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March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Wise Decisions This Year

By Harlene Doane

Harlene Doane - The decisions to slash personnel may have the biggest long-term impact on many dealerships and it might not create the anticipated effect. In the short run, it does reduce expenses ...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Training Your Staff - Upfront Pricing System to Increase Profits

By Jacob Lawson

Jacob Lawson - Seventeen percent of consumers thought a dealership should make over $2,500, while 18 percent thought up to $2,500. Another 21 percent were willing to let go of $2,000 ...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

A Half Hour Can Save the Farm

By Hal Scott

Hal Scott - Success today requires strong fixed coverage. Your service, quick service, parts, body and detail departments have to be “dialed-in.” Adding 0.5 hours to each repair order in service, quick service and body shop is not just...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Moving Toward Excellence

By Jim Jackson

Jim Jackson - He was as profound in his thinking as he was in his execution and so focused on his vision that strategies were in place to correct actions that could be counter-productive to the vision. His belief in being sovereign was so strong, he actually created cooperation with ...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Protecting your Reputation Onlne

By J.D. Rucker

Jim Rucker - Taking the steps necessary to defend your reputation and make it stronger on the search engines could be the difference between you getting a sale and your competitors getting that sale...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Five Key Elements to F&I Revenue

By Kirk Manzo

Kirk Manzo - With volume scarce, the F&I office becomes critical to operational cash flow for the dealership’s very existence. F&I managers become key players and must ensure they are consistent in their process to extract maximum revenue from each...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Looking Back Before Moving Forward

By Ryan Linnehan

Ryan Linnehan - They say, “Hindsight is 20/20.” Well, I’m not sure who “they” are, but “they” do bring up a good point. The passage of time will often provide us with a new perspective as we review the results of what has already happened. Not only that, but ...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Dealer Web Sites Gain Traction

By Jason Ezell

Jason Ezell - With 52 percent of shoppers visiting dealership Web sites, dealership Web sites are now the second most visited sites by automotive Internet shoppers during their buying process ...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Class Certification Motion Defeated in "Unauthorized Practice of Law" Case

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson, Esq. - In several jurisdictions around the country, dealers have been hit with class action lawsuits alleging that the dealers’ actions in completing legal forms such as buyer’s orders and retail installment contracts constitute...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The 40,000-ft View of Outsourcing to In-House BDC's

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - Can a dealer begin business development as an outsource service and transition to an in-house operation? My answer to that question is a resounding “yes.” Of course, that “yes” comes with a few ifs. This route will work if...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Bursting the 30-Plus Year Bubble

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - Dealers say consumer credit doesn’t exist. Certainly, some banks and finance companies have perished. Others have merged, while others have had their access to capital greatly reduced. Guess what? To create revenue banks still have to loan money. Credit is still available, even to subprime credit customers. The difference is that ...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

'Tis Tax Time Again

By Brent Carmichael

Brent Carmichael - It’s that time of year again. Time to make hay while the sun is shining, so to speak. It’s tax time. And if the competition for those tax dollars hasn’t challenged BHPH dealers enough, the current economic conditions have not made the pursuit ...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Those Pesky Loan Covenants

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

Dave Keller - If you did not have a good year, your lender’s collateral has probably decreased and their risk has likely increased. When risk increases, banks become nervous. Most bank loan agreements have loan covenants that customers (you) must ...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Ideal Auto Forges Ahead in Special Finance

By Kimberly Long

Otis has always believed special finance could be a lucrative profit center at Ideal Auto, despite not seeing much success with previous efforts. A few months ago, he made the decision to hire an outside SF consultant to help Ideal restart a department that never truly made it off the ground...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Considering BHPH

By Harlene Doane

Market conditions have a smaller impact on the BHPH dealer because their typical customer is already in a poor financial situation, usually earning $10 to $12 an hour. They have a monthly income of $1,600, but their expenses average $1,800 so they...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

A New Target for Thieves - Catalytic Converters Disappearing

By Tim Feazell

Tim Feazell - While there have always been concerns with key control and theft of vehicles, today there is a new hot item on the lot: catalytic converters. If dealers do not move their inventory on a regular basis, they may not realize the converter is...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Controlled Foreign Corporations Generate Long-Term Profits

By Kevin Day

Kevin Day - During the 12 years I spent as a dealer, it seemed someone was always trying to sell me something. I put my “guards” in place to thwart these avid peddlers, and thus I would avoid most of their sales pitches. However, in doing this I often...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Seven Reasons for Nitrogen Tire Inflation Services

By Joe Benson

Joe Benson - Automotive dealerships are on the lookout for innovative technology that requires a minimum investment, while creating excitement, building customer retention, increasing profits. ... is easily understood, inexpensive to incorporate...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Battleground Kia - Winning the Battle for Subprime Success

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

For dealers today, subprime auto financing can certainly feel like an uphill battle. Many dealerships that are successful in special finance today are fighting for the small victories.

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Academy Cars

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

At an elementary level, dealers have Web sites to generate business, but to get the most out of the Web, dealers need much more than an elementary-level Internet strategy—especially if they expect their Web site to drive quality traffic.

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Keystone Ford Sticks with Special Finance

By Kimberly Long

When it comes to what vehicles to present to a special finance customer, Richards takes a somewhat different approach than others in the business. He believes in allowing the customer to look at the vehicle they are interested in, rather than restricting them to only a few options selected for them. He reported having success with this method, ...

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

McNutt Auto Transport Service

By ADM

With the increasing popularity of online auctions, finding a convenient transport solution is more important than ever. This has not gone unnoticed at McNutt Auto Transport Service.

Tags: BDC

March 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Buying Inventory Online

By Tom Langas

Tom Langas - Our greatest opportunities in stocking clean, reliable used cars are through auctions that cater to new car dealers, lease companies and rental car corporations. I can only speak to inventory sourcing from my own perspective.

Tags: BDC

February 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Special Finance Customer

By Tom Herald

Tom Herald - It didn’t take much talent or effort to sell a vehicle to these credit-challenged consumers ... From my perspective, it was like selling water to a man dying of thirst. The real challenge of the sell was getting ...

Tags: BDC

February 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Cover Your Assets

By Scott Dreisbach

Scott Dreisbach - I have seen many stores try to save (through expenses) themselves into a profit. This is a slippery slope and if expense restructuring isn’t thought through very carefully, many of the wrong things can be put on the chopping block. One of...

Tags: BDC

February 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Why Work Twice as Hard For Twice as Much

By Rob Anderson

Rob Anderson - During this unprecedented time in economic history, we all need to ask ourselves if we’re willing to work twice as hard for half as much. Times are tough; times are uncertain. In fact, the only certainty is that things will only get...

Tags: BDC

February 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Standard Processes Are Works in Progress

By Phil Dupree

Phil DuPree -Standard processes have been touted as a “must-have” for dealerships that want to ensure all leads are properly – and optimally – worked. The belief is that if everyone in the dealership follows the same response formula ...

Tags: BDC

February 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Why You Shouldn't Delay Your Red Flags Program

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson, Esq. - We are urging dealers to move with urgency to get their Red Flags programs in place quickly—long before the end of this 6-month enforcement grace period granted by the FTC. Why? Three reasons, and they may apply to...

Tags: BDC

February 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Five Ways to Better Manage Marketing Costs

By Daymond Decker

Daymond Decker - Managing marketing costs and maximizing spend have always been a critical part of running a successful dealership, yet in this economy, superior allocation of limited marketing resources can make all the difference ...

Tags: BDC

February 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Think FAST - Reshaping the Future with Business Strategy

By Tom Herald

Tom Herald - According to NADA, roughly 60 franchise dealers per month—that’s two per day—are closing their doors or downsizing to used car lots. They are literally being hammered financially by the economy, and many won’t survive. We stand to lose roughly 3,000 franchise and another 5,000 independent dealers by mid-2009. So, what is there to look forward to next year? The answer is ...

Tags: BDC

February 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Critical Success Factors of Leadership

By Jim Jackson

Jim Jackson - All across America, businesses invest time, energy and resources in different leadership programs, and why not? Leadership makes a difference. There are as many different opinions as to what leadership means as there are cars on the road and there are as many different and effective leadership styles as there are ...

Tags: BDC

February 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Internet Do's and Don'ts

By Ben Donnarumma

Ben Donnarumma - Buy here pay here dealers need the Internet too. If you are a car dealer today and don’t have a presence on the Internet, you might as well be out of business. The Web and your Web site are too important to sales and marketing, and doing business today without being online would be like trying ...

Tags: BDC

February 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Carolina Dealer Forecast Bright Future - Ingram Walters Find Profit Center in Down Market

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - Griffin’s Credit Quick began as just a single desk in the corner of the new-car dealership’s showroom and later moved into the group’s Isuzu store. Eventually, the Isuzu franchise was sold to allow the BHPH business to expand...

Tags: BDC

February 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Where Did All The Special Finance Customers Go?

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - You have to continue your brand in the market——continue to remind people that you are able to help them, and most certainly ask for business. You simply must be prudent about what you spend and reasonable about your expectations. Forecast your deliveries and spend appropriately ...

Tags: BDC

February 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Generate Sales During Tough Times

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - While car sales and football don’t have a lot in common, right now many dealers are practicing what many football teams do when they’re trying to hold onto their lead until the end of the game—the prevent defense. A team with a solid lead...

Tags: BDC

February 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

A BHPH Dealer's Wish List

By Ryan Linnehan

Ryan Linnehan - I realize I may be a little older than the demographic of your typical letter-writer, but you know what they say. “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” Even though the economy has been very naughty this year, I can show you all...

Tags: BDC

February 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Your Annual Review - Are You Ready For 2009

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - Take a look at your expenses. Compare your expenses against other 20 group members. Compare them to industry averages. If some are high compared to the industry guides, review the detail of the expense accounts to see if you can reduce...

Tags: BDC

February 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Twelve Best BDC Practices Every Department Should Implement

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - Over the years, I’ve developed a long list of best BDC practices and here are 12 from which every BDC can benefit...

Tags: BDC

February 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Be Strong: It is Time to Be a Leader

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - To quote many other folks, I don’t care how much lipstick you put on a pig, it still is a pig.This economy and the industry is what it is. I have been beating the drum for dealers to right-size and maximize fixed operations ...

Tags: BDC

February 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Walk the Talk in Inventory Management

By Harlene Doane

Harlene Doane - Dealers are talking about inventory management in record numbers, but are they walking that talk? Most know inventory management is the smart thing to do. Having the right inventory in stock has proven to increase gross profits and...

Tags: BDC

January 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Three P’s Process + Procedures = Profit

By Michael Finnan

Michael Finnan - Why are the first casualties of the current climate in today’s automotive marketplace time-tested and proven money-making policies and procedures? Why do we allow ourselves to stop doing the things that are designed to ...

Tags: BDC

January 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Make Training A Daily Business: Practice It For Sustained Results

By Michael Rees

Michael Rees - New ewmployees need to know what you expect from them today, tomorrow, this week, this month, this year. If they don't, it will be impossible for your employees live up to your expectations ...

Tags: BDC

January 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Change: The Only Constant

By Ryan Linnehan

More than likely, most dealers haven’t been the only game in town for many years now. That increase in competition has spurred many dealers to adapt their business models over time. While having flexible financing options...

Tags: Education

January 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Army of One - Leverage Your Resources

By Sean V. Bradley

Sean Bradley - There is no army of one. Even in the United States Army, that really isn’t true either. There are no Rambos in the Army. The Green Berets, Delta Force, Airborne Rangers—all these units are elite teams, not stand-alone people ...

Tags: BDC

January 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Manage Your Inventory for Profits Today

By Mark O'Neil

Mark O'Neil - Take a minute and think about the most successful retailers across the country, operators such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot or Best Buy. One thing they have in common is they don’t leave much to chance; they use technology and tools (not instinct and yellow pads) to help turn their inventory rapidly and boost profits.

Tags: BDC

January 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

How to Spend Your Internet Marketing Budget

By J.D. Rucker

Jim Rucker - Dealerships are starting to realize that they get more bang for their buck through Internet marketing and are cutting into their television and radio budgets and redirecting the funds towards driving Internet leads ...

Tags: BDC

January 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

One Team - One Fight

By Tom Herald

Tom Herald - It takes leadership to formulate a plan, bring it to life, unify the team, and “make it happen.” Strong leaders focus their teams and make them believe victory is within their grasp. Strong leaders cultivate, teach and mentor their troops. Strong leaders also put their fist down from time to time to solidify the unity of the team. Strong leaders develop a culture that expects to win.

January 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Bring Online Advertising Into Focus with Proper Marketing Support

By Daymond Decker

Daymond Decker - Are you struggling with the transition to digital advertising activities due to lack of time, staff focus or obvious understanding of what to do? ...

Tags: BDC

January 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Choosing Your Comfort Zone

By Jim Jackson

Jim Jackson - We all want comfort and safety, but sometimes that comfort zone can actually hold us back. If we look at our lives and make a choice to change something, it involves stepping out of our comfort zone. Changing things will take us out of that familiar place, into something new. That’s a little scary. Depending on what it is, that might be very scary.

Tags: BDC

January 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Ideal Auto Renews Commitment

By Kimberly Long

As anyone who has dealt with special finance knows, getting a special finance department successfully off the ground can be a daunting task. Throughout 2009, Special Finance Insider will follow one dealership’s attempt to do just that.

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