The air was electric as incoming 2022 NADA Chairman Michael Alford took the keys from outgoing Chairman Paul Walser on day three of NADA Show 2022.
“We’ve built a powerhouse,” Alford said about the franchise dealership network, in his first speech as NADA chairman. “And it is this powerhouse that will usher in a new age in car buying.”
“Paul called on us yesterday to be masters of our destiny,” Alford said during the General Session on the Main Stage on Saturday, March 12. “That starts by seizing what’s in front of us [on electric vehicles], not just to sell and service, but to educate, to inform. Dealerships are the launching pad for enabling millions of car buyers to go electric.”
NADA members got to know Alford better as he sat down for a Q&A with automotive journalist Jason Stein, host of the Sirius XM podcast “Cars and Culture.”
Here are some more highlights from day three:
ATD Show Finishes with a Flourish
It’s been an action-packed few days for attendees of the ATD Show 2022, which wrapped up on Saturday. The Encore Las Vegas was the setting for comprehensive education programs, innovative products for all areas of the dealership, and numerous networking opportunities. The 2020-2021 ATD Chairman, Steve Bassett, sat down to reflect on ATD’s accomplishments during his tenure and discuss dealers’ resilience through a volatile time in the commercial truck industry.
Cutting-Edge Automotive Education Continues
NADA has the best-in-industry educational programming and that’s certainly apparent at NADA Show 2022. Attendees are learning the latest strategies and emerging trends on more than 75 topics at 100-plus workshop and education sessions over the course of four days.
So far, attendees have heard from keynote speakers and distinguished speakers, attended educational workshops and live dealer franchise meetings, got answers to all their EV questions at the new EV Solutions Center, and cruised through the expanded and larger-than-ever Expo, where hundreds of exhibitors are offering innovative products, services and technologies specifically targeted to franchised new-car dealerships.
And of course, they have connected with others in the industry in group learning sessions through The Exchange, on the Expo floor during the all-new, fast-paced Dealer Learning Lab sessions, and at numerous breakfasts, lunches, receptions and happy hours.
Finally, the NADA Live Stage continued to be a hub of learning and insights on day three. Attendees got an overview of the economy and employment trends from NADA Chief Economist Patrick Manzi, lessons on technician recruitment, why dealers, OEMs and vendors need Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR), serving the EV customer of tomorrow and reducing digital advertising waste.
Sports analyst/broadcaster, journalist and entrepreneur Michael Strahan closed out the Main Stage Saturday by sharing his story on how he rose from a non-athletic kid in Mannheim, Germany, to an NFL Hall of Famer and Super Bowl Champion. He then sat down with TV host Mark Wahlberg to share more anecdotes from his career in sports and television (including his most awkward locker room interactions).
Charged Up for Charity
The generosity of NADA Show attendees was on full display as at the annual live auction, sponsored this year by BacklotCars to benefit the NADA Foundation and Canine Companions for Independence, which provides highly trained assistance dogs for children, adults and veterans with disabilities.
In line with this year’s NADA Show theme, the prize was an all-electric, Harley Davidson LiveWire motorcycle, donated by BacklotCars.
Speaking of charity, Jeff Strickland, Senior Vice President at Assurant Dealer Services and Strategic Accounts, closed out Saturday’s Live Stage programming on a high note by announcing a generous $25,000 donation from Assurant Foundation. This is the third consecutive year that Assurant Foundation has donated to the NADA Foundation’s Workforce Development initiative, bringing their total giving to $75,000.
Looking Ahead to Day 4
Don’t miss the last day of the Show! We’ll announce the winner of our fifth annual Women Driving Auto Retail video contest, and Retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant and Recalibrated Warrior Travis Mills will inspire us all during the closing session on the Main Stage. In addition, Dealer Franchise meetings will wrap up, and the Live Stage will feature sessions covering the future of automotive retail, NADA Outlook 2022 and ATD Outlook 2022.
Don’t forget: we’ve got livestream coverage all weekend of the General Sessions, the Live Stage, select workshop sessions, and more.
Stay up to date on sessions, recaps, photos and videos with our official daily show recaps and be sure to follow all things NADA Show on social media using the hashtag #NADASHOW on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.