Access: Velocity Day 1: Integration, Insights and Inspiration


I spoke to a couple dealers as yesterday’s Access: Velocity sessions ran down. A key sentiment: They, like me, felt a touch of information overload from today’s agenda. The following are some of the high-level take-aways I gleaned from today’s sessions with Cox Automotive executives and our dealer speakers, as well as in-the-hall conversations: A [...]

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Access: Velocity Kicks Off Tonight!


I’ve just spent the past two hours with the vAuto team at the Peninsula Hotel in Chicago, working out final details for tonight’s kick-off of the second Access: Velocity event. I’m extremely excited. Two years ago, we hosted our first Access: Velocity, and this year’s gathering is bigger and better. We’ve brought together nearly 175 [...]

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Two Used Car Lessons From The Secret Service Snafu


I wouldn’t think that I’d ever find commonality between used vehicles and the U.S. Secret Service. But last Thursday’s news of the White House security breach brought used vehicles to mind. To be sure, losing one’s focus on used vehicle management processes produces less dire potential consequences than lapses among the elite corps of men and [...]

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Say Hello To ListingLogic—A Tool That Drives Better Online Used Vehicle Performance


Most dealers understand that today’s used vehicle business is an Internet business. That is, buyers size up your cars, prices and reputation online—before they get to your dealership. This reality has led the smartest dealers to recognize that the online performance of their used vehicles provides the single-best indicator of each vehicle’s appeal with potential [...]

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A New/Used Vehicle Parallel: The Devil (And Your Gross) Is In The Details


Astute Velocity dealers have understood that the “car is the star” in used vehicles. That’s why they go to great lengths to make sure they acquire vehicles with the color, equipment and trim levels that market data affirms will matter most to potential buyers. To be sure, they still acquire and retail “bread and butter” [...]

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3 Reasons A Front-End Focused Strategy Falls Short In Used Vehicles


I’ve been hearing more disenchantment and doubt from dealers about the value of a turn-and-earn strategy for retailing used vehicles, which I call the Velocity Method of Management. The most vocal detractors are typically dealers who have long taken pride in the average front-end gross profit they achieve in used vehicles. The dealers like seeing [...]

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A Look Ahead At Selling Tomorrow’s New/Used Vehicle Buyers


Consider the following research findings about the up-and-coming generation of car buyers, known as Milennials or Generation Y: Theirs is a “kinship economy,” according to J. Walker Smith, chairman of The Futures Company, a marketing research firm. As Millennials engage retailers, a positive experience is paramount. “It’s all about how we resonate with people,” Smith [...]

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Germain Group Makes Finding Talent A Top Priority


There’s a lot of talk in our industry about the difficulties dealers face finding—and keeping—good employees. Much of the discussion often focuses on ways dealers and the broader industry can change the less-than-favorable reputation of automotive retail careers as a “last resort”-type option for people who, for one reason or another, can’t find work in [...]

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A Velocity Dealer Turns Up The Heat—And Keeps It Hot


You might say the month-in-month-out focus of automotive retailing is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing when you’ve had a bad month. As the next month starts, the pain of a poor prior month tends to fade quickly. Conversely, the month-to-month mindset is a curse when a really good month cascades into [...]

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A Consumer Perspective On Vehicle Financing, F&I Practices


  There’s been a fair amount of hand-wringing in the industry following the recent New York Times editorial that addresses the rise of vehicle financing for credit-challenged buyers and how some deals make their financial situations worse. The piece calls for greater regulation of the market and rules that would prohibit dealers from “gaining additional [...]

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