President Donald Trump’s economic policy came under fire from Utah dealer Brad Strong, who will serve as 2018 chairman of the American International Automobile Dealers Association. Photo by Michael Vadon via Flickr

President Donald Trump’s economic policy came under fire from Utah dealer Brad Strong, who will serve as 2018 chairman of the American International Automobile Dealers Association. Photo by Michael Vadon via Flickr

LAS VEGAS — The American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) today announced that Salt Lake City, Utah, dealer Brad Strong will serve as its 2018 chairman.

Strong, who is the co-dealer principal of Strong Volkswagen, Audi Salt Lake City, and Porsche Salt Lake City, took over the position in February of this year, but was recognized at AIADA’s 48th Annual Meeting and Luncheon, held in Las Vegas last week. During his remarks, he emphasized the role dealers like him play in the U.S. economy and what dealers must do to defend their businesses.

“We need to work with AIADA to hold congressional visits at our dealerships where we can share our investment numbers and our employment stats. That’s the best shot we have at convincing lawmakers that trade wars aren’t abstract fights between nations and political parties. Trade wars have real consequences, and unfortunately for us, they can have real casualties,” Strong said.

Strong is a third-generation dealer. With his brother, Blake, he runs a stable of dealerships in Salt Lake City that have been in operation since the 1940s. Last year, they opened a new downtown Volkswagen store. Strong is an active member of the auto retail industry, having served on AIADA’s Board of Directors since 2009, and is taking on the role of chairman as international nameplate dealers are facing new trade and tariff policies that stand to impact the price of the vehicles they sell to millions of American customers.

“Washington has no sense of how price sensitive this industry is, and just how easily their tax and tariff schemes could send annual auto sales into a tailspin, costing thousands of jobs,” Strong said.

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