Sacred Cows That Merit Scrutiny, And Maybe The Sword


I recently asked a group of about 20 dealers and used vehicle managers a series of questions: How many of you mow your own lawns? No one raised a hand. After some discussion, it was clear that each individual felt their time was better spent doing something else. How many of you get your groceries [...]

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A Dealer’s Evolutionary Velocity Journey In Used Vehicles


Nearly a decade ago, I met Brian Benstock, general manager and vice president of Paragon Honda and Paragon Acura in Queens, N.Y. At the time, Benstock thought he was doing pretty well in used vehicles. He retailed 80 units a month, and boasted a front-end gross profit that beat many other dealers. But I wasn’t [...]

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A Call For Improved Effectiveness and Efficiencies In Human Capital Management


If a new or used car manager made the wrong decision nearly 75 percent of the time, chances are pretty good that individual wouldn’t be working very long at your dealership. Most dealers would agree with this statement. Yet, according to National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) stats from last year, dealers and their managers appear [...]

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Sourcing Auction Vehicles: What You See Is What You Get


It’s still fairly common for dealers to offer two complaints about buying wholesale vehicles from auctions—it’s tough to find the right cars, and even more difficult to buy them on the money. The complaints seem somewhat surprising, given there are more wholesale vehicles on the market than we’ve seen in recent years. In 2016, industry [...]

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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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