The AADA 2019 National Dealer Convention and Expo was another successful event with a high calibre of speakers and presentations.

The event started with the Chairman’s Dinner, with former Senator John ‘Wacka’ Williams discussing his efforts to stop parallel imports and advocate for an Automotive Code of Conduct.

AADA CEO, James Voortman, opened the Convention with an overview of the work of the secretariat over the past year, including the push for an Automotive Code, promoting the removal of automotive taxes and mitigating the effects of removing the Point-of-Sale exemption.

AADA Chairman, Terry Keating, said the establishment of an office in Canberra had helped AADA become one of Australia’s most effective business associations, and lauded the ‘profound’ legacy of former AADA CEO, David Blackhall.

Andy Koblenz from NADA travelled from Washington DC to present consumer research showing that the disruption we often hear about may be more evolutionary than revolutionary.

New Jaguar Land Rover Australia (JLRA) Managing Director, Mark Cameron, encouraged Dealers to embrace disruption during what he described as “the most significant changes in private mobility for over a century”.

Delivering the keynote address, Mr Cameron said Dealers and OEMs must cooperate with each other and work with governments to adapt during these volatile times, with the inevitable approach of electrification and autonomous vehicles changing the way people use cars.

The Industry Panels on day one discussed the Automotive Code of Conduct and Gender Diversity in the industry.

Day two brought practical Industry Panels, which discussed F&I and ROI.

The workshops were well attended and gave delegates a wealth of information to apply in their businesses.

The Carsales workshop session, Used Cars: Structuring Your Dealership to Meet Today’s Customer Needs, was not only one of the highest rated by delegates at the Convention but also boasted the highest attendance on the day.

Presented by Carsales Head of Executive Business, Ren Blanning, the workshop was clearly topical in today’s market and resonated with Dealers looking to extract the most out of this department.

Dr Richard Harris SC OAM shared his story of rescuing the boys of the Wild Boars’ football team who were trapped deep in the Tham Luang cave, and General The Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK, MC (retired) Former Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia discussed his decorated career and contributions to Australia.

A new initiative, the Expo Open Day, was extremely successful, with an abundance of Dealers and staff taking the free opportunity to visit the array of new products and services on display.

The event ended with the announcement that next year’s Convention will be held at the ICC Sydney from 1-3 September 2020.

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