NADA Day 1: Four Themes To Consider


I took a fair amount of notes during the American Financial Services Association’s annual conference, and Automotive News Retail Forum events here in Las Vegas. Then, I compared the notes with take-aways from my conversations with dealers on the opening day of the NADA convention. I was curious if the comparison might yield any big […]

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An Emphasis On Efficiency, Innovation at NADA


I’m ready for NADA. Are you? I’ve been asking that question, along with a follow-up—what are you ready for? The answers I’ve gleaned from dealers all boil down to essentially the same thing: Dealers are hungry for ways they can become better, more efficient, and more profitable. It’s the right answer, particularly as you consider […]

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Part 2: 4 Ways To Mitigate Margin Compression


If today’s used vehicle market was a house, it’d have a serious structural problem. Let’s say the house had eight-foot ceilings 10 years ago. Today, the ceiling height is probably closer to seven feet, or even less, depending on location. I know the shrinking ceiling analogy is slightly abstract, but it’s an apt way to […]

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Part One: A Troubling Tradition-Minded Trend To Avoid


In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a troubling trend in dealers’ used vehicle inventories. The inventory turn rates at these dealers is slowing down. Last year, the dealers consistently maintained an annualized turn rate of 12 times or better. Today, I’m seeing the same dealers post turn rates closer to 10 or even less. […]

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Temptation Abounds. Will You Bite?


‘Tis the season for temptation in used vehicles. It’s that time when some dealers stock up on used vehicle inventory in advance of the annual rite of spring-fed retail sales. I got a note today, in fact, from a dealer who’s contemplating bulking up his inventory even earlier this year, given recent softening of wholesale […]

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Four Key Resolutions To Improve Used Vehicle Performance


A new year brings much discussion about goals, resolutions and to-dos. That’s certainly the case with a lot of dealers, judging from conversations and e-mails the past few weeks. Collectively, the dealers are perhaps more clear-eyed about the year ahead in used vehicles than they have been in previous years. First and foremost, margin compression […]

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It’s not complicated.

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Two Questions That Matter Together—Why? and How?


A Marketplace segment on a local National Public Radio station caught my ear yesterday. The segment featured an interview with Steve Sasson, the former engineer for Eastman Kodak Company who invented the first digital camera in 1975. Sasson discusses how his work began as a “filler job” handed to him by a supervisor. He details […]

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Three Ways To Work Around And Through The Used Vehicle Donut Hole


I’ve been struck by three trends in the current used vehicle market. First, late-model (three years and younger) vehicles account for almost 60 percent of retail sales, a fact affirmed in the latest Used Car Market Report from Edmunds. You can trace this development to the rise of off-lease supply, which many analysts expect to […]

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Webinar: A Four-Part Plan To Minimize Margin Compression


It seems margin compression is on the minds of a lot of dealers, judging from recent calls and conversations. Given the interest, I thought it would be useful to share a recent webinar I conducted with the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA). In the webinar, I highlight four areas of longstanding operational inefficiency that, […]

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