Tackling The Problem Of Older-Age New Vehicles


I’m seeing far too many 2014, even 2013, model-year new vehicles in dealers’ current inventories. Yes, those cars. The ones nobody wants to talk about. The ones that mean tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars in unproductive capital for many dealers. In my time as a dealer, it was pretty rare to carry [...]

1 comment Read more from Dale →

Two Troubling Trends For Tradition-Minded Dealers


This week’s Automotive News brings word that while dealers may be selling more new vehicles, they are making less money on the cars they retail. The front page article’s headline deftly summarizes the dynamic: “As Dealership Sales Climb, Margins Slide.” But I was most struck by what the article, which quotes executives from public dealer [...]

1 comment Read more from Dale →

A Call For Reality In New Vehicle Incentives/Rebates and Pricing


I’ve been talking new cars with dealers lately, helping them create and navigate strategies for proper pricing in today’s market. Naturally, customer incentives and rebates are a key part of the discussion—particularly as some manufacturers rely on them more than ever to drive market share and sales. From these conversations, I think it’s fair to group dealers [...]

0 comments Read more from Dale →

3 Ways To Drive Dealers To Discover Profitability Through Efficiency


  It’s time for a little truth-telling. Let’s start with TrueCar. As a matter of principle, dealers don’t like the company. And who’d blame them? TrueCar essentially tells customers, “we’ll set you straight on a vehicle price before you contact the dealer.” Yet, if you take the company’s customer base at face value, roughly half [...]

3 comments Read more from Dale →

Cox Automotive’s Can-Do, Caring Spirit Really Shines


I couldn’t believe what I’d heard. I asked my assistant to read the e-mail again. 82,195 pounds of food. $100,000. 468,496 meals. It took me a moment to process these impressive tallies from Cox Automotive’s just-completed Drive Away Hunger campaign. I thought about how just one of those meals would keep a child from going [...]

0 comments Read more from Dale →

3 Reasons Efficiency Will Ultimately Drive New Car Profitability


It’s probably not the best time to talk about problems in the new car business. After all, dealers have been enjoying what may go down in history as unprecedented success in new vehicles. Sales have been on steady uphill climb since 2008, and everyone expects the current year to end on the same, if not [...]

0 comments Read more from Dale →

When Should You Increase Your Inventory?


  Following is an email from a friend and customer about increasing his inventory as we enter the summer slowdown. Good afternoon Dale. Hope all is well with you. Last month was a down month for my used car department. Sold 62 at $1200 per copy. I had around 15% of my used inventory as [...]

0 comments Read more from Dale →

3 Ways To Turn Your Average Inventory Cost Into Advantage


It’s becoming more critical for dealers to pay close attention to the average cost of their used vehicle inventory. I say this for three reasons: First, today’s market can lead dealers to believe that managing your average used vehicle cost isn’t important. After all, cars are more expensive and, if you want to play in [...]

5 comments Read more from Dale →

A Case Of One Step Forward, Two Steps Back


Mistakes happen in used vehicles. Simply put, there are too many things that could go wrong, for everything to always go right. That’s what makes the following story from a used vehicle manager so troubling. Last December, the manager made a decision to stock up on inventory. He had no choice but to acquire the [...]

0 comments Read more from Dale →

3 Ways To Boost Used Vehicle Profitability While Selling More Cars


  In its 2014 report on dealership financial performance, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) highlights a disturbing trend in used vehicles. The NADA report notes that franchise dealers enjoyed a 6 percent increase in used vehicle sales compared to 2013—an increase similar to what dealers saw in 2013, compared to 2012. Yet, net profits [...]

2 comments Read more from Dale →