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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

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Attracting and Retaining the Best Employees

By Tony Troussov

Tony Troussov - Imagine what would happen if your organization was attracting and retaining the best of the best employees. What type of atmosphere would that create for your customers? What results would your company attain? Take a moment and think about it. Compare your answers to the reality you face every day.

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The New School is the Place to Be

By Dean Evans

Dean Evans - The war between the "old school" of marketing and the "new school" of marketing continues to rage, regardless of the gains the new school has made and the losses the old school continues to suffer in the marketplace. The Internet has the attention of the vast majority of consumers.

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Two Easy, Inexpensive Ways To Help You Locate Your Next Buy Here Pay Here Lot

By Charley Pompey

I do not believe that “dealer row” is always the right place to be. Your local zoning may dictate a concentration of automotive retail and repair facilities into one area of your city or town. If you have the flexibility to choose otherwise, here are my thoughts.

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

On the Phone with the SF Customer

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - BDR intuition is the skill to know which direction to take at the fork in the road during customer interactions. Ad and lead sourcing helps make this simple by identifying credit issues early. Being on point and having BDR intuition when speaking with a special finance customer is vital because these potential buyers are likely filling out multiple credit applications.

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Stronger Customer Relationships Through Fixed Operations Marketing

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - The name Sonic Automotive is well-known to anyone in the industry, and with good reason. It is the third-largest automotive group in the country with 153 dealerships and more than 30 collision centers and a Fortune 300 company. Carrying more than 30 different vehicle brands, its reach stretches literally across the country, from California to the Carolinas.

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Rethink Your Business Model

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - I just finished attending a couple of conventions where I spoke on various expert panels and met with hundreds of dealers. I have spent many hours on the phone with dealers who have called wanting help to “stay alive.”

Tags: BDC

February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Above All Else, Choose Character

By Bill Leslie

Bill Leslie - Six months ago, we caught an employee stealing on his first day on the job. We caught him red-handed. There was no doubt involved, and he admitted the theft. There were divided opinions among the decision-makers, but the decision was to give him a second chance. We really needed to fill that spot.

Tags: BDC

January 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Three Key Elements of High-Performing F&I Departments

By Kirk Manzo

Kirk Manzo - As we approach year’s end, now is a good time to examine your processes and procedures in all areas of the dealership including sales and F&I. The interaction between these two areas of the dealership is the life blood for future growth.

Tags: BDC

January 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

BHPH Dealers Look Back at 2009

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - For many dealers, 2009 has been a kick in the teeth. However, one group of dealers, buy here pay here (BHPH) dealers, haven’t been hit as hard as some dealers who’ve fought to keep their doors open. Many BHPH dealers have persevered without significant losses.

Tags: BDC

January 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Profits, Cash and Liquidity

By Ben Donnarumma

Ben Donnarumma - Cash may be king in the car business but cash flow rules! It is the life blood for any business, especially for money vacuums like car dealerships. Just talk to a local banker today about getting a short-term loan for a car dealer; even with the Small Business Administration backing 90 percent of the principal, banks still consider such a loan to be a risky endeavor.

Tags: BDC

January 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

RightWay Automotive Credit Does it Right

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - With 15 used car stores in Michigan and Illinois and about 650 employees, RightWay Automotive Credit as it exists today is a far cry from where it began.

Tags: BDC

January 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

CPO = New, Perfect?

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson - Could we make this stuff up? The plaintiff thinks that “certified pre-owned” means “new,” is handed a CARFAX report by the dealer that shows two accidents for the car, but relies on a salesman’s assertion that the car has been in only one wreck and drives the car 80,000 miles before suing the dealer.

Tags: BDC

January 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

You Have Five Seconds to Get My Attention!

By Charley Pompey

Your site is not only competing with others in your market, but every other site the visitor has seen and will see in the future. Does your home page match up to that competition?

Tags: BDC

January 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

DealerLink Introduces a New Breed of Trigger Lead

By ADM

What makes Trigger Complete(SM) leads different from other trigger leads, Parker said, is the additional steps DealerLink has taken to remove the burden of compliance from dealers’ shoulders and make the entire process more worry-free.

Tags: BDC

January 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Back to the Basics With a New Twist

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - The seasons are changing, and judging by my phone and e-mail messages, so is the climate for special finance. As inquiries pick up, I can tell more focus and effort is returning to the market.

Tags: BDC

January 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Good Coaching is Imperative

By Kevin Day

I am often amazed at the differences between dealerships. Why do some dealers hit such high levels of success and others struggle? Why do dealerships do well for the first year or two, and then numbers drop off?

Tags: BDC

January 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

@utoRevenue

By ADM

Since 2001 @utoRevenue has made its mark as the pioneer in permission-based e-mail marketing. @utoRevenue product offerings have grown as the market has demanded one partner to handle every communication channel.

Tags: BDC

January 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Announcing SF Convention Speaker – Joe Courrege

By Greg Goebel

2008 SFC

Tags: BDC

January 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Announcing SF Convention Speaker – Anthony (Tony) Constantino

By Greg Goebel

2008 SFC

Tags: BDC

January 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Run a Rental Operation From Within the Dealership: Champion Rent-A-Car Pockets Additional Profit Cont'd

By Jennifer Rincon

Jennifer Rincon - Many dealers are under the impression that they will lose money with rentals. So, they turn to other rental companies, which pay about $1,500 per month to the dealer, and then slam them with inflated rental bills.

Tags: BDC

December 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Database Mining for All Departments

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - Database mining, or organic business development, is maximizing the opportunities that are sitting in a dealer’s database uncultivated or, to be frank, being ignored. These people are not being called; they’re not getting letters.

Tags: BDC

December 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Phil Smith Acura Finds Success with Follow-Up Strategy

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - Riding out the rough waves of the economy hasn’t been a breeze for anyone, but Phil Smith Acura in Pompano Beach, Fla., seems to be weathering the storm quite nicely. The store, which has been a part of Phil Smith Automotive Group for three years, focuses intently on attracting and engaging customers online.

Tags: BDC

December 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Avoid Year-End Surprises

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - As we all know, 2009 is a year we are willing to lock away in the attic and forget. There have been many changes in management styles, efficiencies, inventory values, personnel, sales, income, et cetera this year, and there will probably be more to come in 2010.

Tags: BDC

December 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Driving up F&I Profits

By Harlene Doane

Harlene Doane - Stephens, Inc. published a report on F&I income earnings per vehicle retailed for the top public automotive groups based on fourth-quarter 2008 data. The data is below.

Tags: BDC

December 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Sweetening the Deal

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - It’s a question dealers ponder daily: How do I make my store stand out in the crowd? Everyone wants to convince customers to buy from their store instead of the guy down the road; that’s certainly nothing new.

Tags: BDC

December 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

People and Process are the Keys to your Success

By Kirk Manzo

Kirk Manzo - Ask every manager at your store to write down the complete sales and F&I process. How many different versions might you receive? How well-defined is your sales and F&I process?

Tags: BDC

December 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Does Your Website Have an Online Credit Application?

By Charley Pompey

For special finance dealers and BHPH dealers, the most important aspect of your dealership website is the online credit application. If you do not have one on your website, you are wasting your money and time online.

Tags: BDC

December 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Keys to F&I Success Online

By J.D. Rucker

Jim Rucker - Credit is a big topic in the automotive industry, especially for car dealers struggling with slow, post-Clunkers sales. Selling the vehicle is difficult enough but once it gets to finance, an entire other world of concerns is present.??

Tags: BDC

December 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

It’s Called Special Finance for a Reason

By Tom Langas

This month celebrates my twentieth anniversary in special finance. Throughout the years, the economic landscape has changed several times, as have the names of the finance companies that have made special finance a fixture in most successful dealerships.

Tags: BDC

December 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Life After Chrysler

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

Jennifer Murphy - The year 2009 has certainly earned a place among the pages of history books for several reasons; one of the most startling was two domestic auto manufacturers filing bankruptcy back to back.

Tags: BDC

December 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Five Tips to End the Year Strong

By Mark O'Neil

Mark O'Neil - The past year has unequivocally been a challenging one for our industry, yet as the economy slowly recovers and consumer confidence increases, we can look forward to a brighter future.

Tags: BDC

December 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Gust Monitor

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson - I’ve done a bit of sailboating on the Chesapeake Bay, and the current mess in Washington brought back a memory from those sailing days.

Tags: BDC

Blog

On-the-Point

Jim Ziegler
All Things Must Pass

By Jim Ziegler
Ziegler mourns the loss of Gregg Allman as Ford and Hyundai shake up their leadership teams and Carvana struggles to stay afloat.

Join the Battle of Jericho

By Jim Ziegler
Ziegler has harsh words for the so-called geniuses behind escalating factory incentives, political support for autonomous vehicles, AutoNation's 'millennial-friendly' pay plan, and the Carvana IPO.

Don't Run, We Are Your Friends!

By Jim Ziegler

The Future Ain't What It's Cracked Up to Be

By Jim Ziegler

Opening Observations

Over the Curb