29th March, 2018 · CEO Message

CEO Message No. 31

2 minutes to read

In 1960, Robert S. McNamara, then President of Ford Motor Company, was asked by President John F Kennedy to become Secretary of Defence.

Robert S McNamara
8th US Secretary of Defence 

McNamara had an impressive record. A Harvard graduate, he joined Ford Motor Company in 1946 as one of the ten original ex-Army ‘Whiz Kids’ hired by Henry Ford II to turn the failing automaker around. He rose quickly to become CEO at the age of 44. During his tenure at the helm at Ford he approved the Falcon which went on to become one of Ford’s best sellers ever – and which itself spawned the legendary Mustang.

Not a bad hit rate…

As Defence Secretary, his conduct of the Vietnam war was controversial. In his late old age, he documented his lingering and persistent doubts about the fraught decisions he made during that tragic conflict in a film entitled The Fog of War – named for the military concept depicting the difficulty of making decisions in the heat of battle.

Some will call the comparison overblown, but our policy makers and legislators face a similar fog – the facts are often complex, the issues far from clear and the consequences and outcomes uncertain as lawmakers seek wisdom in their regulations and statutes.

At AADA, the most significant contribution we can make to this process is to strive for absolute clarity around the objectives of our advocacy efforts.

With that in mind, you will read in this newsletter of the six key principles we are seeking for inclusion in an Automotive Industry Code. In partnership with an advisory group of dealer members we’ve been able to provide the Minister and Treasury with highly specific, clear guidance as to what success looks like for AADA in this matter.

There are no quick fixes, and the journey to a fully featured and effective Code that redresses the unfair imbalance in some industry relationships is potentially a long one. That said, lifting the fog a little isn’t a bad way to start the process.

Please enjoy this update from our Secretariat covering the many issues we are working on, and as ever I wish you …

Good Luck and Good Selling.