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THE Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA) has confirmed it will hold its 2024 convention and expo at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on July 24-25.

This year’s theme, ‘Driving Forward Together’, will highlight the emerging challenges and opportunities within the dynamic online commercial landscape and the regulatory challenges around vehicle emissions. 

The AADA program will also focus on the impending transformative shifts in the franchised new car dealership sector and their pivotal role in car distribution. 

The 2024 AADA Convention and Expo program promises to tackle these evolving dynamics and provide attendees with thought-provoking discussions and practical solutions to navigate this changing terrain.

AADA CEO James Voortman said: “We are really looking forward to the AADA Convention and Expo returning to Melbourne for the first time since the pandemic. 

“Our industry is facing many challenges, so we will be developing a program which assists dealers to do what they do best, which is turning challenges into opportunities.

Convention director Patrick Tessier OAM said: “We are optimistic that this event will act as a significant platform for industry leaders and stakeholders to assemble, engage in meaningful discussions, and collectively navigate the future trajectory of our industry.

The finalised program so far features a keynote address at the opening Auto-IT breakfast by the Hon Jeff Kennett – former premier of Victoria & founding chairman of Beyondblue

Hon Jeff Kennett

Known for his unwavering passion and visionary leadership, Mr Kennett is poised to deliver insights from his extensive experience in government and business sectors. With a keen understanding of the relationship between government policies and industry dynamics, Kennett’s address is anticipated to shed light on the critical role of collaboration and innovation in driving progress within the automotive sector. 

Sovereign Insurance is hosting a general session which is a Feature Panel – Navigating Cybersecurity in Today’s Digital Landscape hosted by Ren Blanning, head of retail growth at Carsales.

Ren Blanning

The expert panel discussion will discuss cybersecurity trends impacting dealership operations. It will delve into AI technology, spam lead prevention and the significance of first-party data protection. Attendees can gain actionable strategies to protect their data and systems to reduce the risk of cyber incidents.

MotorOne is hosting a breakfast with special guest Australian Olympic swimmer Brooke Hanson

Brooke Hanson

The Olympic gold and silver medallist is an icon in the world of swimming and has a story as a powerhouse of motivation and resilience, overcoming challenges with grace and determination. 

Carsales is hosting a luncheon with special guest comedian, entertainer and Gold Logie winner Tom Gleeson.

Tom Gleeson

Cox Automotive is hosting a keynote address by Gary Gilchrist 2024 NADA Chairman

Mr Gilchrist commenced in the industry in 1977 and now owns Gilchrist Chevrolet Buick GMC. As the 2024 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Chairman, Mr. Gilchrist representing Washington’s franchised new-car dealers and brings a wealth of knowledge to driving positive change within the automotive community.  

Gary Gilchrist

AADA Workshop Program Highlights include at this stage …

Elevate Your Appointment Game: Mastering Sales & Service Calls

Steve Curran, Managing Director, Total Selling Solutions

This workshop will explore excellence in appointment setting and customer service with real-life scenarios and evidence-based data to refine your approach to sales and service calls. Delegates will discover solutions for streamlining processes, employing simplified techniques, and gain insights from interviews with managers, national trainers, and a real-time problem-solving session with Steve Curran.

Steve Curran

Used car essentials and the emerging second-hand EV market.

Wayne Oates, head of dealer, Cox Automotive Australia, and Mike Costello, corporate affairs manager, Cox Automotive Australia and New Zealand.

With the increasing new car supply and margins facing pressure, used vehicle management are being thrust into the spotlight. Using data analytics and managing critical aspects of the used vehicle department, dealers can seize opportunities effectively.

Mike Costello

This workshop is designed to help delegates stay abreast of value trends, market segment insights and retail/wholesale performance which is crucial to excel in the used market. Participants will discover how leveraging data from both retail and wholesale markets offers a competitive edge. As the EV market expands, dealers must prepare for the emerging used EV market. The workshop is augmented with US and UK data to help equip Australian dealers to retail used EVs competitively.

Mr Tessier said: “This year, the AADA Convention & Expo will highlight an evolving marketplace where new technology and innovation plays a strategic part in the retail automotive customer journey. 

“No other event allows new car dealers to explore and review these solutions in one place whilst engaging with industry experts and informative business sessions.

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