From the moment we touched down in Dallas, The NADA Show was a flurry of activity for the Canadian auto dealer team. With a full schedule of exciting speakers and professional and social events, the convention had something for everyone in the auto industry.
This year’s show featured over 500 exhibitors, and more than 100 sessions in various formats, from workshops to more intimate roundtable discussions. The event kicked off in high gear on Thursday evening at country music mecca Gilley’s, with the NADA Show Roundup welcome reception featuring Grammy Award-winning country music superstar Brad Paisley. Denim and cowboy attire abounded in the appreciative crowd, some of whom even participated in the mechanical bull riding outside (not us though ).
Friday morning was the opening of the Expo and the Main Stage, where distinguished speakers like former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and NADA Chairman Michael Alford spoke before the TIME Dealer of the Year, Gary Rome, was announced.
The Canadian auto dealer team was extremely busy over the next two days, and managed to sit down with over 20 different companies for interviews, as well as stop by countless other booths to see what was new and exciting in the automotive world. We talked with many DMS providers, including CDK Global, who talked about their new partnership with Hyundai; 360.AGENCY, whose President Louis-Yves Cloutier took some time with us to shoot a video and talk all about the exciting brand-new DRX 360 consolidated product, which was announced live on Facebook at the show.
We also sat down at the huge Tekion booth, where Pieter Van Der Griend told us about their new vehicle locator, and how Tekion is poised to become one of the first global DMSs. At the Reynolds and Reynolds booth we heard about the company’s huge progress this year and their new branding, reflecting their renewed commitment to providing their customers with the most modern and efficient service. At family-owned PBS, Kevin Preston talked about the success of their under-the-radar approach, and their record-breaking year for new installations (and he invited us to an exceptionally fun cocktail party).
Rounding up the DMS providers we saw, at the Calgary-based company Quorum’s booth, we talked about the modularity of their product and how it is standalone, but can also be perfectly integrated into existing systems. We also saw the Keyloop team out and about, who were there to meet with customers and talk all about their exciting new expansion, including the acquisition of Rapid RTC and Serti.
For a quick look at some of the other auto service and equipment providers we met with, be sure to read Friday’s edition of eNews!