Vale Ray Kennedy

Ray Kennedy, a former communications advisor to the AADA secretariat team, passed away on 9 March.

Early in his career Ray worked as a journalist at The Argus, The Age, The Herald, Australian United Press and the ABC. After compulsory National Service in the Australian Army and a period at Eric White and Associates, he joined Ford Motor Company as Publicity Officer at Ford’s Australian HO in Broadmeadows.

Ray rose rapidly through Ford Public Affairs with stints in Dearborn MI, UK and Europe. He was appointed the inaugural Public Relations Manager for the newly created Ford Asia Pacific region based in Melbourne. This was at a time when Ford was applying significant focus to the rapidly developing Asian markets. This meant that Ray worked closely with senior Ford executives including Henry Ford II, ‘Bunkie’ Knudsen, Lee Iacocca, Philip Caldwell and others.

Ray left Ford to establish his own PR consulting business, which he grew significantly over many years before selling out to his partners and retiring.

After AADA was formed as a separate organisation from the precedent entities, Ray was asked to provide media and communications advice and services to the small fledgling secretariat team. In those early days, Ray’s experience and knowledge provided critical support while the organisation was being built.

On behalf of AADA we extend our deep sympathies to Ray’s wife Jill, his daughters Jane and Carrie, and his entire family.

Retail Auto > The Road Ahead: Full Program announced for 2023 AADA Convention & Expo

AADA has announced the program for its highly anticipated 2023 Convention & Expo, which will be held on the 14-15 June at the ICC Sydney. This year’s Convention is themed around ‘RETAIL AUTO > THE ROAD AHEAD’ and attendees can look forward to an exciting and informative event.

Featuring a star-studded line-up, this year’s Convention includes renowned singer-songwriter, author, and political activist, Sir Bob Geldof, as well as adventurer, Jessica Watson, and leading market economist, Stephen Koukoulas, who will share their thoughts on how new car dealerships can remain competitive in the current economic climate. Anjali Rao, former CNN Anchor, will be returning to host the event.

The main stage program boasts a Keynote Address by 2023 NADA Chairman, Geoffrey Pohanka, an update from Glenn Mercer on Dealership of Tomorrow (DoT), and a presentation on fixed operations by international speaker, Jeff Cowan, that will be live streamed to dealerships. There will also be insightful presentations by Mark Ward, Randall Bryson and Grant Cameron of BDO titled “Dealership Trends: not just the numbers” – giving attendees actionable strategies for success in the ever-changing automotive industry.

In addition, there are 25 workshops covering new & used sales, marketing, finance, fixed operations, legal & HR issues and more – each offering vital knowledge for franchised new car Dealers.

Don’t miss out on the 2023 AADA Convention & Expo at the ICC Sydney – it promises to be an event that you won’t want to miss!



Australia’s Best-Looking Dealership

Are you proud of your Dealership’s picturesque location and stunning views? Maybe you think it’s the most aesthetically pleasing in the country, or boasts an exceptional design that sets it apart from the rest? AADA is on the hunt for Dealerships that not only provide top-notch service and products but also offer a unique and beautiful location that make it stand out.

Submit your application for the chance to win the coveted title of ‘Australia’s Best-Looking Dealership’. We’re looking for winners in two categories: Regional Dealers and Metro Dealers, to showcase the wide-ranging nature of the automotive industry in Australia.

Not only will the winners have bragging rights, they will have a professional photoshoot at their Dealership arranged and paid for by the AADA. Winners will be chosen by the secretariat, and the photos can be used for the Dealership’s business, they will also be featured in AADA marketing collateral and to decorate the walls of our offices!

Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to showcase your Dealership. Submit your application now for the chance to be recognised as the best-looking dealership in Australia. Nominations close on 30 April 2023.