Change: Our Opportunity, not our Enemy

Here’s what you can expect at The Greenbrier with dealers and partners for VADA ‘23

A Message from VADA President and CEO Don Hall

June 2023

Next week (June 19-22) kicks off our 2023 Annual Family Convention. Our theme for the year is “Change: Our Opportunity, not Our Enemy."

Indeed, there are so many changes on retail automotive’s horizon which, thanks to technological innovation, are more profound than any other time in our history. I believe, as I have said regularly, that change begins with the opportunity to evolve the customer experience: with competitors near, far and online, how are you creating a dealership experience that stands out?

There’s even new opportunity in the evolution of what we sell. While ICE isn’t going anywhere anytime fast, EVs will become the dominant powertrain over the next 15 years. Embrace this reality in your training, infrastructure, and stepping up to meet growing customer demand.

Indeed, the years since the pandemic have been the most historic and revolutionary in retail auto in my more than 35 years at this Association. This year, we introduced groundbreaking legislation that further strengthened Virginia’s franchise system. Our bill, which prohibits manufacturers from controlling the sales process, received unanimous support and was the first of thousands of bills to make its way to the Governor’s desk. Lawmakers, clearly, recognize how important this industry is to Virginia’s economic wellbeing.

For our ’23 Convention, we’ve picked a number of speakers who will hit on the theme of change and opportunity and provide you some words of wisdom in both business and life.

Our official podcast, High Octane, has a new interview with Automotive Ventures' Steve Greenfield.

We’ll welcome, as always, Kevin Tynan of Bloomberg to offer his insights on macroeconomic issues for dealers. We’ve also brought in Steve Greenfield of Automotive Ventures, a regular on CBT News, who has some real insights on where dealers should have their eyes as markets evolve. You can actually listen to a podcast interview we did with Steve ahead of the convention; it’s available on Apple, Spotify, and the web.

If you aren’t able to meet us in White Sulphur Springs, we will have articles and podcasts with the speakers and pictures from the events online over the next few weeks.

Our time at The Greenbrier will be enjoyed with our peers from Kentucky, Maryland, and West Virginia. None of this would be possible without sponsor support; you can see them on our Convention page, and if you’re attending, please show them your appreciation for their continued confidence in Virginia’s franchised dealers.

I also want to recognize the leadership of our outgoing chair, Liza Myers Borches. She was our third female chair in VADA’s history and is a trailblazer in our industry. She’s succeeded by David Dillon of Southern Team Hyundai Nissan Subaru/Southern Auto Group, who has some big shoes to fill. But I know, like any of you would, he’ll rise to the opportunity.

> Download/view our special edition VADA 2023 Convention magazine here.