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June 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Spark Immediate Results in Special Finance

By Greg Goebel

Special Finance Expert Greg Goebel chronicles how one dealer group increased its subprime business by focusing on the right inventory for special finance and proper deal structure.

Tags: BDC

June 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Importance of Mobile Websites for Dealerships

By Kimberly Long

Does a dealership really need a website optimized for mobile devices? The short answer is yes. Author Kimberly Long offers perspectives from both dealership personnel and technology providers on the benefits of having a mobile website.

Tags: BDC

June 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Incorporating QR Codes into Dealership Marketing

By Kimberly Long

QR, or quick response, codes represent fairly new technology, and their potential applications within the dealership are still being explored. Author Kimberly Long presents a brief look at using QR codes in the dealership.

Tags: BDC

June 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Get Online or Be Left Behind in BHPH

By Brent Carmichael

As a BHPH expert who was once resistant to the Internet, Brent Carmichael explains how important the Internet is for buy here pay here dealers and shares some of the Internet tools BHPH dealers can use to help run their businesses.

Tags: BDC

May 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Effective Uses of Technology in the Dealership

By Allen Dobbins

Technology expert Allen Dobbins discusses the importance of updating the technology that helps run a dealership to compete in today’s right-now society.

Tags: BDC

May 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Integrating an Online Service Scheduler

"I can't imagine any drawback to online service scheduling because if a customer can go there any time of day, schedule an appointment accurately and be notified when it's confirmed, then how can that be bad? And it doesn't take any people. Online scheduling is beautiful." - Randy Brobston, Customer Information Center Manager  MileOne Automotive

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Customers go online for nearly everything, including automotive service. Author Jenny Murphy discusses what dealers should consider when implementing an online service scheduler and looks at how four dealerships have successfully integrated this technology into their fixed operations.

Tags: BDC

May 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Dealer Practices to be Scrutinized by the FTC and CFPB

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Industry Attorney Thomas Hudson reports on information about what the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) intend to enforce.

Tags: BDC

May 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Five Ways to Improve Your Website and Double Traffic

By Joe Chura

Joe Chura, Internet and e-marketing director of the Hennessy Ford stores near Chicago, Ill., outlines five free, simple ways dealers can improve their websites.

Tags: BDC

May 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Prevent Dealership Fraud with Continuous Monitoring

By Brian Shackelford

Author Brian Shackelford explains the difference between continuous auditing and continuous monitoring and discusses the use of continuous monitoring to ensure the effectiveness of internal controls and prevent fraud inside the dealership.

Tags: BDC

May 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Take Control of Your CRM

"After the sale, [salespeople are] required to follow up and ask for referrals ... and the managers are expected to make sure that the salesmen are doing that." - David Richards, general manager Dream Cars Credit

By Kimberly Long

Author Kimberly Long chronicles how four auto dealers got their customer relationship management efforts under control by implementing new processes, holding employees accountable, and continually tweaking their strategy to stay on track and up to date with technological changes.

Tags: BDC

May 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Selecting the Best F&I Employees

By Kirk Manzo

F&I expert Kirk Manzo provides interview topics to cover when hiring new F&I managers, as well as other things to consider to ensure successful hiring because the people who work at a dealership determine its future.

Tags: BDC

May 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Does Your Website Click With Auto Shoppers

By Jason Ezell

Ever looked at a click map of your home page to see which buttons, images, specials, promos, etc. are clicked the most? Internet expert Jason Ezell dissects a sample click map to see the most and least clicked items on a dealer’s home page.

Tags: BDC

May 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Dealers See Star Power

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Author Jennifer Murphy discusses the influence of online reviews and presents tips from four companies focused on helping dealers with online reputation management.

Tags: BDC

May 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Be An Active Member in Your Community

By Gene Daughtry

Gene Daughtry, general manager of Best Ride, Inc challenges dealers to be involved in their communities.

Tags: BDC

May 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

BMW of Sarasota Incorporates Third-Party Service Loaner Program

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

BMW of Sarasota Incorporates Third-Party Service Loaner Program

Tags: BDC

May 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Analyze Current Advertising Before Adding More

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel explores the age-old question "What should I spend my advertising dollars on??" His response might surprise some.

Tags: BDC

May 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Is There a Message Within Your Message

By Tony Troussov

General manager of a Toyota store, Tony Troussov, offers a step-by-step script for leaving effective voicemails that salespeople can customize and use.

Tags: BDC

May 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

East Coast Honda Targets in-Equity Customers

By Bryan Anderson

Bryan Anderson, Autobase founder, explains how East Coast Honda drove business into the showroom with data mining and targeted marketing.

Tags: BDC

April 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Three CRM Practices to Strengthen Your BHPH Business

By Mark Dubois

Buy here pay here (BHPH) industry expert and consultant Mark Dubois outlines three customer relationship management (CRM) practices for BHPH dealers.

Tags: BDC

April 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Adding Profit Centers to Your Dealership

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

Industry expert, David Keller, discusses two profit centers dealers can add to dealerships to make 2011 a more profitable year—a detail department and a BHPH operation. He also discusses when BHPH dealers should set up a related finance company (RFC).

Tags: BDC

April 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

When Customer Relations Become Lawsuits

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Attorney Thomas Hudson discusses how proactive customer relationship management can potentially avoid sticky legal situations in the future.

Tags: BDC

April 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Five Rules of Service Customer Engagement

By Don Reed

Don Reed - Fixed ops industry expert and trainer Don Reed presents the five rules of engagement service advisors should follow with service customers.

Tags: BDC

April 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Winning Back Consumer Trust in the Service Department

By Brad Simmons

Brad Simmons explains the importance of building trust with service customers and discusses ways service advisors can build trust when presenting upsells to customers.

Tags: BDC

April 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

A Sales Manager’s Five Laws of CRM Use

By Greg Wells

Industry expert and trainer Greg Wells discusses the five laws that sales managers in dealerships with proper customer relationship management (CRM) follow.

Tags: BDC

March 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Do I Hear a Squeaky Wheel

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Attorney Thomas Hudson shares one dealer’s reaction to non-compliance in the dealership.

Tags: BDC

March 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

SWAG, SOP and MSU

By Greg Goebel

For dealers wanting to increase special finance traffic, Greg Goebel, special finance expert, explains how dealers should assess their current special finance traffic to determine how to increase special finance (subprime) traffic and gross.

Tags: BDC

March 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Tiffany Ford's Yearlong Celebration

Dealer Bob Tiffany (left) stands with Rich Hershey (center) and Jim West, the two gentlemen who helped coordinate the vintage Fords for the showroom each month.

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Tiffany Ford in Hollister, Calif., celebrated its 100-year anniversary in style, hosting several events throughout 2010 and showcasing a different set of Ford vehicles on the showroom floor each month.

Tags: BDC

March 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Your People are Important

By Gene Daughtry

Dealer Gene Daughtry discusses the significance of having a motivated and well-functioning team of individuals in your dealership.

Tags: BDC

March 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Best of 2010

The DMS market has a lot of players – big and small – and the DealerTrack DMS stands out for a number of reasons. First, it’s full-featured Web-based software, which eliminates the need for in-house systems that require a fair share of maintenance. Another reason it stands out above competing DMS providers is the customer support that DealerTrack DMS users receive. Based on feedback from dealers, the support for it surpasses other tier-one DMS providers. Also an advantage is ease of inte

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Dealers partner with a host of product and service providers to effectively run their dealerships. As the past year came to a close, the staff of Auto Dealer Monthly took a look at products and services that positively impacted dealerships in 2010.

Tags: BDC

March 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Data is The Key to Running a Smarter Business

By Jason Ezell

Industry expert Jason Ezell explains how dealers can more accurately forecast the months ahead because with technology, they can view aggregated and normalized auto shopper data.

Tags: BDC

March 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

What’s in Store for Your Store

By Brent Carmichael

Buy here pay here industry expert Brent Carmichael discusses what BHPH dealers can expect in 2011 with regards to inventory availability, funding, sales, portfolio performance, underwriting, collections, charge-offs, and compliance.

Tags: BDC

March 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Planning for the Small Business Health Insurance Credit

By James L. "Butch" Williams

James L. "Butch" Williams, CPA, describes the health insurance credit available to small businesses in depth and even provides an example calculation.

Tags: BDC

March 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Set and Stay Focused on Stretch Goals

By Courtney Cole

Dealer Courtney Cole outlines how to set and achieve stretch goals for an auto dealership—large goals that are usually a result of meeting a set of smaller goals.

Tags: BDC

March 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Overcoming the Challenge of Change

By Kirk Manzo

F&I Trainer Kirk Manzo discusses change in dealerships and how to motivate employees to adapt to change.

Tags: BDC

March 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Proper Planning for Implementing Technology

By Allen Dobbins

Allen Dobbins of AutoStar details some of the pitfalls of implementing technology solutions in business and discusses some of the helpful technologies that emerged in 2010.

Tags: BDC

February 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Promoting Your Dealership to Create Name Recognition

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

Creating name recognition for your dealership can be accomplished many ways. Author David Keller discusses outside-the-box ways to promote your dealership that will get people in the community talking about you.

Tags: BDC

February 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Don Wood Automotive Expands Digital Footprint with Online Parts Sales

The sky is the limit for Don Wood Automotive's digital presence. The latest venture for the southeast Ohio dealership group is expanding its e-commerce to include OEMParts123.com, a site that facilitates parts and accessories sales to online buyers from around the country.

By Kimberly Long

In southeast Ohio, the Don Wood Automotive is building a nationwide Web presence for its parts and accessories business. Learn about Dealer Jeff Wood’s strategy to further build his Internet empire, which currently encompasses 39 URLs, and his online parts and accessories business.

Tags: BDC

February 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Be Careful Around the Bird Dogs

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

The legalities surrounding bird-dog, or referral, programs vary from state to state. Attorney Tom Hudson reminds readers why it’s important to seek legal advice before implementing such programs.

Tags: BDC

February 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Fire! Ready! Aim!

By Greg Goebel

As dealers notice the comeback special finance is making, interest in the topic grows, as evidenced by the increasing number of calls Author and Consultant Greg Goebel has been receiving of late. He outlines some of the important issues dealers should consider before jumping back into special finance.

Tags: BDC

February 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

2010 Digital Marketing Awards

By Harlene Doane

The Auto Dealer Monthly 2010 Digital Marketing Awards highlight a few of the best dealership websites in the industry, including single-point franchise sites, independent dealer sites, group franchise sites and specialty sites. See who stood out from the pack and why.

Tags: BDC

February 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Advertising or Promotion

By Mark Dubois

Both advertising and promotion have their place in operating a successful business. Author Mark Dubois explains the difference of each and how they can help a buy here pay here business.

Tags: BDC

February 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Double Your Internet Sales

By Joe Chura

As a current dealership employee, Joe Chura reflects on how to increase Internet sales and how his perspective on that topic has changed since he went from working for Ford Motor Company to working in the dealership.

Tags: BDC

February 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Checking Your Blind Spots

By Greg Wells

Busy sales managers have plenty to manage that’s right in front of them, but it’s important to check “blind spots” to uncover hidden profits. Author Greg Wells highlights four blind spots and what you can do to get them out in plain sight.

Tags: BDC

February 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

7 Keys to Social Media Success

By J.D. Rucker

There's more content on the Internet about social media than just about any other form of marketing, which can make tackling social media confusing. In this article, Author J.D. Rucker provides the 7 Keys to social media success in a succinct and straightforward manner.

Tags: BDC

February 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Autoline Excels with a Different Dealership Approach

Owner Ryan Corey with his wife, Suzanne, who handles human resources.

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

While constructing his independent dealership Autoline, Dealer Ryan Corey said the idea was for it to be “completely opposite a traditional car dealership.” From the interior decoration and logo to the dealership’s advertising, it’s easy to see his store is unique, and it’s attracting and retaining customers. Since it opened, sales have increased about 400 percent.

Tags: BDC

January 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

2010 Auto Finance Survey – Special Finance Results

By Greg Goebel

Industry Expert Greg Goebel provides an in-depth look at the Special Finance Segment of the Auto Dealer Monthly 2010 Auto Finance Survey.

Tags: BDC

January 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Think Twice About Pricing a Car Based on Credit Quality

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson - What's a dealer to do in order to avoid an up-close-and-personal meeting with his state's AG? We recommend that dealers prominently price all their cars (as some state laws require). The price is the price, no matter who is buying or how they are paying.

Tags: BDC

January 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Power of A Well-Executed First Call

By Tom Mohr

When a customer submits an Internet lead to a dealership, the first call – if well executed – can result in a sale if followed by solid follow-up processes and a qualified, focused sales consultation.

Tags: BDC

January 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Re-Emergence of Special Finance

"The ultimate goal is to try to build the department so we have all our stores funneling their SF traffic towards the departments." - Dan Hrabovsky, SF   Tri-Star Motors

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

There are dealers who dug in, hung on, expanded and even some who are entering the new era of special finance for the first time. Their perspectives are as varied as their operations, but they all see the potential.

Tags: BDC

January 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Keep Your Eye on Your Used Vehicle Department

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - As more dealers rely on used vehicle sales since new sales are significantly down from years past, it’s important to keep your eye on used sales as new sales incrementally increase.

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