2022 NADA: From The Show Floor

If you attended the recent NADA Convention and Exposition last month, hopefully you were able to learn a great deal and come away with new ideas for your commercial vehicle operations. Unfortunately, this show overlapped with Work Truck Week, meaning that many of you had to choose one over the other. The good news is, next year, NADA and Work Truck Week will be in different months, so you should be able to attend both should you choose to do so.

Much of what was discussed by those at NADA was the depth of uncertainty; from supply chain issues and how long they’ll last, to unknowns surrounding consumer confidence, to speculation about interest rate changes, to direct sell models and the impact they’ll have on franchised dealerships, to new vehicle types such as EVs, and so on. If you didn’t come away with at least a handful of questions or things to ponder, you probably weren’t very engaged while there. However, most attendees that I encountered found much to consider. And while having so many things to think about can feel daunting, it may be good to refer to the old saying “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer of course is one bite at a time.

In today’s environment of what feels like continuous change, the best approach is probably to take a step back and think about what you do today, what’s working and what isn’t, what the near-term and long-term future are expected to look like based on the research that’s available, and then to start formulating a plan. And this plan should be one that’s tangible with individual steps you can take (again, one bite at a time) to evolve with today’s commercial buyers and all that is swirling around in their world. For example, we all know that vehicle inventory is in short supply. In the “old days” (less than two years ago) business owners would realize they needed a new work vehicle, go to their dealership of choice and find one on the lot that fit the bill. No more! This means the shopping experience is different. The good news is you can assist these business buyers by educating them, helping them understand that planning is required, that ordering a new vehicle is how things are done today, and that you’re ready to take them through this new process.

Many Commercial Managers, GMs, and Dealers are looking for new revenue opportunities. And with all the changes taking place, there are definitely many for those who seek them out and uncover new ways of doing things, or simply find new things to do that they’ve not done before. Change and the unknown can be unsettling, but for those who embrace it and seek out new business/profit opportunities, 2022 and the years to come should be bright.