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January 2012, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Three Conversion Tips for a Great Digital Marketing ROI

By Greg Wells

Why spend money to drive traffic to a site that doesn’t convert? Greg Wells, business development expert, offers tips to help boost a dealership website’s conversion.

Tags: BDC

January 2012, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

2011 Special Finance Conference Review

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

“Amazing,” “wonderfully executed,” “super,” “great,” “fabulous,” “educational”—all of these are words used to describe the 2011 Special Finance Conference.

Tags: BDC

January 2012, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

When the Cops Aren’t the Cops

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Recent fraudulent emails to dealerships purporting to be from the FTC prompt attorney Tom Hudson to issue a word of caution to dealers: Make sure any "authorities" who approach the dealership are the real thing before taking any action.

Tags: BDC

January 2012, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Protecting Your Auto Dealership From Fraud

By David A. Anderson, CPA, CFE & Wilfredo Fernandez,

David A. Anderson and Wilfredo Fernandez of the firm Citrin Cooperman outline a few of the most common frauds perpetrated in various dealership departments and offer some ways to help prevent them from occurring.

Tags: BDC

January 2012, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Tax Time and The Blinding Light of Big Down Payments

By Gene Daughtry

Best Ride General Manager Gene Daughtry talks about the lure of big down payments at the BHPH lot during tax season.

Tags: BDC

January 2012, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Grappone Automotive’s Developing BDC

Grappone Automotive Group, a six-franchise dealer group in Bow, N.H., has a centralized business development center that handles Internet leads and incoming sales calls for all the stores. The BDC is responsible for 50 percent of the dealership's 600 sales each month, and in August 2011, the department reached a record of 53 percent.

By Kimberly Long

Over the course of about seven years, Grappone Automotive’s business development center has evolved into a centralized operation that is responsible for 50 percent of the dealership’s monthly sales.

Tags: BDC

January 2012, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

2011 Auto Finance Survey Results

F&I Office

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

This year marks the eighth annual Auto Finance Survey administered by Auto Dealer Monthly, and many positives were found in the results.

Tags: BDC

January 2012, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Deal Structures That Make Sense For Everybody Reduce Risk and Increase Reward

By Brent Carmichael

In the buy here pay here business, deal structure must be sound, which means it makes sense for the dealer and the customer. Brent Carmichael, BHPH expert, explains the components that make up deal structure—term, payment, interest rate, back-end products, and vehicle.

Tags: BDC

January 2012, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Five Ways to Turbo-charge Your F&I Team

By Tony Troussov

Trainer and former dealership GM Tony Troussov discusses ways to improve the F&I process to increase profits, customer retention and satisfaction.

Tags: BDC

January 2012, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Sharpnack Chevrolet Buick’s Second Attempt at Special Finance Proves Successful

Despite being burned on their first attempt at special finance, Sharpnack Chevrolet Buick in Willard, Ohio, eventually tried again with a new special finance manager, Mike Mondato. The dealership has steadily increased its special finance sales over the past six years, even through the recession, and Mondato's long-term goal is to reach 80 special finance sales per month.

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Having the wrong person in charge of special finance can cause everyone problems, which is a lesson Sharpnack Chevrolet Buick in Willard, Ohio, learned the hard way. Fortunately, the dealership now has the right person in charge—Mike Mandato, special finance manager.

Tags: BDC

January 2012, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

How the Durbin Bill Will Lower Your Payment Processing Costs

By Allen Dobbins

The Durbin Bill, which was a part of the Dodd-Frank Act, regulates the merchant processing costs associated with taking certain types of debit-card payments. Technology Expert Allen Dobbins explains how the bill is lowering costs for dealers who accept credit and credit card payments.

Tags: BDC

January 2012, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Two Choices to Deal with Dramatic Increases in Wholesale Vehicle Costs

By Alan Mosher

Alan Mosher looks at the options available for buy here pay here dealers to adjust to increased wholesale vehicle prices.

Tags: BDC

December 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

BHPH Dealers in Today’s Online World

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Buy here pay here dealers are taking notice of how the Internet is affecting business and using it to their advantage. Three dealers go into detail about how they’re using the Internet to improve different aspects of their operations.

Tags: BDC

December 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Innovations Abound for Special Finance Departments

By Greg Goebel

Special finance expert Greg Goebel discusses the three best things he came away with from the 2011 Special Finance Conference—Auto Auction Insider, Bidzpin and VegasFlyTrap.

Tags: BDC

December 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Arbitration Agreements Can be Helpful in Class Action Lawsuits

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

The best first line of defense against class action suits is the practice of requiring consumers to sign mandatory arbitration agreements as part of the car purchase and finance transactions they enter into. Attorney Thomas Hudson provides an example of how the use of arbitration agreements saved the day when the class action lawyers came calling.

Tags: BDC

December 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

It’s About Much More Than Money

In April, National Autism Awareness Month, 16 dealers in the Naperville area participate in Test Drives to Fight Autism, an annual fundraiser in which money is donated to the Turning Pointe Autism Foundation for every test drive. (L to R: Drew Glassford, executive director, Turning Pointe; Randy Wolf, Dan Wolf Auto Group; Bob Van Iten, Village GMC; Dan Wolf, Sr., Dan Wolf Auto Group; Norm Zienty, Fair Oaks Ford; Joel Weinberger, Continental Motors; Dan Wolf, Jr., Dan Wolf Auto

By Kimberly Long

Three dealers discuss the causes they hold close to their hearts. While it’s not unusual for dealers to donate to good causes, these three men are giving much more than money, and their efforts are impacting the lives of others in very real and very positive ways.

Tags: BDC

December 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

7 Keys to Success in the BHPH Business

By Mark Dubois

Buy here pay here expert, Mark Dubois, discusses the seven keys to success in the BHPH business, which are: Capital, Inventory, Deal Structure, Underwriting, Collections, Repeat/Referral Business, and Networking.

Tags: BDC

December 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Your Service Department is Not a Democracy

By Don Reed

As a dealer, you are the ultimate decision maker. You don’t need to take a vote every time you want to make a change in policy, process or personnel. Fixed operations expert Don Reed discusses how making changes might not be popular among employees, but can make the dealership more efficient and profitable.

Tags: BDC

December 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Lee Auto is the Maine BHPH Boss

As the largest volume dealer in the state of Maine, Lee Auto Malls has 17 locations spread across the state, nine of which house BHPH operations. The BHPH operations sell a total of 375 to 400 vehicles per month, half of which are financed through the company's two related finance companies.

By Kimberly Long

Lee Auto Malls, the largest volume dealer in the state of Maine, includes two buy here pay here operations. John Isaacson, CEO of Lee Auto Malls, explains the day-to-day operations of the two operations, which average 375 to 400 sales per month.

Tags: BDC

December 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Business Should Not Own You

By Courtney Cole

Dealer Courtney Cole discusses the importance of delegating certain tasks within the dealership and concentrating on items that add real value to both you, the dealer, and the store.

Tags: BDC

December 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Identifying Your BHPH and RFC Trends

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

Accountant David Keller, CPA and CFE, details how buy here pay here sales and collections and having a related finance company (RFC) can complicate accounting.

Tags: BDC

December 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Building Blocks of a Profitable BDC

By Greg Wells

Business development expert Greg Wells outlines the building blocks of a profitable BDC, including determining the basic functions your BDC will perform, which employees are in the BDC, pay plans and how the BDC can evolve to take on more tasks in the dealership.

Tags: BDC

December 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Keeping Up with Compliance at Bergeron Auto

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

At Bergeron Auto, compliance is taken seriously. Dealer Denis Bergeron discusses why his dealership in Metairie, La., takes a proactive approach to maintaining compliance.

Tags: BDC

November 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Flying Under the Radar

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Dealers who ignore rules and regulations they’re required by law to comply with and instead hope to fly under the radar unnoticed by the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau might want to ask themselves the following questions posed by Attorney Tom Hudson in this article.

Tags: BDC

November 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Controlling Delinquency

By Gene Daughtry

Gene Daughtry, general manager of Best Ride, looks at three important factors in controlling delinquency at his buy here pay here operation.

Tags: BDC

November 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Lessons Learned Long Ago in Special Finance

By Greg Goebel

Special Finance Expert Greg Goebel explains how taking the wrong approach to special finance leads can mean lost sales opportunities for a dealership.

Tags: BDC

November 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Making a List and Checking it Twice

By Nicole Munro

Santa isn’t the only one making a list and checking it twice this time of year. The CFPB and the FTC are making lists that will be used to determine who is naughty and who is nice. Attorney Nicole Munro poses some questions dealers should consider to put together their own compliance checklists.

Tags: BDC

November 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

F&I Best Practices

"As much as you have to be compliant with your client, you also have to be compliant with your [finance sources]." - Mike Davis, Finance Director, BMW of Sudbury

By Kimberly Long

The F&I office has a lot of responsibilities for one department – selling products, ensuring compliance, maintaining good relationships with finance sources and more. Several finance professionals reveal their tried-and-true methods of getting the job done.

Tags: BDC

November 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Five Strategies to Get the Results You Want in F&I

By Joseph Clementi

One of the most challenging and demanding positions in the dealership is F&I manager. Joseph Clementi, a dealership general manager, shares five strategies to find, develop and keep qualified F&I managers, so you can get the results you want in F&I.

Tags: BDC

November 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

To Interview or Not to Interview: Differing Opinions in F&I

By Kimberly Long

Is it best for finance managers to interview customers before they get to the F&I office? Three dealership finance professionals offer their opinions.

Tags: BDC

November 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Special Finance Initiative Leads to Overall Improvement at Key Hyundai

Almost a year ago, Dealer Jill Merriam Dulitsky decided it was time to put the microscope on special finance at Key Hyundai. Not only has the special finance business at her dealerships substantially increased, but the operations have seen improvements in other areas as well (including the BDC, manager pay plans, job descriptions, and used vehicle inventory acquisition and management).

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Dealer Jill Merriam Dulitsky decided in late 2010 to take a closer look at her stores’ special finance departments. The steps taken to effect improvements in SF at Key Hyundai ultimately benefitted the dealership’s overall operations.

Tags: BDC

November 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Third-Party Relationships Require Close Attention to Detail

By Chip Zyvoloski

There are risks involved with all third-party relationships. Chip Zyvoloski, senior attorney within the Indirect Lending business at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services, explains that to protect the dealership’s reputation, dealers should complete due diligence on your third-party vendors.

Tags: BDC

November 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The SAWS of Underwriting Help Maintain Consistency

By Brent Carmichael

In the last half of the year, buy here pay here dealers revisit their underwriting. BHPH expert Brent Carmichael discusses four areas BHPH dealers should focus on for proper underwriting.

Tags: BDC

November 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Reaching Automotive Consumers with Mobile Advertising

The Audience Today for Mobile Automotive Content

By Erin (Mack) McKelvey

Erin (Mack) McKelvey of Millennial Media discusses targeting auto shoppers through mobile advertising.

Tags: BDC

November 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Price Inventory for Appropriate Gross Profits

By Alan Mosher

At the conventional retail lot, everyone tries to hit a home run on every deal’s gross profit, but pricing BHPH inventory higher to gain additional gross could result in greater losses due to higher collection costs, delinquencies, repossessions and charge-offs. BHPH expert Alan Mosher discusses how to determine an inventory pricing strategy to avoid this risk, a concept he terms “hitting doubles.”

Tags: BDC

November 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Serving the Right Mix of F&I Products

By Kimberly Long

Achieving the right balance of products to sell in a dealership’s F&I office can take some time and periodic tweaking of the menu. Here’s a look at some of the products dealers can consider including on their F&I menus to allow the most opportunities for profit.

Tags: BDC

November 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Paper is a Thing of The Past in F&I

By Allen Dobbins

Technology has impacted every dealership department, and technology expert Allen Dobbins explains how the F&I department has been impacted by technology.

Tags: BDC

October 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Technology in Your F&I Office

By Kirk Manzo

Over the years, technology has evolved to help in various dealership departments. F&I trainer Kirk Manzo covers a number of options for presenting electronic menus in the F&I office.

Tags: BDC

October 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Cobweb Compliance

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Attorney Thomas Hudson poses two scenarios about how dealers comply with the Safeguarding Rule. One scenario is about a dealer who initially had good intentions but allowed compliance cobwebs to build up, the other is about a dealer who implements and maintains a compliant process.

Tags: BDC

October 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Financing Repairs for BHPH Customers

By Gene Daughtry

Best Ride General Manager Gene Daughtry discusses the benefits of working with buy here pay here customers to finance their vehicle repairs.

Tags: BDC

October 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Make Sure Your SF Department Doesn’t Get Hosed

By Greg Goebel

Special Finance Expert Greg Goebel explains how the concept of water through a hose can be an apt metaphor for a dealership’s SF business. He also details one dealer’s dilemma and explains how to fix it.

Tags: BDC

October 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Disclosures in Auto Finance - Lesson 2: Application Disclosures

By Nicole Munro

Attorney Nicole Munro discusses disclosures required by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and its implementing Regulation B, along with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, when a consumer applies for secured credit.

Tags: BDC

October 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Gibson Truck World Injects Personality into Its Advertising

Pictured here with Angela Stockman, Gibson Truck World's marketing director (left) and Devon Belanger, promotions manager (right), Comedian Larry the Cable Guy recently took part in a dealership-sponsored mud-racing event held at Bandit Mud Racing in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., while in town filming his television show "Only in America."

By Alexandra Barlow

Gibson Truck World, a 14-acre dealership in Sanford, Fla., sells about 150 vehicles per month. The dealership relies on social media, radio, television, magazines, the Internet, billboards and good old word-of-mouth to advertise the dealership.

Tags: BDC

October 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Managing Your Special-Order Parts

By Joseph Clementi

Dealership general manager Joseph Clementi explains how to manage and more closely monitor special-order parts as a way to control cash flow.

Tags: BDC

October 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Finding Affordable BHPH Inventory in Today’s Tough Market

By Mark Dubois

Buy here pay here expert Mark Dubois discusses how BHPH dealers are sourcing inventory in today’s tough used vehicle wholesale market.

Tags: BDC

October 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Guidelines to Ensure Your Cars Get the Clicks They Deserve

By Greg Wells

Trainer Greg Wells discusses how dealers can effectively market vehicles online with proper pricing, quality photos and compelling vehicle descriptions.

Tags: BDC

October 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Used Inventory Acquisition

"At some point, with the lack of inventory, it becomes who's willing to pay the most. That minimizes your return on investment, but it's still the best approach." - Kevin Nachbar, VP of Sales and Remarketing, McCarthy Auto Group, Olathe, KS

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Throughout 2011, used vehicle buying has been difficult for dealers. Five used car buyers share how they’re finding vehicles.

Tags: BDC

October 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Give ‘Em Something to Talk About

By Jon Greene

Author Jon Greene discusses how dealers can differentiate themselves from the competition by implementing a customer loyalty program.

Tags: BDC

October 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Grogan’s Towne Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ramps Up the Used Car Department

At Grogan's Towne Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Marc Ray, GSM and partner (left), and Denny Amrhein, managing partner (right), saw used-vehicle sales dip as low as 30 a month during the recession. After implementing an inventory management tool in early 2009, Ray transformed the store's used vehicle operation, which is now averaging 134 sales a month.

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. At Grogan’s Towne Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Toledo, Ohio, Marc Ray took matters into his own hands when the market got tough, and as a result, the store is growing and more profitable than ever.

Tags: BDC

October 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Inventory Management Is Really Cash Management

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

Do you watch and calculate how many times your inventory turns each year? Do you know what your return on inventory investment is? David Keller, automotive industry accounting expert, explains how to determine these things and more.

Tags: BDC

Blog

On-the-Point

Jim Ziegler
A Faster Horse

By Jim Ziegler
The Alpha Dawg wonders where the demand for driverless vehicles is coming from and has good news and bad news — but mostly bad news — for Fiat Chrysler and Cadillac dealers.

Strangers in the Mall

By Jim Ziegler
The Alpha Dawg makes new friends, stands up for Cadillac dealers, charts the rise of the independent lots, and reconsiders free trade agreements.

You Can’t Handle the Truth

By Jim Ziegler

Watch Out for Grizzlies

By Jim Ziegler

Opening Observations

Over the Curb