Racing to be the Best

22 Nov


Roger Penske and Helio Castroneves Join Speaker Lineup at NADA Convention

Motorsports legends Roger Penske, chairman of Penske Corporation, and Helio Castroneves, three-time IndyCar Series winner at the Indianapolis 500 for Team Penske Racing, take the stage on Saturday, January 28, for an intimate conversation with Keith Crain, editor-in chief of Automotive News, during the 2017 NADA Convention and Expo in New Orleans.

“As NADA celebrates its centennial, it’s a wonderful honor for it to salute Roger Penske on 50 years of motorsports along with Helio Castroneves, who is an icon at Indianapolis as well as becoming a participant in an auto dealership,” said Crain, who is also chairman of Crain Communications, Inc. “NADA’s 100th anniversary is a milestone for auto dealers across this nation.”

Penske is chairman of Penske Corporation, a closely-held, diversified, transportation services company whose subsidiaries operate in a variety of industry segments, including retail automotive, truck leasing, transportation logistics and professional motorsports. Penske Corporation manages businesses with revenues of more than $26 billion, operating in 3,300 locations and employing 50,000 people worldwide.

Castroneves is a Brazilian auto racing driver currently competing in the North American IndyCar Series. In IndyCar competition, Castroneves has 14 wins and 28 poles, and has never placed lower than sixth in the standings in a complete season of racing. He won the Indianapolis 500 in both 2001 and 2002, becoming the fifth driver to do so in consecutive years.

From Website to Showroom – Engaging Consumers to Sell Cars

17 Nov

contact_53015Guest Blogger: 
Scott Pechstein

They say information is power. But what happens with too much information, too many websites, and too many options for one very important vehicle purchase? A phenomenon called the “merry-go-round effect”. Today’s consumers spend an average of 17 hours visiting websites on the digital merry-go-round; researching 360 different makes and models. The information age has become the indecision age. How do you break through the clutter to stop the digital merry-go-round and get more consumers to your website and showroom to sell more cars? For the purpose of this short article, we offer these tips:

1) Get them on your dealership website. You need to own consideration before you can move consumers down the transaction funnel. Be sure to utilize SEM and SEO best practices, as well as vertical advertising, social media, referrals, dealer review sites, and other programs to get consumers to your site.
2) Keep them from leaving your website to do more research – to another dealer or brand. Be sure you offer a clean, easy-to-navigate website that features clear car buying information and advice; new, used, and CPO inventory that is clean and easy to find, and engagement tools such as co-browsing video chat or payment calculators that move consumers down the transaction funnel quickly and easily.
3) Optimize your sales process. It’s important to communicate the benefits of your brand and your dealership with clear information about the specific model of interest and other models for consideration in your inventory. If a new car was requested, provide clear information about comparable used cars and vice versa. As a new car lead ages, the propensity to buy used increases. Re-engage consumers after 30, 60, or even 90 days to see to showcase other comparable vehicles in your pre-owned inventory.

To hear more from Scott, attend his workshop:

Stop the Digital Merry-Go-Round and Go Sell
Thursday, Jan 26 1:00pm – 2:00pm Room 203-205
Thursday, Jan 26, 4:00pm – 5:00pm Room 211-213


Time and Ally Financial Honor New-Car Dealers

27 Oct

49 New-Car Dealers to be Recognized for Community Service and Industry Accomplishments at NADA Convention
(New York, NY, October 26, 2016) – Forty-nine new-car dealers out of approximately 16,000 nationwide have been nominated for the 2017 TIME Dealer of the Year award, which is now in its 48th year.

This select group of dealers from across the country will be honored at the 100th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in New Orleans, Louisiana, on January 27, 2017. Nominees, finalists and the national Dealer of the Year will be celebrated at the formal opening of the convention, which is expected to draw more than 20,000 individuals involved in the automobile industry. The announcement of this year’s nominees was made by Meredith Long, SVP: GM, News & Luxury, TIME, and Tim Russi, president of Auto Finance for Ally Financial.

The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted honors. Recipients are among the nation’s most successful auto dealers who also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service.

The award is sponsored by TIME in association with Ally Financial, and in cooperation with NADA. A panel of faculty members from the Tauber Institute for Global Operations at the University of Michigan will select one finalist from each of the four NADA regions and one national Dealer of the Year.

Nominees for the 2017 TIME Dealer of the Year award are:

  • Mike Anderson, Chuck Anderson Ford Inc., Excelsior Springs, Missouri
  • Raymond Brandt, Ray Brandt Nissan, Harvey, Louisiana
  • John Burchell, Heritage Chevrolet, Chester, Virginia
  • Charles Butler, Butler Ford, Ashland, Oregon
  • Rick Cavender, Cavender Audi, San Antonio, Texas
  • Lee Certilman, Nardy Honda Smithtown, St. James, New York
  • Tyler Corder, Findlay Automotive Group, Henderson, Nevada
  • Daniel DeVos, Fox Ford Mazda, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Inder Dosanjh, Dublin Chevrolet, Dublin, California
  • Robert Droubay, Droubay Chevrolet Buick, Delta, Utah
  • David Ellis, Glendale Dodge Chrysler Jeep, Glendale, California
  • James Falk, Jim Falk Automotive Group, Kahului, Hawaii
  • Aaron Feldman, Pacific Honda, San Diego, California
  • Bryan Gault, Wind Gap Chevrolet Buick, Wind Gap, Pennsylvania
  • Bill Hellman Jr., Hellman Motor Company, Delta, Colorado
  • Emmett Horgan, Rockingham Toyota, Salem, New Hampshire
  • Greg House, House Chevrolet, Stewartville, Minnesota
  • Joseph Huang, Great Lakes Honda, Akron, Ohio
  • Keith Hudson, Jim Hudson Buick GMC Cadillac, Columbia, South Carolina
  • John Iverson, Iverson Chrysler Center, Mitchell, South Dakota
  • Gary Johnson, Johnson Dealerships Inc., Pittsfield, Massachusetts
  • Michael Johnson, Mike Johnson’s Hickory Toyota, Hickory, North Carolina
  • Bobby Kisselback, Kisselback Ford, Saint Cloud, Florida
  • Gary Knight, Carmack Car Capitol, Danville, Illinois
  • Keith Kocourek, Kocourek Chevrolet in Wausau, Wisconsin
  • Thomas Lane, Dwayne Lane’s Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Everett, Washington
  • William Lavery, Lavery Automotive Sales & Service, Alliance, Ohio
  • Terry Lee, Terry Lee Honda, Avon, Indiana
  • Kendall Lowe Hamilton, Devan Lowe Inc., Rainbow City, Alabama
  • Tim Maguire, Maguire Automotive, Ithaca, New York
  • Ralph Mastantuono, Mercedes-Benz of Arlington, Arlington, Virginia
  • North McArthur, Long McArthur Ford Lincoln, Salina, Kansas
  • Butch Miller, Milton Martin Honda, Gainesville, Georgia
  • Mike Minnick, DuTeau Chevrolet, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Carl Moyer, Karl Chevroletm Ankeny, Iowa
  • Gan Nunnally, George Nunnally Chevrolet Inc., Bentonville, Arkansas
  • John J. Quirk, Quirk Subaru of Bangor, Bangor, Maine
  • Charles Ruwart III, Laramie Peak Motors, Wheatland, Wyoming
  • Rodman Ryan, Open Road BMW of Morristown, Morristown, New Jersey
  • Paul Sabatini, Lincoln of Troy, Troy, Michigan
  • Sandy Sansing, Sandy Sansing Chevrolet,Pensacola, Florida
  • Joel Sirek, Smith Motors Inc., Wahpeton, North Dakota
  • Jed Smith, Smith Company Motor Cars, Charleston, West Virginia
  • Carl Swope, Swope Toyota, Elizabethtown, Kentucky
  • Greg Taylor, Taylor & Sons Chevrolet, Ponderay, Idaho
  • William Underriner, Underriner Honda, Billings, Montana
  • James (Yogi) Vowell, Carriage Chevrolet Inc., Fayetteville, Tennessee
  • Mike Whatley, Mike Whatley Honda, Brookhaven, Mississippi
  • David Williams Jr., Anchor Buick GMC, Elkton, Maryland

Contact: TIME Dealer of the Year Hotline (212) 522-5518

Keynote Speakers for NADA100

22 Jul

Keynote speakers for the 2017 NADA Convention and Expo in New Orleans – which runs from Thursday, Jan. 26, to Sunday, Jan. 29 – include NADA Chairman Jeff Carlson and NADA Vice Chairman Mark Scarpelli, and New York Times best-selling authors, comedian Jim Gaffigan and motivational speaker Amy Purdy. A fifth speaker will be announced in the coming weeks.


Jim Gaffigan (Friday, Jan. 27)
Gaffigan, an entertainer and father of five children, has achieved major accomplishments in stand-up comedy, acting and writing, including two New York Times best-selling books, Dad Is Fat, and Food: A Love Story. He recently wrapped up the first season of his semi-fictitious television show, “The Jim Gaffigan Show,” which TV Land picked up for a second season. In addition to his television show, Gaffigan has guest starred on many television comedies, dramas and movies. With multiple projects in motion, Gaffigan is currently traveling the world with his stand-up tour, “Contagious.” He is one of only 10 comics in history to sell out Madison Square Garden.

Jeff Carlson (Friday, Jan. 27)

Carlson is president of Glenwood Springs Ford and Glenwood Springs Subaru in Glenwood Springs, Colo., and co-owner of Summit Ford in Silverthorne, Colo. As NADA’s 2016 chairman, Carlson is leading franchised new-car dealers through some of the most pressing legislative and regulatory challenges they have faced in years, including attacks on indirect auto financing and the dealer franchise system. Carlson started in the auto business in 1973, working for Ford Motor Co. In 1979, he joined Glenwood Springs Ford-Lincoln-Mercury as a sales manager. He purchased a stake in the dealership in 1982 and became president in 1986 and expanded the business to three dealerships. He represents Colorado’s new-car dealers on NADA’s board of directors. Carlson is a past TIME Dealer of the Year nominee representing Colorado.

Mark Scarpelli (Saturday, Jan. 28)

Scarpelli is NADA’s 2016 vice chairman, as well as president of Raymond Chevrolet/Kia in Antioch, Ill. His keynote address at the upcoming NADA Convention will highlight the association’s key priorities for 2017. Scarpelli, a second-generation dealer, worked his way up learning all areas of the dealership. In 1986, he was hired by General Motors as the district sales manager for the Boston zone, and three years later returned to the family-run dealership. He represents Metropolitan Chicago’s franchised new-car dealers on NADA’s board of directors.

The four-day NADA Convention, which will be held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, is considered the auto industry event of the year. The convention includes dealer franchise meetings, workshops, an exhibitor showcase, NADA 100 Carnival and numerous networking events

Amy Purdy (Sunday, Jan. 29)

Through poignant and inspirational stories, Purdy informs audiences on how to use their challenges to push past their limits and live life without barriers. She lost her legs, kidneys and spleen to bacterial meningitis at age 19. Today, she is a top-ranked adaptive snowboarder, author of the New York Times best-seller On My Own Two Feet, actress, model and clothing designer. Purdy competed on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” and was the show’s first double-amputee contestant.

The American Truck Dealers (ATD) Convention and Expo runs concurrently with the NADA Convention.

Online registration and hotel selection for the NADA convention open on Monday, July 25. NADA members and their managers who register by September 9 will receive a $100 discount from the onsite rate. To register or for more information, visit
Source: NADA

NADA100 Carnival Kicks off 2017 Convention

19 Jul

Performances by Foreigner (pictured) and Cowboy Mouth

Online registration for the NADA convention opens July 25

The National Automobile Dealers Association (1917-2017) will kick off yearlong events commemorating its 100-year anniversary beginning with the NADA 100 Carnival at the 2017 NADA Convention & Expo in New Orleans.

The NADA 100 Carnival – an exclusive, opening event for NADA and American Truck Dealers members, international affiliates and guests – will be held at Mardi Gras World from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, January 26. It will feature cuisine from New Orleans’ top restaurants and entertainment from local jazz musicians and Cowboy Mouth and headlining band Foreigner.

Online registration and hotel selection for NADA 100 open on Monday, July 25. NADA members and their managers who register by September 9 will receive a $100 discount from the onsite rate. The member dealer and manager registration fee include admission to the NADA 100 Carnival and convention badges must be presented at entry. A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase by non-member dealers and managers. Allied industry attendees are not eligible to purchase a ticket to the NADA 100 Carnival. Shuttle buses will be provided to and from Mardi Gras World and NADA’s official hotels.

The four-day NADA convention, which runs from Thursday, January 26, to Sunday, January 29, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, is considered the automotive industry event of the year. It includes dealer franchise meetings, workshops, keynote speakers, an exhibitor showcase and numerous networking events. To register or for more information, visit

How to Submit a Great Workshop Proposal

26 Apr

Are you interested in presenting a workshop at the 2017 NADA/ATD Convention in New Orleans? If so, you can still view the workshop proposal webinar recording.

2706_SpeakerWorkshopWebinar_graphicx600NADA’s Manager of Workshops and Webinars, Shana Gipson, will walk through the workshop proposal submission process and provide tips on how to make your proposal stand out to the selection committee.

The deadline for submitting a workshop proposal is 5 pm ET on May 16, 2016. Selected workshops will be presented at the 2017 NADA Convention


10 Things That Happened During NADA2016

13 Apr

The 2016 NADA Convention & Expo was a huge successes, over 24,000 car and truck dealers, managers and industry affiliates took over Las Vegas!

1. Dealer Inspire gave Daniel a run for his money (….Vans?)

2. The Social Connection Zone hit record numbers during it’s Mini Sessions

3. @dennine.giles set up his Instagram with the help of our technicians in the Social Connection Zone
4. Peyton Manning spoke about leadership during the Sunday Inspirational Session.
5. But, that didn’t stop attendees from standing in the notoriously long Starbuck’s line for their daily dose of caffeine.

6. There was A LOT of learning going on in the workshops

7. An iPad was lost and found

8. The Steampunk show in the Expo Hall was great fun for all.

9. And Dealers Link knows how to


NADA Workshops and Idea Sharing

15 Mar

This year we have expanded our educational and networking offerings to include the newly formed, Exchange (located in Hall N3) and Studio workshop sessions. As, outlined in the info-graphic below – whatever your learning style is, we have session designed just for you.


Local SEO- Get Your Dealership Found

1 Mar

Guest Blog Post from: Greg Gifford, Director of Search and Social, DealerOn

Did you realize that there are actually two kinds of SEO? When most people talk about SEO, they’re talking about “traditional” SEO – where you’re doing things to a website to get it to show up higher when someone does a search in Google. With Local SEO, you’re only trying to get a site to show up in a specific geographic area.

Pizza delivery is the perfect example… If you go to Google and type in “pizza delivery”, you’ll get a list of pizza delivery places near the dealership. If you go home and do the same search, you’ll get a completely different set of results. Google knows your location (because of your IP address), and knows you need a pizza delivery joint that’s nearby.

Google treats auto dealers the same way. Even if a city isn’t entered as part of a search query, Google will return local results for automotive related searches.

That’s why it’s important that dealers utilize a Local SEO strategy. Local SEO involves additional signals and elements that aren’t a part of traditional SEO.

If you’re in a metro area, think about how many dealers are in your market. For the more general terms, you’re fighting against every franchise dealer AND every used car dealer. There could be more than 200 dealerships in your metro, and they’re all fighting for a spot on page one.

Without the extra signals involved with Local SEO, you’re not going to be able to compete. Take a look at the 2015 Local Search Ranking Factor Study from Moz – it’s a detailed list of exactly which signals matter the most for local relevancy in Google searches.

Local SEO is the secret sauce that will help your dealership excel in 2016.

To hear more from Greg, attend his workshop:

Automotive SEO is Serious Business
Thursday, March 31   12:15pm – 1:30pm  N253
Saturday, April 2,       10:15am – 11:30am N255-257

Why Aren’t Women More Present Within Dealership Personnel?

8 Feb

Women Influence the Majority of All Car Buying Decisions; Why Aren’t We More Present Within Dealership Personnel?

Guest Blogger: Joni Stuker

Our world is rapidly changing and advancing, yet, in the area of women employed at a car dealership our numbers are rather stagnant.

Why is this the norm? Is it because most dealers have done very little to encourage any movement? Are dealerships simply talking about wanting to change, but simply using the words without action?

It is beyond time for dealerships to look within their “four walls” and take the necessary steps towards achieving this important goal. Let’s start by taking at a look at environment. Does your dealership host a male dominant atmosphere? One where a female could feel potentially awkward in? Do you have salespeople still huddled at your entrance? Let’s face it, no one feels comfortable approaching a small gang when looking for a career opportunity, let alone if buying a vehicle.

Does your dealership offer a flex schedule? One that is going to attract a broader range of candidates from all backgrounds. Have you considered the possibility of job sharing? Consider setting a unique avenue of job sharing. If in sales, this would equate to splitting commissions and daily tasks, but also ensuring a potential greater balance between home and work.

Take a moment to really look at how your dealership currently outlines a clear pathway for career advancement. If you have a talented receptionist, can they see a way to stay long term at your store and grow? Or does their role appear to be someone dead ended?

What training to do you provide for each department? You need to ask yourself if the training is something that you provide repetitively, or on a one-time basis? Does the training you provide devote a significant amount of time within one key area? If so, remember that effective training must be well rounded.

How are you currently recruiting? Do you utilize your circle of influence? In other words, do you look for employees via current employees assist? Have you reached out to your daily service customers and attached a notice of opportunity to each receipt? During your customer appreciation events, do you provide notice of the career opportunities? If not, these are excellent places to begin.

To bring dealership wide career awareness, implement a monthly meeting for current employees. Be sure to have a department head present and allow casual conversation regarding growth. Remember, people need to see and hear that they are not only valued but that there is a next step. This will also open a much broader inter-departmental communication path. Too often, we fall into the “left hand-right hand” category. One where the other side has no idea of how or if they can assist.

Learn that the first step is taking an honest look at yourself and your dealership. With this look, determine if you are truly willing to make the necessary changes to grow with in this area. If you take on the steps outlined above, you will learn how to retain and attract more women into working at your dealership.

Yes, those powerful women that directly influence your sales and service business.

I wish I could repeat the number of times I have had an auto dealer tell me how they wanted to “fill their sales staff” with women employees. Well, if you follow what I outline, you can!

Simply don’t shy away from or ignore the obstacles.

Identify, change and grow!

You can hear more from Joni Stuker during her panel discussion:

Create a Culture to Win with Women
3/31/2016           2pm – 3:15pm      N220
4/1/2016     10:30am – 11:45apm   N101 -102