In 1965 a group of business owners in the tire and retreading industry got together to oppose legislation that would have had a negative impact on their business. They quickly realized that to defeat the proposal, they needed a strong and unified voice. From this, the Virginia Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association was formed with their office in Roanoke. As the industry evolved, and being closer to the Virginia General Assembly became more important, the office was relocated to Richmond, and the name was changed to the Virginia Tire & Automotive Service Dealers Association to be better reflective of the members’ mix of business. The industry continued to change, as tire dealers starting perfoming more auto service, and garages started selling more tires. Specialty shops, such as muffler shops, began to sell more auto repair service and tires, and the traditional service stations continued to do all of this.
It became apparent that the issues each of these types of automotive related businesses was very similar in nature, and the need to join together in one voice was more important than ever; thus the name was changed to the Virginia Automotive Association to again better reflect who we are. Today, VAA dealer shop members include tire stores, garages, service stations, muffler shops and some collision centers. Our Supplier members, who provide goods and services to the dealer shops, include computer software vendors, parts stores, tire wholesalers, wheel distributors and much more. Our volunteer leadership, the Board of Directors, includes garage owners, tire & service shop owners, retreaders and commercial truck service owners, service station owners, a muffler shop owner, and representatives from tire wholesalers and auto parts companies. Every region of the state is represented on our Board.
The VAA has provided training and education programs for auto technicians, tire technicians, owners, managers, salesmen and service managers. We hold an annual convention and trade show, which features education sessions and the latest in equipment and technology. Our endorsed programs get members preferred pricing on certain expense items and our HR program keeps them up to date with related HR issues. Members receive vital information through four newsletters per year, email broadcasts and on our website. And as in 1965, we realize the importance of a strong Government Affairs program. In addition to retaining a lobbyist for monitoring in the Virginia General Assembly, we maintain relationships, and work closely with state agencies including the Virginia State Police, Department of Environmental Quality, Consumer Affairs, Department of Labor and the Department of Taxation.