A Sobering, Softer Start To 2019


I haven’t talked to a single dealer who’s happy about how they finished January at their stores. In some cases, February is looking a little better, particularly in used vehicles in areas of the country where weather conditions have been tough the past several weeks. But the feedback about January is sobering: “It’s like someone […]

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Why Calendar Time and ProfitTime Don’t Mix


You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase that oil and water don’t mix. If you try to mix them, the oil floats on the water. Each liquid stays separate from the other, even if they’re in the same container or glass. I’ve been thinking about oil and water, and other things that don’t go well together (like […]

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A Cloud Covering This Year’s Tax Season Lift in Used Vehicles?


Around this time every year, I hear dealers and used vehicle managers acquiring additional inventory in anticipation of buyers with tax refunds looking to purchase used vehicles. Every year, I caution against this practice for two reasons: First, the stock-ups often result in pile-ups of aged vehicles. The retail sales dealers believe will arrive often […]

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Pricing Primer Follow-Up: A Deeper Dive Into Competitive Sets


In my previous post, I shared how Provision ProfitTime helps dealers price used vehicles to match their investment values. I also promised that I would take a deeper dive into competitive sets, and how dealers should consider them as they determine the optimal price position for a used vehicle. Let’s start the deeper dive with […]

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A Provision ProfitTime Pricing Primer


For much of the past decade, dealers have determined how to price used vehicles based on a unit’s inventory age. That is, dealers would set less-competitive prices on fresh vehicles, and get more price-aggressive as a vehicle met/passed days-in-inventory milestones. For example, a vehicle might start at a 98 percent to 100 percent Price to […]

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NADA Day 3: Final Day Reflections


All eyes were on the weather on the final day of NADA. Not the weather in San Francisco, but elsewhere across the country. Forecasts of snow and sub-zero temps made some wonder whether they’d get out of town as planned. Lighter foot traffic on the show floor gave me the opportunity to ponder a few […]

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NADA Day 2: Pricing Efficiency, Recon and Digital Retailing


A curious question came up more than once on day two of the NADA convention: Will we see automated vehicle pricing sometime soon? When dealers asked the questioned, I took time to better understand the reasons that prompted it. In each instance, the dealers shared that they weren’t sure that the individuals who currently handle […]

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A Sad, Somber Time for vAuto


We received some sad news—vAuto lost one of our own, Performance Manager Steve Solmes, who passed away yesterday. Steve started with us in 2007. He was part of our first group of Performance Managers. The “group” was actually two people, Steve, and Dan Winchester, who I know is feeling the loss of Steve as much […]

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NADA Day 1: A Hunger To Build, Improve Business


Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like dealers at this year’s National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention in San Francisco are especially hungry for ways to build and, in some cases, preserve and protect their businesses. I’m told many of the workshops were full, and dealers got turned away for lack of seats. Part […]

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NADA Day 1: A Surprising Start To Opening Day


I started the day with an odd request from Cox Automotive president Sandy Schwartz. He wanted to meet first thing at the vAuto booth at 8:30 a.m., just as the exhibit hall opened. Turns out, Sandy was playing coy, along with a few other members of the vAuto team. Their secret: They’d arranged for a […]

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