About 24,000 dealers, exhibitors and others descended on San Francisco for the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Exposition for shopping, buying and learning.
Every inch of the 500,000 square feet of display space in the Moscone Center was consumed by the 420 companies hawking their wares.
As has been the case for the past two years, Internet services and computer companies took up much of the floor space. Also on display was equipment, everything from giant hoists for service bays to the tiniest gadgets for repair jobs. A number of booths offered a wide array of products and services to build showroom traffic and ultimately boost dealership sales and profitability.
1 Zachary Mansfield, son of Tom Mansfield of Mansfield Chevrolet in Russellville, Ky., tests an activity center by Koala Corp. of Denver. Best known for its diaper-changing tables in public rest rooms, Koala also offers indoor and outdoor activity centers for dealerships. Other companies also displayed activity centers and video games to entertain children while their parents shop at dealerships.
2 They weren't available for sale, but the giant, flat Sony screens used by Manheim Auctions of Atlanta to demonstrate its computer programs grabbed the attention of passers-by. Brian Stanley, left, technology manager for Manheim's Atlanta auction, demonstrates the Manheim-ADP autoconnect.com Internet service to Dave Baker of Dave Baker Motor Mall in Grand Rapids, Mich.
3 A first-time exhibitor, Scott T8olson, CEO of Cruisers Manufacturing Inc. of Shelton, Wash., showcases his 58-pound folding motorcycle. Tolson signed up dealers at the convention. He sees the motorcycles, powered by a small gasoline engines, as accessories to sport-utilities, trucks, motor homes, boats and airplanes. Former Chrysler Corp. Chairman Lee Iacocca, who also was at the convention, sees similar opportunities for his EV Global Motors Co., a Los Angeles company that sells battery-powered bikes.
4 Roland Au, president of Summerfield Foods Inc. in Santa Rosa, Calif., served tasty Jeep Wranglers, Chevrolet Corvettes and Ford Thunderbirds all day long. The company's latest model is an assortment of its no-preservative cookies shaped into Chevrolet cars.
5 Olaf Stanton of Characters Unlimited Inc. in Boulder City, Nev., guided Steve Cox of Cox Chevrolet in Bradenton, Fla., and his wife, Judy, through their final selections on the animated character they purchased at the convention. The company's talking characters, which included cowboys, pirates and even Merlin the Magician, drew constant crowds.