In what is sure to be one of the highlights of the 2015 AADA National Dealer Convention, host Ian Leslie moderates a panel of esteemed industry leaders in a discussion about the future of the Australian automotive industry in a post-manufacturing world

Convention keynote speaker, Robert H. Kurnick Jr., the president and CEO of Penske Automotive, will join Ian, along with AP Eagers CEO Martin Ward, AHG CEO Bronte Howson,  Nissan CEO Richard Emery, and  NADA USA president Peter Welch.

These giants of our industry will discuss how the next five years will shape the automotive landscape following the cessation of automotive manufacturing in Australia.
It is a time of immense challenge for the Australian industry, one that our American cousins have also faced in recent years. The American automotive industry has recovered from crisis, and there are many parallels here. Ian will probe these leading minds for the lessons we can apply to help our industry best cope with the changing times ahead.

Martin Ward has been in the industry for 20 years, including four years as CEO of Ford Motor Company’s Sydney Retail Joint Venture, from 2001 to 2005.
For the past 10 years he has been with large automotive retailer AP Eagers, the past nine as CEO and director.

Bronte Howson’s career in the automotive industry dates back more than 30 years. He began with his own successful automotive parts business that was acquired by AHG in 1988. He joined the company and was made CEO in 2000, a position he still holds. He was also made managing director in 2007, overseeing a period of strong growth. He led AHG from a private group operating mainly in Western Australia, into Australia’s leading listed automotive and logistics group.

Richard Emery has enjoyed a long and successful career in the Australian auto industry. He has held senior positions with Land Rover, Audi, Mitsubishi, and spent five years as general manager of sales (Australia & NZ) for Mercedes-Benz, before taking up his current role with Nissan 18 months ago.

Peter Welch has spent 25 years as an advocate for the automotive industry. Formerly a partner in a Los Angeles law firm, he joined the California New Car Dealers Association – the USA’s largest state association of franchised new car dealers – in 1990. Initially Director of Government and Legal Affairs, Peter graduated to president and CEO in 2003 – positions he held for 10 years before becoming president of the NADA in 2013.

With over a century of retail automotive experience between them, these five gentlemen are sure to have plenty of wise words to say about the direction our industry is likely to take, and some of the choices dealers will face, in the coming years.

It will be entertaining. It will be insightful. It is a session you cannot afford to miss.

The Future of the Auto Industry. Panel discussion hosted by Ian Leslie. 2:15pm, August 11 2015, Plenary 3 Theatre.

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