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NEC, Birmingham, November 9 2017
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Automotive Management Live calls on top dealers to help shape industry’s best event

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AM has called on some of the UK’s top motor retail executives to ensure the second annual Automotive Management Live (AML) exhibition has the scale and features to fit with its new home at Birmingham’s NEC on November 9.

The first meeting brought together: Lookers chief executive Andy Bruce and Sytner Group managing director Darren Edwards, representing national groups; JCT600 chief executive John Tordoff, Thurlow Nunn group managing director Simon Bottomley, and Swansway Group director John Smyth,  representing privately owned regional groups; and Nathan Tomlinson, dealer principal of Devonshire Motors, to provide the views of the smaller franchised dealer.

Also on the board is Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which has partnered with AM for the event.

Members discussed how to help develop the scope of AML, including providing opinions on speakers, workshops and ‘theatre’ sessions as well as views on practical matters, such as the venue.

Some of their suggestions have already been incorporated, such as expanding the number of topical sessions to include data management and used car retailing.

Smyth said: “There’s a massive wealth of experience [on the board] and we can advise from a dealer’s perspective. The event is developing and growing and will get bigger and bigger as time goes by.”

Tomlinson said: “Events such as AML take a lot of getting right, as they need to be so many things to so many people. For such a small and focused group, there was a really broad spectrum of views [on the board] representing thoughts and feedback from the biggest dealer groups in the UK right through to smaller independent dealers.

“With increasing pressure on dealership personnel at all levels, if someone is going to give up valuable time to be away from the business, then we absolutely have to ensure they are getting something back.

“Things are changing so quickly in our industry, there is so much information to assimilate and decisions to make to ensure that our businesses remain profitable, compliant and ready to adapt to change. I know the daily pressures that dealers face extremely well and I know how important it is to have a source of quality information and resource.

“With the amount of effort going into it, there is no doubt AML is going to be a fantastic event.

“Without exception, everyone on the board is working really hard to ensure that AML will provide quality information and resource to benefit dealers of all shapes and size.”

AM editor-in-chief Stephen Briers said: “After the success of the first Automotive Management Live event in 2016, we’re delighted to have enlisted the help of these dealer group leaders. We aim to build on the foundations of last year’s event and provide even more business-critical insights and best practice in this year’s event.

“The advice and input already being shared by the members of the AML advisory board is proving crucial to how we will set out the 2017 Automotive Management Live at the Birmingham NEC.”

Also new for this year, as a result of its new location at the NEC, is a partnership with the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce. The chamber will bring along local dealers so they can benefit from the best practices and learning opportunities offered by the event.