An Opportunity To Rekindle A Lost Love, And Live A Dream


For at least the last 15 years, I’ve had a recurring dream. In the dream, I’m flying down a steep mountain slope, my skis cutting picture-perfect arcs in fresh powder. It’s just me, the mountain and a rush of adrenaline as I go faster and faster. Then I wake up. The feeling of euphoria fades [...]

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NADA Day 4: Dealers Depart, Big Themes Emerge


It got quiet pretty early at the final day of NADA 2015 in San Francisco. Word of bad weather out east prompted many to catch earlier flights back home and it was the final day of NADA, when pretty much everyone’s feeling the effects of three full and productive days and looking forward to getting [...]

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NADA Day 3: A Great Start And An Even Better Finish


I started today with a memory that makes me smile. Before the exhibit hall opened, Mike Burgiss, the CEO and architect behind Cox Automotive’s new MakeMyDeal application, handed me a sticker. The sticker’s a reproduction of napkin he’s kept in his pocket since a conversation two years ago at NADA in Orlando. Mike had asked [...]

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NADA Day 2: A Good Year For Dealers Shows On The Exhibit Floor


It’s easy to tell that dealers had a good year in 2014. I lost count of the number of time dealers told me they set sales and profitability records in their used vehicle department last year, thanks to their “all-in” adoption of Velocity management principles. Such success was also apparent as you walked the exhibit [...]

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NADA Day 1: The Birth Of Cox Automotive And Its Promise To Dealers


It’s been a busy first day here at NADA in San Francisco. I’ve spent much of my day huddled in meetings with the various teams that make up Cox Automotive. The focal point of the meetings has been to make sure everyone—from, Haystak, Homenet, Kelley Blue Book, Manheim, vAuto, VinSolutions and Xtime—is ready to [...]

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3 Beacons To Guide Dealers At NADA 2015


I’m pumped for this year’s NADA convention in San Francisco. Like other dealers, I regard NADA as pretty special. It’s a one-time opportunity to meet with many of my dealer friends from across the country in person. The convention also provides a wealth of ideas and insights to apply in the coming year. It’s easy [...]

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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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