The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, is pleased to announce the appointment of Patrick O’Connell as NFDA Head of Operations.

The NFDA has appointed Patrick (Paddy) O’Connell as new the Head of Operations. Paddy takes over from Stephen Latham who has been in the role for the past 12 years. Steve will remain with the NFDA as advisor for commercial vehicles.

Commenting on the appointment, Sue Robinson, NFDA Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted to welcome Paddy to the NFDA team at an extremely busy and challenging time. I would also like to thank Steve for his hard work providing operational support and guidance to NFDA members”.

In particular, Steve has built relationships with Government departments, including DVSA and DVLA that have allowed him to provide dealers’ feedback on a regular basis and, in turn, keep NFDA members up to date on all relevant regulatory changes.

Stephen has also played a key role in developing NFDA’s Drive My Career and the Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) accreditation scheme launched in February 2018 and May 2019 respectively.

Patrick ‘Paddy’ O’Connell joins the association with a varied automotive background. At the beginning of his professional career, he got involved in all aspects of running a used car dealership, under the tutorship of his father.

In 2013, he joined Group1 Automotive as the Group Buyer for their Ford division to gain franchised dealer knowledge. Covering cars and commercials, the role allowed him to take part in several projects and also to complete a four-year master’s degree in Automotive Retail Management at Loughborough University.