Commentary: Engage in New Opportunities

22 Aug

By Forrest McConnell, III / NADA chairman

Rising car sales are leading the economic recovery. Dealers are hiring. And for the first time since the Great Recession, new-car dealerships across the country now employ more than 1 million people.1354Keynotesinglesforrest

The forecast this year calls for sales of about 16.4 million new cars and light trucks. Next year, the forecast is even brighter with sales of nearly 16.8 million new vehicles.

Now is the perfect time to Engage in your future.

Looking ahead to 2015, the NADA Convention & Expo in San Francisco next January offers dealers and their managers as well as the entire auto industry a premiere forum to exchange ideas and learn new ways to improve business operations.

And even if you’ve been to the NADA convention in the past, there’s always something new to learn. If you’ve never been to the convention before, what are you waiting for?

The 24 dealer-manufacturer franchise meetings, 59 new workshop topics and 126 workshop sessions and numerous networking events are second-to-none. They’ll make you and your dealerships leaner, smarter and ready to tackle the challenges for 2015 and beyond.

Engage in new technology and social media. New to the workshop program in 2015 are the Super Sessions on Thursday, Jan. 22, which includes a panel of successful NADA NextGen dealers who will share their insight on how emerging technologies are reshaping auto retailing, as well as a presentation on best practices to win digital buyers; and on Sunday, Jan. 25, the Technology Town Halls feature Q&A sessions with key executive staff from eBay, Google and others on how they can help dealers sell more cars.

We’ve also expanded the Expo, which will include nearly 500 companies exhibiting in more than 600,000 square feet at the Moscone Center.

The keynote speakers are former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Jay Leno and inspirational speaker Beck Weathers, as well as NADA Vice Chairman Bill Fox and me. The speaker bios are available here.

The four-day event, dubbed the “Automotive Industry Event of the Year,” runs Thursday, Jan. 22, to Sunday, Jan. 25, at the Moscone Center.

Online registration is open. Dealers and their managers should make their reservations as soon as possible. Hotels rooms are filling up quickly. Attendee registration is at its highest pace since 2007. Fourteen hotels have already sold out.

Join us in San Francisco, and Engage in new opportunities.

We look forward to seeing you there!

McConnell is a Honda/Acura dealer in Montgomery, Ala.

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