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NADA 2020: What We’re Looking Forward To

Toby Graham /
blurred image of trade show

The 2020 National Automobile Dealers Association Show is days away, and we couldn’t be more excited. The expo is the auto industry’s biggest annual event, bringing together dealers, vendors, and expert speakers from all over the world.

And this year’s NADA Show looks to be the biggest one yet, with more than 650,000 square feet of exhibit space and over 100 workshops and education sessions, as well as contests, auctions, shindigs, and more.

Did I mention it’s taking place in Las Vegas?

Get ready to party.

The team here at KPA can’t wait to spend 4 days taking in all NADA Show 2020 has to offer. We’re looking forward to learning about new auto industry trends and insights, checking out the latest technologies, and getting a taste of what’s to come in the next decade. Most of all, we’re looking forward to catching up with customers and friends—and meeting new ones.

We also have some major news to share… But I won’t spoil anything just yet.

Instead, I’ll let KPA’s CEO, Chris Fanning, and our VP of Marketing, Abe Cohen, offer some of their own expectations, goals, and hints of what’s to come. The two recently sat down to talk about everything NADA Show 2020 has in store.

CHRIS FANNING: Hey Abe.

ABE COHEN: How’s it going, Chris?

CHRIS: Getting ready to head out to Las Vegas, talk to dealers, learn what’s on their minds, and see the future of the industry in person.

ABE: NADA looks like it’s going to be absolutely jam-packed this year.

CHRIS: It really does. I see that there’s more than 500 exhibitors and about 100 different workshops.

President and CEO Chris Fanning headshot
Chris Fanning, President and CEO
VP of Marketing, Abe Cohen headshot
Abe Cohen, VP of Marketing

ABE: And so many topics and tracks to choose from. Fixed Ops, Human Capital, Legal and Regulatory, Leadership—looks like each one has multiple workshops throughout the weekend. Talk about information overload. How do you choose? Are there some that are immediately calling to you?

CHRIS: Well, I like to start by looking at the standouts—the sessions in the Distinguished Speaker Series. These are the can’t-miss speakers. There’s one per day and two on Monday. Ironically, the first one is called “How to Stop and Focus on What Matters Most.”

ABE: I saw that. Seems like it could be very useful for dealers in this day in age. We’re all surrounded by news, workforce issues, new rules and regs, customer demands…

CHRIS: It’s not an easy time to be a dealer. And not every system out there that purports to make life easier actually does. Sometimes it’s just another distraction.

ABE: Personally, I’m looking forward to this one—“The Hero Effect: Creating a Culture of Heroes at Every Level.” It’s about how every dealership employee can show up and have a positive impact. The word “hero” may sound overblown, but that’s what someone is when they look out for a customer’s interests and give them the best experience possible, or when they look out for their fellow employees. We’ve all had negative experiences at dealerships. And whether we’re talking about F&I issues and UDAAPs on the customer-facing side, or things like discrimination and harassment on the employee side, many problems are embedded in culture. They stem from the organization’s environment. We talk about the same thing when it comes to safety culture. So, I think empowering people to take an active role in creating a culture of heroes is a great concept for any dealer.

CHRIS: Couldn’t agree more. You mentioned F&I, and there’s a session I’m looking forward to on Friday, before the expo hall is open. It’s called “The F&I Market in a Rapidly Changing World.” That’s something our customers always have on their minds, especially dealers in California. Regs are evolving so quickly these days, and any gaps or delays in catching up can expose a dealer to serious legal and financial risks.

ABE: Yes, it’s a huge topic—particularly in California, as you said—but we’re seeing it everywhere. Dealers not only need frequent training and total visibility into their F&I departments, but they also need to conduct audits frequently. There was a recent article in Automotive News about it. So that session will be an important one.

CHRIS: How about this one—“The Perfect Service Department?” Looks like it will cover topics like the service drive, dispatching, and interactive delivery.

ABE: Yeah, that’s another area where we often hear from dealers. What’s challenging about the service department is workforce safety and compliance with multiple federal regulatory bodies—OSHA, the EPA, DOT and the NHTSA. There’s the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, hazard communication—a lot on a dealer’s plate. I’ll be interested to see how improving service department processes can go hand-in-hand with better safety and compliance outcomes.

ABE: Absolutely. Here’s a session about yet another department, and I think this one’s really interesting for a lot of reasons—“Develop High-Performing Millennial and Gen Z Salespeople.”

 A lot of dealers struggle with hiring and retention, but especially when it comes to younger candidates and employees. The fact is that millennials and Gen Z are different. They learn differently. They’re accustomed to different ways of working and they want different things from their work. At the same time, they’re not completely different than other generations. They’re not an alien species. And many of the strategies dealers can use to engage their younger employees benefit employees of all ages. In any case, a good number of the people we’re talking about are now in their 30s, so these challenges are very much present-day concerns.

ABE: Well, that’s quite a list of sessions. And we only talked about what—5 of more than 100?

CHRIS: Yep. And we haven’t talked about the show floor. Or our big news.

ABE: Our big news! Let’s not give anything away. But can we maybe give people a hint?

CHRIS: Sure. Let’s give them a little hint.

ABE: Okay. Well, KPA will have a booth on the NADA show floor, where we’ll be announcing some huge news. It’s something we’ve been working on for a long time. Bringing it back to what we were talking about before, all I’ll say is that it’s something that will definitely make dealers lives easier.

CHRIS: No question about that. I’m very excited to show our customers what we’ve been working on to help them improve their safety and compliance programs across the board, and save money along the way!. All right. I think that’s a good place for us to wrap up. I’ll just say that, as always, our favorite part of NADA is seeing our clients, prospects, contacts, and friends.

ABE: That’s right. To everyone reading this on the blog—you’re #1 on our list, so be sure to come by our booth or schedule some time with us before, during, or after the show. We’ll see you in Vegas!

If you’re attending NADA 2020 in Las Vegas, we’d love to make some time with you. You can find KPA at Booth 4177C, where we’ll be unveiling our big news. A map of the expo is available here.

To schedule a free, personalized consultation with us at NADA, click here.

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