2020 NADA Expo Brings 23,000 to Las Vegas

2020 NADA Expo Brings 23,000 to Las Vegas

The jam-packed aisles at the Las Vegas Convention Center were filled with 23,000 attendees, dealers and suppliers from across the globe at the 2020 National Automobile Dealer Association (NADA) Convention & Expo in Las Vegas, Feb. 14 through Feb. 17. 

The annual NADA Show brings the entire industry together for the world’s largest automotive retail conference and expo, including companies that make products and equipment for the collision repair industry. 

Thousands of dealers and managers, OEM executives, allied industry, international guests and collision repair professionals connect with their peers and learn about the industry’s innovations. Over the course of four days, attendees were able to visit 500-plus exhibitors, more than 60 workshops, dealer franchise meetings and a lengthy list of keynote speakers at NADA 2020. 

2020 NADA Chairman Rhett Ricart said times are good for the nearly 17,000 dealerships in the U.S., but there is still much work to do. 

“NADA has never been in a more fiscally fit position,” he said. “We want to make sure we can leverage that for advocacy as well as we want to get deeper and better education and tools for all the dealers.” 

Collision-related companies such as Global Finishing Solutions, Spanesi, Inc., Dr. ColorChip, asTech, Garmat, CCC Informational Services, Pro Spot International and UpdatePromise were exhibitors this year. 

Public Relations & Event Marketing Specialist Ronnie Guindon at Global Finishing Solutions said his company’s participation in the show was a success. Sending three company reps and three of their western distributors to the show was definitely a good idea, he said. 

“We got a lot of traffic and met people from dealerships and collision centers who are in the market for our equipment," Guindon said. "At the NADA Show, we get quality leads as opposed to a large volume of them, like at SEMA. More and more dealerships are investing in their own in-house body shops, which is good news for us.” 

COO Tim Morgan at Spanesi, Inc. was happy to be an exhibitor at NADA 2020 after waiting for several years, he said. 

“It’s a popular show and space is limited, so we were on their waiting list," Morgan said. "We were able to meet with the decision-makers, which is what you always want from a show like this. Will we participate next year? Absolutely.”  

Here is a brief recap from all of the highlights of this year’s show, according to press releases from NADA:

Every year, NADA is well-known for helping nonprofit organizations in cities that host its annual show. 

This year, they donated $50,000 to the Nellis Support Team, a nonprofit organization supporting the 30,000 airmen and their families at Nellis Air Force Base, Creech Air Force Base and Nevada Test and Training Range in southern Nevada. 

This is the second donation in three years that NADA has made to the organization.

Assurant, Inc., a global provider of lifestyle and housing solutions that support, protect and connect major consumer purchases like automobiles, contributed $25,000 through its Assurant Foundation to the NADA Foundation’s Workforce Initiative.

“Assurant is proud to support the NADA Foundation’s Workforce Initiative that’s committed to developing the next generation of auto professionals,” said Assurant’s Global Automotive president, John Laudenslager. “We believe it is important to invest in the future and encourage the next generation of innovators, leaders, engineers and technology professionals.”

During NADA Show 2020 in Las Vegas, Assurant drove dealers to their booth with a pledge to donate $100 to the NADA Workforce Initiative for each dealer who visited. On Feb. 16, Assurant presented NADA with a $40,300 check, representing funds raised during NADA to support the Workforce Initiative’s mission. 

NADA Foundation launched the Workforce Initiative in 2019 to harmonize industry efforts and offer a brand-neutral tool for recruiting service technicians and sparking an interest in service technician careers. 

The foundation’s website, nadafoundation.org, includes the first and only interactive U.S. map of training and scholarship opportunities available for aspiring technicians, as well as videos featuring a variety of technicians highlighting their careers and the challenging nature of their work. 

Once again, NADA backed its bark by raising funds for service dogs from Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) over the expo floor on Feb. 16, as NADA Foundation and KAR Global auctioned off a VIP all-access “Epic Experience” package for the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500. 

Proceeds from the auction benefit the NADA Foundation’s Frank E. McCarthy Memorial Program, which supports CCI, a non-profit organization that pairs highly-trained assistance dogs with people with disabilities.

With more than 120 educational sessions, attendees to NADA Show 2020 featured top industry experts that included an Intro to NADA Analytics with NADA’S Chad Royston, Orbee Auto’s Daniel Kim and Cox Automotive’s Jason Jager

LinkedIn’s Mariel Lasala discussed why the social platform is a gamechanger for auto dealerships.

NADA 2020’s Distinguished Speakers series featured best-selling author and digital expert Erik Qualman. Using practical research, Qualman outlined the five habits that drive success and happiness for employees, partners and customers in today’s highly digital, WiFi world.

Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist and Autobody News columnist based in San Francisco.

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