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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A Manager’s View Of A Volatile Used Vehicle Market


I had an eye-opening conversation the other day with used vehicle manager Jim Mason of Steven Toyota, Harrisonburg, VA. We were discussing how the dealership’s average front-end gross profit was lagging its target by about $300 for the current month. Mason knew exactly why: The store’s average days in inventory had crept up about four […]

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A Longer-Term View Of Digital Retailing For Dealers


Dealers often have an “all or nothing” view of digital retailing. That is, to them, digital retailing represents the full monte of selling a new or used vehicle online. You’d have a “buy it now” button on every vehicle details page (VDP) for every vehicle, customers would work their deals, and dealers would deliver “sold” […]

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Dispatches From Down Under: A Great Trip Comes Full Circle


The other evening I had “a parma and pot.” To explain, I was in a pub to take in a most quintessentially Australian experience. I was there to watch the first match of the annual best-of-three State of Origin series between the Queensland and New South Wales rugby teams. The Series tradition calls for eating […]

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Dispatches From Down Under: Dealers Hungry For Insights


It’s easy to teach when your students want to learn. That’s a primary take-away from my meetings with dealers in Sydney and Brisbane—the first two stops on my three-city tour here in Australia. In many ways, the car business in Australia is much like it was in the United States nearly a decade ago. The […]

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Dissecting The Elements Of Velocity Down Under


I’m excited to embark tomorrow on a very unique trip. I’ll be spending two weeks in Australia, helping dealers there better understand the Velocity Method of Management, and how they can use it to increase their used vehicle sales and performance. Interestingly, the challenges and opportunities that margin compression brings to the car business are […]

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