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Hot, hot, hot

November 22, 2010

While the weather outside the McLean, Va., headquarters of NADA may be bitterly cold, the 2004 NADA Convention and Exposition in Las Vegas was HOT. The workshops were fantastic, the speakers were top-notch, and the franchise meetings candid. It was a fun and valuable experience for all those who participated. This was the largest exhibition NADA has ever produced; the exhibit halls were packed with dealers and others seeking the hottest new products and services available from more than 525 vendors. Congratulations go to 2003 Chairman Alan Starling on a very successful, if challenging, year; to convention chairman Carl Barnett, who produced a stellar event; to Paul Holloway, the Time Magazine Quality Dealer of the Year, and all the other dealers who won this honor. As he assumes the 2004 chairmanship, we wish Charley Smith all the best. He will focus on creating better communication with five key partners: manufacturers, government, customers, communities and educators. Charley is committed to continuing his predecessor's diversity and ethics programs, ever more important during this time of excess scrutiny of F&I practices by the media and advocacy organizations. Many resources from the 2004 NADA Convention and Exposition are available online until June. These include: • Revisit or see for the first time the exhibitors, including additional "virtual exhibits," online. Go, then click on Exposition or Floor Plan. Review by name, booth number or category, and click on the booth to reach the exhibitor's Web site. • Order the new CD-ROM of workshop handouts or the new F&I video, "Absolute Integrity-100% of the Time," from mecatalog/ • Share or relive the convention experience by ordering video and audiotapes of selected workshops and general sessions. See • Enjoy day-by-day convention coverage at See video clips of speakers, interviews with dealers, photos from the show floor, summaries of news conferences and more. The new NADA Associate program was introduced at the convention. Dealership managers now can receive communications from NADA's Public Affairs and Management Education departments, including NADA's AutoExec magazine, NADA Weekly, Special Alerts, and notices of training opportunities in their specific departments. Look for information in your mailbox or on; click on Member Services or the Join NADA tab. Manufacturers are doing a better job of listening to the Voice of the Dealer when it comes to CSI. NADA's CSI presentations to each manufacturer already have caused several positive changes. Look in your mailbox or go online at for information on the new "Hire the Heroes" program, designed to match military veterans leaving the service with dealership jobs that use their considerable skills. These are winwin programs designed to ease staffing shortages at dealerships, while giving a hand up to bright young people entering the civilian workforce for the first time. Communications with the media and the community can be improved by taking advantage of the NADA's new booster seat "tool kit," sent to all members and available at Host a safety event at your dealership or school, and be sure to invite the media. Safety statistics are available in the tool kit and from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ( as part of our ongoing safety partnership with NHTSA. As part of the NADA-NHTSA program, dealers can request limited free copies of the consumer brochure, "A Parents Guide to Buying and Using Booster Seats" and/or discount coupons (500 per box) for purchasing child safety seats at any Babies 'R' Us or Toys 'R' Us stores. E-mail before supplies run out. In addition, a "Boost for Safety" media kit is available for download and posting at boostforsafety/ Please educate yourselves on the new telemarketing regulations. The "CAN-SPAM" Act regulating e-mail and the Do-Not-Call list for telephone communications will change how you do business. Information is available at and at the appropriate government Web sites. Also familiarize yourself with the new fax rules. Visit the NADA's Web site and click on Government Affairs, then Regulation for information and links to more detailed explanations, including easy-tounderstand NADA bulletins and guides. Here's to a wonderful 2004!