Over the course of four days, more than 20,000 dealer principals, managers and allied industry members descended into San Francisco for the 98th annual NADA convention and expo. Spending time networking, sharing best practices and learning about important dealership trends and issues, the community of automotive professionals was eager to engage in new ways to push the industry forward.

If you weren’t able to make it to the event, check out these Cars.com highlights to get a feel for the action.

The Future of Third-Parties

President and CEO Alex Vetter took the stage with leaders of several third-party websites to discuss new consumer car shopping trends at the Automotive News Retail Forum, which ran concurrent with the NADA convention. In the session, Vetter weighed in on the steady increase in use of third-party sites.

“Consumers want to comparison shop, and they want unbiased information that third-party sites provide,” said Vetter, calling out the import role third-party shopping sites play in establishing trust between consumers and retailers.

Other panelists shared Vetter’s point of view, adding that transparency and mobility are key to successfully reaching modern car buyers. Read the full session recap via Automotive News here.

Automotive News Automotive Retail Forum
Photo credit: JOE WILSSENS

Cars.com Announces RepairPal Certified

With more than 86 percent of cars on the road today past warranty, franchise dealerships are losing a significant share of service revenue to local repair shops and national service chains. In fact, dealers lose an average of 60 to 78 percent of revenue on cars three to six years old, and between 82 to 92 percent of revenue on cars more than seven years old.

To combat this negative trend, Cars.com announced its first product, RepairPal Certified, aimed specifically at helping differentiate franchise dealership service departments. Launching at NADA 2015, the product is available only to qualified dealerships, those that can be distinctively verified as having trustworthy service departments via Cars.com/RepairPal guidelines. Read more here.

Service and Repair Costs  Reviews  Dealers  and Shops   Cars.com

Digital Marketing Insights

Cars.com’s top digital experts were on-hand to review dealership marketing plans and share tips to Dominate Digital in 2015. The team shared a new case study related to the impact of indirect website referrals, as well as content on the connection between service reviews and sales. Dealers from all over the country left empowered to hit the ground running with fresh digital marketing strategies once they returned to their respective stores.


For more updates from the convention, check out the @DealerADvatange Twitter feed or skim the #NADA2015 hashtag.