NADA 2015, Part 1: Appeals From The Carmakers

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Dealers are fun, and their suppliers are too. So when we heard that NADA, the National Automotive Dealer Association, was hosting the 2015 Convention and Expo near BestRide’s San Francisco outpost, we high-tailed it down to the Moscone Center to get a look. Here in Part 1, we’ll look at how some OEMs looked to connect more deeply with their dealers.

There were some electric cars sprinkled around, but the big guns came out for these folks on the front line selling cars. Hellcat




…and Mustang.


Ford used Mustang tie clips as bait to get dealer reps to visit each of the six stations at its display, with a different version at each station.


On display was SYNC 3, the next version of Ford’s infotainment system. This was a likely relief to Ford dealers who have eaten up many hours helping confused customers naviagate their Kafkaesque SYNC 2 systems. No release date is set yet.


The interface looks much simpler than the highly-detailed present version…


…and it appears that some thought has gone into eliminating some of the nettles in SYNC’s convoluted command paths.


Lincoln showed off its new accessories line, which a marketing rep said reflects the brand’s lifestyle aspirations. So, golf for the items on top…


…and “performance fabric that reflects performance cars” down below. I did my best to move past my first thought, which was that I doubted anyone under 60 would be caught dead showing off a Lincoln logo, but that’s probably just me being cranky.


Over at Fiat Chrysler, the Mopar dealer supply division showed a full array of gizmos for service departments.


The Mopar reps were hilarious. When I asked about the display’s main focus, one said, “If you’re starting a dealer, then this is where you get your shit.” When I asked to take their picture, one said, “Nope. We’ve all been convicted too many times.” This lathe was on sale for about $5K off.


RAM carved out space to get meat into the ProMaster City‘s seats.


Toyota showed a dealer model that was absolutely sprawling…


…with a showroom replete with trees…


…and a service drop-off that feeds service clients through the showroom and past the new metal to exit.


Mitsubishi kept skin in the game with the soon-debuting Mirage G4 sedan, which hits the US after being sold for awhile in other markets.


No word on price yet, but Mitsu would be well-advised to hold the line on this “unforgettable driving experience” from the developing world.


Check out Part 2 for a look at third-party suppliers for dealers – everything from electronic tire tread readers to chocolate chip cookies. See you there!