Our Biggest NADA 2012 Take-Away
Itâ€™s been a few weeks now since the NADA Convention in Las Vegas, which has given me some time to step back and really digest the event and all that it encompassed. And the thought I keep coming back to is this: Walking the halls of the NADA Convention this year was like walking into a well-run dealership.
Let me explain.
When I walk into a dealership (and I visit several each week), I can instantly tell you if that dealership is profitable and well-run. I can do this simply by feeling the air in the dealership. Is it light? Is it customer-centric? Was I greeted when I walked in? Did the staff go out of their way to make me feel at home?
Or was it the opposite? Was the air heavy? Did a salesperson size me up as a vendor, walk right past and not bother with me? Was the receptionist more interested in getting back to her private phone call than in greeting me properly? Was it dirty and uninviting? And the ultimate litmus test for dealerships: Was the bathroom clean?
My takeaway from the NADA Convention was that there was a genuine lightness in the air, born of the promise that the market may have finally turned a corner. From the speakers to the vendors to those walking the floor, I heard the same mantra again and again. Gone was the fatalism of â€œThis year just CANâ€™T be worse than last year â€¦ can it?â€ Iâ€™ve heard all too often these past few years, replaced by genuine optimism that consumers are ready to buy again, and in significant numbers.
If the positive vibe I felt at the NADA Convention is any indication, 2012 should be a very good year for dealerships as the economic recovery continues â€¦ so long as theyâ€™re willing to share that good-spiritedness with each and every potential customer. February 24, 2012