The North American Trailer Dealers Association (NATDA) has launched a new consumer site for everything trailer related. The site, www.NATDA.com, includes over 4,000 online trailer inventory listings, a dealer directory of trailer dealers across North America, partner programs targeted at trailer consumers (trailer warranties and retail trailer insurance) and tips for safe towing, according to a news release.
“NATDA recognized the need in our industry for a central consumer website where consumers can find everything they need to buy a trailer and operate it safely,” said Andy Ackerman, NATDA president.
NATDA has partnered with leading, full service, interactive media agency, NetSource Media. With over 15 years of experience providing online solutions to dealers, NetSource comes with all the technology and skills necessary to serve NATDA dealers and host the extensive new consumer site, the released stated.
The launch of the new site is paired with a massive social media, print and web-based marketing campaign to promote the new site to industry professionals and consumers.
The North American Trailer Dealers Association, established in 2007, is the only professional business association in North America that serves the light- and medium-duty trailer dealers and brings them together as a unified team. NATDA organizes and facilitates the annual Trade Show and Convention, provides education and business webinars to dealers, publishes the bi-monthly industry magazine, NATDA, and offers many discounts, programs and services to dealers across North America.
NetSource Media’s team has been developing online services for dealers since 1995, with the launch of www.RVUSA.com, an industry-leading classified site for RVs. Since their beginning, their focus has always been innovation and finding new ways to help their clients grow. Today, NetSource Media offers a full array of online marketing and inventory services to vehicle dealers across industries, with specialized services for trailers, RV, power sports (ATV, motorcycle, snowmobiles, etc.), boats and heavy-duty trucks.
The North American Trailer Dealers Association (NATDA), which meets for its third annual trade show over the weekend in Louisville, Ky., intends to establish a credit union financed by its over 400 dealers and 200 manufacturer and supplier members.
”As soon as the show is over, I intend to spend 100% of my time working on setting up a retail financing program,” said Andy Ackerman, president of the three-year-old for-profit association headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla.
About 600 people representing 240 registered dealerships will attend the show at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) which kicks off with a VIP reception Friday evening (Sept. 10) and runs through Sunday. Forty-nine manufacturers of commercial, utility, equestrian and cargo trailers plan to display about 300 trailers during the show. NATDA has sold out 188,000 square feet of space booked in two halls of the massive KEC’s South Wing.
”The biggest problem our dealers have is floorplan and retail financing,” Ackerman said. ”Banks don’t understand our industry. The only way we can control our own destiny is to be self-sufficient with regard to financing. I think we can sustain our own lending for our industry.”
Ackerman said he hopes to have the credit union established sometime in 2011.
The show will have a strong education component with regard to sales management, business management and parts and service management. Four classes will be conducted for each of the three categories. Audio recordings of the classes will be available to NATDA members at www.natda.org.
A $245-per-year membership also includes and associate membership in the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) and the technical, regulatory and safety information NATM provides.
”We are trying to teach our dealers how to run better businesses,” Ackerman said. ”Our big push is educating dealers about being in compliance with safety regulations.”
Ackerman said the retail sales in the trailer industry have ”been steadily picking up” throughout the year.
”The horse trailer side is a little slow as are the big units with living space,” he said. ”But 60% of our industry is commercial so we weren’t affected by the downturn as much as the recreational side of the business.”
Registration is now open for the North American Trailer Dealers Association (NATDA) 2010 Tradeshow & Convention, which will be held Sept. 10-12 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky.
This is the only show for light and medium use trailer dealers and the only industry event that brings together manufacturers, vendors and dealers for this industry.
Some 1,500 people representing trailer dealers, manufacturers and suppliers are expected to attend the 2nd Annual North American Trailer Dealers Association (NATDA) Trade Show and Convention Sept. 12-14 at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) in Louisville, Ky.
“We also expect to have quite a bit of walk-through traffic,” said Amy Rubenstein, NATDA co-founder and vice president.
Rubenstein reported that more than 300 dealers, 46 trailer manufacturers and 115 suppliers have registered for the show. Dealers of any stripe — automobile, RV, boat and the like — are invited to peruse the show for free, although only those who are registered can attend NATDA’s nearly two dozen educational seminars.
Rubenstein and President Andy Ackerman founded the for-profit NATDA in March 2007. The organization represents commercial trailer retailers and earlier this year became an affiliate of the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM), largely comprised of cargo trailer builders.
NATDA membership is open to dealers who sell light-and medium-duty trailers with GVWRs of less than 26,000 pounds. About 1.25 million units were sold last year at an average price of about $30,000, Rubenstein said.
With the theme “Back to Basics Bootcamp,” NATDA will present more than 20 educational workshops over three days on subjects that include retail and wholesale financing, federal regulatory compliance, operating profitable parts departments, managing service department operations and selling in a stressed economy.
“Trailer dealers haven’t had any (formal industry) education prior to the association starting,” Rubenstein said. “We want to give them additional knowledge about what is out there, and for a lot of dealers, this is the first time they’re seeing potential products face-to-face.”
As with its RV-industry cousin, the trailer industry has faced financing issues during the past year. One related upshot is the fact that a company that promoting “buy-here, pay-here” retail financing will introduce a program for trailer dealers during the trade show.
“That will give dealers something to think about as the economy recovers,” she said. “I think the program will be very popular. Like everyone else, we want to stimulate the economy and get some sales going in our industry.”
The North American Trailer Dealers Association (NATDA) 2009 Trade Show and Convention set for Sept. 12-14 at the Expo Center in Louisville, Ky., is focused on bringing the trailer dealers, manufacturers and vendors together for three days of trade show, education, workshops and parties, according to the trade group.
The inaugural show in 2008 hosted 117 exhibiting companies and was battened by 268 trailer dealerships. This is the only show in North America that offers education, training, products and services geared specifically for the trailer dealers, according to a NATDA release. It has quickly become the “must attend” event for the trailer industry.
In the past, manufacturers and vendors would have to search to find the right dealer to sell their product line to. “We will bring more potential dealer prospects to a manufacturer or vendor in a three-day period than they could ever reach out to on their own,” the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based association said.
New for 2009 is the Manufacturer/Dealer Meetings.
“I have been asked to speak at many manufacturer meetings, and besides being very costly to put on, many are filled with vendors and guest speakers to provide education for the meeting. Our idea was for manufacturers to be able to host a 2-3 hour meeting to discuss the “meat and potatoes” topics that deal directly with their own dealer base, and leave the guest speakers, and education to us,” said Andy Ackerman, president and co-founder of NATDA.
“Having dealer meetings during the convention is a great convenience since the dealers will already be there for the convention. We want to encourage interaction between the dealers and manufacturers at the show,” said Ackerman.
Currently Aluma, Carry-On, United, Diamond C, Platinum Coach, and a few others will be hosting their dealer meetings during the NATDA Trade Show & Convention. With the addition of this new program NATDA fully expects in excess of 500-plus trailer dealerships at this year’s show.
The three-day event will consist of dealer education, manufacturer and vendor displays, product demonstrations, workshops and receptions. This show will even host technology vendors with software systems like finance programs, dealer management systems and even trailer rental software programs.
Dealer education has been a very hot topic of conversation and it will be a focal point of the convention. The days of a dealer making a living by just selling trailers are quickly coming to an end. Dealers are starting to run their operations more like the auto industry, meaning sales, parts, service and finance are all departments within the dealership that need to be held accountable to achieve profit.
“Dealers have had no where to turn for education and training and that is exactly what we will provide” said Amy Rubenstein, NATDA’s vice president and co-founder.
The manufacturers displaying units at the show are:
- Big Tex & Circle
- Alum Line
- Bloomer Trailer
- Blue Ribbon
- Cam Superline
- Car Mate
- Cargo Mate
- Carry On
- CM Trailers & CM Truck Beds
- Continental Cargo
- Corn Pro
- Delta Trailers
- Diamond C
- Eclipse Aluminum
- EZ Loader Trailers
- Lakota Trailers
- Livin Lite Rec Vehicles
- Master Tow, Inc.
- MidSota Manufacturing
- Newman Industries, Inc
- Pace American
- Performance MFG
- Performance MFG
- Platinum Coach
- Premier Trailer
- Royal Cargo Trailers
- S&H Trailers
- Snowbear Ltd
- Stealth Enterprises
- Sundowner Trailers
- Trailex Inc.
- United Trailers
- Wells Cargo