2012 Canadian Used Vehicle Summit: “Motivated People Win!”
The 2012 Canadian Used Vehicle Summit drew the industry’s best to Niagara region.
Few things are as energizing professionally as getting a change of scenery and spending time with a group of savvy peers. Shared ideas, discussions about improving efficiencies, and a “state of the nation” from experts and those shining in the field offer a long-lasting boost in vigour and commitment that has amazing power to enhance the bottom line.
Nearly 200 used vehicle industry professionals gathered at the Fallsview Casino and Resort in Niagara Falls in October for the 2012 Canadian Used Vehicle Summit presented by Rousseau Marketing.
Mike Lipkin, president of Environics, launched the event with Ten New Rules of Marketing & Sales. A dynamic speaker, Lipkin talks to more than 50,000 from 40 companies around the world, bringing with him a message for sales in the new millennium: that chaos is unavoidable and true champions embrace it, focusing on adaptability and flexibility. “They’re open to learning from anywhere,” he says on his website. “They know that business life today can shift radically every three months. Business success is about mastering contradiction.”
“Those who understand the game will win the game,” he told the assembled crowd. Armed with his 10 New Rules, participants were pumped up and ready to get into two full days of operations and inspiration.
The crowd next heard from John Edelman, owner of Haldimand Motors, who has built a veritable used vehicle empire in Cayuga, south of Hamilton; Edelman’s operation sells more than 6,000 vehicles a year from a 20-acre, 130-bay facility he built from the ground up.
Industry heavyweights such as Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Automotive consultants, Maria Soklis of Kia Canada Inc., and Brian Murphy of JD Power and Associates brought invaluable market insights throughout the event, while specialists in finance, inventory management, social media marketing, and F&I profitability rounded out a comprehensive roster of speakers.
Insight and information
“I’d only been in my job for a week when the conference happened,” says Ab Hamid, used car manager at Pfaff Audi in Vaughan. “I really wanted to get as much information as possible on the market, and the industry. I brought a lot back with me, and am already more productive.”
Hamid says the chance to connect with others in the industry was another big draw, including an auction connection he’s already using to great advantage. “It made me want to always be on top of my game,” he says.
As the proud Premium sponsor of the event for the third consecutive year, Atlas Tire helped spread a message about the importance of tires to the pre-owned trade. “Within the automotive industry, CSI scores can have a direct impact on the dealership’s bottom line,” says Jim Shkut, Director, Sales and Marketing. “The choice of tire that goes on a pre-owned vehicle is one factor that influences customer satisfaction and retention levels. The right tire will help the car ride, handle, stop and generally perform in the same manner as when it was new. The wrong tire can degrade the driving experience and thus degrade the ownership experience.
“This year’s summit gave us a great platform to illuminate the importance of tires to the pre-owned trade. It also provided an excellent forum to network with key players in the pre-owned trade and build lasting relationships,” he says.
An evening cocktail reception and gala dinner gave participants a chance to unwind and enjoy some casual conversation, along with an awards ceremony and entertainment.
A growing market
Although it’s been around for a century, the sale of used vehicles has never provided an opportunity for greater impact than it does today. At the end of 2011, a study by a major industry force discovered that 60% of new car buyers said they were willing to consider a certified preowned vehicle. Consumers, armed with mobile apps and a passion for research, are better informed than ever, which means those in the business are increasingly raising their games to compete.
Those who do manage to stand out will reap the rewards — DesRosiers has predicted sales of more than 30 million used cars this decade, up more than 25% over the years from 2000 to 2010.
Bringing critical, up-to-the-minute insights back to their teams was a primary consideration for many attendees. “Your goal is to cascade this to your teams and really make a difference,” Lipkin summed it up in his closing address.
The biggest takeaway might be one of the simplest, culled from Lipkin’s Top 10: Motivated People Win. By attending the 2012 Canadian Used Vehicle Summit, attendees found the motivation they need to excel.