Peter Welch, who has served as president and CEO of the Sacramento-based California New Car Dealers Association since 2003, has been selected as the new president of the National Automobile Dealers Association.
"I'm excited and honored to be selected as the next NADA president, but I'll miss California and miss working for the state's best entrepreneurs," said Welch, 59.
Welch will take the helm at NADA, based in McLean, Va., on Feb. 1.
Welch has managed CNCDA's government affairs office since 1990.
NADA said Welch, a native of Detroit, was the unanimous choice of its board of directors, meeting in Dallas.
"Peter will be a great leader at NADA," said Bill Underriner, NADA Chairman. "He has an impressive track record in California, where every day he faced some of the toughest regulatory and legislative issues in the industry.
"He's a car guy who comes highly recommended not just from people in California but also across the nation."
CNCDA Chairman Darryl Holter, dealer/operator of Downtown L.A. Auto Group, said CNCDA has formed a search committee to find a replacement for Welch and has retained an executive search firm to assist with that effort.
CNCDA is the nation's largest state association of franchised new car and truck dealers, representing nearly 1,300 dealers.
NADA, which traces its root back to 1917, represents nearly 16,000 new-vehicle dealers.