Dealers Aren’t Alone In Facing Hiring, Retention Pressures


I was struck by several parallels in a Chicago Tribune story this week that highlighted how hiring and retention is a big concern for the nation’s top retailers. The article highlights sentiments from top executives attending the National Retail Federation’s annual convention are grappling with the convergence of sales processes that occur both online and [...]

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Pop Quiz Answer: Packs Are The Root Cause Of The Used Vehicle Problem


It’s pretty cool to imagine dealers donning white lab coats and analyzing the inventory metrics I shared in my last Pop Quiz post. Five dealers took the time to diagnose why Group 1, the dealership group with the undeniably poorer used vehicle metrics in the quiz, is suffering compared to Group 2. With Market Days [...]

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Used Vehicle Pop Quiz: Why Is One Dealer Doing So Much Worse?


Take a moment to review the following used vehicle inventory-level metrics from two similarly sized and geographically located dealer groups. Then, I’d welcome your answer to the quiz question below. Inventory Market Days Supply Dealer group 1: 85 Dealer group 2: 73 Cost To Market Dealer group 1: 90 percent Dealer group 2: 84 percent [...]

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4 Ways To Increase Profitability In 2017


It’s not a very pretty picture when you open the hood on dealer financials in new and used vehicles. Consider the following data from the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA): New Vehicles: At the end of 2013, dealers had averaged 818 new vehicle retail sales, with an average gross profit of $1,174/car (3.7 percent of [...]

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3 Areas Of New Vehicle Performance Improvement For 2017


When the temps hit single digits in Chicago, I start thinking about places where it’s a whole lot warmer and more pleasant. This daydreaming led me to think about sunny beaches, and the big wave of success dealers have been riding in new vehicles in recent years. Actually, it’s more like a consistent swell, with [...]

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4 Used Vehicle Fundamentals To Help You Stay Strong As Fall Unfolds


There appears to be good news and bad news on the horizon in used vehicles. The good news first: The healthy pace of used vehicle sales, particularly in near-new segments with good-credit buyers, that many dealers have enjoyed for much of this year may continue this fall, according to analysts. If true, the used vehicle [...]

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A Market-Minded Path To Improved New Vehicle Inventory Profitability


It’s here—the slowdown in new vehicle sales that many dealers and industry observers have expected to arrive for some time. As one analyst puts it, “the new car market is no longer growing, which means automakers now have to measure success in terms of market share, transaction prices, incentive levels and profitability.” This no-growth environment [...]

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Front Line Inspiration From vAuto’s Performance Management Team


Committed. Loyal. Driven. Persistent. Scrappy. Family. Aggressive. Blessed. Humble. Competitive. Grateful. Energetic. Integrity. Passion. These words came from individual members of vAuto’s Performance Management team as they introduced themselves to open their annual meeting today near our Chicago-area headquarters. The introductions required each of the nearly 150 team members to describe themselves with a single [...]

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3 Reflections On The Car Business and the Chicago Cubs


Like most other Chicagoans, I’ve been paying close attention to the Chicago Cubs this year. After a record-setting season, the team made it to the World Series, raising the hopes of many that 2016 could be the year that ends a 108-year title drought. As I’ve tuned into the World Series games, I’ve been struck [...]

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A Telling Dive Into Used Vehicle Inventory Age and Front-End Gross


For the past several years, I have been encouraging dealers to retail at least 50 percent of their used vehicle inventory in less than 30 days. In more recent months, I’ve upped the ante, urging dealers to retail at least 55 percent of their used vehicles in less than 30 days. This steeper operational standard [...]

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