A New Way To Think About “Water” In Your Inventory


Dealers have long understood that having water in their inventory is a bad thing. The conventional view holds that you determine the level of water in your inventory by comparing your costs to own the vehicle against the amount you could get if you wholesaled it right away. Hence, if you own a used vehicle […]

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AutoNation Makes A Play For Future Relevance


I can’t help but regard AutoNation’s multi-year deal to service Waymo vehicles as a smart move for the company, and perhaps a telling sign for the rest of us. My job has me traveling the country, speaking at dealer groups and other events and, more and more of late, talking about the future of the […]

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Three Take-Aways From A One-Day Tour In Detroit


My new book, Like I See It: Obstacles and Opportunities Shaping the Future of Retail Automotive had me on the road this week in Detroit. The visit sparked a lot of stimulating conversation as we met with editors from Automotive News, Ward’s Dealer Business, Reuters and Autoline. Like me, the automotive media is thinking hard […]

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My First-Ever Op-Ed in Automotive News


I dialed up the digital edition of this week’s Automotive News a bit earlier this morning than usual. I was excited to see my first-ever op-ed piece, an excerpted chapter from my new book, Like I See It: Obstacles and Opportunities Shaping the Future of Retail Automotive. The chapter focuses on the idea of dealers […]

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A Sneak Peek At My Fourth Book—Like I See It


I don’t normally use this blog for promotional purposes. But I hope you’ll forgive this one-time policy suspension to plug the upcoming publication of my fourth book, Like I See It: Obstacles and Opportunities Shaping the Future of Retail Automotive. Like any author, I’m awaiting the official release date of next Tuesday, Oct. 17, with […]

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3 Lessons From The Impending Sale of Rolling Stone


When I was a teenage kid, if you wanted to keep up on music and politics, you read Rolling Stone. I credit my older brothers for introducing me to the magazine. Once I’d read it the first time, I was hooked. I especially remember the writing. For me, Rolling Stone was a way to be […]

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A Post-Harvey Call For Rational Retailing


My phone’s been buzzing this past week with dealers and others asking for my take on how Hurricane Harvey will affect the used vehicle market. For one thing, I suspect dealers everywhere will feel or see some of Harvey’s after-effects. After all, the storm claimed an estimated half-million new and used vehicles, and more dealers […]

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4 Misunderstandings About Price In Today’s Auto Retail Market


Old beliefs and habits definitely die hard. Take the way many dealers still think about their new and used vehicle prices: Dealers control vehicle prices. I’m not talking about the obvious point that dealers do, in fact, largely set the asking prices for their vehicles. My point relates to the ever-more powerful influence the market […]

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A Sign of New Vehicle Inventory Imbalances


I had an old rule of thumb when I was a dealer: You could get a bead on new vehicle inventory imbalances by the number of full-page ads in the Chicago Tribune on Sundays.. If the paper’s automotive section was chock-full of full-pagers, you could reasonably bet that dealers were sitting on, and therefore more […]

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How The Little Things Determine Your Car Business Success


“It’s life by a thousand little things, or death by a thousand cuts.” A dealer recently shared this line as we were discussing how the car business has changed in the last 25 years. The dealer’s observation strikes me as a perfect, clear-eyed summation of how efficiency, technology and transparency have made retail automotive a […]

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