The 2022 NADA Show in Las Vegas wrapped up on Sunday, March 13, marking the end of the first in-person show after the 2021 event moved online in the pandemic. And while the keynote speakers, presenters, and vendors have packed up, there are plenty of things to acknowledge and celebrate from the bustle of the past weekend.

New platform for vehicles available on Google Vehicle Ads

vehicle adsOn March 11, Google released their new ad platform for displaying ads to local car shoppers, aptly named Google Vehicle Ads. The new platform directs shoppers to the dealership’s vehicle description page, shortening the customer journey to inquire about the vehicle. 

Dealers who participated in the beta program as a complement to their existing strategies claimed to get a 25% boost in conversions. Ken Garff Automotive Group, Asbury Automotive Group, and CarMax trialed the program with measurable success. 

Google Vehicle Ads could change how car shoppers find their next vehicle with precise targeting according to relevance.

Bob Giles named 2022 TIME Dealer of the Year

2022 TIME Dealer of the Year Bob Giles celebrates with Keith Grossman, president of TIME, and Doug Timmerman, president of Dealer Financial Services, Ally

From an impressive selection of 47 nominees nationally, Bob Giles was recognized as the 2022 TIME Dealer of the Year on March 11. The chairman and CEO of Giles Automotive, based in Lafayette, La., received the award for “exceptional business performance and outstanding community service”. 

Along with a fantastic business year in 2021, Giles has excelled in his community. He helped create the Acadiana Community Heroes campaign in association with a local TV station, recognizing non-profit organizations and commendable individuals who have contributed to local initiatives. He’s also involved in the Outreach Center, Dreams Come True of Louisiana, Acadiana Animal Aid, Hunter for the Hungry, and other worthy groups. 

NADA Economist predicts another great year

Image by NADA

On Saturday, NADA Chief Economist Patrick Manzi took the stage for a session. He mentioned that despite the lowest consumer sentiment in eleven years, political and economic instability, and an “everything shortage”, the automotive industry is poised for another amazing year. He foresees consumer prices settling down to more normal rates toward the end of the year and the GDP growth rate coming back to normal in 2023.

He praised the industry for its resilience, saying “It took us over six years to get back all the jobs lost. Currently, we are on track to have all the lost jobs back by the end of this year. It has been a remarkable recovery.”

Michael Alford begins his term

Image by NADA

At the event over the weekend, outgoing 2021 NADA chairman Paul Walser handed over the proverbial keys to incoming 2022 NADA Chairman, Michael Alford. The handoff took place on Saturday, followed by remarks from Alford. He spoke of the strength of the dealer network, saying, “We’ve built a powerhouse. And it is this powerhouse that will usher in a new age in car buying.”

Paul [Walser] called on us yesterday to be masters of our destiny. That starts by seizing what’s in front of us [on electric vehicles], not just to sell and service, but to educate, to inform. Dealerships are the launching pad for enabling millions of car buyers to go electric.”

Alford is the dealer principal at Marine Chevrolet in Jacksonville, NC as well as Trent Buick GMC and Trent Cadillac in New Bern, NC. He served as 2021 NADA Vice Chairman. 

NADA commits to supporting dealers through electrification transition

As the auto industry accelerates in its transition to electrification, NADA is committed to being a resource and support for franchised dealerships. Recognized as the most significant change in the industry in more than a century, it’s no secret that many in the auto retail sector are uncertain of what the future holds.

Alford said, “We are all in. We are essential. Now the question is: what are the next steps in that journey? NADA is supporting our dealers and providing the tools to help.”

Prior to the show, NADA announced an initiative to help with EV education, in partnership with the Center for Sustainable Energy and Plug-in America.

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