Washington, DC Auto Show: Member Events Highlight Weekdays

Once the Washington, DC Auto Show left its better-than-expected opening weekend, the attention turned to several member events planned throughout the week.  None was more significant or better attended than the WANADA Member Reception, sponsored by Merrill Lynch The Kirvan Group and BG Crovato Products & Services on Thursday, January 27th. Nearly 100 dealership principals, managers, and kindred-member executives gathered at the convention center for drinks, music and an opportunity to enjoy the auto show floor with colleagues.  Door prizes were also provided by the sponsors, and two lucky dealers were awarded with great seats for upcoming Caps and Wizards games.

Pictured (from left): WANADA Chairman Chip Doetsch (Apple Ford), Board Member Bob Hager (Ourisman of Virginia) and Auto Show Chairman Jamie Darvish (DARCARS).

In addition to the regular proceedings associated with the member reception, Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) was also present to deliver a brief address and interact with the attendees.  Senator Van Hollen specifically addressed LIFO recapture, noting that he was one of 20 signatories on a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urging her to grant temporary relief for businesses utilizing the LIFO inventory accounting method who cannot maintain inventory due to global supply chain interruptions. He noted that this letter was yet to be responded to by the Treasury, and he was working with his congressional colleagues to push the issue further with NADA’s support.

The morning following the member reception, tag & title managers and staff from WANADA member dealers attended the show’s annual Tag & Title Seminar in which representatives from the three regional motor vehicle agencies provide training on their jurisdiction’s vehicle registration processes.  Though Virginia DMV was unable to send representation due to COVID-related staffing shortages, Maryland MVA and DC DMV were both on hand to deliver presentations, answer questions, and troubleshoot various issues and complaints.  The seminar was well-attended and went for its full two-hour time allotment, even with only two agencies present.

Finally, The Washington, DC Auto Show was host to a number of WANADA’s ADEI technician apprentices from the Northern Virginia branch of the program.  Erik Falk, WANADA’s ADEI field coordinator for the Commonwealth, ferried 10 students from NOVA’s Alexandria campus up to the convention center where they were treated to a day at the auto show, which included educational sessions on electric vehicles (EVs) at the Polestar exhibit and PEPCO / EVSmart display inside the show’s EV Pavilion.  As EVs become more prevalent, ADEI management is “plugged in” to the need for additional awareness, training and curriculum development for its burgeoning auto techs.  The students were able to familiarize themselves with the Polestar brand, learn about home charging and incentive programs for EV buyers, and peruse a wide array of today’s electric products, from small Arcimoto “FUVs” (“Fun Utility Vehicles”), to electric McLarens, Bentleys and busses.

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