The 2013 Conference of Automotive Remarketing (CAR) covered the breadth of the market, giving attendees insight of everything from the future the market to the benefits and challenges of multi-platform selling to the ins and outs of condition reports.
(To view a photo gallery of CAR 2013 click here.)
CAR's 18th meeting was held at Caesars Casino in Las Vegas March 6-7 and attracted more than 650 remarketers and consignors in spite of severe weather that crippled large swathes of the country.
Keynote speakers included former Harley-Davidson Chairman and CEO Richard Teerlink, Bay Auto Outlet/Wholesale Auto Direct President Kraig Quisenberry, and CNBC Commentator Steve Cortes.
Teerlink outlined how he and the Harley-Davidson's management team brought the company and the brand back from the brink of extinction in the early 1980s by focusing on engaging employees, dealers, and customers.
Quisenberry encouraged attendees to think like customers as they develop their business strategies for a single, practical reason: "Customers will increasingly define the marketplace," he said.
Cortes showed the benefits of being a contrarian with his analysis of the Chinese economic market and why the 21st century may be the Second American Century due to China's reliance on centralized planning, lack of innovation, and impending demographic disaster. Cortes overriding message: Avoid group think in day-to-day decision making.
General and breakout sessions drilled down to remarketing specifics. Highlights included a panel session on multiplatform selling moderated by ARI's Bob Graham, a forecast of what to expect from the wholesale automotive market in 2013 and 2014 moderated by MS Cloud Services Chief Marketing Officer Charlie Vogelheim, NAAA Economist Ira Silver provided his yearly state of the automotive and remarketing industry--which was particularly bullish for 2013 and beyond, Manheim's Matt Arias presented on the NAAA's Structural Damage Policy, FordDirect's John Gottschalk gave attendees insight about how online technology and social media is changing the way remarketers will buy and sell vehicles, and Automotive Fleet editor and Conference Co-chair Mike Antich moderated a panel, designed to give attendees insight into how to spot and combat odometer fraud, title washing, and VIN cloning.
In addition, the automakers and fleet management companies honored their top auction partners. Bobit Business Media presented the Consignor and Remarketer of the Year awards to Bob Graham, vice president of Remarketing for ARI, and Henry Stanley, owner of the Carolina and Indiana Auto auctions, respectively.
As it has for the last several years, CAR was co-located with the International Automotive Remarketers Alliance (IARA)'s Winter Roundtable.
In addition to the IARA's unique roundtable sessions, which involves faclitators and attendees in conversations about the topics being presented (this year's topics were multiplatform selling and building a brand), keynote speaker Dale Pollack, owner of Chicago-based vAuto, gave attendees practical advice about how to strategically remarket vehicles. The IARA also posthumously honored its late executive director, Matt Marks, with the 2013 Circle of Excellence Award, which, beginning in 2014, will be referred to as the Matt Marks' Circle of Excellence Award. Marks, the Alliance's first executive director, died unexpectedly in Oct. 2012.
Next year, CAR will be held March 5-6 and move down the Las Vegas Strip to Paris.
--By Chris Wolski