William P. Underriner — February 2013
2012 NADA Chairman
This week, the nation’s new-car and -truck dealers will meet in Orlando for the 96th annual NADA Convention and Expo.
The U.S. economy is gaining momentum and new-car sales are leading the way. In fact, “Momentum” is the convention theme.
Over four days, from Feb. 8-11, we are expecting more than 20,000 new-car dealers and managers, auto industry executives and exhibitors from across the globe to join us.
It’s the second consecutive year that the American Truck Dealers Convention and Expo will run concurrently with NADA, and that will add to the energy and excitement.
There’s a lot to do: dealer franchise meetings, shopping the expo floor and, between the two conventions, more than 158 workshop sessions covering 60 topics offered in eight time slots.
The stellar lineup of keynote speakers includes former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Hyundai’s John Krafcik and inspirational speaker Mark Kelly, a former astronaut and husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
One of the most anticipated news conferences at the convention will announce the findings from our Phase II study of mandated dealership renovation programs, which require dealers to collectively invest billions of dollars. Auto industry consultant Glenn Mercer will provide insight into the return-on-investment of these programs as well as what dealerships of the future will look like.
To give us a better understanding of where the industry is headed, Paul Taylor, NADA chief economist, and Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst with the NADA Used Car Guide, will highlight new- and used-vehicle market trends for 2013.
For a relaxing retreat from your busy schedules, visit one of the four Lifestyle Experience venues or take a break in the Social Media Zone, all located on the Expo floor.
New for 2013, NADA has partnered with the National Marrow Donor Program’s “Be The Match” initiative for a donor drive during the convention. It’s a very important cause to my wife, Mary, and me. Please take the time to provide a quick cheek-cell sample at one of the “Be The Match” locations near the Lifestyle Experience venues. A marrow transplant can be lifesaving for people with leukemia, lymphoma and other diseases.
When you’re in Orlando, keep up with convention events by watching NADA-TV, available in most convention hotels and online at NADAFrontPage.com.
We look forward to seeing you in Orlando and safe travels!