A Look Ahead At The Future, And Why Velocity Matters Today


A recent report from the Roland Berger strategy consulting firm discussed challenges for auto dealers and manufacturers in the year ahead. The firm’s “Re:Think Automotive Networks Study” highlights a variety of pressure points that will continue to converge and squeeze dealer profitability—the rise of pricing transparency, increased sales volumes of less-profitable new vehicles (e.g., smaller [...]

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Four Operational Challenges for Dealers To Address In 2014


If I were to offer a two-word outlook for the coming year it would be, “cautiously optimistic.” Don’t get me wrong. I think 2014 will be a strong year, and perhaps a repeat of the sales and profit success dealers achieved in 2013 in both new and used vehicles. But I’m also cautious because I [...]

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Handling The “Ominous” Nature Of This Year’s New Car Market


An article in this week’s Automotive News calls the recent slow-down in new vehicle sales and the rise in unsold units on dealer lots an “ominous combination that could mean a return of bigger discounts and lower profit margins” for the coming year. I’d have to agree on the “ominous” part, especially when you consider [...]

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A Dealer’s Guide To Improving Reconditioning Expenses


I constantly remind dealers that their reconditioning process likely represents one of the greatest opportunities for gross profit improvement. Seldom, however, do dealers heed this advice. Reconditioning inefficiency is probably the greatest cause of gross profit disappointment. Happily this morning, I received a copy of a memo written by General Manager Paul Lynch of DePaula [...]

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From The Field: What’s The Best Way To Bonus For Appraisals?


  I received the following question from a dealer looking for insights to provide incentives for managers that would put more “on the money” appraisals on the books and feed more trade-ins to his used vehicle inventory: Hi Dale, I hope that all is well. We want to bonus our sales managers on “Look to [...]

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Why Car Dealerships Are Turning Into Coffee Shops


Here’s a really relevant article that I came across written by Geoff Day: Need a recommendation for the trendiest eatery around? If you are looking for the latest in gourmet treats, then look no further than your local car dealership. I live on the Upper West Side of this little village called Manhattan, just a [...]

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3 Reasons Transparency Is Fast Becoming The Trump Card For Today’s Buyers


A colleague of mine recently purchased a 2014 Subaru Outback from a local dealer. He ended up using TrueCar to give him confidence in the price he should pay for the new vehicle. I had to ask the obvious question: “Why did you, of all people, use TrueCar?” Now, you should know this guy isn’t [...]

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The Other Side Of Dealer Mark-Ups And Their “Disparate Impact”


This week’s Automotive News includes an article about Ally Financial’s decision to continue allowing dealers to mark up vehicle finance rates—even as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPD) wants the company (and other lenders) to adopt “nondiscretionary compensation for dealers, such as a flat fee or a fixed percent of the amount financed.” The article [...]

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Chevy Volt Versus Tesla


As many of you know, I am not a fan of the Tesla or its stock. The reason that I don’t like the stock is that it trades at a crazy multiple and suggests that the enterprise value of the company is roughly half of General Motors…really? While I think that the car is very [...]

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3 Ways Used Vehicle Best Practices Will Shape New Car Retailing


I’ve long believed that there is a key difference between new and used vehicle shoppers. The difference boils down to this: After they’ve narrowed their vehicle shopping list, new vehicle shoppers start hunting for the best deal. They understand the vehicle they want could be purchased from a variety of dealers, so the terms of [...]

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