I had the privilege of attending my first National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) convention this week in Las Vegas.
Quite honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was pleased to discover many similarities with my experiences at 47 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) conventions for franshise dealers.
First, many of the dealers I met are as astute and keen about their business as many franchise dealers. They understand the wholesale and retail marketplaces are changing fast, and they are wisely seeking new ideas, tools and ways to make their businesses more profitable and successful.
Second, like many franchise dealers, the independent dealers are deeply committed to their businesses. It’s their money on the line every day. They are hands-on, pragmatic operators, some of whom are likely to pick up a wrench or a chamois cloth to get a car ready for retail.
Third, I was struck by the family nature of the event itself. I met dealers, their wives and their children on the NIADA floor—a reminder that many, if not most, dealers of all types are, by their nature a family affair.
Finally, I was pleased to be a part of Cox Automotive’s impressive presence on the NIADA floor—a testimony to our commitment to serve independent dealers as we collectively transform the way the world buys and sells cars.
My hat’s off to NIADA’s Steve Jordan, CEO, and Joe Lescota, director of dealer development, for hosting an enlightening, productive and well-run event.
This year’s NIADA convention may have been my first, but it most definitely won’t be my last.