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The Industry
ASOTUCON: These are a few of my favorite things

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Pioneering a new type of conference in automotive takes a lot of guts, and Paul J Daly and Kyle Mountsier just pulled it off in a big way. From the venue to the guest list to the panel-style workshops, this conference lived up to its infamous tagline, “the rebirth of the automotive conference.” Here’s a recap of a few of my favorite things about this conference and why I can’t wait for next year’s event.  ASOTUCON2022 No expo hall  I’m a big believer in networking and learning from content, which is why exhibition halls can be distracting to that mission. ASOTUCON was all about the jam-packed schedule of podcast interviews, keynotes, and well-thought-out panels throughout each day; there was no one running to the expo hall to see what free swag they could snag. Everyone was focused on the same communal mission of learning together and from each other.  Vibrant venue  When I think of breakout sessions at conferences, all I can picture is carpeted hallways with lined-up classrooms one after another. I think of the closed rooms with quiet energy. ASOTUCON disrupted that image, rocking the Xfinity Live’s entertainment center with every breakout session held in a repurposed sports bar featuring a ton of screens with session information as you listened to the panels. It was vibrant and engaging rather than bland and quiet. It was fun.  Limited spots The curated and intimate guest list meant I didn’t waste any time looking for people at this conference. The ASOTU guest list focused on quality over quantity, controlling the registration so the event didn’t get too big or overwhelming. This meant that every conversation I had was meaningful, focused, and productive.  Progressive topics  As the industry continues to improve on data connectivity & orchestration, everyone present was on board with critical changes that need to be made in automotive. There were several sessions around owning and controlling your data, implementing a data strategy, and how to focus on first-party data and brand content to drive quality traffic and leads to dealership websites.  People>cars  At the end of the day, there was an underlying theme to every presentation, panel, and conversation at ASOTUCON: people are everything. It doesn’t matter which industry you’re in, what tech stack you have, or which top 150 group you may work for; if you don’t put your people first, nothing will function properly.  Ilana Shabtay in the Podcast Booth at ASOTUCON2022 Conclusion ASOTUCON was a new and exciting experience that reshaped my view of what an automotive conference could be: content sessions that are practical, relevant, and bring multiple minds together without any fluff. It was amazing to be empowered by so many other professionals in the space who want to make an impact in the industry. Congrats to the entire ASOTU team - you killed it. 
NADA 2022 Annual Convention

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In 2021, The National Automotive Dealers Association committed to deliver a bigger, better, and more innovative convention in 2022 – and that’s exactly what they did. To say that the last two years have offered some significant challenges to our industry would be an understatement.  As we have been forced to change the way we not only do business but how we learn, network, and connect as a community, NADA made a promise to its members to make the 2022 National Automotive Dealers Association Convention the biggest and best experience in the history of the organization. ...and they delivered. Packed with over 100 educational opportunities, 600 exhibitors, and thousands of networking opportunities over the course of four days in sunny Las Vegas, the 2022 NADA Annual Convention sought to deliver an experience that not only made up for lost time caused by the global pandemic but also created an elevated space for industry peers and experts to reconnect and explore the latest tech and innovation in our field. Beyond the staggering number of attendees, exhibitors, and experts participating in the 2022 NADA convention, the organization introduce several new aspects to the conference.  Kicking off the festivities on Thursday, attendees were welcomed into the new home of the Las Vegas Raiders, Allegiant Stadium.  Featuring an electrifying performance from three-time Grammy winners Train, the inspired and energized crowd enjoyed a great night of networking and celebration – setting the stage for the incredible activities, panels, exhibitors, and educational opportunities that laid ahead. Among the most popular new features this year was the addition of the Dealer Learning Lab.  Embracing a TED Talk-style presentation format, topics ranged from variable and fixed ops to leadership and business operations, as well as several conversations centered around the biggest challenges facing the industry today.  Additionally, NADA offered a series of more traditional educational sessions designed to engage and inform our community.  With over 100 workshops and countless other educational opportunities throughout the course of the convention, there were sessions designed to support, inform, and inspire – from industry veterans to first-year members and attendees. From there, the 2022 NADA Annual Convention featured over 600 exhibitors from around the world.  Spread throughout two halls, the 2022 exhibitors delivered more than great conversation, mind-blowing innovation, and a strong showcase of products – they delivered hope, optimism, and a sense of dedication that was unapparelled.   Within each booth was a vendor eager to connect with other industry experts to find powerful solutions to rapidly changing market conditions and advancing technology. And finally, after days of connecting, networking, learning, and exploring, the National Automotive Dealers Association Annual Convention awarded the industry’s most prestigious award, Time Dealer of the Year.  With 47 dealers nominated and recognized for their excellence in business and community service, the Time Dealer of the Year award ceremony truly exemplified the countless ways its members selflessly give back to their communities on a local and national level.  While this award ceremony is always filled with inspirational people and incredible acts, the energy and commitment felt in this year’s event were simply captivating.  The 2022 Time Dealer of the Year was awarded to Bob Giles , owner of Giles Automotive located in Louisiana , of which Mr. Giles accepted the honor with the grace and gratitude one would expect from the recipient of such an incredible award.  In his speech, he challenged everyone in the industry to do their best in making a positive impact in their community through thoughtful, self-less acts of compassion and advocacy.  The powerful ceremony left the audience inspired and ready to make a difference in their own communities, and on behalf of all in attendance, I would like to congratulate the 2022 nominees for their contributions and the powerful example they provide all of us. The 2022 Time Dealer of the Year Nominees Included: Gary Ackerman, President/Owner of Gaudin Ford located in Las Vegas John Billard, Dealer Principal of Hempstead Ford Lincoln located in Hempstead, N.Y. Cary Bosak, Dealer Principal of Bosak Motors Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram located in Merrillville, Indiana Virginia Bowden, Dealer Principal of McClinton Chevrolet located in Parkersburg, West Virginia Steve Brown, President of Brown Motors located in Petoskey, Michigan Gregg R. Ciocca, President of Ciocca Ford of Quakertown located in Allentown, Pennsylvania Jason Courter, Owner of Honda Auto Center of Bellevue located in Bellevue, Washington Wyndi Damato, Principal/General Manager of Fitzgerald Ford located in Fitzgerald, Georgia Erik Day, CFO/Partner of Warren Henry Auto Group CFO/Partner located in Davie, Florida Winfred Dodge, Dealer of Bill Dodge Auto Group located in Westbrook, Maine Wayne Evans, Owner of Prairie Motors located in Stanley, North Dakota Ray Fregia Jr., Owner of Courtesy Ford Lincoln located in Danville, Illinois Robert “Bob” Giles, Chairman/CEO of Giles Automotive located in Lafayette, Louisiana  Terry Gilmore, Principal Owner of Paradise Chevrolet Cadillac located in Temecula, California James Gramm, Dealer Principal of Safford CJDR Springfield located in Springfield, Virginia Bill Griffis, Owner of Griffis Motors in Philadelphia, Mississippi Kelly Hirning, President of Hirning Buick GMC located in Pocatello, Idaho Jason Hoover, Owner/Dealer Principal of Midway Motors located in McPherson, Kansas Jack Kain Sr., Founder of Jack Kain Ford located in Versailles, Kentucky Gregg Kunes, Dealer/President/Owner of Kunes Country Ford-Lincoln located in Delavan, Wisconsin Steven Lillestol, President of Thief River Ford, Inc., located in Thief River Falls, Minnesota Christopher Lindsay, President and CEO of Lindsay Chevrolet located in Woodbridge, Virginia Daniel Luneau, Owner/Dealer of Handy Automotive/Handy Toyota located in St. Albans, Vermont Doug McElveen, Dealer/Owner of McElveen Buick GMC Summerville, South Carolina Pat McGrath, Dealer Principal of Pat McGrath Chevyland located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa David McNeill, CEO/Dealer of McNeill Chevrolet Buick Nissan of Wilkesboro located in Wilkesboro, North Carolina J. Douglas North, President of North Brothers Ford, Inc., located in Westland, Michigan Todd C. Ouellette Sr., Dealer/Owner of Long-Lewis Ford of the Shoals located in Muscle Shoals, Alabama Curtis Pascarella, Owner/President of Phillips Chevrolet located in Frankfort, Illinois Tony Pierce, Dealer Principal of Snowy Mountain Motors located in Lewistown, Montana John Platek, Dealer Principal of Betley Chevrolet, Inc., located in Derry, New Hampshire Daniel Reineke, Dealer Principal of Reineke’s Tiffin Ford Lincoln, Inc., located in Tiffin, Ohio Bob Rogers, President of Bob Rogers Chevrolet located in Paris, Arkansas Michael Schulte, Owner of Schulte Subaru located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota Dennis Schworer, President and Owner of Honda Cars of Bellevue, located in Bellevue, Nebraska Robert Serpentini Jr., President of Serpentini Chevrolet of Strongsville located in Strongsville, Ohio Joseph Shaker, President of Wellesley Mazda located in Wellesley, Massachusetts Robert Sickel, President of Pine Belt Chevrolet located in Lakewood, New Jersey Bob Siracusano, Owner of Sawyer Motors located in Saugerties, New York Brad Sowers, General Manager/Owner of Jim Butler Chevrolet located in Fenton, Missouri Michael Stoebner, General Manager/President of Honda Windward located in Kaneohe, Hawaii Annette Sykora, Partner of Smith South Plains Ford Lincoln located in Levelland, Texas Joseph Thurby Jr., Dealer of Thurby’s Riverside Ford located in Markleysburg, Pennsylvania Tim Urness, Dealer Principal of C. H. Urness Motors located in The Dalles, Oregon S. Mitchell Walters, President of Friendship Ford located in Bristol, Tennessee Chris H. Wilson, Dealer of Wilson Motor Company located in Logan, Utah Phil Winslow, Owner of Winslow BMW of Colorado Springs located in Colorado Springs, Colorado As I close this brief snapshot of the 2022 NADA Annual Conference, I would be remised not to share a quote from the organization’s Outgoing National Automobile Dealers Association Chairman, Paul Walser.  During his address to the convention, Chairman Walser said, “Imagine a workforce where diversity and inclusion are the standard, where we are the industry that encompasses everyone – so much so, that our efforts are respected and celebrated by other industries, government agencies, legislators, and everyday people looking for an opportunity or a career and where there is no shortage of people wanting to be part of it.” I couldn’t have said it better myself and I am proud to call myself a member of this tremendous community of consummate professionals.  
london ev show
London EV Show 2021 Announces Rescheduling

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London - 18 October 2021 - The organisers of the London EV Show 2021 have decided to reschedule and relocate the event to the Business Design Centre, located at 52 Upper St, London N1 0QH, UK from 14 - 16 December 2021 . Due to some unforeseen turn of events, the organisers had to change the venue and move the event by a week's time to the Business Design Centre (BDC), an iconic central London exhibition centre, celebrating more than 10 years as a Carbon-Neutral venue. Since the launch of the event earlier in the year London EV Show 2021 has received tremendous interest not only from the UK but internationally too and is anticipated to become one of the most-influential EV shows in terms of scope and participation. The CEO of Valiant Business Media, Mr Shariq Abdul Hai stated that the ultimate endeavour of Valiant is to provide our clients with a smooth and unhindered experience and we are looking to use the venue exclusively with a state-of-the-art 6000m2 + of space that features a large exhibition area, a dedicated conference auditorium, several breakout rooms, and onsite parking. “We are cognizant of the fact that you must have started planning the schedule for one of Europe’s most-awaited EV shows. We do apologise and understand that unexpected schedule change and venue relocation may cause some inconvenience. We had to make the change keeping in mind the overall event experience. Providing everyone involved with the best event experience is our ultimate endeavour and we very much look forward to hosting you at the event.”, Abdul Hai further added. The Business Design Centre is an iconic venue in the heart of London and hosts some of the best events in the UK and an average of 1 million visitors annually. BDC has built a strong reputation for being a certified carbon-neutral venue where sustainability is at the forefront of everything to leave as little of an impact as possible on the planet. The organisers are very optimistic about the London EV Show which is already emerging as the EV industry's can't-miss event and have expressed great regret for this untimely decision which was not at all anticipated.   The organisers look forward to a bigger and better London EV Show and meeting all the participants in person from the 14 -16 December 2021! For more information, please contact: Ambreen Mir Assistant Manager - Media Partnerships  Email id : partnership@valiantbmedia.com Ph. no. : +442081441168 
Need Some Support? Hyundai Capital Offers Dealers & Customers Worldwide COVID-19 Support Programs

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The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the worst global economic downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930s. Posting the fiscal deficits larger than those during the 2008 global financial crisis, countries around the world have come up with a series of measures to stimulate the economy. The worst economic downturn is still underway. Some countries are fortunate enough to see relatively quicker recovery, but the COVID-19 pandemic is aggravating in many others, including the United States, Brazil, India, and Russia, further dragging down their economies. The International Monetary Fund has recently forecasted that the 2020 global economic growth rate would be minus 4.9% due to the pandemic. The Federal Reserve announced in July that while the U.S. industrial output increased for the previous two months, the production dropped by an annual rate of 42.6%, the largest quarterly rate decline since World War II. The automotive industry is also going through an unprecedented crisis. Vehicle manufacturers have suspended their factory operation, and dealerships are struggling with their business. Compounding the crisis is that their potential customers have lost their jobs and seen their income shrunk. IHS Markit has forecasted that 88 million cars would be sold this year worldwide, down by 12% from a year ago.  Global automotive companies have been looking for diverse measures to overcome the crisis, including budget cuts, fixed cost reduction, liquidity increase, to name a few. Considering the difficulties that both customers and dealers face, Hyundai Capital’s global entities have come up with various support programs in partnership with Hyundai, Kia and Genesis. And these programs have been well-received in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Brazil. Hyundai Capital operates Hyundai Finance, Kia Finance and Genesis Finance in 11 countries worldwide. Hyundai Capital America, which runs Hyundai Motor Finance, Kia Motors Finance and Genesis Finance in the market, provided first payment deferral programs to 20,000 new retail customers who purchased a vehicle, allowing them to make their first payment 90 to 120 days later between March and May. The three months were when the U.S. was hit hardest by the COVID-19. The American operation also allowed 130,000 existing customers to defer a monthly retail or lease payment up to three times and extending their finance term, easing the financial pressure of more than 200,000 monthly payments. The measures turned out to be successful. Although the U.S. auto market has worsened in the wake of the COVID-19, Hyundai and Kia were able to achieve a combined market share of 8.9% as of June, continuing its winning streak in market share for 23 consecutive months. “Our top priority lies in better supporting customers and dealers according to each market’s conditions as we go through this unprecedented time,” said Paul Skiadas, who heads the Global Business Division at Hyundai Capital. Relief programs for customers suffering from COVID-19 Hyundai Capital entities in the U.S., Canada, and the UK offered payment deferral and waived programs to customers who can’t afford to make a payment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Canada, in which the automotive market was hit harder by the pandemic than in the neighboring U.S., Hyundai Capital Canada offered payment deferral programs up-to 180-days to customers who financed the purchase of a new vehicle through Hyundai Motor Finance and Genesis Finance. The company also offered a 6-months payment waiver to customers who financed or a 3-months payment waiver to customers who leased a new vehicle through Kia Motors Finance. Existing customers were offered to defer lease payment up-to one month, finance payment up-to three months. As a result of various customer support programs, “Hyundai Capital Canada was able to support strong sales for OEMs in June when the combined market share of Hyundai and Kia rose to 13.5% in June,” said Mark Di Donato, who heads Sales and Marketing Department at Hyundai Capital Canada. “We achieved the largest monthly sales volume of $200 million in July since the establishment of Hyundai Capital Canada,” he added. Hyundai Capital Bank Europe offered zero-interest loan and payment deferral programs in Germany. Hyundai Capital UK directly contacted customers whose agreements were due to end during lockdown to offer them a 3-month deferral or 12-month refinance of their balloon payment. The measures helped customers preserve future renewal opportunities. They also launched a 0% PCP product with 3-month deferred payments to help customers. All of this was heavily promoted and signposted via dedicated webpages. Banco Hyundai Capital Brasil also decided to extend the customer care program in August. New customers can make their first payment starting from 2021, and existing customers can defer their payment for up to 90 days. Liquidity support for dealers amid sluggish auto market The support from Hyundai Capital is not merely targeted at customers. Dealers also benefited from a chain of aids. Global operations came up with programs to improve cash flow of dealers struggling with financial difficulties amid the downturn of the automotive market. Hyundai Capital America was quick to deploy solutions that spanned their floor plan and commercial financing products in support of their dealer partners. As part of Dealer Cash Flow Assistance Programs, the operation provided 60-day deferral on floor plan interest payments and 60-day waived curtailments on aged units. Also, 90-day deferral on principal payments for existing working capital and real estate loans and 3-year fixed interest-only for new working capital loan applications were offered. Hyundai Capital Bank Europe provided payment deferral programs for 105 days to about 640 Hyundai and Kia dealers in Germany. Similarly, Hyundai Capital UK extended interest-free stocking periods and suspended payments for demonstrators for over 300 dealers on wholesale credit to ease the burden of the lockdown period when they were unable to sell cars. Banco Hyundai Capital Brasil has extended the period for its floor plan payment from 120 days to 210 days. “We are committed to helping dealers stay financially healthy with the dealer fund, raised together with Hyundai Motor Brasil and its dealers,” said Banco Hyundai Capital Brasil CEO Cezar Janikian.
Auto Dealers Greet North American Free Trade Deal with Relief

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Alexandria, VA — October 1, 2018 — After months of uncertainty, the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) today welcomed the news that the United States, Canada, and Mexico have all agreed to a revamped version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), now known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The new treaty could be signed by all countries within 60 days, and will then need to be passed by Congress. AIADA President and CEO Cody Lusk issued the following statement: "Uncertainty is the enemy of business, large and small. Today's announcement of a trilateral agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico allows the entirety of the auto industry, from manufacturers to hometown dealers, to once again plan for the future. AIADA's 9,600 dealer members look forward to learning additional details about the pact, and its impact on the auto sector, in the coming weeks. "We remain deeply concerned over the Department of Commerce's ongoing 232 investigation, and the threat of massive new tariffs on imported autos and parts. Dealers will continue to urge the Trump Administration and Congress to pursue positive trade policies that keep the American auto industry open, dynamic, and competitive." America's 9,600 international nameplate auto dealers employ more than 577,000 Americans, resulting in a payroll of $32 billion and an additional 527,000 indirect jobs. Last year, they sold 8.4 million vehicles to American consumers – 59 percent of total U.S. retail vehicle sales. For more on the impact of America's international nameplate dealers on our economy visit AIADA.org/our-impact . About AIADA Established in 1970, AIADA is and continues to be the only association whose sole purpose is to represent America's international nameplate automobile franchises that sell and service the following brands in the United States: Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Genesis, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes, MINI, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Rolls Royce, Scion, Smart, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo. These retailers have a positive economic impact both nationally and in the local communities, they serve, providing over 577,000 American jobs. Visit AIADA online at www.aiada.org .
Spireon Announces New Kahu Enhancements Designed for Auto Dealer Groups

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Irvine, CA — September 18, 2018 — Spireon, the vehicle intelligence company, is adding several enhancements to its Kahu connected car solution, designed to provide automotive dealer groups with the tools they need to optimize operations, improve sales results and mitigate risk. New features include streamlined portfolio and inventory management, account transfer for seamless dealer trades, mobile views of inventory age, new test drive analytics, and more. Kahu turns any vehicle into a connected car, empowering dealers to view and manage vehicles from their desktop, tablet or smartphone. Standard lot management features like real-time location tracking, geofencing and battery management streamline operations and improve sales efficiency. Stolen vehicle recovery mitigates risk for dealers and makes Kahu a profitable add-on when sold through to consumers. Dealers can also utilize mileage data from customer vehicles post-sale to better target them for servicing, lease renewals and trade-ins. New enhancements to Kahu include: Centralized Portfolio Management — Multi-store dealer groups can now view inventory, vehicle location, battery health, test drive data and more, for all stores from a single login. Simple Inventory Transfers — Dealers can easily transfer Kahu vehicles between stores, seamlessly executing dealer trades. Enhanced Mobile Views — Improved user interface and added detail on individual vehicles boost operational and sales efficiency. iPhone users will also gain updated maps with more accurate satellite views to inform walking directions and easily locate vehicles for test drives. In-App Inventory Aging — To help dealers move inventory quickly and optimize inventory turnover, the Kahu Dealer app now identifies vehicle age along with trim details so the sales team knows which vehicles to move first. New Analytics Dashboard and Reports — Unique insight into test drives, inventory mix, aging, and other vehicle data helps dealers optimize inventory and pricing based on consumer interest. The new dashboard provides flexibility to filter by make, model, color, and trim, while automated reporting provides proactive insights without the need to login to the portal each time. Dedicated Recovery Hotline — Kahu helps dealers nationwide to recover vehicles with an average recovery time of 26 minutes. With a new dedicated recovery hotline, dealers are further protected from losses and downtime due to theft, recovery, and reconditioning costs. Expanded DMS Integration – Kahu now supports 80 percent of the franchise dealer market through integration with Reynolds & Reynolds and CDK Dealer Management Systems, simplifying the integration of Kahu into dealer operations and streamlining consumer onboarding to Kahu. In December of 2017, Kahu was named New Product of the Year in the automotive enterprise category of Business Intelligence Group’s 2017 BIG Awards for Business. In May of this year, Spireon was named IoT Vehicle Telematics Company of the Year in the 2018 Compass Intelligence awards. In addition to award-winning technology, Kahu customers also benefit from Spireon's white glove customer service, which has earned the company four awards in the past 15 months, and a recent Net Promoter Score of 71. “While U.S. auto sales have remained steady in 2018, the market continues to consolidate as dealer groups seek greater efficiencies and new opportunities to grow profits,” said Sunil Marolia, vice president of product management for Spireon. “And although the latest release of Kahu has been enhanced for dealer groups, independent dealers can also benefit from the streamlined operations, increased sales effectiveness, reduced risk, and increased customer loyalty generated by Kahu. Once dealers have the power of Kahu driving their business, they can’t imagine running it any other way.” To learn more about Kahu, please visit www.spireon.com/kahu . Kahu is only available through automotive dealerships. Dealers interested in selling Kahu can inquire here: www.spireon.com/kahu#becomedealer . About Spireon Spireon, Inc. is North America’s leading connected vehicle intelligence company, providing businesses and consumers with powerful insights to track, manage and protect their most valuable mobile assets. The award-winning Spireon NSpire platform supports nearly 4 million active subscribers across the company’s growing suite of products for new and used car dealers, lenders and financial institutions, rental car agencies, commercial and local fleet operators, and consumers. Learn more at www.spireon.com . Media Contact Collin Trotter, Business Technology, Havas Formula, 619 234 0345, havasformula.com