3 Reasons A Front-End Focused Strategy Falls Short In Used Vehicles


I’ve been hearing more disenchantment and doubt from dealers about the value of a turn-and-earn strategy for retailing used vehicles, which I call the Velocity Method of Management. The most vocal detractors are typically dealers who have long taken pride in the average front-end gross profit they achieve in used vehicles. The dealers like seeing [...]

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A Look Ahead At Selling Tomorrow’s New/Used Vehicle Buyers


Consider the following research findings about the up-and-coming generation of car buyers, known as Milennials or Generation Y: Theirs is a “kinship economy,” according to J. Walker Smith, chairman of The Futures Company, a marketing research firm. As Millennials engage retailers, a positive experience is paramount. “It’s all about how we resonate with people,” Smith [...]

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Germain Group Makes Finding Talent A Top Priority


There’s a lot of talk in our industry about the difficulties dealers face finding—and keeping—good employees. Much of the discussion often focuses on ways dealers and the broader industry can change the less-than-favorable reputation of automotive retail careers as a “last resort”-type option for people who, for one reason or another, can’t find work in [...]

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A Velocity Dealer Turns Up The Heat—And Keeps It Hot


You might say the month-in-month-out focus of automotive retailing is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing when you’ve had a bad month. As the next month starts, the pain of a poor prior month tends to fade quickly. Conversely, the month-to-month mindset is a curse when a really good month cascades into [...]

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A Consumer Perspective On Vehicle Financing, F&I Practices


  There’s been a fair amount of hand-wringing in the industry following the recent New York Times editorial that addresses the rise of vehicle financing for credit-challenged buyers and how some deals make their financial situations worse. The piece calls for greater regulation of the market and rules that would prohibit dealers from “gaining additional [...]

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A Parallel Between Electronic Dance Music and Retailing New/Used Vehicles


On Sunday, The New York Times published an article about efforts by organizers of the Electric Zoo Festival, a three-day electronic dance music (EDM) event in New York, to curtail drug use among attendees. A year ago, the event shuttered a day early after two people died from apparent drug overdoses. In more recent weeks, [...]

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One-Price Dealers’ Time Has Come


Below is a comment and my response to a recent blog posting, questioning the success of one-price dealerships. (if you’ve read the initial conversation, there’s more below.  Scroll down to “Additional Thoughts”) Good afternoon Dale I had the pleasure of reading one of your articles today. I found it interesting. However, it would be also [...]

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Two Bright Stars Shine In East Tennessee


My travels this week took me to East Tennessee to visit two dealers, Daniel Johnson, GM of Johnson City Toyota and Dustin Walters, GM of Friendship Hyundai. The visits were part of a larger Cox Automotive program that aims to help dealers earn financial rewards from their investments in AutoTrader.com, Manheim and software companies like [...]

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Dealers As Hunter-Gatherers Or Farmers—Where Do You Stand?


Here’s a question that’s had me thinking: Has the evolution of the automotive retail business reached a point where dealers need to stop hunting and start farming? The question came to mind during a conversation with an industry analyst. He offered an anthropologist-type view of the industry—some dealers are hunter-gatherers, while others appear to have [...]

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A Closer Look At The Evolution Of Used Vehicle Inventory Age Benchmarks


It wasn’t too long ago that dealers routinely kept used vehicles for 90 days as retail units. More recently, dealers have adjusted this retail timeline to account for rising price competition and transparency spurred by the Internet, as well as the always-increasing costs of keeping cars in retail-ready condition on your lot. It’s now common [...]

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