During my first few years at the National Auto Dealers Association annual conference, I walked around the exhibit floor anonymously. I was new to the service and parts beat and didn’t know many people very well, so I was free to roam.
My third NADA show in Dallas this year was different. There are so many familiar faces now, including renewing relationships from last year and greeting friends we only ever saw on our laptop screens in Zoom Square. I couldn’t walk far until I met someone I knew.
It was exhilarating and a little tiring. I’m not complaining.
Each encounter was an opportunity to ask them what their service and parts business was like: how optimistic they were about 2023, and what the challenges might be.
Most of the roadblocks they talked about were ones they had heard of before, such as shortages of parts, shortages of technicians, shortages of good advisors, changes in customer behavior, and rising costs of store supplies.
For reasons of optimism, everyone just shrugged and smiled. But that didn’t mean they were hopeless. Quite the opposite.
What I’ve learned in over three years of talking to people in the dealer service and parts business is resilience and quiet confidence. They’ve done it time and time again, and there’s no doubt they’ll weather the coming storms.
We look forward to documenting each of our challenges and successes in the coming year.And I hope you read all about it with me car news.