We’d like to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who attended the 2023 AADA Convention & Expo which took place 3 weeks ago on the 14th and 15th of June. Your participation made the event a resounding success, and this year’s convention witnessed a record-breaking number of Dealer attendees.
Throughout the event, we were inspired by the insights shared by the keynote speakers, the thought-provoking panel discussions and workshops, and the extensive range of exhibitors who showcased their fantastic products and services. The 2023 Convention & Expo provided an exceptional opportunity for networking, fostering new connections, and strengthening existing relationships.
The success of this year’s event would not have been possible without the unwavering support and commitment of our attendees. Your presence at the convention contributed to an energising and collaborative atmosphere, creating an unforgettable experience for all attendees.
An announcement on the dates and location for the 2024 edition of the AADA Convention & Expo will be made in the near future.
We are thrilled to announce the winners of our fun Australia’s Best-Looking Dealership competition! Congratulations to our regional winner – Owen Toyota (Griffith, NSW), and the metro winner – New Town Toyota (East Victoria Park, WA). Your outstanding facilities and attention to detail have made you stand out from the rest!
Very honourable mentions need to go to the other dealerships who also impressed the secretariat and came close to winning their respective categories; Motorama Toyota Moorooka, John McGrath Kia in Canberra, Burnie Mazda, and Dubbo City Toyota and Lexus.
We would like to extend a sincere thank you to all the Dealers who entered the competition, you certainly made choosing winners very difficult! Your dedication and pride in your facilities are a testament to the care and commitment you provide to your customers.
Once again, big congratulations to Owen Toyota and New Town Toyota on their well-deserved wins. We have really enjoyed hearing from our members and seeing the range of dealerships on show around Australia!
The community of Melton and the automotive industry in Victoria have farewelled local business pioneer and car Dealer Keith Harrison in early May. Over 1,000 people attended Mr Harrison’s funeral, indicating how well respected and popular he was.
Keith began his first automotive related business when aged 21 with a service station and repair business, continuing to grow until he opened the doors of Melton Toyota in 1973 with his wife Joan. The Harrison Motoring Group expanded from there to include many more brands and recently celebrated 50 years in business. In addition to running the dealership, Keith was also involved in the advocacy side of the industry and was a strong supporter of the Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce.
Beyond Keith’s professional achievements, his generosity and support of others will forever be remembered. The support that Keith and the Harrison Motoring Group provide to their community and charities such as Relay for Life and the Peter Mac Hospital really set them apart.
On behalf of AADA we extend our deep sympathies to Keith’s wife Joan, his children Nic, Grant, and Brooke, along with his entire family.
Photo credit: Go Auto News Premium
Bill Buckle OAM, trailblazing automotive industry figure was also sadly farewelled on 9 May 2023 aged 96. Mr Buckle was perhaps best known for producing the Buckle Coupe and the Goggomobil Dart.
Bill was very active in the racing industry, starting his love affair of cars working at his father’s car dealership before going overseas to pursue his racing career. Upon returning to Australia, he created the first Buckle Coupe for production in the 1950’s which ended up being primarily used for racing only.
Bill Buckle Autos started trading in used cars and converted US imports in 1961. The business progressed to become a multi-franchised Dealership, housing Toyota, Subaru and Volkswagen dealerships before being acquired by Eagers Automotive in 2008.
Our thoughts and sympathies go out to Mr Buckle’s family and friends.
Photo credit: Buckle Coupe
James (Jim) Smith, widely respected in motor racing and car retailing circles, has passed away aged 88 after a battle with cancer. Mr Smith lays claim to perhaps one of the best stories you’ll hear as to how he acquired his dealerships in Melbourne. Peter Manton Motors was purchased after Jim won a bet with friend and previous owner Peter Manton in 1969.
Jim ran Manton’s from 1969 to 1990 which included brands such as Jaguar, Land Rover, Mini, MG, Morris, Austin and Rover. He also operated multiple other franchises and was awarded the Australian Automobile Dealers Association Victorian Dealer of the Year in 1987 and the Time Magazine Victorian Dealer of the Year award for the same year.
Mr Smith was also heavily involved in importing and distributing luxury vehicles throughout the 1970’s up until 2012 including Jensen, Lotus, Lamborghini, TVR, Caterham, and Aston Martin. He was well known for creating strong personal relationships with his associates.
The thoughts and sympathies of the AADA go out to Mr Smith’s loved ones.
Photo credit: Go Auto News Premium