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NADA convention registration opens with 'early-bird' special

August 31, 2012
By Mark Scarpelli, Chicago Metro NADA Director
Online registration and housing for the 2013 NADA Convention and Expo is now open. NADA members (dealers and managers) who register by Sept. 14 will receive a $100 discount off the onsite registration rate.
The 96th annual NADA convention will be Feb. 8-11 in Orlando, Fla., at the Orange County Convention Center. The ATD Convention and Expo will once again run concurrently with NADA’s.
With several conferences scheduled in Orlando next February, hotel rooms are expected to sell out fast. Convention attendees should register early to avoid missing out on booking the hotel of their choice.
Keynote speakers include John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America; inspirational speaker Mark Kelly, a former NASA astronaut and space shuttle commander of Endeavour’s final mission; NADA Chairman Bill Underriner; and incoming NADA Chairman David Westcott. 
In other news ...
• A House Appropriations Subcommittee voted July 18 to reinforce that service advisors, the frontline employee-salespersons in the service department, remain exempt from overtime pay requirements.
In 2011, the Department of Labor attempted to reverse its own 1978 opinion and roll back the longstanding exemption. The DOL is currently prevented from enforcing any change due to an identical restriction in the department’s current funding law.
“House appropriators clearly recognize” said NADA Chairman Bill Underriner, “that it is counterproductive to alter existing overtime requirements for service advisors and then expect dealers to create more employment opportunities.
“Reversing years of existing practice could force dealers to make potentially costly compensation and staffing changes.”
• The NADA has formed a search committee to identify candidates for consideration as NADA’s next president. The move follows the July resignation of Phil Brady, who accepted an executive position with Phillips 66.
Former NADA Chairman John McEleney is leading the search committee. After a round of meetings over the past couple of weeks, the NADA has hired a search firm to assist with the process. The NADA is expected to announce its next president by the end of this year.
The search committee includes NADA’s current Chairman Bill Underriner; Vice Chairman David Westcott; past chairmen and current NADA board members Stephen Wade, Ed Tonkin and Annette Sykora; other board members Don Chalmers and Forrest McConnell; Kyle Treadway, past chairman of the American Truck Dealers; and Loy Todd, chairman of the Automotive Trade Association Executives.
The NADA’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer, Joe Cowden, is acting as interim president of the association.
• The recent spike in gasoline prices of 38 cents a gallon had a minimal impact on used-vehicle prices through the first half of August, as compact and mid-size car prices continued to soften more than light trucks.
As has been the case since May, compact and midsize car depreciation was greater than for most other segments, but the respective 1.8 percent and 1.5 percent rate of decline was considerably less than the 2.9 percent loss seen in July.
Although prices continued to fall, at least some of this firming can be attributed higher pump prices. The effect of rapidly increasing gas prices on light-truck segments was minimal.
Collectively, prices for utility vehicles of all sizes (compact to large) and large pickups barely slipped at an average of 0.3 percent. The exception to this group was the midsize van segment, where prices fell by a more substantial 1.5 percent. The primary culprit behind the segment’s steeper fall was an increased number of 2012 model year versions of the Dodge Grand Caravan hitting the lanes.
Luxury cars and utility-vehicle prices also fell mildly, by 1.6 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.
• Coming this fall, the Advanced Parts Management Seminar will be held at NADA’s McLean, Va., headquarters from Oct. 15 to 19. NADA Academy instructor Chris Bavis will help attendees transform their parts department from the “black hole mystery” to improving profitability.
Each main topic on the following agenda encompasses a host of detailed subtopics, such as perfecting the mix, profit centering, knowing the customer needs, personnel techniques, deep dive into the DMS, case study and SWOT analysis and best practices.
To register, call NADA University customer service at (800) 557-6232. You also can reserve a seat in other upcoming Academy classes:
• Dealer Candidate Academy: Sept. 10 and Oct. 22; and
• General Dealership Management Academy: Sept. 17 and Oct. 8.
Department managers may enroll in any individual class week. For more information, visit