NADA to Focus on Economy CAFE Fight and Dealer Factory Relations at Convention

Media Advisory

MCLEAN, Va., (Jan. 29, 2008) - The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has assembled a stellar lineup of leading industry, television and news personalities to speak at its 91st Annual Convention & Exposition in San Francisco Feb. 9-12, 2008.

Dale Willey, 2007 NADA chairman, will deliver a keynote address Saturday, February 9, which kickoffs a cast of industry and media heavyweights - including NADA Chief Economist Paul C. Taylor on Sunday, February 10. Comedian and host of “The Tonight Show” Jay Leno; ABC News reporter Bob Woodruff and his wife, Lee; and former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw join the slate of speakers.

“NADA is offering informative, entertaining and inspiring perspectives from some of the most recognizable names in news and entertainment,” said NADA Convention Chairman Peter Blackstock of Victory Toyota, Seaside, Calif. “This year's speaker lineup has something to offer everyone.”

Dale Willey, 2007 NADA Chairman, Urges Automakers to Treat Dealers as “Real Partners”
Saturday, February 9
2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

Dale Willey will highlight why dealers are “uniquely qualified” to connect three sectors that drive the automotive industry - consumers, automakers and Congress. As the first point of contact, dealers are the bridge that connects consumers with automakers. Automakers need to treat dealers as “real partners” with one goal in mind - producing and selling vehicles that people want to drive. Unlike many trade associations that have become marginalized over the years, NADA has adapted to industry change and remains a powerful voice for dealers and the entire industry. Franchised new-car and truck dealers have played a key role in the auto industry for more than 100 years and will become even more critical over the next century.

Rick Wagoner, General Motor Corp. Chairman and CEO
Saturday, February 9
2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

Rick Wagoner will present his views on the state of the industry and dealer relations. Wagoner began his career with General Motors in 1977 as an analyst in the treasurer's office in New York. Since then, he has held numerous positions in financial operations. He served as president and managing director of GM of Brazil in 1991 and 1992. Prior to that, he was vice president in charge of finance for GM Europe based in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1989 and 1990. Wagoner was elected GM chairman and chief executive officer in 2003 and served as executive vice president of GM and president of North American Operations since 1994. He was executive vice president and chief financial officer from 1992 to 1994 and also had responsibility for worldwide purchasing from 1993 to 1994.

Jay Leno, The Tonight Show Host
Saturday, February 9
2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

Television talk show host and comedian Jay Leno will speak to attendees on Saturday, February 9, following the industry keynote address by General Motors Corp. Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner. Host of the Emmy Award-winning “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” for the past 15 years, Leno has earned millions of fans worldwide. One of the country's premier comedians, Leno has appeared in hundreds of comedy shows around the country and abroad. A well-known car enthusiast with a vast collection of classic automobiles and motorcycles, Leno will deliver an entertaining perspective of the auto industry and life in general.

Bob Woodruff, ABC News Anchor
Lee Woodruff, Good Morning America Correspondent
Sunday, February 10
9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

Husband and wife team Bob and Lee Woodruff will deliver the inspirational address on Sunday, February 10. Mr. Woodruff joined ABC News in 1996, and was named co-anchor of ABC's “World News Tonight” in Dec. 2005. On Jan. 29, 2006, while reporting on U.S. and Iraqi security forces, he was seriously injured by a roadside bomb that struck his vehicle near Taji, Iraq. In Feb. 2007, Bob and Lee released the book “In an Instant:  A Family's Journey of Love, Courage, and Healing,” detailing the ordeal. The Woodruffs will speak to convention attendees about the personal journey that changed their lives forever.

NADA Chief Economist Paul C. Taylor Offers Highly Anticipated Auto Outlook for 2008
Sunday, February 10
12 p.m. - 12:45 p.m., Room 228 S
Moscone Center

Paul C. Taylor, Ph.D., chief economist of NADA's Industry Analysis, will provide his highly anticipated “Automotive Sales Outlook for 2008” and “Automotive Sales Review for 2007.” As one of the nation's top automotive analysts, Taylor will discuss the impact of the housing slow down, credit crunch and energy prices on new and used vehicle sales. Other topics include a first look into sales trends in 2008, like sales of crossover utility vehicles (CUVs), small cars and hybrids. Before joining NADA in 1999, Taylor served as senior economist for America's Community Bankers. Prior, he was senior economist for the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress. Taylor headed the Fiscal Policy Council and was a Senior Financial Analyst at the U.S. International Trade Commission. Taylor earned his bachelor's degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and holds a master's and doctoral degrees in economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. In 1981, he completed his doctoral dissertation under the guidance of James Buchanan, the 1986 Nobel Laureate in economics. Taylor's grandfather was a long-time Ford and American Motors dealer in Warrenton, Va.

2008 NADA Chairman Annette Sykora Says CAFE Fight Has Just Begun
Monday, February 11
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

Annette Sykora, 2007 NADA vice chairman, takes the gavel as 2008 chairman Monday, February 11. More than ever, dealers have to “think outside the showroom,” Sykora says. Dealers have to maintain an effective dialogue with automakers and policymakers to ensure that consumer needs remain at the center of product development. How do the automakers get to 35 mpg by 2020? The answer directly impacts the future of franchised dealers. The decisions automakers make today on research and development will determine what dealers sell in the coming years. The decisions policymakers and the courts make may also determine what dealers sell. Consumers are the ultimate decision-makers on the success or failure of fuel economy policies. Dealers want policies that accelerate consumer demand, not stifle it. Public policy must encourage turnover of the existing fleet of cars to avoid the “jalopy effect,” so that saving energy and cutting tailpipe emissions will be achieved. Dealers must recognize that they are part of a broader industry. More than ever - for better or worse - dealer responsibilities do not end in the showroom. Sykora is dealer principal of Smith Ford Mercury in Slaton, Texas, and Smith South Plains Ford, Lincoln-Mercury, Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep in Levelland, Texas. She replaces Dale Willey as NADA chairman for 2008.

Tom Brokaw, Legendary NBC Newsman and Author
Monday, February 11
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

Legendary television news anchor Tom Brokaw will deliver the keynote address during the general session on Monday, February 11. Brokaw is best known as anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News” for 21 years. Since stepping down from that post in 2004, Brokaw has continued reporting, providing expertise during breaking news events and producing documentaries for NBC News. A highly-awarded journalist with an impressive list of accomplishments in the news industry, Brokaw will share his views on the world and the 2008 presidential election.