CDL 2024

Why I think you really must be at Car Dealer Live 2024 – James Baggott

  • Car Dealer Live 2024 takes place on March 7 at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon
  • It brings together some of the biggest names in the motor trade to speak on live stage
  • Panellists will discuss latest trends and give their opinions on the motor trade’s hot topics

Time 7:21 am, January 2, 2024

Since the pandemic, I’ve enjoyed live events more than ever – and I’m now seriously looking forward to our forthcoming Car Dealer Live event.

Taking place on March 7, at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon, the event will bring together some of the biggest names in the motor trade to talk about their businesses and share their top tips.

We’ve got an amazing line-up for this year’s event – sponsored once again by headline partners Auto Trader – and I can’t wait to take to the stage and talk to them all.

Tickets are available now on the dedicated Car Dealer Live 2024 website for trading car dealers and suppliers to the motor trade. Streaming tickets for those who can’t make the day are also available.

I’m especially excited about our two headline interviews. I’ll be talking to Peter Waddell, the firecracker behind the hugely successful Big Motoring World Group. 

He has built his used car supermarket into an enviable eight-site group with a series of acquisitions at a time many others in the used car world are struggling. I’ll be trying to find out the secret to his success.

In the franchised car dealer world, few people are as respected and admired as Peter Vardy, the man behind the eponymous dealer group that represents the likes of Porsche, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover.

Vardy will be talking about his unique business ethics and how he has built his dealer group on a number of key values and principals. Having chatted to Vardy a few times before, I know how inspirational he can be.

Our car dealer panels are also packed with other inspiring leaders who will be talking about their businesses and the very latest trends in the industry.

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I’ll be talking to our franchised car dealer group – which includes Peter Smyth from Swansway, Chris Wiseman from Wessex Garages and Sue Corkin, from Chorley Group – about the move to agency sales, growing AI trends and how they are dealing with EV sales at a time many retail buyers don’t want them.

Our independent dealer panel will feature Estelle Miller, co-founder of EV Experts, Alex Jones of car supermarket Carbase and Steve Dhesi, boss of SUV Prestige. 

I know all of these guests well and their respective used car businesses will give attendees a unique take on varying sections of the used car market. At a time when prices are fluctuating and the market has toughened, how will our panelists be planning to make the most of 2024?

It won’t just be my questions our guests will be taking, though – all attendees will be able to submit their own questions to the panels via an event app.

On my luxury car dealer panel I’ll have Tom Hartley, a former Used Car Awards Lifetime Achievement winner, as well as Brett Ward, from luxury group HR Owen. Both will give their unique takes on how the higher end of the car market is faring at a time still dogged by a cost of living crisis.

Our car manufacturer panel will feature Nicola Dobson, used car director of Stellantis, and Matt Galvin, UK MD for challenger Chinese brand Nio, who will give their take on the industry from a car maker level. I’ll be asking Galvin about his plans for launching his fascinating brand in the UK.

And some of my favourite sessions are always with our partners – which include headliners Auto Trader, iVendi, Cox Automotive, Automotive Transformation Group and Google. All of them will be producing exclusive research for the special event and sharing that with attendees on the day. We’ll be revealing more of what to expect from them over the next few weeks.

I’ve asked all our partners to bring along some dealer panellists to join them on stage so they can give their immediate feedback to the research delivered on the day too.

Tickets to the event include breakfast, lunch and refreshments as well as entry to the amazing British Motor Museum at Gaydon, which is well worth a look around during lunch or at the end of the day.

Parking is free and the packed day starts at 9am and finishes at 4.30pm. The 2023 event was hugely popular and feedback from attendees was superb.

Nigel Hurley, CEO of Carshop, said: ‘Car Dealer Live was informative, professionally organised and varied in content with all the current hot topics that we are wrestling with today in our industry. 

‘The panel of experts gave honest and clear feedback on how they saw the challenges and opportunities that we are dealing with right now and also what’s coming down the track at us. I will certainly be making next year’s event a date in the diary to attend.’

To book your tickets, visit the dedicated website now.

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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