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February 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

March 2014 Sales Pro: Steven Bishop

By Kelsey Nolan

Steven Bishop was nearing the completion of a 24-year enlistment in the U.S. Air Force and looking for his next challenge. An active churchgoer, he was approached by a fellow parishioner who happened to be the mother of Roger Scholfield, owner of Scholfield Honda in Wichita, Kan. She said he had a “million-dollar smile” and suggested he try his hand at auto retail. He met Scholfield and, three days and a handshake later, he joined the team.

February 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

No More Excuses

By Greg Goebel

Your customers are not to blame for your lack of back-end profit on subprime deals. It’s time to stop overselling your inventory and start producing.

February 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Who Can Take Your Place?

By David Keller

Succession planning requires dealers to re-evaluate their business, their successors’ qualifications and their own past decisions — both good and bad.

February 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

New Customs

By David Gesualdo

Keeping up with technology requires us to constantly re-evaluate our needs and take no tool for granted.

February 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Year of the F&I Pro

By Kelly Wadlinger

Award-winning F&I pro challenges her colleagues to make 2014 their best year yet.

February 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Check Your DMS Bill

By Brian Reed

Billing errors for dealership management systems are more common than you may think. Technology expert suggests you check your monthly invoice for erroneous charges related to hardware and software, annual increases and click fees.

February 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

What’s New?

By Tariq Kamal

Learn more about the latest products and services to reach the automotive retail and finance marketplace.

February 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Give Yourself a Raise

By Don Reed

Dealers who meet or exceed industry benchmarks in fixed operations all subscribe to the same formula: The right people plus proper training equals record profits.

February 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Objection Handling for Dealers

By Tony Dupaquier

F&I pros are experts at handling objections, which might explain why many are resistant to change. Trainer explains how dealers and GMs can answer five common objections from the finance office.

February 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Independent Spirit

By Tariq Kamal

Joe McCloskey’s focus on customer service extends through sales, F&I and the service department.

February 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Ladies' Night: Marketing to Females

By Stephanie Forshee

Reaching highline customers has its challenges, but Lexus of Massapequa’s Rose Cruz has set her sights on an even more focused market: women.

Tags: Car Buyers, car dealer, Car Shopping, females, Lexus, Lexus of Massapequa, Marketing, Rose Cruz, Stephanie Forshee

February 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Online Marketing: On the Brink of Innovation

By Stephanie Forshee

Dealer.com’s Dave Winslow weighs in on upcoming developments that will change the way dealers connect with customers.

Tags: Advertising, Dave Winslow, Dealer.com, Digital Marketing, Facebook, Google, Mobile, Social Media, Yelp

February 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

February 2014 Sales Pro: Christine Clabaugh

Christine Clabaugh

By Kelsey Nolan

Christine Clabaugh of Honda Marysville is Auto Dealer Monthly's Sales Professional of the Month.

January 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Second-Half Comebacks: Ford, VW and Yelp

By Jim Ziegler

‘Da Man’ charts a course for come-from-behind victories against your competitors, the regulators and unscrupulous review sites.

January 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Training and Retraining: Increase Production

By Rick McCormick

How hungry are your sales and finance teams? Top trainer says the path to increased production is paved by leadership, accountability and proper compensation.

Tags: compensation, F&I, leadership, Rick McCormick, Training

January 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Special Finance: When the Wheels Fall Off

Aging inventory is a symptom of slow sales. Dealers who excel in special finance have learned to stock the type of units that customers and finance companies demand.

By Greg Goebel

Special finance guru weighs in to help troubleshoot your underperforming department.

Tags: benchmark, F&I, Greg Goebel, inventory, personnel, special finance

January 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

What’s Your ‘One Thing’?

By Courtney Cole

This year’s NADA convention gives each dealer the chance to ask what he or she needs to drive their business forward in the year ahead.

Tags: 2014, automotive, Cars, Courtney Cole, NADA

January 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

How to Increase Credit Leads

Many potential customers are hesitant to share highly personal information online, which may cause them to exit your credit application without completing it. Use the first page to capture their contact information and save the rest for the second page. 

By Ali Amirrezvani

Your F&I pros are experts at securing financing for all types of credit-challenged customers. Drive traffic and capture more leads by demonstrating that same expertise on your website.

Tags: Ali Amirrezvani, automotive, Dealer, DealerOn, F&I, Technology, website

January 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Write Your Legislator

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

A California case illustrates the value of the “cure” statutes that protect dealers in some states.

Tags: CARMAX, lawsuits, Legal, legislation

January 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Regulators' Expectations: The Onus of Compliance

By David Robertson

AFIP founder offers eight answers to the question every dealer in America is asking: What do regulators expect of me?

Tags: AFIP, auto dealer, automotive, car dealer, Compliance, David Robertson, Finance, regulators

December 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Sales Pro of the Year: The Meticulous Car Guy

By Stephanie Forshee

Michael Nekava tops a successful career as a nationally ranked Mercedes-Benz salesman with the magazine’s 2013 Sales Professional of the Year award.

Tags: 2013, Car Sales, Helms Bros., Michael Nekava, Sales Professional of the Year, sales profiles, Stephanie Forshee, Suzanne Cochrane

December 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

NADA in New Orleans: Let the Good Times Roll ... Again

By Jim Ziegler

The Alpha Dawg is ready to laissez les bon temps rouler as the NADA convention returns to New Orleans and welcomes an industry on the rise. Whether the vendors will welcome his presence is another matter.

Tags: Alpha Dawg, Chrysler, Data, Digital Air Strike, Fiat, Jim Ziegler, NADA, New Orleans, On the Point, Sergio Marchionne

December 2013, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

January 2014 Sales Pro: Chris Ashley

By Kelsey Nolan

Chris Ashley of Lithia Toyota of Abilene (Texas) is Auto Dealer Monthly's January 2014 Sales Professional of the Month.

Tags: Chris Ashley, Finance, Lithia Toyota of Abilene, Sales, Sales Professional of the Month

December 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

How to Choose the Right CRM

By Greg Wells

If your mission at this year’s NADA convention is to select a new CRM for your operation, start with this five-step guide.

December 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Lose That Number

By Harlene Doane

Dealers are grappling with a set of new regulations designed to limit calls and text messages delivered to mobile phones.

Tags: automotive, CAN-SPAM, Compliance, Finance, Harlene Doane, SMS, TCPA, Telephone Communications Protection Act

December 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Complying With Collections Laws

Some retail installment sales contracts slow the repossession process by requiring dealers to offer customers a chance to cure a default — even though that provision may not be required by state law.

By Tom Hudson

The magazine’s resident legal eagle ponders how laws governing debt collection apply to auto dealers.

Tags: auto dealer, car dealer, Dealership, Debt, Debt Collection, Finance, Legal, Tom Hudson

December 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Multichannel Marketing Boosts Sales at Auburn Volkswagen

By Kirsti Correa

Auburn Volkswagen’s multichannel marketing campaign has boosted sales by engaging customers at every stage of the buying process.

Tags: Advertising, Auburn Volkswagen, Campaign, car dealer, Dealership, Facebook, Marketing, Matthew Welch, multichannel marketing, Seattle, Social Media, Tacoma, Volkswagen

December 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Helter Skelter: An Industry on the Brink of Revolution

By Jim Ziegler

The Alpha Dawg returns to warn dealers that the industry is on the brink of a revolution, and he says OEMs, vendors and search engines are not on their side.

Tags: Alpha Dawg, Digital Air Strike, General Motors, Jim Ziegler, Shop-Click-Drive, Tesla

December 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Scam Artists: Embezzlement in Car Dealerships

By David Gesualdo

Enforcing accountability is the only sure way to prevent the embezzlement of dealership funds.

Tags: car dealer, David Gesualdo, Dealership, embezzlement, employee, Fraud, Stephanie Forshee

December 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Inside Job: Special Report on Embezzlement

Pictured above are some people accused of embezzling from car dealers in the past five years, including (1) Ashley Coffey and (2) Patricia K. Smith.

By Stephanie Forshee

Embezzlement leaves a black mark on the industry and can be devastating to the affected dealership. But there are only so many staffers with access to accounting records, and most embezzlers fit a known profile. So why does each case seem to take dealers by surprise?

Tags: Ashley K. Coffey, Baierl Acura, car dealership, Chris Marquet, civil lawsuit, criminal cases, embezzlement, Florida, forgery, Kathryn Stayton, Manon Cote, Marquet International, Patricia K. Smith, Ralph L. Schippers, Stephanie Forshee, unauthorized checks, wire fraud

November 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Avoid Panic Marketing

By Paul Potratz

Use this seven-step process to reduce your advertising expenses and end-of-month stress by focusing on the things that make your dealership unique.

Tags: Advertising, branding, car dealer, digital, Marketing, Paul Potratz, Sales

November 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Sales Professional of the Month: Greg Grimaldi

Greg Grimaldi

By Tariq Kamal

Greg Grimaldi of Carman Ford Lincoln in New Castle, Del., was named Sales Professional of the Month for December.

Tags: 2013, Auto Dealer Monthly, Carman Ford Lincoln, December, Greg Grimaldi, Sales Professional of the Month, Tariq Kamal

November 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Opting In: Text Marketing

Todd Buch, president of McCafferty Auto Group, is using a new mobile marketing channel to reel in potential customers who use their smartphones to access the dealer group’s websites.

By Stephanie Forshee

Consumers are gravitating toward businesses they can reach by smartphone, and that’s exactly where McCafferty Auto Group is looking to capture new business.

Tags: commercials, Dealership, Ford, Kia, McCafferty Auto Group, Stephanie Forshee, text marketing, Todd Buch, YouTube

November 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

10 Steps to Special Finance

By Greg Goebel

The special finance market is booming and the good times are expected to continue for at least the next 12 months. Special finance guru offers a 10-step guide to getting in the game.

November 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Value Trumps Price

By Paul Potratz

Neither you nor your customers should have to choose between price and value. Marketing ace says the solution lies in an effective demonstration of the vehicle and your dealership.

Tags: Advertising, automotive, Dealership, Marketing, Paul Potratz, Value

November 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Don't Use Fake Fronts, Hire a Compliance Officer

By Tom Hudson

Is your compliance program the real deal? The magazine’s legal wiz explains why nominating a compliance officer is only the first step.

Tags: automotive, compliance officer, F&I, Legal, Red Flags Rule, Tom Hudson

November 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Crack the (QR) Codes

By Jennifer Ryan

Reports of the demise of QR codes have been greatly exaggerated. Inventory expert explains how this simple technology can transform your customers’ retail experience.

Tags: Best Buy, inventory, Jennifer Ryan, Marketing, Peapod, QR codes, Sales, Walmart

November 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Beware the Future

By Jim Ziegler

While it’s unwise to get stuck in a bygone era, ‘Da Man’ reminds us all that exciting predictions for the future don’t always pan out.

Tags: CFPB, Generation Y, Jim Ziegler, On the Point, Richard Cordray

November 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Stik'in It to Fake Reviews

Stik.com Co-founder Jay Gierak

By Stephanie Forshee

Stik.com’s Jay Gierak sits down with Auto Dealer Monthly to discuss how his online review site builds authenticity for businesses and consumers by backing reviews with Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.

Tags: Dealer Review Sites, Facebook, Jay Gierak, LinkedIn, reviews, Social Media, Stephanie Forshee, Stik.com, Yelp

November 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Locked Out: Dealers Shunning Businesses

By Stephanie Forshee and Brittany-Marie Swanson

Car dealers tend to stick together when it comes to opposing any new business that poses a threat to the industry’s core foundation. But an FTC investigation has auto retailers questioning what the limits are when it comes to standing their ground.

Tags: antitrust, automotive, blogging, Brian Maas, California New Car Dealers Association, Carfax, collusion, Dana Frix, Elon Musk, FTC, Jim Ziegler, Larry Gamache, Legal, Melissa Cherry-Westman, monopoly, Scott Painter, Stephanie Forshee, Tesla Motors, TrueCar

October 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

LHPH Residual Affects Tax Depreciation

The U.S. Tax Court was the site of a major decision pertaining to a dispute between a leasing company and the IRS. The case was heard more than 40 years ago, but the standard used to determine the victor still applies today.

By Nathan King

Tax expert delves into the lease-here, pay-here business. He explains why closed-end leases do not guarantee tax depreciation.

October 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Deconstructing Bankruptcy

By J. Michael Issa and Kerry Krisher

When a sudden financial loss strikes an otherwise profitable dealership, filing for bankruptcy may be the best way to save the store.

Tags: auto finance, bankruptcy, embezzlement, litigation, loan, mortgage debt

October 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Accounting Test: Keeping Internet Departments Honest

Your website provider should be able to provide you with a monthly report that lists the number of hits your site has garnered, the sources of those hits, how long the average visitor spends on your site and what they are visiting on your page.

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

Profits from online sales can be deceiving. The magazine’s accounting wiz offers a six-step plan to determine whether your Internet department is giving your dealership a boost or dragging it down.

October 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Jump Right In

By Courtney Cole

Whether you’re entering a triathlon or adding a new department, sometimes the best approach is to put your head down and jump right in.

October 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

ADM Talks to Texas Cars Direct

By Tariq Kamal

Pete Bulban’s approach to automotive retail hinges on a no-secrets, no-frills approach to sales, finance and customer service.

October 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Fix Is In: Tips for Building a Service-Only Website

Dealers don’t need the brand recognition of a national chain to compete for local service business. A standalone website with a page for each service, including tire services, will drive more traffic to your service department.

By Ali Amirrezvani

Technology expert suggests building a service-only website to boost fixed-ops income.

Tags: Ali Amirrezvani, car dealer, fixed operations, Google, Technology, website

October 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Netting Online Shoppers

By Greg Wells

Expert says converting online credit applications to closed deals requires a solid process, an emphasis on transparency and cooperation from the finance department.

Tags: BDC, Car Shopping, credit application, Dealership, Greg Wells, Internet, Online

October 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Dealer Review Venues to Expand

By Stephanie Forshee

As consumer dependency on customer testimonials grows, automotive sites are exploring new ways to accommodate them.

Tags: automotive, Autotrader, Dealer Review Sites, DealerRater, Edmunds.com, KBB, Kelley Blue Book, Sandy Schwartz, star ratings, Stephanie Forshee

October 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Sales Professional of the Month October 2013

Dan Machu McLaughlin Motors (Moline, Ill.)

By Kirsti Correa

Dan Machu knows all too well the power of a referral. In fact, it’s how he got his start in the car business back in 2001.

Tags: building referrals, Customer Service, know the competition, post sale follow up, repeat and referral sales, sales associate profiles, Sales Professional of the Month, top sales associate

October 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Congress, CFPB Tussle Over Finance Legislation

By Jean Noonan

The CFPB has generated some stormy weather over its review of rate participation, but the clouds may finally be parting.

Tags: auto finance, congress the car business, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), Finance, pricing discrimination, race profiling, rate markup

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