See you in Beaver Creek

Dear Member Dealer:

We’re only one-and-a-half weeks away from what promises to be one of the most informative, provocative and entertaining annual meetings we’ve ever had.

CADA’s Annual Meeting and Gala, The 102, takes place on Friday, November 18th at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa. We’ve got lots of reasons for you to attend, if you haven’t already made your reservations.

  1. Our keynote speaker is homegrown, but a national sensation: Steve Spangler, the 21st century version of “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” Steve turns his considerable talents to explaining THE SCIENCE OF BUSINESS: CONNECTING THE SCIENCE OF SALES AND SERVICE. His interactive presentation shows how scientific principles can be applied directly to your automotive business. It is guaranteed to be entertaining (and you’ll learn a thing or two, as well)!

  2. Keeping your eyes on the road ahead is what researcher Glenn Mercer is all about in his presentation, THE DEALERSHIP OF THE FUTURE. He’s been immersed in NADA’s “Dealership of Tomorrow” project and will give us an overview of what he’s discovered.

  3. Some of the biggest news in the automotive world comes from California. Charlie Vogelheim talks about how SILICON VALLEY REINVENTS THE WHEEL. He should know a thing or two after career stints with Kelley Blue Book, J.D. Power and Motor Trend.

  4. Is our franchise system under assault? As an automotive observer and consultant of 40 years, J Ferron will share why he’s STILL BETTING ON THE FRANCHISE.

We had a chance to talk with Ferron, Mercer and Vogelheim a few days ago and they previewed some of what they will share with us.

Ferron predicted some of the upheaval we’ve witnessed, including public ownership and industry consolidation in his late ‘80s book: Betting on the Franchise: Car & Truck Retailing into the 1990’s. But he still thinks the system works, “because dealers adapt faster than central planning…and they’re faster to do the right thing for consumers.” So he’s “still betting on the franchise.”

However, “I’ve always said there was a wildcard.” Actually, Ferron says there are several wildcards, among them Tesla; under-appreciation by our OEMs; and manufacturers reaching back into the retail business, thinking they “might understand retail better than you.”

The devil is in the data, he says. “As more consumer data becomes available – social media, the Internet, tracking – and vehicle data becomes profuse, the question becomes: what’s the dealer’s role in analytics and forecasting of where customers are coming from. If dealers get cut out because of intent, lack of capability or because they don’t think it matters, the franchise system fundamentally changes.”

Ferron will share his compelling insights during this “must-hear” presentation.

Glenn Mercer spent two decades at the McKinsey consulting firm, plus 10 years working as an independent automotive consultant. He’s been working on the NADA “Dealership of Tomorrow” project for six months. We’ll be hearing from him just three days after he goes public with it at the LA Auto Conference.

“NADA is worried that America’s 17,000 dealers are not focused enough on changes in the auto landscape in the U.S.,” Mercer said. His research meant talking to more than 55 people and reading hundreds of reports, plus traveling thousands of miles. The focus is specifically on dealers and more broadly on changes in the auto industry overall.

“The single most troubling thing out there is that if we do manage to merge mobility services (e.g., Uber and Lyft) and autonomous vehicles so no driver is needed and it’s cheaper…if they really work that way you might have people deciding they don’t need to own a car anymore,” Mercer says. But “evolution, not revolution,” is his prediction.

You need to come and hear Mercer’s presentation to get the full impact of his in-depth research for NADA.

You’ll also want to hear what Charlie Vogelheim has learned on the other side of things. He’s seeing the impact Google, Apple and other digital giants are having, from driver assistance options, to self-driving and potentially fully autonomous vehicles, to how the shared economy (again – Uber, Lyft) may change the way people own and utilize vehicles.

Will the shared economy improve transportation and traffic congestion? Uber and Lyft “don’t necessarily take away from congestions but may add to it. It’s far from an absolute solution.

He also points out that people’s transportation needs change as their circumstances do. For example, “A lot of urban dwellers find that once they have a family or a specific place they want to go, like the mountains or the beach, they need their own car or some other transportation to get there.

After the meeting on Friday, it will be time to party and enjoy the beautiful surroundings at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort. We have a special room rate and you may want to just stay all weekend. Snow permitting, there will be skiing at Vail that weekend!

Hope to see you for CADA’s Annual Meeting and Gala, The 102, November 18th. Make your meeting reservations online. Dealers, allied members, endorsed providers and non-members may book rooms online or call 1.888.421.1442 on or before November 11th to ensure you get the special room rate. Contact Trainor Walsh with questions.

Kind regards,

Fletcher Flower, Chairman
Colorado Automobile Dealers Association