Reflections On My First NIADA Convention


I had the privilege of attending my first National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) convention this week in Las Vegas. Quite honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was pleased to discover many similarities with my experiences at 47 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) conventions for franshise dealers. First, many of the dealers [...]

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5 Pointers To Preserve and Protect Profitability As You Acquire Used Vehicles


Most dealers would agree that you make your money in used vehicles when you acquire a car. If you pay too much for an auction or trade-in vehicle, you’ve shrunk the spread between your costs to acquire and recondition the unit, and its retail selling point. Conversely, if you “steal” a car, you’ve widened the [...]

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A Precision-Focused Approach To Digital Retailing


You won’t find newspaper ads, radio spots or TV commercials promoting Cardinale Automotive Group. The 19-store group, headquartered on the Monterey Peninsula in California, ditched traditional advertising in 2010 as it began its transformation to become an all-digital retailer. Since then, the group has made incredible progress. This year, Cardinale ranks 2nd on the Ward’s [...]

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3 Ways to Maximize Your New Car Sales With Improved New Vehicle Management


It’s sometimes startling to see the disparity in the ways dealers manage their new and used vehicle inventories. As a dealer recently put it, “I have $1.4 million in used vehicle inventory, and we pay attention to it every day. We track VDPs (vehicle detail pages), our price position and our merchandising. But I have $13 million [...]

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Two Product Launches, Two Decidedly Different Timelines


I’m both a little amazed and humbled by the success of Stockwave, a tool that helps dealers efficiently source wholesale vehicles. In less than 30 days after the product’s official launch at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention last month, more than 1,000 franchise and independent dealers have signed up for Stockwave. Frankly, I’m [...]

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4 Operational Pearls From Roger Penske


I had the privilege of hearing Roger Penske, head of Penske Automotive Group, share his perspective on the car business today during a Q&A session with Cox Automotive president Sandy Schwartz. The session is part of a Cox leadership team meeting this week in Fort Lauderdale, where we’re gathered to sharpen our knowledge and understanding [...]

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3 Essential Steps To Maximize Gross Profits On Auction Cars


If you ask dealers for their top complaint about the used car business, many will say it’s difficult, if not impossible, to acquire wholesale vehicles “on the money.” Dig a little deeper, and the root of the complaint becomes clear—dealers believe they can’t make the gross profit they would like to see in their used [...]

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An Independent Perspective On The Used Car Business


TJ Riley isn’t your typical independent car dealer. For one thing, he’s a lot more disciplined than many franchise and independent dealers when it comes to buying vehicles at auctions. “If you walk out to the Dallas Auto Auction on a Wednesday, it’s just eye-opening the amount of dollars changing hands, based solely on the [...]

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vAuto’s Mandi Fang Earns An Automotive Honor


I love it when somebody I know gets recognition they deserve. Many years ago, I found myself on the opposite side of a table with a very impressive woman. I remember her tenacity as a negotiator, as well as her command of minute details related to the deal at hand. She stood tall at a [...]

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4 Ways To Turn Auction Cars Into Advantage At Your Store


You could say auction cars offer a blessing and a curse for dealers. The blessing is that auction cars are always available—offering a way for dealers to acquire inventory they need that they can’t get through trade-ins. For most dealers, auction cars make up 30 percent or more of their used vehicle inventory. But auction [...]

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