GM's Wagoner to deliver keynote to open 84 superscript th dealer convention The helpful seminars and informative product demonstrations on the show floor may be drowned out by the constant ringing, buzzing and clanging of slot machines when the automotive retail community heads to Las Vegas Feb. 3-6 for the National Automobile Dealers Assoc. Convention and Expo.

In addition to the usual array of seminars, more than 400 companies will cover 313,000 sq. ft. of the Las Vegas Convention Center (not far from where Elvis performed), exhibiting the latest products and services available to franchised automobile dealers. Some 80 of the exhibitor companies are new to the NADA.

"This year's expo sold out in record time and features larger exhibits than ever before," says Buzz Braley, NADA's convention chairman.

The 84 superscript th annual NADA Convention and Expo begins Saturday, Feb. 3 with an 8 a.m. ribbon cutting. Workshops begin at 11 a.m. and continue each day until the end of the event on Tuesday, Feb. 6. The formal opening of the convention is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 3.

2000 NADA Chairman Harold B. Wells and General Motors Corp. President G. Richard Wagoner are the featured speakers for the opening session.

Mitch Albom, a Detroit sports columnist, ESPN analyst and author of the best-selling "Tuesdays with Morrie," will lead the inspirational session on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 9:30 a.m.

Incoming NADA Chairman Robert J. Maguire and entrepreneur Steve Wynn are the featured speakers for the 3:30 p.m. general session on Monday, Feb. 5.

The 2001 NADA Convention concludes on Tuesday, Feb. 6 with the Grand Finale Dinner and Reception at Caesar's Palace. Singer Melissa Manchester is scheduled to provide the entertainment for the gala close to the event.

Franchise or "make" meetings will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 4 and will continue through Monday, Feb. 5.

Dealers who can avoid the temptations of the casinos can learn a lot about the latest trends in auto retailing at the six tracks of workshops slated for the Las Vegas meeting. There also will be a "Super Workshop" that will discuss how dealers can use technology to get past their competition.

Track 1 is titled "Strategic Management and Succession Planning." It will cover the advantages of retirement and estate planning.

The second track is called "Business Development - Finding and Keeping Your Customers."

"Vehicle Sales - Performance and Profitability" is the title of the Track 3 workshops. It covers a dealer's perspective of e-commerce among other topics.

Track 4 covers fixed operations. Included among the topics are audits and new trends in parts management.

The fifth track is "Human Resource Management and Development."

The last track is called "Technology - Combining Clicks and Bricks.