Reviews are mixed about this year’s NADA Conference and Expo, which just wrapped up in Florida.
Noticeably smaller in exhibitor size and numbers, the turnout was also less than stellar as sparse walkways replaced the large crowds seen at NADAs past.
But despite the smaller attendance figures (not yet released by the NADA), the mood was a lot more optimistic than last year’s show in New Orleans.
“I think last year, everyone was waiting for the shoe to drop,” said one dealer on the floor. “This year, we all know the situation and we are here to do business.”
The show kicked off on Friday as NADA chairman John McEleny addressed the convention attendees. McEleny talked about the tough road to get here over the last 12 months, but said he is optimistic about way lay ahead for the industry.
“I am confident our future is significantly brighter than our past,” he said.
The show floor was host to all the action as new products from DealerTrack, Reynolds & Reynolds and DealerSocket garnered much of the early attention.
“This place has been a zoo,” TradeTracker rep Bill Xinaris said at the DealerTrack booth on Sunday.
On the service side, Rotary Lift debuted its Y-Lift early on Saturday morning. According to the company, the new product lifts faster and will improve technician productivity and “increase by revenue.”
The Hunter Engineering both also had a lot of buzz over the weekend as representative showed off some of the new hardware in the world of tires and alignment.
Look for expanded coverage of specific products in the April issue of Canadian AutoWorld.
A major theme this year surrounded website and digital optimization. Many companies talked about expanding into social networking – covered extensively in the February issue of Canadian AutoWorld.
A hot new trend for 2010 seems to be mobile applications for both the dealers and consumers. On the back end, a number of DMS and CRM companies, including ADP, were debuting mobile versions of products so dealers could monitor the business through a 3G cellphone.
On the consumer end, groups like Click Motive were offering dealership apps for mobile browsers that would feature store information like location, contacts and inventory, all accessible through a cellphone application.
- For a complete wrap-up on the 2010 NADA with full coverage of new products and systems, check out the next issue of Canadian AutoWorld -