National Automobile Dealers Association

2012 Convention on Pace to Be Biggest Since 2008


Stephen W. Wade
 2011 NADA Chairman
Stephen Wade — December, 2011

There’s a running joke among dealers that no matter what happens, we’ll find something to be optimistic about. The good news is we have much to be optimistic about these days. The consumer confidence index jumped 15 points. November auto sales will be the best since the “clunkers” program, and a new study predicts the auto industry will add 150,000 new jobs over the next four years. Things are looking up.

Expect that optimism to carry over this February, too, when we head to Las Vegas for the NADA/ATD 2012 Convention & Expo. If the last few months of 2011 are any indication, we have a lot to look forward to in 2012. The Expo is sold out. Convention attendance is up, which means the 2012 convention is shaping up to be one of the biggest in recent memory.

This convention will mark the first time NADA and its American Truck Dealers (ATD) division will host a combined event for car dealers and heavy- and medium-duty truck dealers. And early interest is off the charts. For the first time since the economic collapse of 2008, we’re on pace to draw more than 20,000 attendees.

As always, we’ll have a host of dynamic speakers, including Chrysler’s Sergio Marchionne; Aron Ralston, the climber who inspired the Oscar-nominated film “127 Hours”; and, our keynote speaker, former President George W. Bush. NADA University is offering more than 50 workshops, with two full workshop sessions beginning Friday, Feb. 3. And J.D. Power and Associates will again co-host Friday night’s Welcome Reception. We’ll also crown a new TIME Dealer of the Year and announce the winners of the ATD Commercial Truck of the Year and ATD/Heavy Duty Trucking Truck Dealer of the Year awards.

It’s going to be quite an event – and not just because it’s Super Bowl weekend! Hotel rooms are filling up quickly. In fact, seven hotels have already sold out. So if you haven’t done so already, make your plans today to attend by visiting There’s no better place to take the pulse of our entire industry. And chances are the outlook will be … optimistic!

Download the NADA 2012 mobile app for iPhone or Android to get updates on the convention and plan your visit!

For more comprehensive news from NADA, click here to sign up for NADA's award-winning e-newsletter, NADA Headlines. It's free and provides a daily look at what's happening in the automotive industry. Feedback or questions about this column may be sent to