3 Ways To Minimize Discounts And Improve Front-End Margins


If dealers compare their current front-end gross profit averages in new and used vehicles to similar data five years ago, you’d likely notice a troubling trend. I’ve conducted this exercise with dealers recently as part of conversations about margin compression in automotive retail. In most cases, the analysis shows that front-end gross profits are pretty [...]

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Our time together this week in Atlanta


Upon reflection of this week’s Annual Sales Event, I would just like to share some thoughts. First and foremost, I just want to let the entire field team know how much I appreciate your enthusiasm and support of our Cox Automotive mission. Your spirit and dedication was evident in every moment of our time together. [...]

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5 Potentially Tough Conditions Dealers Will Face In 2015


I’ve been spending the past few days in budget and strategy sessions, planning for 2015. The work has left me with a pretty clear conclusion: Things aren’t going to get any easier for dealers next year and, in some cases, the challenging horizon may prove too much for those who take too long to adjust [...]

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3 Keys To Maximizing Gross As Transparency Grows In 2015


It shouldn’t be news for dealers that margins in new/used vehicles are under pressure. As we look ahead to the coming year, there are few, if any, signs that margin compression will abate. On the new vehicle side, there are predictions that a push to sell more cars will drive higher factory incentive spending and, [...]

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Insights From vAuto’s Performance Management Team Meeting


I had the honor and privilege of taking part in vAuto’s annual Performance Managers meeting this week. The meeting gives the Performance Management team the opportunity to share best practices, compare notes and craft plans to help vAuto dealers sell more new and used cars and make more money in 2015. I found two insights [...]

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Sam Swope: Our Industry Loses A Community Advocate And Pioneer


In the early days of vAuto, it wasn’t easy to get dealers to recognize that the Internet was changing the used car business, much less convince them to buy inventory management software to help them navigate this transformative shift in the market. But some dealers got it right away. One of those dealers was Sam [...]

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Another Similarity Between Dealers And Family Farmers—Technology


  About 15 years ago, I purchased a farm in Northwest Illinois, where I became a USDA-registered farmer. I had more than just a financial interest in the operation, as I was fascinated with the ways my partners planned and worked the land to produce corn and soybeans. I thought of those days over the [...]

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Using Market Share To Map Your 2015 Sales Goals


  I received an extremely astute question from a fixed operations director in Gainesville, Fla.: Dale: What’s the best way for us to forecast our sales goals for 2015? We typically look at current year volume as a guide for the future. However, this approach seems like we might be misleading ourselves, especially if we [...]

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3 Ways To Win Amid A Declining Wholesale Used Vehicle Market


  Let’s be honest: Some dealers have taken historically high wholesale used vehicle values for granted. These dealers have eased up on their efforts to quickly retail every used vehicle, knowing that they’ll probably do OK if they decide it’s time to wholesale a unit. At some stores, dealers have realized a profit as they [...]

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AutoSuccess Podcast: Fundamentals of a Retail First Focus


I recently participated in a podcast with Thomas Williams of AutoSuccess Magazine.  Please click here to listen.    

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