Wednesday, May. 09, 2007, 08:00 PM UPDATED 11:59 AMBy Nick Zulovich
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Back by popular demand, the Buy-Here, Pay-Here track at the National Independent Auto Dealers Association Convention will again be featured this year. Mike Linn, executive vice president, highlighted that more than 1,500 dealers are expected to attend the event held June 13-16 in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland Resort.
In addition to the BHPH track, officials will also feature General and Retail Tracks this year, with the General Track being the newest offering. There will be a lot of applicable information offered throughout all the tracks that can assist with the special finance, BHPH business, according to officials.
A few of the presenters of interest to special finance and BHPH dealers include David Huber, of Finance Express; Terri Harris, of the IRS; Keith Whann, NIADA general counsel; and Ken Shilson, of the National Alliance of Buy-Here, Pay-Here Dealers.
Just a few of the panels of interest may include:
—How to Develop a Complete Lender Portfolio for Your Dealers, which will be presented by Huber. In this session under the Retail Track, Huber said he will offer advice on how to formalize a business plan, gather appropriate credit and personal references to ensure a store has a variety of lenders available for their customers. "If you want to attract new lending sources for your dealership, this session is the answer," Huber highlighted.
—I'm from the IRS and I'm Here to Help You will be presented by Harris, a motor vehicle technical adviser with the IRS. This is offered under the BHPH Track, and Harris said she will provide an overview of Federal Tax issues common to all used motor vehicle dealerships. Moreover, Harris said she will address issues, such as proper inventory valuation, treatment of tool reimbursement programs, cash reporting and other IRS related topics. Harris noted that her presentation will include a question and answer period for attendees.
—F&I Profit Center or Problem Area, the Choice is Yours will be provided by Whann under the General Track. According to Whann, "Unfortunately the practices used to sell F&I products and, in many cases, the products themselves, are coming under the scrutiny of federal and state regulators and are the subject of class-action lawsuits throughout the country." In response to this, Whann said he will focus solely of F&I issues by analyzing each F&I product sold at dealerships.
Commenting on the new General Track, Linn explained, "After evaluating the great comments we received from last year's convention, we not only came up with the extra general track of workshops, we're also going to offer more panels than we've ever had, using a host of moderators, experts from our industry who have experience and outstanding credentials.
"I think this is a way to take the educational program up an additional notch to keep our dealers on the competitive edge," he added. "Our leadership is excited about this year's program, and we believe our dealers attending will immediately notice the added value as well."
According to Linn, D.J. Harrington, chief executive officer of Phone Logic Inc. will also be back this year.
Despite some familiar faces in the lineup, this year's group of speakers will include some new faces, as well, Linn noted. Charlie Vogelheim, vice president of automotive development at J.D. Power and Associates, will kick off the convention on June 13 with a 3 p.m. general session address focusing on the topic, "Satisfaction: How Every Great Business Listens to the Voice of the Dealer."
The three educational tracks begin in full force on June 14.
"We feel like this lineup of trainers and speakers is the best we've ever had, and dealers who take advantage of it will be two steps ahead of their competition," he pointed out.
To serve those dealers who are not able to attend, Linn said Whann's Saturday morning session will be televised via NIADA.TV from 9:30-11:00 a.m. Whann will be examining "Who Says Compliance Can be Easy? ... Me!"
"We try to pick out at least one educational session that we can do a live telecast, and many dealers who are not able to come to Nashville will be able to still take advantage of this critical session," Linn explained. "In fact, the last time we had a Saturday morning program, the ratings were phenomenal in terms of the numbers of dealers watching. So, we're going to repeat that strategy."
In addition to the three educational tracks, the NIADA Certified Master Dealer Program will be in session throughout the convention. Its concentration will be business management, financial management, merchandising, human resources and business planning.
Linn said another program change implemented this year was to move to the National Leadership Awards Banquet to Friday at 6:30 p.m. and the National Quality Dealer Awards Banquet to Saturday at 7 p.m.
"This will allow relatives, employees and friends of these quality dealers from around the country to make it to the program and enjoy the celebration with them," Linn explained.
As with every NIADA convention, some 150 vendors will be exhibiting in Nashville.
"The trade show is sold out, and our dealers will be able to take advantage of the time to mix with our exhibitors to improve their business," Linn concluded.
For a complete agenda and to register, visit .
Editor Jennifer Reed contributed to this report.