The transition to electric vehicles and the streamlining of digital technology in management and sales were the major topics addressed in the 2022 CADEX conference at the Marriott Harbourside in beautiful Halifax, N.S. The Nova Scotia auto dealer community listened intently to the many expert speakers and panellists, and took the opportunity to network and reconnect with industry friends and colleagues.
Canadian auto dealer’s publisher Niel Hiscox was the moderator for the afternoon, and also spoke to the room about the ways that dealerships can streamline their digital ecosystems to be more integrated, efficient and welcoming to customers and the buying experience.
Clarify Group Co-Founder and Managing Director Darren Slind gave his insights about what he thinks are going to be important areas of focus for dealers coming into the new year, and explained his organization’s “T.E.F.F” philosophy, which encourages the sales process (particularly for EVs) to be “transparent, efficient, flexible and facilitated.” Slind is optimistic that dealers have a lot of power to help consumers into EVs by “adjusting to consumers’ engagement preferences,” with a mix of in-person and online interactions.
Dr. Gordon Shields, the President of Angus McBride, spoke about the EV transition picture in Europe, and gave some examples of how European dealers and OEMs have overcome challenges, facilitated the growing percentages of EVs being sold, and created new revenue streams, including an intriguing example of the “Mobility House,” a new department in a dealership that sells mobility solutions beyond autos, and in-home charging station installation.
Hiscox moderated two enlightening panel conversations, one about digital integration with experts from the software industry and one about EV infrastructure challenges and opportunities, featuring David Adams, President of the Global Automakers of Canada, Tim Reuss, President and CEO, Canadian Automobile Dealers Association, Darren Slind, and Sanjeev Pushkarna, Sr. Program Manager, Smart Grid Nova Scotia at Nova Scotia Power.
The afternoon ended with a message from Howard Thompson, Vice President Sales and OEM Relationships from the event sponsor TD Auto Finance, and the afternoon was followed by the association’s President’s Dinner.