McLEAN, Va. — The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) announced this week that Peter K. Welch was selected as its new president. Welch, who will assume his new position on Feb. 1, had served as president and CEO of the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA), based in Sacramento.

The appointment was made after a unanimous vote by the NADA Board of Directors during a special meeting in Dallas on Jan. 8. The decision follows an extensive search  following an extensive nationwide search. Welch will become the NADA president officially on Feb. 1.

"Peter will be a great leader at NADA," said Bill Underriner, the NADA chairman and new-car dealer from Billings, Mont. "He has an impressive track record in California, where every day he faced some of the toughest regulatory and legislative issues in the industry. He's a car guy who comes highly recommended, not just from people in California, but also across the nation.”

Welch has managed the CNCDA’s government affairs office, overseeing all legal, legislative and regulatory affairs, since 1990. The association represents the country’s largest state organization for new-car dealers.

"I'm excited and honored to be selected as the next NADA president," said Welch, 59. “The NADA is a well-run organization. I look forward to following in the tradition of strong leadership at NADA. I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and get started.”

Dave Westcott, the NADA vice chairman, said he is looking forward to working with the new president. "Peter Welch is a great selection," said Westcott, a new-car dealer from Burlington, N.C. "He is the right person to help lead our organization as we confront the challenges ahead."

The NADA also announced the following appointment and promotions:

• Joseph L. Cowden, executive vice president, chief operating officer and CFO
• Andrew D. Koblenz, executive vice president of legal and regulatory affairs and general counsel
• David W. Regan, executive vice president of legislative affairs