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May 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

The Ratings Giant

Allen Turner’s Pensacola, Fla. Hyundai dealership beat out 800 competitors nationwide to earn DealerRater’s 2016 Dealer of the Year honors.  Photos by Caleb Pierce

By Tariq Kamal

Allen Turner credits his Hyundai store's 2016 Dealer of the Year award to a customer-first sales and service philosophy that has generated more than 1,000 positive reviews on DealerRater.

Tags: Dealer of the Year, Dealers, Hyundai

April 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Welcome to Cigar City

By David Gesualdo

Tampa will host Dealer Summit, an event tailored to the needs of dealers and dealership management.

Tags: Dealer Summit, Dealers Choice Award, F&I and Showroom

April 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Don’t Ignore Your Managers

By Steve Fox

GM says dealers who fail to reward open communication will find that minor issues can develop into major problems.

Tags: Communications, Dealership, managers, Service

April 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Strange Adversaries

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

The CFPB has found an unexpected foe in Eric Schneiderman, an activist attorney general who believes arbitration is ‘efficient and effective.’

Tags: CFPB, legal training, lemon law

April 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Take Control of Your Used-Car Inventory

By Bill Mokry

If you give your used units the attention they deserve, they will reward you with increased profits.

Tags: Dealership, Inventory Management, Used-Car Sales

April 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Are You Ready When the Phone Rings?

By Tony Troussov

If your team’s phone skills have faded in the Digital Age, you may be losing opportunities. Map out the road to the appointment and make sure no sales call goes unanswered.

Tags: Phone Customers, Sales Training, Training

April 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Price Is Right

Photo: John Holstein

By Stephanie Forshee

Ed Price stands at the threshold of retirement after more than 25 years at West Virginia’s Stephens Auto Center.

Tags: Sales, Sales Professional of the Month

April 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Your Ecommerce Director: In-House vs. Outsource

Among other duties, a dedicated ecommerce director builds and maintains their dealership’s presence online, on social media and on third-party review sites.

By Matt Childers

Who is in charge of your digital campaigns? Building an online presence requires real leadership, and the choice between hiring an in-store ecommerce director or outsourcing those duties depends upon the wants and needs of the individual dealer.

Tags: Digital Marketing, e-commerce, online advertising

April 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

5 Dos and Don’ts of Local Search

Where is that dealership? In-market car buyers rely on local search to quickly and easily find businesses in their area.

By Troy Smith

Local search is absolutely essential to making sure car buyers can find you, but it is an easy target for competitors and disgruntled employees who may wish to hijack your directory listings.

Tags: Dealerships, Digital Marketing, search engine optimization

April 2016, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

How to Get Your Dealer License

Photo: James Pierce

By Todd Bryant

Expert offers a six-step plan for first-time auto dealers.

Tags: business tools, Dealers, Legal, Regulations

April 2016, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Launching Special Finance: Part Six

Photo courtesy Tax Credits

By Greg Goebel

Despite a parade of obstacles, Champion Motors’ Red Team pulls out a win in overtime.

Tags: DealerStrong, Finance, special finance, Training

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

6 Tips for Your Next YouTube Video

Many dealers don’t realize they can use the cameras built into their late-model smartphones to record YouTube-quality videos. Photo by Karlis Dambrans

By Brian Wiklem

Digital marketing expert offers six surefire ways to boost leads from the videos you post online.

Tags: Digital Marketing, internet marketing, Social Media, YouTube

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Launching Special Finance: Part Five

Champion Motors’ new SF department hit a couple speed bumps in Month Four but continued to show progress in setting appointments and making sales. Photo by Michael Coghlan

By Greg Goebel

Website and BDC issues have slowed but not stopped the progress of Champion Motors’ new special finance team.

Tags: DealerStrong, Finance, special finance, Training

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

What to Expect in 2016

The Honda Civic was the No. 1 leased vehicle in the U.S. last year, a sure sign that leasing’s popularity is no longer limited to the highline segment. Courtesy American Honda Motor Co.

By Vic Lance

Dealers have much to look forward to in 2016, a year in which new-car sales are expected to continue to rise and a number of other trends will affect the way you do business.

Tags: Autonomous Driving, Honda, Leasing, New-Vehicle Sales, Regulations, Ride-Sharing, Trends

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Pushing Boundaries

David Gesualdo

By David Gesualdo

New technology is not a substitute for salesmanship, but it can create more opportunities to do business the right way.

Tags: Customer Service, Geofencing, Regulations, Technology

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

3 Ways to Get Personal

By Jason Heard

General sales manager explains how facility tours, trade walks and common courtesy can restore the human touch to an increasingly digitized transaction.

Tags: Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service, trade-in

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Low-Hanging Fruit

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Countless examples prove that dealer advertising is an easy target for regulators.

Tags: CFPB, Deceptive Advertising, FTC, Regulators

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Why I Love This Business

By Ronald J. Reahard

Top trainer explains why honest, hardworking dealers are rewarded with happiness, peace of mind and financial gain.

Tags: Dealers, Tips for Success, Training

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

I Heart Millennials

By G.P. Anderson

Whatever their age, car buyers appreciate service, professionalism and the opportunity to save time and money.

Tags: Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service, Millenials

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Here Come the Readability Police

By Nicole Munro

The Texas Plain Language Law will mandate that auto finance contracts be written at an 11th-grade reading level by 2017.

Tags: auto finance, CFPB, contracts, legal training

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Commit to Excellence

By Ronald J. Reahard

Build your F&I training program the same way you would build a house: on a solid foundation with expert craftsmanship and high-quality materials.

Tags: F&I, F&I Training, Product Sales

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Get Your Customers Back

At Pacifico Marple Ford Lincoln in Broomall, Pa., the Pacifico brothers and their partners are employing loyalty geofencing to retain more sales and service customers. Photos:Kirk Hoffman

By John Possumato

Loyalty geofencing is helping dealerships like Pacifico Marple Ford Lincoln recapture car buyers by sending powerful, targeted, above-the-lock-screen messages to their smartphones.

Tags: Digital Marketing, smartphones, target marketing

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Save Money on Your Next Surety Bond

By Eric Halsey

Improving your credit score, demonstrating strong financials and choosing the right agency can drastically reduce the premium on your next auto dealer surety bond.

Tags: bonds, Credit Scores, Dealerships

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Changing Dynamics and Best Practices

By Clayton Stanfield

An eBay exec shares two key pointers for dealers who are new to digital automotive marketplaces.

Tags: Customer Service, Digital Marketing, ebay, Internet Leads

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Enduring Optimism

By David Gesualdo

Dealer Summit comes to Tampa with lofty goals and high expectations.

Tags: Dealer Summit, Education, networking, Training

March 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Life Among the Elite

After eight years on the job, Rodriguez has built a database of repeat and referral customers. 

By Toni McQuilken

Oscar Rodriguez didn’t come to the car business by design, but his desire, hard work and dedication led to Chrysler Elite status and Sales Pro of the Year honors.

Tags: Sales, Sales Professional of the Year, Sales Tactics

January 2016, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Launching Special Finance: Part Four

By Greg Goebel

The DealerStrong team experiences the highs of beating expectations and the lows of an underperforming BDC and third-party lead provider.

Tags: DealerStrong, Finance, special finance, Training

December 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

When Is It Safe to Assume?

By Steve Fox

GM explains why some assumptions are par for the course and others can cost you business.

Tags: Sales, Sales Tactics, Volkswagen

December 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

A Good Fit

By David Gesualdo

Digital marketing is attracting increasing numbers of bright young minds to the automotive industry.

Tags: Digital Marketing, online shoppers, Technology

December 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Recordbreaker

Photo: Toni McQuilken

By Toni McQuilken

Brandon (Fla.) Ford's Ricardo Liburd snagged the December 2015 Sales Pro title, thanks to his brainpower, social skills and boundless energy.

Tags: internet sales, Sales, Sales Professional of the Month

December 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Vicarious Liability

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

When is a dealership liable for its customer’s negligence?

Tags: Compliance, lawsuits, risk

December 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Pull That Trigger

By Denny Long

Trigger leads are an effective way to capture in-market car buyers who may have been turned down for financing at another store.

Tags: Finance, subprime financing, trigger leads

December 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Open-Source Selling

By Ronald J. Reahard

Dealers who struggle to close Internet-savvy prospects may benefit from acknowledging the breadth and depth of each customer’s research and offering additional third-party resources.

Tags: Internet shopper, Sales Tactics, Sales Training

December 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

4 Reasons Why Your Offline Strategy Matters Online

By Daniel Kim and John Possumato

Dealers are finding digital marketing success by relying on the lessons learned from successful brick-and-mortar sales.

Tags: Online Marketing, Sales Tactics, Showroom

December 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Building an Online Empire

PHOTOS BY DAN MCCABE/REALCUSTOMER.COM

By Toni McQuilken

Toni Anne Fardette has taken Atlantic Auto Group’s BDC and digital marketing campaigns to the next level.

Tags: BDC, Dealers, Online Marketing

December 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Consolidation Nation

By Stephanie Forshee

Berkshire Hathaway acquired 78 dealerships when it purchased the former Van Tuyl group this year, but it was only one of many recent mergers and acquisitions in the dealer space.

Tags: Berkshire Hathaway Automotive, Dealerships, merger and acquisition, Van Tuyl Group

December 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Gross-Volume Balancing Act

By Jason Heard

Jason Heard offers six ways to decide whether you need to focus on adding gross or selling more vehicles.

Tags: gross profit, Sales Management, Sales Manager, Sales Training

December 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Far From Over

By Tariq Kamal

Volkswagen will find a way to recover from its historic deception, but dealers will still be forced to cope with the fallout.

Tags: Dealers, Diesel Powered, EPA, Regulations, Volkswagen

November 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Power Play

By Toni McQuilken

Bryan McGarity built a successful career in powersports, then brought that same customer-focused philosophy to car sales.

Tags: Powersports, Sales, Sales Professional of the Month

November 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Long View

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Hudson explains why the regulation of auto sales and finance is less like a battle and more like the Hundred Years War.

Tags: Credit, Finance, legal training, Regulations

November 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

The Social Media Superman

Ecommerce Director Rico Glover (right) and General Manager Tim Roussell are driving a restructuring of Bryan Honda in Fayetteville, N.C., where Glover’s online marketing efforts include multiple, ongoing social media campaigns.

By Tariq Kamal, Managing Editor

Rico Glover is on the path to success at Bryan Honda, where he and General Manager Tim Roussell are building a small-city dealership into an online powerhouse.

Tags: Dealer, Online Marketing, social media marketing

November 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

The Dealer for the People

Owners Jill and Jeffrey Merriam are a brother-and-sister team at Key Hyundai. Photo: Lisa Cascone

By Toni McQuilken

Jill Merriam set out to change the car business mentality, and her ‘Dealer for the People’ campaign and experiments with personnel and processes have paid dividends for Key Hyundai.

Tags: Advertising, business development center, Dealer, Hyundai

November 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

4 Secret Skills of Successful Managers

By Vivian Ciampi

Corporate communication expert offers four tactics dealers and managers can use to effect real change in an increasingly complex workplace.

Tags: Dealers, managers, Training, workplace

November 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

The Big 10

Michael Nekava reflects on his record-setting 10-car afternoon. Photo: Michelle Kawka

By Stephanie Forshee

Remember the last time you sold 10 cars in less than five hours? Michael Nekava does, and it was an afternoon he will never forget.

Tags: Dealer, Sales Professional of the Year, Salespeople, Vehicle Sales

November 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

The Standard Bearer

Greg Rietz is typically the first staff member to arrive at the Lujack Honda showroom, using his own key to unlock the doors between 4 and 5 a.m. He spends the early-morning hours writing letters and cards to his thousands of personal clients. 

By Toni McQuilken

If you missed it, check out Auto Dealer Monthly’s profile on its 2014 Sales Professional of the Year, Lujack Honda’s Greg Rietz. If you know of a sales pro who deserves some recognition, let us know by clicking on the link at the end of the article.

Tags: employees, sales department, Sales Professional of the Year

November 2015, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Launching Special Finance: Part Three

Photo: ©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/KZENON

By Greg Goebel

With a fully operational SF department, the DealerStrong team shifts their focus to finding, selling and financing customers.

Tags: CRM, DealerStrong, special finance, Training

November 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Sales Call On Line One

By David Greene

The phones are ringing and customers are waiting. How is your dealership managing those opportunities?

Tags: Marketing, new-vehicle leads, Phone Customers, Training

November 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

You Can’t Close a Click

By Troy Smith

It’s time to quit counting clicks and refocus your digital marketing strategy on actual leads.

Tags: Digital Marketing, Internet Leads, online shoppers

October 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

WTF

By G.P. Anderson

Whatever beliefs you and your customers may or may not share, politics and religion have no place in F&I.

Tags: Customer Service, F&I, F&I Training

October 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Professional

Photo: Wayne Heard

By Toni McQuilken

After nearly 50 years of car sales, Gary Young has built a loyal following and a collection of stories.

Tags: Buick, Sales, Sales Professional of the Month

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