When I went to the NADA Convention and Expo last week, the opening general session was something I didn’t want to miss, largely since Jeb Bush, brother of George W. Bush, son of George H.W. Bush, and a former governor of Florida, was giving the keynote address. Mainstream news outlets interpreted his speech in front of NADA as a signal that he was possibly planning a run for president. Consequently, I wanted to hear his (partial-politicking? semi-stump? kind of-campaign?) speech and the subjects it would concentrate on. However, I would have to sit through a lot more before I learned that Jeb Bush was “seriously considering the possibility of running.”
Last week, I snagged a press pass to the 2015 National Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Expo in San Francisco. That’s right, San Francisco, one of the least car-friendly places in the country, if not the world. Dealers would have to rely on buses to get to their hotels and a few landmarks. They would have to use public transport to go shopping. And they would have to contend with an area of the country trying to “disrupt” their business model with the likes of Tred and Tesla, both of whom didn’t have exhibits at the event.
Over the past weekend, you’ve probably seen the summaries of press releases interspersed with some topical discussion reports of an MTV study on millennials’ attitudes towards cars on outlets from USA Today to Jalopnik to even MTV’s own website. Well, I was present at the press conference where MTV executives presented the results and was left with much more to write about, from how the survey was conducted to the recommendations that were presented to both manufacturers and dealers about how to court millennial customers.