The 2021 NADA Convention and Exposition will look a little different from previous years, certainly from the 30 that I’ve attended in the past. Despite those challenges, NADA conference continues to be a cornerstone of our industry. With more than 60 educational workshops and sessions, not to mention all of the vendors in the virtual exposition center with new solutions to present, let’s take a look at the top automotive industry trends that are expected to be covered at this year’s virtual convention.
According to the NADA, 82% of dealers expect the digital sales process to stay even after COVID. That means they will want to know best practices for overcoming recent challenges and how they can prepare for future economic impacts by building a resilient digital dealership. There will also be discussions around the digitalization of variable and fixed operations and how to maximize revenue in those areas.
It’s no secret that car dealership employee turnover is high, and finding, hiring and training new employees can even be more difficult in a virtual world. There will be several topics dedicated to recruiting the right employees and providing them with the right tools that enable efficiency and mobility for a more flexible, user-friendly experience. Naturally, a strong workforce will result in positive customer satisfaction and profits, so dealers will want to know how to revolutionize their people strategy to optimize performance while reducing personnel costs.
In a heavily-regulated industry like automotive retail, it is impossible to not mention legislative impacts on dealers. Expect there to be sessions on the new administration and potential changes to federal regulations. Data security will also be in the spotlight given the at-risk nature of dealerships regarding cyber attacks and the increase in hacking since the pandemic began.
From choosing the right technology to maximizing human capital, dealers will be focusing on future proofing their business more than ever before. If we learned anything from last year, it’s that processes with better mobility, security and efficiency will continue to give dealers a competitive advantage. I don’t need to tell most of you reading this that change has always been the one constant in automotive retail. But, I do feel that experience will be more critical than ever to navigate these rapid changes.
In the next blog post, I share my thoughts on how you can make the most of your time at NADA 2021, so that you maximize the full benefits of this year’s virtual event.
What other trends do you expect to see at NADA? Comment below and let me know your thoughts.