NADA wraps in New Orleans on chilly note


NEW ORLEANS, LA. – More than 22,000 new-car and truck dealers, including nearly 1,500 attendees from more than 40 countries, and executives from across the industry convened in New Orleans this weekend for the 2014 NADA Convention and Expo.

The convention, considered by many to be the automotive industry event of the year, included 26 dealer-manufacturer franchise meetings, keynote speakers, 174 workshops sessions covering 64 topics with 50 new instructors and 566 exhibitors occupying 700,000 square feet of floor space at the Expo.

“New Orleans looks better than it ever has,” said Desmond Roberts, chairman of NADA’s convention committee. “The city has been through a lot, but it too has rebounded and thrived just like the auto industry. It’s fitting to be in a city as tough and determined as our industry.”

Canadian registrations make up the largest portion of the international presence. According to NADA reps, the 2012 show in Las Vegas drew 783 Canadians. The San Francisco show in 2011 drew 515.

More than 550 Canadians were registered for the 2013 show in Orlando but the actual turnout was smaller largely due to a massive winter storm that grounded flights at Toronto’s Pearson Airport just hours before opening day.

Figures for the Canadian presence at this year’s show were not immediately available.

Weather is also playing a factor in the 2014 edition as a rare winter snow storm forced the closure of New Orleans’ airport Tuesday.

Canadian AutoWorld has the entire show covered and will provide a full report in our upcoming issue, set to hit desks in dealerships across the country in mid-February. Ahead of that, some highlights of the convention included:

-    ADP launching ServiceEdge in Canada. The program has been in pilot in a few dealerships in Canada and should be set for a full rollout around April.
-    DealerSocket also has a service solution for Canadian dealers. Its mobile inspection and retention program is available as of this weekend.
-    PBS is expanding its Calgary office and announced a concentrated push into the U.S. DMS market. THe Canadian DMS provider also confirmed it will be rolling out the final component of Aristo later this year.
-    Final Coat took its largest booth ever at NADA and is pushing its online testmonial videos. The F&I provider also had its rust modules on full display.
-    vAuto marketing rep Lance Helgeson confirmed it would take an estimated five to six months to get all of the U.S. dealers it signed to its new program Conquest at the show up and running. The success of the program in America means any likely timeframe to have Conquest in Canada will be pushed back.
-    DealerFire revealed it is working with some Canadian dealer groups including O’Regan’s Automotive Group. The startup said the next big thing for dealers online is responsive sites that ensure consistency across platforms.
-    XTime confirmed it was rolling out the latest products under its 7-Series banner and working on securing preferred vendor status with another OEM.