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AM/NFDA Franchised Dealer Conference: Event preview

Dealers from all over the UK will gather at the Chesford Grange Hotel, near Warwick on June 16 for the AM/NFDA Franchised Dealer Conference.

The conference has been developed with dealers in mind, focusing on the key issues challenging the automotive industry including consumer behaviour, digital marketing, stock level management, customer satisfaction, Block Exemption Regulations and manufacturer mind-sets.

The full details on topics, content, speakers and workshops for the major one-day conference can be found below.

There is still time to book a place for dealers that don’t want to miss out. Head to www.am-online.com/franchiseddealerconference to book online or contact Stacey Harling on 01733 468289 or stacey.harling@bauermedia.co.uk for more information.

The AM100 CEO session

  • Robert Forrester, chief executive, Vertu Motors
  • John O'Hanlon, chief executive, Ridgeway Group
  • Trevor Finn, chief executive, Pendragon

A panel of top dealers debate the key issues, and provide insight and a blueprint for growth. They will give their view of the market at the special AM100 CEO session and will explain how they are facing the current challenges thrown up by running a successful dealer business in 2011 and beyond.

The CEOs will explore emerging challenges and opportunities in the automotive retail market, including the impact of the internet, how to provide the best customer service and the shifting economic landscape.



Consumer economic overview

How does the future look for the UK PLCs?

  • Mike Allen, executive director, Panmure Gordon

Consumer confidence has always been a major driver in high cost purchases. When coming out of recession, confidence can spike then fall – but will it fall again in the immediate future, or will confidence now grow steadily over time? Using compiled data, this presentation will explore the key stimulants and pit-falls that could help or hinder consumers.

Automotive overview

  • Paul Burrows, partner, Grant Thornton Automotive Services

We've heard the consumer view for the UK, now listen to the view for the Automotive sector in particular. Where are the easy profits to be made during the year? Are businesses still focusing on consolidation, or are we seeing more groups expand in new regions through acquisition?

Manufacturer strategies

  • Lance Bradley, managing director, Mitsubishi Motors

How do manufacturer representatives see the future of the Automotive Industry? Will electric vehicles be prime real estate for consumers, will the sports and luxury sector make a recovery?

How will franchised dealers be able to profit from sales, service and repair of electric vehicles? Will changes in the block exemption regulation see more independent garages attempting to step into the electric service arena?

We will also explore manufacturer-dealer relationships and how you can work with your franchise for maximum exposure and profit potential.

Delivering the right customer experience

  • Andrew McMillan, former head of customer services, John Lewis Partnership

In presentations Andrew explains that customer service quality should reflect internal culture; you can't just teach it and stick it onto an unhappy organisation. And in a climate where many are making cuts, he argues that creating a distinct, discernable and appealing personality for a business through the employees, by viewing them as an asset rather than a cost, can deliver a degree of long lasting competitive differentiation few achieve, but many aspire to.

The consumer journey

  • Nancy Rignall, head of MAPFRE ABRAXAS

How does market perception affect product sales? Is perception justified? Is there anything we can do to influence our market? How do other markets view our core insurance products? We will look at some key industry skills which support our belief that demand exists in abundance.

Who should attend?

  • Chairmen, Chief Executives, General Managers
  • Dealer Principals
  • Managing Directors
  • Sales Directors
  • Finance Directors
  • Operational Managers
  • Aftersales Directors and Managers
  • Manufacturers:- Dealer Development Directors/Managers & Franchised Operational Executives

View the next page to see a detailed breakdown of the workshop seminars during the day.

Workshop: Block exemption

Workshop 1: Counting down to 2013 (Part 1 - Network agreements and terminations)

Miles Trower and Chris Owen, TLT Solicitors will explain:

  • Block exemption background - understanding the key 2013 changes and how this impacts your business
  • Current market developments - influencing new network agreements
  • The role of joint working groups and supporting your dealer council
  • Reducing risks, avoiding traps and ensuring a fairer deal for your business
  • Code of conduct - what's on the horizon?
  • NFDA - championing dealers' interests.
  • European Commission - next steps
  • Terminations - how to prepare
  • Terminations - how to respond
  • Getting your tactics right
  • Understanding your rights and potential remedies


Workshop 2: Counting down to 2013 (Part 2 - Right of transfer and corporate transactions)

Miles Trower, Peter Naylor and John Wood/Andrew Webber, TLT Solicitors

  • Block exemption background - the right of dealership transfer
  • When it's gone, what will be left? What are the alternatives?
  • Will the code of conduct play a part?
  • Implications for dealers looking to buy and sell dealerships
  • Risks and prospects pre-June 2013 - a window of opportunity?
  • Buying and selling dealerships - corporate transaction overview - key issues
  • Preparing for sale - practical steps which maximise sale value
  • Preparing for sale - structuring your business to minimise tax on exit
  • Due diligence - what to expect

Workshop: Digital marketing initiatives and latest web business tools

Jamie Dixon, sales director, GForces Web Management

Digital marketing is the most effective form of marketing you can perform as a motor retailer. You are probably sick to death of hearing that 90% of car buyers start their buying journey online but the sad fact of the matter is that most dealers are simply not making the most of their digital real estate.

This seminar looks at how one fast growing dealer group has harnessed the power of Google, Facebook and Live Chat to help drive their business and how search marketing drives over 60% of the sales opportunities in to their business for less than 20% of their marketing budget.

If you've heard the adage "I know my marketing is working, I just don't know which half" then this workshop will give you insight in to how to get a digital strategy delivering hard leads in to your dealership at the most cost effective levels possible, and identify the half that's working.

Workshop: Stock control levels in an uncertain economic climate

Tim Hudson, managing director, Aston Barclay

Making decisions "to sell or not to sell" on the rostrum at auction can be very difficult in a rapidly changing market place. Our case study will look at how the use of quality management information presented in a simple way can assist you in decision making, removing some of the emotion and subjectivity associated with the "sell or not to sell" decision.

Workshop: Dealer finance for today’s digital consumer

Karl Werner, head of sales & marketing & Debbie McKay, regional manager, Carlyle Finance

Customers are increasingly comfortable in using digital technologies to manage their lifestyle. 24 x 7 convenience, the ability to ‘self-serve’ and increased control, mean that customers have embraced technology in many areas of their lives, when and where it suits them. From groceries to utilities, from insurance to holidays, today’s consumer is able to search, select and manage the products and services that meet their needs – and if a product or service is not there, they cannot buy it.

That 90% of consumers research their car purchase online is a well-established statistic, and retailers have adapted well to the digital customer, but with in excess of 65% of consumers requiring finance to finalise their purchase, it is fair to reflect that online dealer finance services have been limited.

Dealer finance needs to be available to the consumer from the pre-purchase to ongoing account management, and more. This seminar explores the importance and practicalities of ensuring dealer finance is available online to help close and retain today’s digital consumer.

Workshop: Increasing Aftersales profitability

Danny McGoldrick, marketing manager, UK & Ireland, Mobil 1

In a rapidly evolving automotive market with shrinking margins, aftersales is a key area where dealers could potentially increase profitability, especially when customers upgrade to a high performance lubricant.

Mobil 1 will be at this year's conference, providing car dealers with details on how to optimise this crucial area of sales through a comprehensive range of ExxonMobil assets to help support their business.

  • The AM/NFDA Franchised Dealer Conference is sponsored by MAPFRE Abraxas, Mobil1 and Grant Thornton. Session sponsors include GForces, Aston Barclay, Carlyle Finance and TLT Solicitors.

To book your place head to www.am-online.com/franchiseddealerconference to book online or contact Stacey Harling on 01733 468289 or stacey.harling@bauermedia.co.uk for more information.

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