More than 650 remarketing professionals attended this year’s conference at Caesars Palace Casino in Las Vegas.

More than 650 remarketing professionals attended this year’s conference at Caesars Palace Casino in Las Vegas.

The 2013 Conference of Automotive Remarketing (CAR)’s 18th annual meeting held March 6-7 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas attracted more than 650 remarketers and consignors who benefitted from a full-schedule that covered the breadth of the industry, giving them insight on everything from the future of the market to the benefits and challenges of multi-platform online selling, to the ins and outs of condition reports. The CAR Conference is held in partnership with the National Auto Auction Association (NAAA), which co-locates its spring meeting with CAR.

Note: You can click any of the images in this story to view a complete photo gallery from the 2013 Conference of Automotive Remarketing.

Keynote speakers included former Harley-Davidson Chairman and CEO Richard Teerlink, Bay Auto Outlet/Wholesale Auto Direct President Kraig Quisenberry, and CNBC Commentator Steve Cortes.

Teerlink outlined how he and Harley-Davidson’s management team brought the company — and the brand — back from the brink of extinction in the early 1980s by focusing on engaging employees, dealers, and customers.

Quisenberry encouraged attendees to think like customers as they develop their business strategies for a single, practical reason: “Customers will increasingly define the marketplace,” he said.

Cortes showed the benefits of being a contrarian with his analysis of the Chinese economic market and why the 21st Century may be the “Second American Century” due to China’s reliance on centralized planning, lack of innovation, and impending demographic imbalance Cortes’ overriding message: Avoid “group think” in day-to-day decision making.

CNBC’s Steve Cortes made the case for contrarian thinking and the Second American Century.

CNBC’s Steve Cortes made the case for contrarian thinking and the Second American Century.

“When I got back to my office, the one talking point that seemed to come up in every discussion was Steve Cortes’ ‘contrarian’ outlook on the state of the Chinese economy, and the possible residual effects here in the U.S.

Granted, this was not necessarily associated with any direct ‘remarketing’ insight. However, that’s the beauty of CAR. The real value lies in the diversity of the overall learning experiences garnered over two days of presentations, panel discussions, and break-out sessions. And, needless to say, CAR 2013 was no exception,” observed Jim McCarthy director, Vehicle Management Services for CSCM, a Division of Siemens.

General and breakout sessions drilled down to remarketing specifics. Highlights included a panel session on simultaneous multiplatform online selling moderated by ARI Vice President of Remarketing Bob Graham and a forecast of what to expect from the wholesale automotive market in 2013 and 2014 moderated by MS Cloud Services Chief Marketing Officer Charlie Vogelheim. Automotive Fleet Editor and Conference Co-chair Mike Antich moderated a panel designed to give attendees insight into how to spot and combat odometer fraud, title washing, and VIN cloning.

In addition, the automakers and fleet management companies honored their top auction partners. Bobit Business Media presented the Consignor of the Year Award to ARI’s Bob Graham, and the Remarketer of the Year Award to Henry Stanley, owner of the Carolina and Indiana Auto auctions.

CAR was co-located with the International Automotive Remarketers Alliance (IARA)’s Winter Roundtable.

In addition to the IARA’s unique roundtable sessions, keynote speaker Dale Pollack, owner of Chicago-based vAuto, gave attendees practical advice about how to strategically remarket vehicles. The IARA also posthumously honored its late executive director, Matt Marks, with the 2013 Circle of Excellence Award, which, beginning in 2014, will be referred to as the Matt Marks’ Circle of Excellence Award. Marks, the Alliance’s first executive director, died unexpectedly in October 2012.

Next year, CAR will be held March 5-6 and move to the Paris Casino.