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August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Don't Cut Your SF Manager Loose

By Kris Wright

Kris Wright - Don’t Panic. The market is tougher than I have ever seen it. The old days are back—big fees, low advances, short terms and high interest rates. Thanks mortgage market for causing this overcorrection.

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Tracy Buick Pontiac GMC Cadillac Secret Uncovered

By Kimberly Long

There’s not much that’s traditional about Tracy Buick Pontiac GMC Cadillac in Tracy, Calif. From how their advertising budget is allocated to running the sales floor, their approach is anything but ordinary. While this franchise store meets its new car objective nearly every month, approximately 90 percent of its total business is special finance.

Tags: BDC

August 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

A Big Part of Ray Lakes Family

By Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth

In 2001, Terry McCormick, the current general manager of Ray Laks Mitsubishi, was brought in to spearhead the implementation of a subprime department in Ray Laks Mitsubishi in West Seneca, N.Y. In the first six months of business, the department retailed an average of 15 to 20 subprime units per month.

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Keeping Up With the Times Online: The Evolution of BillWalsh.com

By Daymond Decker

Daymond Decker - Walsh knew that the next generation of customers would not be satisfied with two-dimensional photos of cars, an address and a phone number ...

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Seventh Profit Center: Your Vehicle Inventories

By Scott Dreisbach

Scott Dreisbach - The vehicle inventories you've invested in are no different than any other type of investment portfolio...

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Missed Profit Opportunities

By Don Reed

Don Reed - In the pursuit of additional profit opportunities in your service department, you must focus on maintenance of your customers’ vehicles. This is a missed opportunity for many dealers who do not perform complete, thorough inspections of...

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

It is Not Internet Inquiries: It is Internet Sales

By Michael Rees

Michael Rees - So, you sign up for these programs and the number of visitors to your new Web site increases. You even hire a dedicated Internet manager to manage all these inquiries. The number of Internet sales increases, so you think...

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Train to Bridge the Gap: Connecting the BDC and Sales Department

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - Why do we train our BDC personnel? Because we need to bridge the gap between the sales department and the BDC, and the easiest way to do that is by properly training both sides.

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Why Bananas Are Good for Hiring: Making the Most of Opportunity

By Justin Spath

Justin Spath - As our economy moves more and more towards a significant banana, I think it is safe to say that we in the retail automotive industry will notice the effects.

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Used Vehicle Fear: What Exactly Are You Afraid Of?

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - New car dealerships rely almost entirely on trade-ins to round out the mix of vehicles on their lot. What happensif your more expensive vehicle sales slow down and stop generating these trade-ins?...

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Internet Sales Process - Part One: Commit to Methodical Follow-Up

By Sean V. Bradley

Sean Bradley - We find that a lot of dealers have sporadic follow-up protocols. For example, they will follow up with a prospect via phone and the Internet for one to two weeks straight, wait three days, then resume for another week of follow-up...

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Measuring the Internet Department Results

By Harlene Doane

Harlene Doane - The one thing everyone has discovered is that no one has figured out exactly how to wrap their arms around a topic like Internet sales ..

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Preparing for the Good Times and the Bad

By Mauricio Espinosa

Mauricio Espinosa - In this time of economic uncertainties in the U.S., it is important to your business that you have alternate plans, a clear vision of your challenges and the proper metrics with which to manage.

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Positive and Prosperous: How to Change Your Perspective of the Economy

By Jim Jackson

Jim Jackson - People are losing jobs, the price of gasoline is skyrocketing, and then there’s the dreaded “R” word: Recession. As a leader, you are supposed to be upbeat and optimistic about the current economy.

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Meaning Behind the Term "Fixed Operations"

By Don Reed

Don Reed - Why do we classify half of our dealership as variable and the other half as fixed? What is the difference between the two? Should they operate independently of one another or operate as one? Is one more important than the other?...

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Snoozing and Losing: The Case for Arbitration Agreements

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson, Esq. - I am frequently asked whether dealers’ use of mandatory arbitration agreements as a defense against class action lawsuits and as a way to escape potentially crippling court-awarded damages is a tactic that actually works...

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Five Basic Steps to a Special Finance Deal

By Tom Herald

Tom Herald - There are five basic steps that will help keep your deals on track. Car dealers who follow these five steps consistently will be successful and maximize the gross profit on every deal, every time.

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Leveling the Playing Field: Granger Motors Focuses on Marketing Online

By John Carroll

John Carroll - These days, just about everyone working for Granger Motors in tiny Granger, Iowa, has almost universal access to the Web. Anyone responding to a vehicle on the Web page is ringing right into the mobile number of the Web sales manager...

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Forming a More Pefect Union: A Village Dealership Unites all Fronts to Catapult Internet Sales

By Jennifer Rincon

Jennifer Rincon - Before the Web site or even the sales process could be modified, Bell, at Hagar’s urging, decided to clean house. His first instinct was to gather all the third-party leads and the handfuls of phone numbers, and unify all...

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Old-Fashioned Values in the New Age: Hi Desert Kia Experiences Online Success

By Daymond Decker

Daymond Decker - How does a car dealership that has only been in business for six years become the No. 1 Kia dealership in California? It holds honesty and faith to a high degree and institutes excellent customer service...

Tags: BDC

July 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Quiet Giant Of Technology: Dominion Enterprises

By Harlene Doane

Harlene Doane - Dominion Enterprises is an organization that provides marketing services to key verticals. Those verticals are automotive, specialty vehicles (such as cycle, RV and commercial trucks), real estate, apartments and employment.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Economic Stimulus Act: What the Changes Mean to You

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

David Keller - Under the act, small businesses will be able to write off up to $250,000 of qualifying expenses in 2008. In addition, businesses will be able to deduct an additional 50 percent of the cost of certain investments in 2008...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Used Vehicle Sales Can Provide Stability During a Choppy Economy

By Rob Chesney

Rob Chesney - An increasing number of dealers are discovering that online used vehicle sales are a direct and efficient way to increase revenue ...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Driving is Fun: Make Sure Your Customers Know That

By Michael Rees

Michael Rees - Salespeople have to show excitement when presenting a vehicle—not just mentioning the features that a particular vehicle comes with, but painting the picture as to what these features will do for the customer ...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The View From Your Front Door Looking Out

By Ryan Linnehan

Ryan Linnehan - Our goal should be for people to always see activity going on at our lots. Activity breeds excitement, and excitement breeds sales.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Internet Statistics Verify Capabilities Of Online Video

By Sean V. Bradley

Sean Bradley - The first step is taking time to think of a totally new concept that will capture people’s attention. Humor is a great way to accomplish that. You need to know that one of the most powerful aspects of online video is the viral aspect...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Hiring the Right People to Work in your BDC Today

By Glynn Rodean

Glynn Rodean - Recruiting for a business development center (BDC) is serious business because these individuals will represent your dealership to the community ... If you hire the wrong people, you could inadvertently ask prospects to shop elsewhere.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Cutting Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face: Don't Let the "Bad Lead" Syndrome Stymie SF Growth

By Greg Goebel

Greg Goebel - The primary goal is to establish good rapport and set an appointment. Without achieving this, a sale will most likely never occur. Please note, I did not say work to get the customer approved before you invite them into the store!...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Internet Resources: Utilize the Wealth of Information at Your Fingertips to Learn and Save Money

By Justin Spath

Justin Spath - ... while I can’t begin to cover the entire Internet, I can take a little time to highlight a few resources online that will be beneficial to you as a dealership owner, operator or manager.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Search Marketing Manifesto

By Jason Ezell

Jason Ezell - Because paid search ads show up only when someone has searched for a keyword relevant to your product, you only advertise to interested consumers ...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

SEO 2.0: Optimizing with Blogs, Social Media and Social Networks

By J.D. Rucker

Jim Rucker - Establishing a stronger presence through Web 2.0 can drive traffic to a Web site and greatly improve a dealer’s search rankings on Google, Yahoo and the other search engines...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Technician Shortfall: Proper Recruiting, Hiring and Training to Attract and Retain Qualified Individuals

By John Carroll

John Carroll - Several technical schools say that slightly more than half their graduates wind up at dealerships, while hosts of newly minted automotive technicians take positions with the after-market companies that specialize in hiring entry-level...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Service Retention: The Value of Your Service Advisor

By Harlene Doane

Harlene Doane - A recent manufacturer study indicated a sharp rise in the chance of selling a customer another vehicle based on the number of times they visit your service department. A single service visit increased that chance by 29 percent...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Choose Your Words Wisely: The Proper Questions to Ask Customers

By Ryan Linnehan

Ryan Linnehan - In the buy here pay here (BHPH) world, little things can definitely make a big difference—oftentimes the difference of whether or not we make the sale, hold the gross, or prevent a repossession.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Court Your Consumers: A Lesson on Love

By Jason Ezell

Jason Ezell - Your customers are interested in your dealership only because of their own needs. The only reason they want information about you is to make sure you will treat them right. Your goal should be to make them feel comfortable and cared for...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Unresolved Immigration Issues Impact U.S. Auto Sales

By Mauricio Espinosa

Mauricio Espinosa - If current trends continue, the population of the United States will rise to 438 million by 2050** ... and 82 percent of the increase will be due to immigrants and their U.S.-born descendants

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Eight Ways to Make People Want to Read Your Dealership E-mails

By Michael Teitelbaum

Michael Teitelbaum - According to a Direct Marketing Association survey, e-mail returns an impressive $57.25 for every dollar spent, far better than traditional advertising or direct mail ...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Who Is Watching Your Internet Sales Transactions

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Thomas B. Hudson, Esq. - We’ve been warning for the last several years that the AGs are taking an increasingly active interest in car dealership advertising practices, and the advertising practices they are interested in include Internet activities...

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Three Percent Difference: Frank Kent Motors Uses eCRM to Increase Closing Ratios

By Daymond Decker

Daymond Decker - Their next line of attack is to tie together technology and one-on-one communication. “Whenever Frank Kent has a special,” said Groters, “we notify our customers immediately.”

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Auto-Torium's Consistant Performance

By Kimberly Long

To simply look at Auto-Torium’s special finance numbers, it would be easy to forget the subprime upheavals and poor economic climate that dealers must contend with these days. However, keeping their sales consistent from month to month has not been accomplished without some effort and a few adjustments. As finance director T.C. Munroe said, “It’s a very, very delicate balance.”

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

In-House BDC's Are Worthwhile

By Marla Belson

Marla Belson - “Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will be judged by only one thing—the result.” – Vince Lombardi

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

More Than Just Internet Leads

By ADM

“There’s no advertising dollar that any dealer could spend that’s going to get them as big a bang for the buck as they can get doing Internet leads … there’s no direct mail, there’s no TV or newsprint or radio advertising that has a return on the investment dollar that these do, whether they’re coming from DealerLink or any other company in the business,” said Parker.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

The Ultimate Accountability

By Marla Belson

Marla Belson - No matter how you cut it, the ultimate accountability will always be your bottom line. The salespeople’s paychecks are their report cards. The doc is ours.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Four Keys to a Long-Term Pay Plan

By Jack Lintol

Jack Lintol - As the old saying goes, “The reward for a job well done in the car business is a minor adjustment in pay,” and it’s usually not an upward adjustment. How many of us have asked someone the question, “Why did you leave that dealership?” only to hear, “because ‘they’ cut my pay”.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

SF Plans Can Be Tricky Business

By Kris Wright

Kris Wright - Pay plans should evoke teamwork. Many stores I visit have pay plans where everyone gets paid from sales gross regardless of where it is derived from.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Online Videos are Gaining Popularity

By Sean V. Bradley

Sean Bradley - During March 2008, ComScore data said there were 11.5 billion online videos viewed in the U.S. This number is incredible and it continues to go up every month. With over 70 percent of Internet users in the U.S. on broadband high-speed connections, video will only become more prevalent.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

People Sell Cars

By Kevin Day

Kevin Day - Just after the turn of the century, mighty Wal-Mart (yes, that Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer) entered the used car market. This amazing saga began as a joint venture between Wal-Mart and an established dealer group called Asbury.

Tags: BDC

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Inventory Management Programs: Tracking to Profits

By Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long - With the current economic climate forcing many dealers to rely on used vehicle sales to pull them through the slump in new car sales, it’s more important than ever to have a solid system in place for management of used vehicle inventory.

Tags: BDC

May 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

How to Write a Killer Car Ad: The Classic AIDA Style Never Goes Out of Style

By Tom Herald

Tom Herald - An effective ad for a car dealer will have even more impact since there are so few ads out there that are well done.

Tags: BDC

May 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

No Way But the Dangerfield Way: Reviving a GMC, Pontiac, Buick Store with BDC Expertise

By John Carroll

John Carroll - “We track every number in the store,” he said, “and when we see people falling below that number, we find out what’s causing that number to fall. Most dealers don’t know until the end of the month..."

Tags: BDC

Blog

On-the-Point

Jim Ziegler
A Faster Horse

By Jim Ziegler
The Alpha Dawg wonders where the demand for driverless vehicles is coming from and has good news and bad news — but mostly bad news — for Fiat Chrysler and Cadillac dealers.

Strangers in the Mall

By Jim Ziegler
The Alpha Dawg makes new friends, stands up for Cadillac dealers, charts the rise of the independent lots, and reconsiders free trade agreements.

You Can’t Handle the Truth

By Jim Ziegler

Watch Out for Grizzlies

By Jim Ziegler

Opening Observations

Over the Curb