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The NFDA attended the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention and Expo in New Orleans last week. The convention marked the 100th anniversary of the US trade body. Over 20,000 dealers from across the globe, including 1,500 delegates from Europe, attended the event.
The NADA convention proved to be once again a very worthwhile event which provides an ideal opportunity for networking, learning, sharing ideas and comparing how the franchise automotive retail industry works in the US.
A number of interesting workshops, over the four days of the event, covered topics such as digital marketing, best practices, and the role of dealerships in future, which analysed how the franchise model might look in 10 years’ time.
Keynote speakers at the convention included Mark Fields, President and CEO of Ford Motor Company, and Roger Penske from Penske Inc. It was particularly interesting to hear Mark Fields’s view of the industry, particularly the development of autonomous vehicles in the future, and how this may change customers’ buying habits.
At NADA, the NFDA was very busy. Firstly, visiting a large Chevrolet dealer to obtain an insight into how dealerships operate in the US. This was then followed by a number of meetings with NFDA’s US and European counterparts, which helped us understand the challenges that the sector is facing outside the UK. Discussions with dealers and workshops confirmed that US dealers have the same issues with manufacturers as we do here in the UK.
We are now looking forward to next year’s event.