New Year, New Convention

Australian Dealers Get Ready: The prestigious AADA National Dealer Convention is set to return in 2015, reinvented and brimming with new opportunity.

The AADA National Dealer Convention is as important to the retail auto industry as tyres on a car, and in 2015 the esteemed Convention will return in a completely reimagined format.

When and where is it?

The 2015 AADA National Dealer Convention will take place in Melbourne at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre over two exciting days between August 11-12. This will be the first time the AADA has used this venue, which offers prime CBD positioning and world-class facilities.

What’s new?

Whilst Dealers can still expect to emerge from the Convention with skills, knowledge and inspiration to achieve exceptional business results, the format and focus of the Convention is changing.

The program construction is well underway and will be crafted around three strategic areas: Dealership Operations, Policy & Advocacy and Future Industry Outlook.

These key areas will focus on how dealerships, the industry and OEM relationships will look when Australian motor vehicle manufacturing ends in 2017. Indeed, there’s no doubt that the business landscape for Dealers is changing and threats to profitability through inevitable shifts in the auto industry and economy are very real.

Accordingly, the AADA is designing its 2015 Convention program to combat these challenges head-on.

What will the Convention cover?

In the lead up to the Convention, Dealers will be asked to participate in a wide and far-reaching survey covering Dealer confidence, OEM relations and Government policy.

Dealership Operations sessions will take a detailed look at key profit centres, particularly the used car business and the challenge of customer retention.

The used car department is a key function of a successful dealership and its ability to meet new car targets. However, it’s often pushed down the priority list from the perspective of OEMs.

‘Success in used car sales will strengthen every Dealer business’ says AADA CEO Patrick Tessier.

‘The Association understands that there are many threats today to this area of the dealership business. The internet has changed the automotive world and made car research for purchase much easier for the consumer. Unless we return this area of our business to a focus point, Dealers will be weakened.’

The issues of customer retention and protecting aftermarket operations will also be a new and important focus.

Today, many non-dealer businesses are targeting and re-targeting the customers that Dealers create. Key internet sites are expanding their businesses to provide more than just a car inventory, putting many Dealers at risk.
Meanwhile, finance, insurance and parts are all under constant attack and the AADA is currently fighting on many fronts to ensure that campaigns disguised as debates on Right To Repair don’t disadvantage Dealer interests in parts sales.
The Convention will assist Dealers identify where threats like these are coming from and the motives behind them.

Of course, as in previous years, the Convention will also bring together an exceptional group of local and international speakers – including automotive and marketing experts, motivational speakers and public personalities, who’ll share their unique insights and stories.

The Convention Symposium

The 2015 AADA National Dealer Convention will begin with a Dealer-only symposium, where the Association will outline the top ten threats facing the Dealer community over the next three years as well as the AADA’s plan to overcome them.

The Symposium will outline the Association’s policy objectives, including how strong policy will deliver positive results for the entire Dealer community. Dealers will be able to participate in a closed and confidential environment and be free to voice their thoughts, concerns, frustrations, ideas and experiences.

The invited keynote speaker for the Symposium is NADA 2015 Chairman, Bill Fox.

The Symposium will be preceded by a series of Franchise Dealer Meetings – another Convention first. OEMs and their Dealers will meet prior to the Symposium and work through structured agendas on policy and OEM-designated matters. The AADA will work closely with FCAI to develop the format in which these franchise dealer meetings will take place.
Attending the Convention

All Australian Dealers, no matter their size or location, can benefit from the AADA National Dealer Convention and it really is the most opportune time to network with peers and improve the success of your business.
So make sure you mark August 11-12, 2015 in your calendar and look out for more details on attending the reinvented Convention in the next issue of Automotive Dealer.

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