NIADA – Scott Allen, owner of Auto Land in Haltom City, Texas, began his term as president of the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association for 2022-23 by receiving the President's Ring Tuesday during the 76th annual NIADA Convention and Expo at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
In his inaugural address, Allen, who succeeds 2021-22 president Joe McCloskey, summed up his priority for his term in one word: “Execution.”
“Execution of our strategic plan and the important initiatives we’ve started,” he said. “With the help of three boards, 11 committees, a commission and two councils, I believe we are poised to reach the goals we’ve set this year. There will be input from 53 at-large dealers on those committees.
“We as the NIADA board are focused on members first and our state associations next – their growth and success – all while maintaining the viability and sustainability of your national association. And while maintaining the best member benefits, the best advocacy in D.C. and the states, and the best education, conventions and training we can possibly give you.”
Growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, Allen’s focus wasn’t on cars, but on cattle. His father, Gary, was a third-generation livestock broker for the Foley-Allen cattle company in what was then known as “the Wall Street of the West” – the Fort Worth Stockyards.
“From the time I was 13 years old, my summers were going to work with my dad at 5 a.m. every morning,” he recalled. “The cattle auction was my stomping grounds. Since I was young and had fresh legs, my job was to chase the cattle, after being sorted by weight, to the auction barn.”
At those auctions, Allen became fascinated by the commodities brokers and the speed at which money changed hands, as well as the frantic pace of the traders. So after graduating from Texas Tech with a degree in business, he pursued his dream and went to work as a stockbroker and Nasdaq trader.
That dream was shaken by the stock market crash of 1987. At about the same time, the Fort Worth Livestock Exchange closed its doors, leaving Gary Allen to look for his next venture.
“My dad noticed all the auctioneers who used to work in the cattle business were shifting over to auto auctions,” Allen said. “He began talking to his accountant, who was also the bookkeeper for several tote-the-note lots in the area, and he pulled me into those conversations.”
Intrigued by the possibilities, Allen and his father met with several local Buy Here-Pay Here dealers to learn about the business and how to make it a success.
“My dad and I had quite a few laughs years later as we figured out they all lied to us,” he said.
With their dubious advice in hand, the Allens opened Auto Land on Jan. 2, 1991, in a 700-square foot cinder-block building in nearby Haltom City. In the 30 years since, the operation has financed more than 10,000 vehicles with revenues totaling more than $60 million.
When his father passed away in 2003, Allen, who had long been a member of NIADA, decided to become more involved.
“I’d lost that sounding board for all my crazy ideas,” he said. “So I thought the state and national associations would be a great place to get more connected to everything independent auto dealer.”
Allen became president of Fort Worth’s local independent dealers association and Texas IADA before joining the NIADA board of directors in 2015, serving as Region III vice president, treasurer, senior vice president and president-elect.
Allen is a Certified Master Dealer and in 2011 was awarded NIADA’s highest dealer honor, the National Quality Dealer award.