to members of 5 regional dealer associations encouraging dealers to oppose the proposed merger between Equipment Dealers Assn., Western Equipment Dealers Assn. and Midwest-SouthEastern Equipment Dealers Assn.
On December 28, 2021, the Equipment Dealers Association (EDA) announced its intention to merge with three separate regional associations of equipment dealers. The idea is to merge the four entities into a single organization representing dealers at 1) state 2) US national 3) provincial and 4) Canadian national.
The boards of directors of half of the equipment dealership associations in North America believe this is a fundamentally flawed concept that will reduce EDA’s ability to carry out its core mission, which is to meet the needs of our industry. national concerns. Simply put, the merged EDA organization will be responsible for representing the dealers on too many different levels. From a legislative and regulatory standpoint alone, the merger would require the EDA to become an industry advocate with at least 28 different state and provincial governments… in addition to the US and Canadian governments!
Our five associations are urging all EDA members to vote against the merger once you receive a ballot, which will likely take place in January.
Over the past few decades, there have been multiple attempts, in one way or another, to merge EDA with selected associations. The last attempt was in September 2012, when the EDA board considered and passed a resolution that would achieve a pseudo-merger. Following this meeting, EDA board members had the opportunity to review and discuss the resolution with their respective state and regional boards. The majority of associations opposed the concept of amalgamation, questioning the ability of a merged organization to maintain a strong and effective national presence, among other concerns. Ultimately, the EDA board agreed that there were fundamental flaws in the merger model and that the EDA should rescind the resolution and “immediately suspend all action“above. Nine years later, a similar concept is being promoted again.
States, provinces and 2 merged countries: an imperfect model
EDA’s proposal to exist as a national and local organization for dealers at the US national, Canadian national, state and provincial levels is a concept that runs counter to currently established and effective models. AED should not allocate time or resources to management state or provincial business. Typically, when an organization moves further away from local control, it becomes less effective at its local level. EDA should only focus on solving problems at the national level. This is a proven approach.
To look closer
There are many other concerns related to the EDA’s proposal to juggle problem management for dozens of states and provinces… not to mention solving national problems for two countries. Some of these concerns include:
- Individual needs of states and provinces: Each state and province has its own needs and issues, including those involving laws, regulations, economics, etc. How can an organization provide expert representation for two countries, and also keep abreast of the needs of 60 states and provinces … or even the 28 states and provinces targeted by the proposed merger? It will no doubt be more difficult to address the specialized concerns of states and provinces through a large international conglomerate, rather than through the regional associations that have traditionally been in place.
- Financial and human resource concerns: The proposed merger of the EDA would probably make it very difficult to equitably distribute financial and human resources between national issues and state / province specific affairs. Look at the big picture: three regional associations would be merged with the “national” association, while seven regional associations would still operate independently, outside of the merged organization. All dealers, both inside and outside the merged organization, would be asked to pay “national” dues. How will these funds be managed within the merged organization? For example, states that are not part of the EDA or, in fact, subsidize state and province specific initiatives managed by the EDA, even though the initiatives may provide zero value to dealerships outside of those states or provinces?
- Conflict of interest: One of EDA’s three priorities is relations with manufacturers. Building strong and trusting relationships is essential to effect change in this area. Over the decades, dealers in many states have actively promoted dealer protection legislation. If the EDA manages the affairs of a state or a province, it will be responsible for introducing legislation that may have a negative impact on manufacturers. How can EDA effectively develop manufacturer relationships and relationships for all North American dealers as EDA simultaneously fights manufacturers in state and provincial legislatures … battles that can only benefit ‘to a particular state or province? Additionally, if the vast majority of dealers in an AED state or province are asking for legislation, who makes the decision to introduce that legislation and who will provide the funding?
EDA was trained as an equipment dealer National association. His role as the voice of equipment dealers across the United States is crucial and very stimulating. This requires a targeted mission and dedicated human and financial resources. Our national association, the EDA, should not spend limited resources trying to manage the affairs of individual states, provinces and two countries. This concept would be require the EDA to advocate with at least 28 different state and provincial governments … in addition to the US and Canadian governments!
The ballots will likely be sent out in January 2022. Your vote to OPPOSE the merger will keep the EDA’s attention on national issues. On behalf of the following boards of directors, we urge you to OPPOSE the proposal to merge the EDA with certain state and provincial associations.
Canadian East Equipment Dealers Association
Association of Equipment Dealers of the Great South
Wild West Equipment Dealers Association
Montana Equipment Dealers Association
Association of Pioneer Equipment Resellers