History

NADA has been a leading force in the automotive industry since the early 1900s. We’ve seen the industry through waves of growth, innovation, legislation, war and recession. After nearly a century spent collecting and analyzing vehicle values, NADA has built the largest database of automotive transactions and gained the most far-reaching marketplace knowledge. This legacy of information and expertise forms the foundation on which we publish every value. Our rich history is also part of the reason why NADA values are so accurate and trusted.

We’ve always made efforts to keep our values unbiased, but NADA did have to heavily rely on dealership data in the early years. At our urging in the 1940s, vehicle manufacturers began encouraging dealers to provide us with sales figures. We also began making supplemental checks of data authenticity, and solicited statisticians and economists to confirm the soundness of our analysis methods. As data input methods advanced with the advent of computers and the internet, we continued to focus on accuracy, as we still do today.

NADA Through the Years

1910s

  • 1917: Dealers form NADA to convince U.S. Congress that cars are not a luxury, but are essential to the economy
  • 1918: First NADA Convention, in Chicago
  • 1918: NADA establishes headquarters in St. Louis

1920s

  • 1922: NADA begins study of used car values at U.S. government’s request
  • 1925: NADA helps develop uniform accounting methods and reforms in auto financing

1930s

  • 1933: U.S. government determines that existing used car guides are biased and asks NADA to publish the NADA Official Used Car Guide (NADA Guide) as part of the National Industrial Recovery Act
  • 1935: NADA begins conducting surveys to identify dealers’ problems
  • 1936: NADA relocates to Detroit and establishes a Used Car Creed with 12 rules, including, “Never keep a used car longer than 60 days”

1940s

  • 1941: NADA relocates to Washington, DC, and NADA Guide stays in Detroit
  • 1942–43: NADA recruits mechanics for NADA Battalions overseas, receives honors; dealers hire women
  • 1944: New car production halts; NADA lobbies against rationing and price ceilings for used vehicles
  • 1946: NADA Guide subscriptions jump from 28,000 to 50,000 because of increased interest in used vehicles
  • 1943, 1945 and 1946 conventions canceled because of the war

1950s

  • NADA urges dealers to adopt code of ethics because surveys reveal public distrust
  • 1956: NADA builds eight-story building in DC
  • 1956: Dealers can now sue automakers for extreme breaches of franchise agreements
  • 1958: Price Labeling Law takes effect, requiring price stickers on windshields

1960s

  • 1961: NADA starts the True Market Value Guide of wholesale and loan values
  • 1964: NADA’s first truck conference
  • 1968: NADA informs dealers about new Truth-in-Lending law, which informs consumers of cost of credit

1970s

  • 1975: NADA outgrows building and relocates to McLean, Va.
  • 1975: The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act regulates all aspects of car warranties and directs the FTC to create its used car rule, which requires dealers to disclose whether a car comes “as is” or with warranty
  • Mid-1970s: State and federal laws prevent automaker abuse of dealerships
  • 1979: Inflation and soaring interest rates cause 600 dealerships to close

1980s

  • 1981: NADA sues FTC for wanting dealers to list known defects, calling the requirement “nebulous, ambiguous and unworkable”
  • 1984: NADA conducts first all-member dealer attitude survey
  • 1987: NADA backs anti-odometer tampering law

1990s

  • 1990: NADA begins warranty study
  • 1996: NADA.org makes online debut

2000s

  • 2001: Longtime NADA president Frank McCarthy dies; Phillip D. Brady is named president
  • 2006: NADA Used Car Guide names Michael J. Stanton, Jr. V.P. & C.O.O.
  • 2007: NADA Used Car Guide adds cutting edge analytics tool and more values to its' product line up
  • 2010: NADA Online & NADA AppraisalPRO optimized for Smartphones
  • 2011: NADA Used Car Guide adds VIN Scanner app to its mobile products
  • 2012: NADA & JD Power form strategic alliance
  • 2013: NADA selects Peter K. Welch as new NADA President; NADA Used Car Guide celebrates 80 years of service

 

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