Luther Automotive is expanding its influence in the Twin Cities market as Mike Gallagher assumes the role of president for the Greater Metropolitan Area Auto Dealers Association (GMADA).
“Any good auto dealer is going to be a part of the fabric of its community.”
–Mike Gallagher, GMADA
President, Luther VP of Operations
The largest function, and funding stream for GMADA is the auto show, explains Gallagher. GMADA produces and manages the Twin Cities Auto Show. The group also represents the industry by working with local lawmakers as well as national legislators in Washington, D.C. In addition, GMADA coordinates metro dealerships’ union negotiations.
“This organization works hard to represent our interests,” he said. Interaction on the legislative side often involves explaining the size and importance of the car business to leaders. “Our industry is one of the state’s largest employers and our legislators need to understand what a vital role car dealers play in the Minnesota economy.”
What percentage of metro dealers are operated by Luther Auto? As an organization, the family owned company runs 24 of about 130 metro area dealerships, or about 18 percent.
The auto show event for those dealerships kicks off the spring selling season. “It’s really a tremendous show,” said Gallagher. GMADA works with the carmakers, organizes the floor, hires the talent, and manages advertising and all other aspects of the event.
As a group, Minnesota auto dealerships employ 19,000 people and represent a substantial amount of sales dollars, Gallagher explains. Also important is the local impact of auto dealers on their communities. “They’re very involved at the grass root level,” said Gallagher. From food drives to support for youth organizations, dealerships are engaged. “Any good auto dealer is going to be part of the fabric of its community.”