#NADA2015: We learn some lessons from the NADA experts

Time 9:00 am, January 25, 2015

Jet lag has some benefits - you're much more likely to see the sunrise...

Jet lag has some benefits – you’re much more likely to see the sunrise…

WE’RE three days into the NADA Convention and Expo and already we’ve had our tiny English minds blown.

Car Dealer is in San Francisco at the world’s largest convention of dealers and have picked up a host of tips, tricks and stories to report in the next issue.

We’ve just returned from the key note speech by former Tonight host Jay Leno who filled a packed room of more than a thousand dealers.

It was more of a stand-up routine – filled with witty one liners – which had the dealers (and us) roaring with laughter as he poked fun at his kinsman’s love of food.

Jay Leno poked fun at American's eating habits - 'who wants their pizza topped with more pizza? You guessed it, Americans,' he said

Jay Leno poked fun at American’s eating habits – ‘who wants their pizza topped with more pizza? You guessed it, Americans,’ he said

Before his set, the incoming chairman of NADA was revealed. Bill Fox will represent 17,600 American car dealers for the next year and will help lobby the government on behalf of their interests.

‘The best time to be a car dealer is now,’ he told the audience. ‘Today is unequivocally the greatest time to be in the retail auto industry.

‘Last year we sold 16.4 million new cars which equated to $700bn and this year we’re forecast to sell 17m more. That’s more sales and more opportunity.’

Before his speech I managed to grab an exclusive interview with the current NADA chairman, Forrest McConnell who spent 20 minutes telling us why this show was so important.

‘It’s not only great fun but educational too – it’s a must-attend event,’ he told me. I’ll be running his full interview in the next issue of Car Dealer.

We drove our rented Dodge Challenger on some Bullit-esque roads today

We drove our rented Dodge Challenger on some Bullit-esque roads today

I’m here with Car Dealer’s operations director Andy Entwistle to pick up some hints and tips for our very own Conference & Automotive Expo which will take place at Silverstone on June 9.

We had a brain storming session over corned beef hash and eggs breakfast in a couldn’t-be-more-American-if-it-tried diner. We’ve got quite a plan for our special event and you really need to be there.

Car Dealer Conference & Automotive Expo logo 2015It’s free to attend and you can apply for tickets simply by clicking here. We plan to have more than 100 exhibitors and have already lined up key note speeches from Ken Ramirez, Renault Dacia MD, and Scott Sinclair from Google.

And we’ve got lots more up our sleeves.

We’ve had a fantastic response to the event from exhibitors here at NADA. I’ve been handing out magazines to everyone we meet and their reaction is always the same. ‘Wow, this is free for dealers,’ they say to me.

Even McConnell was amazed with the look and feel of the magazine. I can’t tell you how proud it makes me feel every time I see their faces and hear their comments.

I hope one day some of them will be making the effort to come and hear what the UK is up to at our very own Car Dealer Conference


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James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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