3 Ways Packs Prove Problematic For Dealers

05.15.2015

  There’s no question that dealers like packs. But packs have become increasingly problematic for dealers, sometimes in ways they fail or refuse to see. I recently asked a group of dealers to share how much they packed their used vehicles. The responses ranged from $0/per car to $1,200/car. I then asked the dealers at [...]

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Dealer Enjoys Early, E-Commerce Success

05.08.2015

General Manager Todd Long dares to be different at O’Neill Honda in Kansas City. Before he took the job in December 2013, Long mystery-shopped the competition. “It was the epitome of the ‘90s all over again,” he says. “Nobody’s outside. Nobody’s helping you. No manager TO. The MSRP is the price. His findings convinced him [...]

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3 Lessons From Top-Performing Used Vehicle Retailers

05.04.2015

I was struck by several take-aways from Automotive News’ Top 100 Dealer Groups Ranked By Used Vehicles report published last week. The dealer groups’ collective performance keeps getting better. The report says the groups saw a combined 9.9 percent gain in retail used vehicle sales in 2014, 4 percent better than the industry as a [...]

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3 Ways To Eliminate The Used Vehicle Manager’s “Double Curse”

04.29.2015

Some used vehicle managers carry a double curse. The first curse is their absolute focus on average front-end gross profit. They’ll say, “I can’t change this price because there won’t be enough front-end gross,” or, “I can’t buy this auction car because there won’t be enough front-end gross,” or, “I can’t offer the customer what [...]

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Factory Pricing Decision Will Test Dealership Efficiencies

04.22.2015

Here we go again. Another factory messing with dealer margins. This time it’s Fiat Chrysler, according to an Automotive News article. The upshot: The factory is raising invoice prices by 1 percent, while leaving its Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) unchanged. The end result, of course, is less available front-end margin for dealers. Such is [...]

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3 Ways To Confront The Boogeyman In Used Vehicles

04.21.2015

A dealer recently took issue with my assertion that the used vehicle business has been suffering from margin compression. “Dale, we’re averaging $1,400 per vehicle in front-end gross,” the dealer says. “That’s a little less than we made seven to 10 years ago, but it’s not a lot less.” The dealer’s comment underscores what I’d [...]

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Used Vehicle Recall Regulation: A Future Part Of Life For Dealers?

04.15.2015

A recent Detroit News article suggests dealers may have to worry more about recalls than they do today. The article discusses the Obama administration efforts to extend recall responsibility to used vehicles, and require dealers to fix any open recalls before they retail a unit. Currently, federal law requires dealers to address recalls for new [...]

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How Factories Make New Vehicle Pricing Challenges Even Worse

04.01.2015

Most dealers would agree that today’s typical customer is far more price-aware than those of previous generations. This awareness stands to reason: A vehicle purchase is a big-ticket item. No one wants to pay too much. And, the Internet makes it easier than ever for buyers to get a sense of what a fair deal could [...]

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3 Ways Dealers Work To Minimize Inventory Age In Used Vehicles

03.30.2015

It wasn’t all that long ago when most dealers really only worried about one or two things in their used vehicle departments—the average front-end gross profit, and the number of cars they’d sold to date in a given month. As a result, the used vehicle manager would also focus on the same things. On occasion, [...]

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A “Connection Commerce” Challenge For Dealers

03.24.2015

Most dealers understand that today’s car business is an Internet business. They know that new and used vehicles aren’t really for sale unless they’re posted online. The best dealers also recognize that they see more customers when online vehicle listings offer competitive, market-based pricing, and their merchandising (e.g., descriptions, photos, videos) tells a compelling story [...]

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