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November 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Telemarketing Sales Rule

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Auto dealers have a number of compliance issues to concern themselves with daily. Here is a quick look at one of those issues, the Telemarketing Sales Rule. Please note, this is not legal advice and dealers should always seek the assistance of qualified legal counsel.

Tags: BDC

November 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Do Not Call Rule

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Auto Dealer Monthly offers a quick look at one of various compliance concerns auto dealers face, the Do Not Call Rule. Please note, this is not legal advice and dealers should always seek the assistance of qualified legal counsel.

Tags: BDC

November 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Fuel Economy Advertising for New Automobiles

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Compliance is a constant source of stress and concern for dealers, with a huge number of rules and regulations to adhere to. Auto Dealer Monthly offers a brief summary of one of those issues, Fuel Economy Advertising for New Automobiles. Please note, this is not legal advice and dealers should always seek the assistance of qualified legal counsel.

Tags: BDC

November 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Form 8300 and Reporting Cash Payments of Over $10,000

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Auto dealers face a multitude of compliance issues on a daily basis. Here is brief summary of one of those issues, Form 8300 and Reporting Cash Payments of Over $10,000. Please note, this is not legal advice and dealers should always seek the assistance of qualified legal counsel.

Tags: BDC

November 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Auto Dealer Monthly presents a brief summary of one of the many compliance issues that affect dealers, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Please note, this is not legal advice and dealers should always seek the assistance of qualified legal counsel.

Tags: BDC

November 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

19 Laws, Rules and Regulations That Can Cost You More Than Money

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - In an effort to alleviate some of the stress caused by trying to understand the compliance issues dealers must contend with, here are 19 laws, rules and regulations summarized (along with potential penalties for breaking them and helpful links to useful information).

Tags: BDC

November 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Consumer Finance Protection Agency Complicates BHPH Compliance

By Brent Carmichael

Brent Carmichael - The Consumer Finance Protection Agency will soon be regulating BHPH dealers. While the full impact this will have on BHPH dealers is unknown, some of the potential ramifications of the CFPA’s oversight is discussed.

Tags: BDC

November 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

F&I Compliance Basics

By Kirk Manzo

Kirk Manzo - In the F&I office, increasing efficiency and product sales revolves around increasing product penetration (particularly service contracts), shortening the time your contracts are in transit, introducing the F&I manager to customers early on in the sales process, and maintaining compliance.

Tags: BDC

October 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Structuring SF Compensation Plans to Avoid Conflict

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - Throughout periods of restructuring when people are being shifted, promoted or hired, I get questions about compensation plans for the SF manager and/or SF department. Generally, what I hear is, “How are we supposed to pay them?” or “What is the benchmark for compensation for a SF manager?” Unfortunately, the question isn’t quite that simple.

Tags: BDC

October 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Use the Power of the Internet to Improve Inventory Management

By Jason Ezell

Jason Ezell - In a business where inventory is the backbone of sales, the car industry doesn’t lend itself very well to cutting costs. A lower inventory, while it might save money, might also cost you more in lost sales. So what’s the answer?

Tags: BDC

October 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

VSI Catch 22

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson - Joseph Heller’s 1961 World War II novel, “Catch 22,” dealt with the rules that governed how many deadly missions B-25 pilots had to fly before they could go home. I’ll bet Mr. Heller never envisioned that the phrase would be used in connection with the sale of VSI insurance in an auto finance transaction.

Tags: BDC

October 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Why Customers Put Off Maintenance

By Hal Scott

Most customers postpone repairs and maintenance work. Industry Expert Hal Scott discusses why customers put off service work and explains how to overcome customer objections to get them in for needed service and maintenance.

Tags: BDC

October 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Are You Really Managing Your Inventory?

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - After reviewing many dealerships’ financial statements over the last six months, it seems the used vehicle department is the king of profits and volume. Most dealers, with new vehicle sales still depressed, are selling more used vehicles than ever. It is more important than ever to manage your vehicle inventories.

Tags: BDC

October 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Lebanon Ford Gets Seriously Social

At Lebanon Ford, Owner/General Manager Lisa Cryder wanted to connect with customers online via social media. While Lebanon, Ohio, is a small city with a population of about 20,000, it's situated about 30 miles from Cincinnati, the third-largest city in the state. She started "honing in" on social media in 2009 and knew her dealership could reach more potential customers if she put a strategy in place.

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - One doesn’t have to be tech-savvy to understand the popularity of social media. Lisa Cryder, the owner/general manager at Lebanon Ford Lincoln Mercury realized social media could be a powerful business tool—one her Lebanon, Ohio, dealership stood to benefit from.

Tags: BDC

October 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Pushing Inventory Around the Web

Pushing Inventory Around the Web Managing Your Online Inventory As recently as a decade ago, the concept of inventory management for many dealers was restricted to the physical lot and maybe the dealership’s Web site. Now, however, as car buyers rely heavily on the Internet to help them research and comparison shop, dealers must push their inventory out not just to their own dealership sites but to multiple third-party online destinations as well in order to be competitive in today

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - Pushing inventory out to multiple online destinations presents a unique set of challenges to a dealership’s resources. Accomplishing this task in house will often require a great deal of time, effort and manpower. So, what is the best way to handle online inventory management and how much help does a dealer need?

Tags: BDC

October 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

It’s People and Process, Stupid

By Tony Troussov

Tony Troussov - In this competitive market, a used car manager’s job can be complicated. Today, like never before, it requires extensive knowledge of the market and technology. With that said, acquiring cars is only half of the task at hand.

Tags: BDC

October 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Online Inventory Pricing

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - What kinds of strategies are at work when it comes to pricing online inventory? In short, all kinds.

Tags: BDC

September 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Make the Search Engines Love Your Online Inventory

By J.D. Rucker

J.D. Rucker - When the topic of inventory management is brought up to car dealers, certain things always come to mind. How should it be priced? How often is it updated? How many pictures should you take? While these are all important, one aspect that is regularly forgotten is how to drive the right traffic to the specific vehicles that people want to buy.

Tags: BDC

September 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Is This the Time to be in Buy Here Pay Here?

By Mark Dubois

Mark Dubois - If you are a new car dealer struggling with questions about what to do after losing your franchise or you are a subprime dealer unable to get your deals bought and are forced to turn away customers, you may be wondering: is this the time to be in the buy here pay here business?

Tags: BDC

September 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Have You Lost Your Balloons?

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - I have written for years about Green and Red Balloons, the metaphor for identifying the creditworthiness of dealership customers. Nothing has changed about the need to identify creditworthiness quickly and effectively when a customer first contacts your dealership, except for the fact that it has become more urgent to do so.

Tags: BDC

September 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Worse than Worthless

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson - Life is difficult enough when you at least know what you don’t know. But when you don’t know what you don’t know, life gets downright dangerous.

Tags: BDC

September 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Health Care Reform’s Tax Provisions

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - The massive health care legislation, signed into law by President Obama, contains provisions that will affect every employer, but the timing of different pieces of the legislation ranges from items that apply immediately in 2010 to a variety of tax increases that become effective from 2011 to 2018.

Tags: BDC

September 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Web Site Statistics

By Jason Ezell

Jason Ezell - I have always been mesmerized with the amount of information the Internet has provided, both on the Web itself and through the data being produced by millions of people using the Web. Oh, the power we would gain from harnessing this data and molding it into usable knowledge with which to make solid business decisions.

Tags: BDC

September 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

CPO is the Way to Go

"The interest rates are 2.9 [percent for CPO units]. Sometimes you can take a customer and put them in a 2,000-mile, 2010 Corolla and the payments are $50 cheaper a month [compared to a brand new 2010 Corolla]." - Lenny Cafarelli, GM Huntington Toyota, Huntington, NY

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - The economy has forced many consumers to forego the purchase of a new vehicle due to their own budgetary concerns or due to the lack of available financing. These customers are now considering certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles as a viable alternative to new.

Tags: BDC

September 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Streamline, Simplify and Clarify

By Kirk Manzo

Kirk Manzo - In Chet Holmes’ bestselling book, “The Ultimate Sales Machine,” he identifies that the reason many organizations struggle is because “management attempts to implement 4,000 different ideas. When all they really need to dominate any market is to identify their core strategies (usually about 12) and repeat them 4,000 times until everyone in the organization has mastered them!”

Tags: BDC

September 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Internet Customers Are the Same Customers Knocking on a Different Door

By Greg Wells

Greg Wells - When customers walk into the showroom, what do we do? We greet them, right? They are greeted by a receptionist, if you have one, or by an available salesperson, but what happens when that customer isn’t greeted promptly?

Tags: BDC

September 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Heat is On at Century Motors of South Florida

Century Motors of South Florida is nothing short of a tropical paradise. Sitting on an acre-and-a-half, the lot is home to over 120 palm trees and several different species of plants and flowers. The compound, which is gated with concrete walls, also serves as a hurricane bunker. The building can withstand winds of up to 300 mph, and the windows and doors are good up to 180 mph.

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - Generally speaking, heated seats aren’t a popular option when purchasing a car in Florida. At Century Motors in Pompano Beach, Fla., Dealer Frank Fuzy said, “You can turn a heated seat on in South Florida … and it’s hard to tell if that heated seat gets warm.”

Tags: BDC

September 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Inventory Acquisition 101

By Brent Carmichael

Brent Carmichael - The hottest topic right now in the BHPH world has to be inventory. Not only where but what to buy, how to find it and how to purchase it.

Tags: BDC

September 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Advertising Strategies for Influencing Car Shoppers Online

By Howard Polirer

Howard Polirer - Consumer shopping behavior has shifted in response to recent economic changes. Many consumers believe that the current economic issues are long-term and will have permanent effects on how they spend money.

Tags: BDC

August 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Can a Dealer Management System Take You to Nirvana?

By Allen Dobbins

Allen Dobbins - Choosing the right dealer management system (DMS) can keep an owner awake at night. Pick the wrong one, and it will affect employee morale, which could result in high employee turnover, drive productivity to the ground and lead to a negative impact on the bottom line.

Tags: BDC

August 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Avoid Conspiracies to Commit Fraud in a Down Economy

By Lon Leneve

Lon Leneve - Employee fraud is a recurrent problem in dealerships. The three factors that cause an employee to commit fraud are discussed, as is the importance of implementing a fraud policy.

Tags: BDC

August 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Worms Are Simple

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson - If you’re running a bait shop, life is pretty simple. You keep the frozen bait frozen, the fresh bait cold and the live bait alive. If you screw it up, you lose some bait.

Tags: BDC

August 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Making Your DMS Work For You

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - The computer software system used in your dealership should work for you. It should provide you information needed to operate your business, analyze your departments’ profitability and efficiency, and review your expenses and other account details.

Tags: BDC

August 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Marketing a BHPH Operation

By Gene Daughtry

Gene Daughtry - What business are you in? I think that is your first marketing question. I believe you need to decide what you are doing. Are you a BHPH operation that will sell some vehicles for cash, or are you a retail store that will carry the note on some cars? I know they are both “the car business,” but the marketing for each business model is very different.

Tags: BDC

August 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Power of Bowser Finds the Right Equation for F&I Success

Power of Bowser, a three-store automotive group just outside of Pittsburgh, Pa., encompasses six new car franchises and averages 500 sales per month. The dealership implemented an F&I menu years ago for compliance reasons, but recently discovered it's also a profit generator.

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - In lean times, dealers must take measures to be certain they are maximizing each and every deal, and the F&I department is one of the main places to look for opportunities to increase profit. However, it also contains a potential landmine—compliance.

Tags: BDC

August 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Service Advisor Training

By Don Reed

Don Reed - A significant number of dealers these days are becoming more and more aggressive in selling used vehicles. Some have even lost their new car franchises and now rely solely on used vehicle sales, along with parts and service sales to pay the overhead and hopefully provide them with a significant return on investment (ROI).

Tags: BDC

August 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Big Move: Changing Dealership Management Systems

"When it's all said and done and you do make a switch, it's a painful process, but because I let [the department managers] in on the decision-making process itself, they accepted that a little bit better because they felt ... like they had quite a bit of input." Matt Bell, Owner Greg Bell Chevrolet - Adrian, MI

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - If a dealership were a living organism, it’s safe to say the dealership management system (DMS) could be considered the creature’s central nervous system. There isn’t an area of the dealership the DMS does not touch; it holds huge amounts of the data necessary for the dealership to function—customer data, parts and vehicle inventory information, service history, financial data and much more.

Tags: BDC

August 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Lease Is Hot at Boch Honda

At Boch Honda, in Norwood, Mass., leasing is regaining popularity among car buyers. About one-third of the dealership's new car business is leases. The dealership leased about 1,200 vehicles in 2009.

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - Leasing is coming back in a big way. Just ask Ernie Boch, president of Boch Automotive, which has dealerships in Norwood and North Attleboro, Mass., covering Toyota, Scion, Honda, Ferrari and Maserati. “Leasing is really, really getting hot right now,” he declared.

Tags: BDC

August 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

What Happens When Customers Call

By Greg Wells

Greg Wells - These days it seems everyone is talking about digital marketing, Internet leads, social media and CRM, but are we overlooking the oldest and most useful piece of technology in our business—the telephone?

Tags: BDC

August 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Active Listening is Essential to Mastering Communication Skills

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - Communication is “a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs or behavior,” according to Merriam-Webster. While the definition does not directly mention listening, it is a key part of exchanging information.

Tags: BDC

August 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

How to Solve the Biggest Challenges Facing a BHPH Business

By Mark Dubois

Mark Dubois - No doubt you’ve heard the expression, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The flip side of that expression is more likely what we encounter in real life: If it ain’t working, fix it. At a recent buy here pay here performance analysis meeting in Tampa, Fla. I surveyed the dealers in attendance and asked them, “What is the single biggest challenge facing your buy here pay here business today?

Tags: BDC

July 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Speed Still Sells

By Greg Wells

Greg Wells - Most Internet sales managers or BDC staff will tell you the frustrating part of their job is customers who won’t connect. What you hear is, “We respond quickly, quote a great price, leave numerous voicemails, send several e-mails and never hear from the customer again.”

Tags: BDC

July 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Choosing a New Web Site Provider

By Harlene Doane

Harlene Doane, Jennifer Murphy - Technology changes so fast that it’s difficult to keep up, and that’s especially true when it comes to a dealer’s Web site. What was cutting-edge and met a dealer’s needs a year ago may now be lackluster in performance.

Tags: BDC

July 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

When Catastrophe Hits, Are You Covered?

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - I recently assisted a client with reviewing their claim for insurance due to business interruption. Their facility’s main roof collapsed due to the weight of an excessive ice and snow storm, causing damage to a substantial amount of equipment and making the facility unusable for approximately eight months until it was rebuilt.

Tags: BDC

July 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Building a Customer Base from Scratch

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - For a store that’s only two years old, Hyundai of St. Augustine in Florida has made some major headway in its market. General Manager Andrew DiFeo said, “I opened the dealership in May of 2008. Hyundai didn’t exist in the St. Augustine market before that.”

Tags: BDC

July 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Why Outsource Your Parts Inventory?

By Jennifer Conner

Jennifer Conner - A dealer’s parts inventory can be valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars to well over $1 million. This large of an asset needs protecting and auditing, ideally by an unbiased third party.

Tags: BDC

July 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Turbo-Charge Your Internet Sales With Five Checkpoints

By Tony Troussov

Tony Troussov - Nowadays, your Internet leads could account for more than half of your walk-in traffic. Is your Internet team prepared to handle this volume effectively? Regardless of how productive your team is, there is always an opportunity to improve. If you’re ready to increase your market share and profitability, take some time to assess your team in the following five areas.

Tags: BDC

July 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

I’m Supposed to Pay You $20,000 to Take My Trade?

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson - I excitedly ripped open the “Owner Notification” from an area car dealer who sells the sort of SUV that we use to haul ourselves and the dogs to and from our place in South Carolina. Our old bus is pushing 70,000 miles, so I’m thinking that in this market, maybe I’ll get a real steal.

Tags: BDC

July 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Your F&I Office can Influence Customer Retention

By Kirk Manzo

Kirk Manzo - There are many strategies that have developed over the past several years to positively influence customer retention. Customer loyalty programs with a points reward system and special discount pricing on select dealership services provide some level of success.

Tags: BDC

July 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Leveraging Online Auction Leads One Click at a Time

By Clayton Stanfield

Clayton Stanfield - Dealerships have been heeding the call to build an expansive online presence in order to sell used cars and hard-to-sell vehicles for some time now. However, as more dealers are realizing that other parts of the dealership, such as parts and accessories and new cars, have a viable and active market online, they begin to transform into virtual dealerships with all aspects of the sales floor available online.

Tags: BDC

Blog

On-the-Point

Jim Ziegler
Fasten Those Seatbelts

By Jim Ziegler
With a major slowdown imminent, Da Man says it’s time to ditch those new-age theories and get back to the basics.

Objects in the Rearview Mirror

By Jim Ziegler
The past is right behind us and the future is coming fast. The Alpha Dawg plots a course for your store’s success and shares advice for Elon Musk, Johan de Nysschen, and pre-owned managers.

The Big Talent Drain

By Jim Ziegler

A Faster Horse

By Jim Ziegler

Opening Observations

Over the Curb