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2004 NADA Convention opens

Some 30,000 US franchised car dealers convene in Las Vegas today, 30 January for NADA's annual convention.

A focus of this year's convention is likely to be the motor retail industry's customer relations in the light of a number of recent consumer campaigns against dealer practices focused on sales ethics and F&I pricing. Car salespeople came last in a 2003 Gallup survey on perceptions of professional honesty, as they have done in almost every year since 1977, reports the Detroit Free Press. Consumer campaigns against dealer practices continued a year after NADA adopted a new code of ethics.

Autobytel is to use the NADA convention to launch what will be billed as the US' first ever all-makes dealer certification programme, based polls of on its online lead referral web site's customer base.

NADA members will also discuss the negative trend in dealer profitability of the past two years; strategies for an incentive-based US market which in which dealers will be handling over 60 new models this year; and a shortage of service technicians.

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