This year’s National Auto Auction Association (NAAA) convention was the start of a new era for the 55-year-old trade group. At the event, members set out on a new course with guidance from a comprehensive study of the industry, conducted by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Formation of new committees, including dealer and institutional consignor relations, was the most immediate result. The entire 500-page report containing BCG’s recommendation has been labeled the NAAA’s Roadmap to the Future.

“We are a growing industry that is selling more than $100 billion worth of vehicles every year and we’re facing issues more challenging and complex than ever before in our history,” said NAAA’s Chief Operating Officer Michael Hayes. “This study takes an in-depth look at how we can best serve our membership in addressing those issues.

“It’s also given us a wealth of information on the value of auctions, how to grow that value over time, and how we can introduce new programs that serve the entire industry.”

Moving forward, the association will give members more of a voice on regulatory issues and a presence online. Another recommendation is to increase awareness of the benefits of reconditioning. However, these changes haven’t come without controversy.

“I would consider this year a failure if we lost one member over this endeavor,” said Jimmy Compton, outgoing president, in his farewell address.

Incoming NAAA President Tony Long said members needed to be patient with the changes. “It isn’t perfect, and we’re going to take many detours as we travel together,” he said. “But it’s a plan.”

Differences formed as a result of the study were put aside as the NAAA joined together to celebrate itself and its industry.

Long will be ending his tenure in his home state when the NAAA meets in Nashville next fall. At the end of the convention’s grand banquet, attendees were shown a highlight video of the city, with country music stars Wynonna Judd and Amy Grant inviting them to Nashville.

The NAAA will conduct a quad-zone meeting in Colorado this spring.