Reporter’s Notebook: Getting to Know You

Ward’s writers pass along the buzz at this week’s National Automobile Dealers Assn. convention in San Francisco.

And the Understatement Award Goes to …

Jeff Schuster, executive director-global forecasting J.D. Power and Associates, says it’s time to stop calling China an emerging market.

Addressing dealers at a J.D. Power event prior to the convention, Schuster notes forecasts that indicate new-vehicle sales in China are on pace to hit 19 million units this year. And barring unforeseen economic setbacks, the world’s most populous country will see 30 million deliveries by 2015.

Estimates for the U.S. market suggest volumes of 13 million and 16 million, respectively, for 2011 and 2015.

“I think (China) has emerged,” Schuster says.

Getting to Know You

Special Coverage

NADA Convention & Exposition

Maserati North America chief Mark McNabb is not nostalgic about NADA conventions.

“I always enjoyed it,” says McNabb, who spent some 20 years representing Nissan, Infiniti and, for a short time, Cadillac, Hummer and Saab. But Maserati’s U.S. network of 57 dealers is much more manageable.

“I can pick up the phone and talk to all 57, and I know who they are,” he tells Ward’s this week prior to the annual gathering here. “I know all about them.

“With some of the bigger companies, they’re sitting down in a room with 1,100 dealers, not knowing the names and the people. (It) is obviously a bit more challenging.

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