NADA 2021: A View from the Home Office

February 10, 2021

Like a lot of dealers, I’m missing NADA this year.

This year’s NADA would have marked my 52nd trip to the annual gathering of the dealers, partners and others who drive the car business. Every year, I most look forward to my time on the exhibit hall floor, catching up with dealers and getting a pulse on where they, and the business, are headed in the coming year. This year, I’m taking in NADA from my home office.

That’s the subject of a column this week by Dave Versical, chief of editorial operations for Automotive News. He wanted some perspective on this year’s NADA, and what I’d be sharing with dealers if I had the opportunity to meet with them outside the vAuto booth on the exhibit hall floor.

I shared how I’m optimistic about the year ahead for car dealers, especially in used vehicles, given the prospect of additional stimulus money, healthier household savings levels and the need for personal transportation. While inventory availability is likely to pose a challenge for dealers in used vehicles, retail demand should help them manage through any supply/demand imbalance with improved profitability.

The column also highlights my belief that while times may be getting better for dealers, they should take care not to lose the discipline that resulted in right-sized inventories, teams and expense structures when market conditions were far less certain.