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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

October 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Reviewing Yelp

By Stephanie Forshee

Yelp’s Morgan Remmers speaks with Auto Dealer Monthly about the company’s latest changes. She also offers tips on how dealers can best use the platform.

Tags: advertising on Yelp.com, auto advertising, Dealer Review Sites, online advertising, online reputation management, return on investment, social media marketing, using social media, Yelp, Yelp reviews

October 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Cal Worthington: Brand of Gold

The Television Bureau of Advertising described the late Cal Worthington as “probably the best-known car dealer pitchman in television history.” Some of his most memorable “Go See Cal” commercials show Worthington wrestling a grizzly bear, hanging upside down from an airplane, riding an elephant and standing upside down on his head.

By Stephanie Forshee

Every good business needs a voice. So whom do you want to be the face of your dealership? And how can you be sure the right message is being delivered?

Tags: Advertising, Cal Worthington, Celebrities, dealership profiles, Easterns Automotive Group, Marketing, television advertising, YouTube

October 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Go See Cal [Worthington]

By Gregory Arroyo

The editor pays homage to the legendary Cal Worthington and wonders if there will ever be another pitchman like him.

Tags: branding, Cal Worthington, commercials, dealership culture, fun selling, obituary

September 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Shifting into High Gear

By Greg Goebel

The 2013 Special Finance Benchmarks are in, and all indications point toward a strong market for dealers and increased competition among finance companies.

Tags: 2013 Special Finance Benchmarks, back-end profit, Dealer Advertising, front-end profit, lead conversion, special finance

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Boutique Dealership

By Kelly Wadlinger

The magazine’s resident boutique dealer breaks down the benefits and challenges of operating a nontraditional lot.

Tags: boutique style dealership, dealership marketing, dealership profiles, Fiat, Kelly Wadlinger, off site service, unusual dealership locations

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Sales Professional of the Month September 2013

Paul Adkins E-CarOne Carrollton, Texas

By Kirsti Correa

In March 2011, while searching for a car of his own, Paul Adkins ventured onto the lot of E-CarOne in Carrollton, Texas. A month later, that single visit turned into a job, and he hasn’t left since.

Tags: car sales stereotype, E-CarOne, follow up, lead management, Paul Adkins, repeat and referral sales, Sales Performance, Sales Professional of the Month, sales profiles

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

YouTube Sensation: Google Auto Talks Video

The YouTube page for Rosenthal Automotive in Reston, Va., has attracted a regular following of nearly 50,000 subscribers. The dealership’s staff constantly uploads new videos of test drives, reviews and more.

By Stephanie Forshee

Auto Dealer Monthly goes one-on-one with Lindsay Schultz, head of industry for automotive at Google, the parent company of YouTube.

Tags: Automotive Internet Media, commercials, Google, online advertising, product awareness, return on investment, YouTube

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

No Discount Available

By Nathan King

Accounting wiz explains why the LHPH contracts you sell to your related finance company don’t qualify for the same deduction you take on BHPH paper.

Tags: Auto Leases, bhph, Deficit Reduction Act, Discount, factoring, Finance, IRS, Leasing, LHPH, UCC in section 2A

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Top 10 Website Fixers

By Ali Amirrezvani

Is your website a nice place to visit? Expert offers a 10-point checklist you can use to supercharge your site and capture more leads.

Tags: automotive SEO, call to action, Dealer Websites, Google, google analytics, google ranking, lead management, mobile website optimization, online marketing, search engine optimization, Web Tools, website, website marketing best practices, website optimization, website tracking

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

How to Keep Associates Motivated After the Training Is Over

By Greg Wells

Expert offers three keys for coaching staff to follow a new process after the trainer leaves.

Tags: continuing education, Dealerships, sales incentives ideas, sales team motivation, Training

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

It’s a Win-Win-Win

By Greg Goebel

Special finance guru breaks down his process for desking a deal that works for you, your customer and the finance company. He also delves into lender relations and more.

Tags: approval-to-book ratio, Deal Structuring, Dealertrack, finance company, regional finance specialist, rehashing the deal, RouteOne, special finance win win

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

‘This Lawyer Walks Into the F&I Office …’

By Tom Hudson

The magazine’s legal expert found several common mistakes in the paperwork for his new car, each of which could cause trouble for the dealer.

Tags: common paperwork problems, conspicuous notices, F&I, FAA, Federal Arbitration Act, Federal Trade Commission, FTC, implied warranty, UCC, used car notice, Used Car Rule

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