Vegas Digital Dealer

Dave Knows Cars Goes To Las Vegas for the 11th Digital Dealer Conference, Cool Cars Also Spotted!

Vegas Digital Dealer

Last week I attended the 11th Digital Dealer Conference held at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. This is a conference for dealer personnel that are involved with digital and web based functions of car dealerships. More than 1200 dealership personnel from across the country participated in the three days of activities.  Days are full of keynote speakers, smaller breakout sessions, seminars, all the usual stuff for such ‘trade show / industry conferences’. Internet sales managers and eCommerce directors from all sorts of different dealerships from all over the country attended.

There were speakers from Google and Facebook in Silicon Valley, there were speakers from a variety of different companies which design and create web based products and other technology solutions for the auto industry. Cars.com, eBay Motors, Kelley Blue Book, AutoTrader.com, all of these sorts of companies, and many more, were there hawking their wares and introducing their newest products and newest features of existing products.

Black Book Online was also in attendance, this is a sort of ‘wholesale’ price guide for dealers, and a much more accurate place (more accurate than Kelley Blue Book) if you’re really trying to figure out what you’re going to get for your trade in from a dealer. The spokesperson for Black Book was Gunny Seargant R. Lee Ermey of “Full Metal Jacket” motion picture fame as well as, more recently, appearances on the History Channel. I had my picture taken with him and he insulted me several times… “Tobin, you’re such a sorry excuse, drop and give me 20” not really, but, you know…
R Lee Ermey mailcall

One of the most interesting speakers was Eric Qualman, author of the Best Seller, “Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business”. It was interesting to have Eric at the conference, as everyone in the car business is clamoring to figure out how to best use things like Facebook and Twitter to sell more cars.
qualman-digital-dealer

Some fun was had once the 8:00am – 5:00pm sessions were over, sure. Imagine 1000+ car people in Las Vegas. I visited the Imperial Palace Auto Collection while I was there. There was only one Mercedes-Benz there, and it was a fake anyway, an 1928 SSK Roadster Replica… still priced at $325,000… crazy money for a ‘fakey-doo’. There were a handful of nice vintage Ferraris, lots of big, old Rolls Royces. It’s always a fun collection to visit while in Vegas. Everything is for sale, so inventory changes often. It costs $8 to gain entry to the collection, but if you ask for free passes at the Concierge desk downstairs they will give you free passes. The collection is housed on the 5th floor (if I remember correctly) of the parking garage. Here are some photos…

Mercedes SSK replica
1928 Mercedes SSK Replica, asking price of $325,000.
kouros-sauber-mercedes
Sauber Mercedes European Group C race car from mid 1980s
ferrari-pininfarina-cabriolet
Ferrari 250 GT Pininfarina Cabriolet.
ferrari-superfast
1967 Ferrari 500 Superfast Series II Coupe.

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