Day 2 in Rome: Two-Way Diplomacy, Pasta and Nerves


I’ve gained a far deeper appreciation of the day-to-day work of diplomats during my time here. Prior to this visit, my experience with diplomacy and foreign affairs largely came from books. I’ve wondered what it was like, in older days, to be an ambassador to another country, entrusted to look after the interests of your [...]

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Day 1 in Rome: Hope, Concern, History—And Gelato


My first full day of planned group activities in Rome got off to an extremely inspiring start. We met with the Sisters of Sion, a group of nuns who are committed to fostering unity among peoples of different religions, and celebrating diversity of thought. The Sisters have outposts around the world. They work tirelessly as [...]

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A Once-In-A-Lifetime Honor And Opportunity


I make it a personal priority to give back. I consider myself blessed and fortunate. I know that whatever personal and professional success I’ve achieved owes an awful lot to others. I simply wouldn’t be the person I am today, or at my current station in life, without the gifts of guidance, help and support [...]

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NADA Dispatch 3: Final Reflections On A First-Rate Show


A colleague asked me this morning to share my single-biggest take-away from this year’s NADA convention in New Orleans. My response: Dealers are sharpening their game. Compared to past NADAs, there were more dealers who noted the “e-word”—efficiency—as they described their plans for the coming year. The dealers correctly understand that improved performance, proficiency and [...]

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NADA Dispatch 2: It Ain’t So Easy In The Big Easy


There’s a good vibe here in New Orleans. If it were Las Vegas, you might say dealers are doubling down on their technology investments. There are two kinds of dealers who visit the vAuto and Stockwave booths. Those who are looking for a better way, and current customers asking us to help them sharpen their [...]

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NADA Dispatch 1: Inventories, Efficiencies and the Future


Dealers are pretty clear-eyed about the coming months in the car business, judging from my conversations on the opening day of the exhibit hall at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention here in New Orleans. Overall, dealers are generally optimistic that we’ll have another relatively strong year in terms of new and used vehicle [...]

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NADA 2017: A Milestone Moment For Our Industry


It’s fitting that this year’s National Automobile Dealers Association convention will occur in New Orleans. What better place to celebrate NADA’s 100th anniversary than the city where “laissez les bons temps rouler!” is the order of any day? The anniversary is an important milestone for our industry. If it weren’t for NADA, the enduring strength [...]

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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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