A Metric That Merits More Attention—Your Used/New Sales Ratio

06.06.2018

When I was a dealer, we thought we were doing a pretty good job if we managed a .5:1 used-to-new-vehicle sales ratio. If we retailed 50 new Cadillacs a month, I expected that we would also sell 25 used units, which were almost always Cadillacs. A recent Automotive News piece suggests that, since I was […]

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3 Pillars Of A Stellar Used-to-New Vehicle Sales Ratio

05.07.2018

A recent Automotive News article discussed how, even among top dealer groups, it’s difficult for some dealers to achieve a 1:1 used-to-new-vehicle sales ratio. The article noted that among the top 100 dealership groups ranked by used vehicle sales, less than 20 groups achieved a 1:1 used-to-new ratio and, among those, only nine achieved a […]

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A Dealer in Distress

05.04.2018

I received the below note from a dealer experiencing a very stressful Spring selling season, but probably not for the reason you think. Note from dealer: Hey Mr. Pollak, hope all is well and you are having a blast doing what you do. Wanted to say hi and give you an update from your biggest […]

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Automotive News Addresses Used Vehicle Margin Compression

05.03.2018

This week’s Automotive News includes an article that addresses the very real problem of ongoing margin compression in used vehicles. The piece quotes my colleague, Cox Automotive economist Jonathan Smoke, and me sharing our views on the factors behind the -$2 average net profit per used vehicle retailed that dealers achieved in 2017, a figure […]

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Three Pointers To Maximize Purchased Unit Profitability

05.02.2018

I’ve heard more complaints lately from dealers that it seems impossible to acquire wholesale inventory and make the front-end gross profit they expect. Indeed, if you compare the typical Cost to Market metrics for purchased and trade-in units, you can see why some dealers are complaining. The typical Cost to Market range for auction-purchased units […]

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4 Corollaries From the Facebook, Dealer Data Fronts

04.16.2018

I’ve been following the controversy involving Facebook and its user data. The debate and discussion remind me of an issue that’s very familiar to dealers—how dealership data is handled and monetized by some technology partners. To be sure, the particulars of the issues facing Facebook and dealers are different. But there are four apparent corollaries […]

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3 Opportunity Costs You Should Consider Trimming

04.10.2018

As more dealers think of ways to adjust to today’s margin-compressed environment, cutting costs becomes a primary topic of conversation, if not decisions. It’s a good exercise. It points your attention to how you’re spending money. It prompts you to examine whether these investments deliver the return on investment (ROI) they should. But I caution […]

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Margin Compression Takes A Bite—How Will You Bite Back?

04.02.2018

For many dealers, margin compression in used vehicles has been a bit like a leaky water line. The truth is, the line’s been slowly dripping for years. But no one really noticed it until now—after a ceiling or wall has started to bubble, crack or crumble. Dealers’ awareness of margin compression seems to have taken […]

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NADA Day 3: Final Thoughts On A Great Convention

03.26.2018

I heard that there were more than 100 new products offered and promoted through press releases at this year’s NADA—almost double the number from last year. Among them, there were multiple companies offering a variety of solutions you could categorize as part of “digital retailing,” which is intended to help dealers engage and transact more […]

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NADA Day 2: A Telling Conversation and Other Nuggets

03.25.2018

I had the honor and privilege of spending time this week with Thomas “Mack” McLarty, a highly successful third-generation dealer from Arkansas who has also had a remarkable political career, including his service as chief of staff for former President Bill Clinton. I was curious to get McLarty’s perspective on the differences between running a […]

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