Auto people like to talk business -- and party. At the NADA convention in Orlando, they got both, although the party scene was subdued -- befitting a lean industry still climbing out of a nasty recession. Photos by Joe Wilssens.
Business, bonding and blues
New Jersey dealer Rick DeSilva, new chairman of the American International Automobile Dealers Association, told the group last week that 2010 brings danger for international-nameplate dealers. "For more than a year, international brands have led domestic brands in market share, making us a convenient target for some politicians," he said. "It is more important than ever that international-nameplate dealers be engaged in the political process."
Finbarr O'Neill, left, J.D. Power and Associates president, welcomes Sid DeBoer, CEO of Lithia Motors, to J.D. Power's International Automotive Roundtable.
At the Ford stand, Ford Motor Co. board member Edsel Ford II, left, greets Mark Moats, right, and Wes Moats of Mark Moats Ford in Defiance, Ohio.
Tammy Darvish of Darcars Automotive Group and Michael Maroone of AutoNation were on a retailer panel during J.D. Power and Associates' International Automotive Roundtable in Orlando. They said dealers need a steady source of customer financing from committed lenders.
Gary Napper, AutoNet Financial vice president of sales, shared the limelight and belted out his version of "Mustang Sally" with the band at DealerTrack's reception at B.B. King's Blues Club.
Ed Tonkin, left, of Ron Tonkin Dealerships in Portland, Ore., and Stephen Wade of Stephen Wade Auto Center in St. George, Utah, get together before their presentation at the American Financial Services Association conference Feb. 11 in Orlando. Four days later, Tonkin became NADA chairman and Wade NADA vice chairman.
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