Convention fueled with a lot more dealer optimism

SAN FRANCISCO -- Last year at the National Auto Dealers Association convention I had trouble getting dealers to talk to me.

Not because dealers were lost for words or unfriendly. But mostly because there just weren't a lot of dealers at NADA last year.

The economy was still struggling and two years of sales declines left many dealers on tight travel budgets. And the mood was somewhat grim despite dealers' general inherent optimism.

This year it's a different story.

The floor is buzzing with frenzy and I sometimes find myself talking to two or three dealers at once.

Most dealers remark to how positive the energy is at NADA this year. They're actually surprised by their own optimism. One told me he expects to increase his annual sales by 20 percent this year.

In short, if NADA is any indication of an economic recovery, it looks like this recovery has some real legs.

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