Special Coverage

NADA Convention & Exposition

Contrasting Moods

American Honda’s dealer meeting here is held just across the hall from Chrysler’s dealer meeting. But it might was well be a world away.

While there is some contention at the Chrysler session, the Honda meeting is so orderly that it surprises Honda Vice President John Mendel.

For guidance, Mendel, who has worked for various other auto makers, turns to colleague Richard Colliver, executive vice president-automobile sales.

“I asked Dick, ‘Is that it?’ And he said, ‘What?’ And I said, ‘They don’t throw things?’”

Chrysler Has Jones for Vegas

Chrysler Financial will host Chrysler dealers here next month, when they will participate in an intense, new initiative to improve performance.

Historically, the financial division has held multiple sessions for its eight business centers, says Vice President William Jones.

“This year, we’re having two right here in Vegas,” he says. And those sessions will be more intense, complete with vendor exhibits and training opportunities.

The event also affords dealers a chance to advise Chrysler on improving its processes. Jones calls it “having a big ear.”

Following Chrysler’s dealer meeting, which saw some criticism of the auto maker, Chrysler Financial is singled out by some as a stellar operation.

“Not enough good things are said about Chrysler Financial and William Jones,” Gary Barbara of Gary Barbara’s #1 Autoland in Philadelphia, says.

Says Jones: “We’re doing a pretty good job. But I also think we can do better.”

Read All About It…Not!

Because dealers, by nature, are never totally content with their balance sheets, an undertone of pessimism pervades the convention.

A woman handing out fliers titled, “Chevrolet Success Story,” approaches a passerby and asks: “Have you got your Chevrolet Success Story?”

The man continues walking, but turns his head and wrly replies: “No thanks. I’ve got all the success I can handle.’”

Huddle Up

The convention’s exhibit floor closed Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

About that time, seven states away, the opening kickoff was set for the 2007 Super Bowl.

Coincidence? We think not.