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July 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Auction Direct USA Networks its Way to the Top

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - “My focus is really just the entire online experience … building our online brand, getting that footprint out through as many different channels as possible. Obviously, with the explosion of all the social channels, that makes it a lot easier, especially with all the other platforms we have,” said Miltsch.

Tags: BDC

July 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Internet, How I Love Thee

By Brent Carmichael

Brent Carmichael - The Internet is the greatest invention since, well, ever! I don’t know how we as a society ever survived without it. When it comes to buy here pay here, not taking advantage of this wondrous tool will almost ensure a short and lackluster future in our industry.

Tags: BDC

June 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Increase Service and Parts Business Online Now

By J.D. Rucker

J.D. Rucker - What if I told you that over 95 percent of your service and parts business comes from "traditional" marketing—word of mouth, past customers, location. Nearly everyone who spends time in your service or parts department got there because they already knew something about you.

Tags: BDC

June 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

By George Dans

George Dans - Have you ever noticed the three types of salespeople you hire—the good, the bad and the ugly? It’s always good when you hire one of the good ones, but for some strange reason, there aren’t many of the good ones to be found.

Tags: BDC

June 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Jeff Wyler Toyota Employs Multi-Pronged Media Strategy

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - For 2009, national Toyota sales were down more than 20 percent, while Jeff Wyler Toyota was up 28.6 percent. When the Toyota dealership originally opened 25 years ago, it was named Green Tree Toyota after a new, nearby mall, Green Tree Mall.

Tags: BDC

June 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Special Finance Companies Making Great Strides in the Dealer’s Eyes

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - Twice each year, once in April and once in November, Auto Dealer Monthly reports the temperature of the retail finance climate. Having begun this process in 2005, this is the twelfth time we have asked dealers and their dealership personnel to offer their opinions of the retail finance companies they are doing business with.

Tags: BDC

June 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Departmentalize Your Service Department

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - Your service department is one of the busiest departments in your dealership. Service deals with more customers than any other department on a daily, monthly and annual basis. The service department also sees more potential customers than any other department.

Tags: BDC

June 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

New Direction for Disenfranchised Dealers

By Kimberly Long

Too many dealers have had to learn how to pick up and move on with their lives after getting a “Dear John” letter from their manufacturer(s) to which they had been loyal for decades. At first glance, it would seem the disenfranchised dealer has three options: close the doors, acquire another vehicle franchise or go it alone as an independent.

Tags: BDC

June 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Deciding Where to File

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson, Cathy Brennan - Often a plaintiff’s lawyer has a choice about where to file his or her client’s lawsuit. Those choices can involve whether to file the suit in state court in an urban or rural county or whether to file the action in a federal court rather than in a state court.

Tags: BDC

June 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

New & Pre-owned Leasing

By David Keeney

David Keeney - If we were to ask 1,000 new or used vehicle prospects whether they prefer to buy or lease their next vehicle, how would they answer? Most likely buy unless they have been presented both options. We as professionals realize that 80 percent or so of people’s thinking is based on attitudes and feelings, while only 20 percent is fact-based.

Tags: BDC

June 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Service Powerhouse at DeBoer's Auto

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - To the casual observer passing by DeBoer’s Auto in Hamburg, N.J., the dealership might appear to be a small, rather unassuming-looking used car lot. To be sure, DeBoer’s isn’t a gigantic operation – they stock about 20 used vehicles at any given time – but the area in which the store truly excels is its fixed operations.

Tags: BDC

June 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

RoadLoans: A New Kind of Lead Program

By ADM

RoadLoans is a combination of a lead program and a finance program. Dealers belonging to the program’s Preferred Dealer Network pay a subscription rate for a group of leads (no per-lead fees) to receive exclusive leads on near-prime and non-prime customers, and each lead comes with a built-in offer of financing from RoadLoans, a division of Santander Consumer USA.

Tags: BDC

June 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Make Your Customers Tick

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - To determine what motivates a customer to buy a vehicle, we first must identify the different things that make customers tick. Each customer has a hot button, but combinations of the following motivators are usually present in each customer’s decision-making process.

Tags: BDC

May 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Using Your DMS to Analyze Operational Results

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - Review your year-to-date income statement as compared to the prior year, specifically whether vehicle gross profit percentages remained consistent or were lower than the prior year.

Tags: BDC

May 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Your CRM is One of Your Best Employees

By Greg Wells

Greg Wells - Every dealer has a few great employees, but few dealers think of their CRM as one of them. I’ve always thought otherwise. There are 10 reasons you should feel the same way

Tags: BDC

May 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Hidden Costs of a CRM

By Tom Herald

Tom Herald - Customer relationship management (CRM) software and systems can be an incredible waste of time and money, and the resulting exposure to liabilities is an ever-growing concern for the small business owner. These systems can also be the most valuable tool available to stabilize revenue and grow your business, and the difference starts at the top.

Tags: BDC

May 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Findlay Automotive Launches New VW Store

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - During one of the worst recessions in the country’s history, many businesses abruptly halted any plans for growth. However, while 2009 may have been a risky year to launch a new dealership, Findlay Automotive Group took the next logical step in growing the company’s footprint by opening their newest store.

Tags: BDC

May 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Web Traffic is Up

By Richard Valenta

Richard Valenta - Analysts and dealers alike are saying this spring will be great for business. Traffic to dealership Web sites is up across the country. During the past year, reduced expenses affected many dealers’ marketing and advertising efforts, including their Web sites.

Tags: BDC

May 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Protecting Your Customer’s Privacy

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson - When we do a dealer F&I compliance audit, one of the things we do is to go dumpster diving, or at least “trash can rummaging.” That’s because there seem to be an awful lot of dealers out there who haven’t yet gotten the word that we have laws protecting the privacy of their customers.

Tags: BDC

May 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

How to Design a Fixed Ops Marketing Plan

By Don Reed

Don Reed - A worthy goal for every dealer would be to sell a new or used vehicle today and keep that customer coming back to your dealership for life. You want them coming back for all their service needs, for parts, for body repairs, to buy additional vehicles for their family and of course, to trade in the vehicle you just sold them to buy another. Makes sense, right?

Tags: BDC

May 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Rogers Auto Group BDC Nets Customers Online

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - When fishing, a net will usually yield a better return than a fishing pole. At Rogers Auto Group in Chicago, Ill., David Ortiz understands and employs this concept to drive traffic to the dealership. Although he’s the BDC manager, he also manages the dealership Web site, which is where most dealership traffic is spawned.

Tags: BDC

May 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

CRM and BDC in BHPH

By Brent Carmichael

Brent Carmichael - Is a CRM right for you? Maybe a BDC is what you need. Whether they realize it or not, all BHPH dealers have some form of both, or at least they’d better if they want to survive.

Tags: BDC

April 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Trust but Verify

By Kirk Manzo

Kirk Manzo - The practices of reviewing deal jackets on a regular basis (once a month at minimum, once a week is preferred), analyzing production reports, and conducting daily managers’ save-a-deal meetings continue to be the gold standards for our industry.

Tags: BDC

April 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Traditional Media Once Again Working Well in Special Finance

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - As the calendar turns to March, good news seems to be abounding in the special finance world. E-mails and phone conversations with dealers and their managers indicate that business is indeed returning to that of the old days (late ‘90s) when SF was solid and deals were reasonable.

Tags: BDC

April 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Top 10 Search Engine Optimization Factors

By J.D. Rucker

J.D. Rucker - Search engine optimization is both an art and a science. While there are factors that every professional in the industry agrees contribute to the success of an SEO campaign, the differences come in how much weight is given to each factor.

Tags: BDC

April 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Are You Equipping Your Managers?

By Tony Troussov

Tony Troussov - Training people should be a top priority when developing a successful team. Most dealerships or dealer groups focus on improving salespeople while ignoring the skill set of employees in other revenue-generating departments.

Tags: BDC

April 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Getting to the FAAQs

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - During the course of a year, accountants are asked many different questions. Some of the more frequent questions are: What should I pay myself for salary? What should I pay myself for rent, and what should the lease term be? Should I consider starting a buy here pay here (BHPH) operation if I am a new car dealer? Getting to the FAAQs

Tags: BDC

April 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

SEO Need to Know

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - Successful search engine optimization (SEO) is ever-changing, which is why many dealers enlist the help of third parties to properly optimize their Web sites. And choosing a reputable provider can be a challenge. If you’ve recently evaluated providers, you’ve likely learned a little about SEO, but your education on the subject was probably embedded in a sales pitch.

Tags: BDC

April 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Finish Line Ford Laps the Competition by Building a Used Car Presence

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - Proper inventory management is a fast-paced race, but it is one a dealer can come from behind and win. Case in point: Finish Line Ford in Peoria, Ill., is currently averaging 300 sales per month. When compared to the 70 per month it was averaging throughout most of 2008, it’s obvious the dealership came from about the middle of the pack and is now leading the way.

Tags: BDC

April 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Responding to All Things Internet

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - The Internet can be your best friend or your worst enemy. To effectively communicate and maintain strong relationships with Internet customers, responses to inquiries must be immediate and consistent and you must interact with customers on the latest Web 2.0 Internet avenues.

Tags: BDC

April 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Solving the 2010 Profit Puzzle

By Greg Wells

Greg Wells - It happened one Thanksgiving Day. My mom and her sisters gathered around the dining room table and placed a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. I’d seen them do it every Thanksgiving Day of my life.

Tags: BDC

April 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Be Optimistic Even in this Economy

By Bill Leslie

Bill Leslie - That was an odd comment, so I asked him what he meant. "They don't like their customers, and they don't like their own business. They are rude, and expensive, and when you are done working with them, you'll feel pretty bad about having given them your money."

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Have You Searched Your Dealership Lately?

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - I have talked with probably more than 10,000 dealers about special finance over the past two decades. The range of their commitment to special finance has been from “off the charts” to a “you couldn’t get me to touch it with a 10-foot pole.”

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

It's the Manager, Stupid

By Bill Leslie

Bill Leslie - Before you take offense at the title of this column, please note that it is pointed at me. I'm the one who is stupid. I learn over and over that my success, and the success of my business, is dependent on the managers I hire. I seem to relearn this lesson about every 12 months. Maybe if I write it down, I'll remember it.

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

“Oh, You Meant ‘New’ New”

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson - There’s “new,” and there’s “used,” but sometimes even a seemingly black-or-white determination like this can turn more than a little bit gray. Here’s one court’s attempt to resolve the question of, “How new must a car be to be ‘new?’”

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

2010 - Your "Friend?"

By Todd Swickard

Todd Swickard - Is it the year for social networking in the car business, where we all connect to our customers and show them how good of a "friend" we are? Or is it the year that we make videos of everything? Why don’t we clog servers to show them video instead of pictures?

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

BHPH Personnel Breakdown

By Gene Daughtry

Gene Daughtry - Good people—in any business, this is a requirement. Your front-line people have to create a welcoming atmosphere so folks coming into your business feel comfortable. As the owner or manager, you have to work hard to train your people to represent your company the way you intended.

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Herbies Auto Sales on a Mission for Success

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - The dealership, located in Greeley, Colo., could have easily become a casualty of the credit crisis and recession like so many other businesses. In April 2009, the bank holding the dealership’s line of credit failed and was taken over by the FDIC, freezing that line of credit. “We’ve been operating without a line of credit. It’s been very interesting,”

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Tax Law Changes and Other Tax Considerations

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - On November 6, 2009, the President signed the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 (WHBAA). This and many other factors can affect your business’ taxable income for 2009 and beyond. Some of the below changes are beneficial, and some are not.

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Identify Your Existing Special Finance Opportunity

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - It is a new year, and many dealers have finished their annual planning and are prepared for a continued upswing in business for the coming year. Based on the calls and e-mails I have received recently, that includes for some dealers (for very good reasons) a refocus on their special finance efforts.

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Who's Selling Who?

By Brett Boatwright

Brett Boatright - You know the sales rep who says, "When I’m a manager, I will never be like this jerk I work for." Although, the minute they get promoted, they become the same jerk. Why does this happen? The simple answer is: It's all they know!

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Planning: A Challenging Event for 2010

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - Four successful dealers – three franchise (Bert Boeckmann, president/owner, of Galpin Motors; Steve Hinchcliff, president and CEO of H&H Chevrolet; and Carlos Ledezma, dealer principal Of Cable-Dahmer Chevrolet) and one independent (David Andrews, dealer principal of City Auto) – shared their plans and goals for 2010 with Auto Dealer Monthly.

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Social Media’s Increasing Role in Dealership Marketing and How Your Dealership Can Get Started

By Joe Turner

Joe Turner - Few things have changed the way businesses advertise like social media. Of course, radio was a big change from print, and TV brought a whole new dynamic, but advertising was still a matter of pushing a message to the masses and hoping some got it.

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

BHPH Dealers Gain a New Advantage with Zoombak’s Locate Assist™

By ADM

Zoombak®, a leading provider of GPS tracking devices, recently announced the launch of Locate Assist™, a new feature for the company’s buy here pay here product, Zoombak GPS Recovery™ Finance Track. This new feature will give buy here pay here dealers an advantage they didn’t have before in tracking their vehicles.

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Five Necessary Skills to Increase Opportunity Share

By Greg Wells

Greg Wells - With a predicted 11.2 million sales in 2010, we will be short six million sales compared to 2007. Six million missing sales equates to 36 to 40 million missed showroom opportunities. It’s not market share you should focus on, but opportunity share.

Tags: BDC

March 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

2010 Forecast Calls for Mostly Sunny Skies

By Brent Carmichael

Brent Carmichael - For those of us in the BHPH world, the weather for 2010 looks to be mostly sunny with a few clouds here and there and a slight chance of a shower or two (very similar to what we saw in 2009).

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Do Recognition and Compensation Motivate?

By Kirk Manzo

Kirk Manzo - The root of the word “motivation” comes from the Latin word “motivus” meaning to move or take action. So what moves your people to take action?

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Picture-Perfect Online Inventory

By Harlene Doane

Harlene Doane - It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and Steven Sodikoff, dealer principal of Steven Toyota Scion in Harrisonburg, Va., believes it applies to his inventory. Recently, Sodikoff invested heavily in his dealership’s online presence in a rather unusual way. He took an empty service facility and transformed it into a high-tech photography studio.

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Skinning Cats

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson - The old adage says there’s more than one way to skin a cat. The following plaintiffs sought to have the court hold the dealer liable for their injuries. First, they claimed that the dealership couldn’t disclaim the implied warranties of sale with respect to a safety defect.

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

BHPH Dealers Improve the Basics in 2009 for Better Cash Management

By Brent Carmichael

Brent Carmichael - The main focus for BHPH dealers in the NCM BHPH 20 Groups program for 2009 was cash management. They looked to maximize cash flow to fund growth and/or reduce reliance on borrowed capital.

Tags: BDC

Blog

On-the-Point

Jim Ziegler
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
The Alpha Dawg tackles the shortage of talent in the managerial ranks and reflects on Amazon’s rumored foray into vehicle sales, the imminent used-car correction, Hyundai’s plan for the Genesis brand, and the untimely passing of Tammie LeBleu.

A Faster Horse

By Jim Ziegler

Strangers in the Mall

By Jim Ziegler

Opening Observations

Over the Curb