It’s a week-long event — and you’re invited!
We’re in the final run-up to our three most important events of the year: the Denver Auto Show, Charity Preview Party and Innovative Dealer Summit. Here’s some information to pique your interest in attending these CADA-organized events that showcase our industry and give us as dealers the chance to educate ourselves – and have a great time doing it.
The Denver Auto Show, April 5-9 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, is a very big deal. Last year’s show (the 115th!) was the fifth biggest, in terms of attendance, in our history. We’re shooting for this year to be even better.
More than 500 vehicles will represent 36 brands on the show floor. Among this year’s highlights:
* Great rides for the public, including the return of Camp Jeep and its thrilling up-and-down, altogether bumpy course. Also, daylight-hour Ride and Drives from Dodge, Ram, Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep, Mazda, Ford and Toyota.
- Drone racing – show goers will be able to fly and race drones inside a caged area and learn how to take photos from the air.
- New brand – the Genesis from Hyundai, as well as rarely seen McLarens (we’ll have at least two this year).
- NASCAR – Representing “Donate Life,” NASCAR driver Joey Gase will sign autographs and meet with show goers on Wednesday, April 5 from 5-9 p.m. In addition, our hometown Furniture Row cars #77 and #78 will be on display.
- Hispanic Day returns on Saturday, April 8, courtesy of Telemundo. New this year is the opportunity for attendees to take a lesson in salsa dancing from 4-8 p.m.
Denver Auto Show Chair, Anthony Brownlee, general manager and partner at Land Rover Denver, noted that this is an exciting year in our industry, with all the emerging technology and new models. “The Denver Auto Show is an incredible opportunity for consumers to go to one place and take a look at virtually every vehicle available in the market today, so they can narrow down their choices to that one special car or truck they want to purchase.”
And it’s a big win for dealers with space at the show. Sill-TerHar Motors represents several exotic brands like Aston Martin and Lamborghini. Owner Jack TerHar said that normally, about half the cars consumers buy at his dealership each year start as prospects from the show. “I think they come to the auto show because everything is in one location. If they want to see a Ferrari Lamborghini or Maserati, it’s all right there. And then, I do believe it’s a matter of people… they’re car people and they wander around the show and fall in love. They find something they just can’t live without.”
Colorado Car Convoy kicked off the show March 21
The Colorado Car Convoy kicked off the events around the Denver Auto Show Tuesday, March 21 with stops in Montrose, Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, Silverthorne, Boulder, Longmont, Fort Collins, Greeley, Pueblo and Colorado Springs.
Green Car Parade is April 2
On the Sunday before the opening of the show, dealers showcase their latest in green car technology with the annual Green Car Parade, Sunday, April 2 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the State Capitol.
CADA’s organizer, Michelle O’Connor observed, “Colorado is a progressive state on environmental standards. The Green Car Parade is a great way to build publicity and show that our dealers are doing something good for the environment.”
First time: Innovative Dealer Summit is two full days
Along with the Denver Auto Show, CADA will host the ninth annual Innovative Dealer Summit (IDS) for an unprecedented two days this year on April 4-5. IDS is an outstanding opportunity for dealer principals and senior managers to catch up with the latest emerging issues in dealership operations including sales, profitability, technology, best practices and social media.
The men and women who present at the general sessions and workshops are experts in their fields. Our presenters include representatives from Facebook and Google, Dealertrack, Cox Automotive, Carchat24, E-Dealer Solutions, Dealeron, Hireology, Autobytel, TrueCar, ActivEngage, DealerSocket, Cars.com and many, many more.
Having attended IDS for several years, Bill Hellman of Hellman Motors, Delta, said that what makes IDS so valuable to his team is “the fact that you have some of the biggest hitters in the auto industry. You can go to the Digital Dealer Conference in Tampa or Las Vegas, but it’s a heckuva better value to be able to interact with those people here in Denver for so much less.”
Sandwiched between the two days of IDS is the ninth annual Charity Preview Party (CPP), April 4 from 7-10 p.m. CPP has grown from a small cocktail party nine years ago to become one of Denver’s major Spring social events. This year’s CPP, presented by UMB Bank, is “Car-nivale,” replete with delicious food, cocktails and great entertainment.
The CPP raises money for the CADA-sponsored Clear the Air Foundation, National Jewish Health and The Denver Post Community Foundation (see related story, page 10). According to Car-nivale’s Chair Anthony Brownlee, “The amount of money we raise for charity is important. We all want to be a good partner give back as an automotive community.”
I’ll be there. Will you?
Ed Dobbs, Chair
Colorado Automobile Dealers Association