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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

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

How to Add a New Department

By David Keller

Diversifying your operation can bring new customers, new revenue — and new accounting concerns. The magazine’s resident number cruncher asks the tough questions.

Tags: accounting concerns, advertising costs, bhph, CASH FLOW, expanding your dealership, future space requirements, Marketing, new customers, New Department, new revenue, personnel, special finance

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Marketing Maintenance

By Paul Potratz

The magazine’s marketing guru lays out a plan for improving your service department’s six customer touchpoints. If followed, the strategy can turn the department into a marketing machine.

Tags: check in process, ClearMechanic, CRM, Customer Loyalty, Customer Service, customer touch points, dealership vs local mechanic, enhance loyalty, Greeting customers, improving your service department, J.D. Power and Associates, post-service follow-up, selling service, Service Department

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

At Your Service

By Gregory Arroyo

The editor delves into two studies that paint a bleak future for dealership service departments and a third that says vehicle owners are there for the taking.

Tags: AAA, aamco, aftermarket repair chains, AutoMD, AutoMD.com, consumer confidence, dealership marketing, Dealership Service Profits, DMEautomotive, do-it-yourself service, Goodyear, independent service providers, jiffy lube, online videos maintenance tips, pep boys, service provider loyalty, YouTube

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Spotting a Fake Online Review

By Stephanie Forshee

Lawsuits filed by Edmunds and Yelp against firms posting fake reviews serve as another reminder of the high-priced battle review sites are waging to maintain their influence on consumers.

Tags: BuyYelpReview.com, Cars.com, Customer Reviews, DealerRater, Edmunds, fraudulent reviews, Gartner Research, Humankind Design Ltd., lawsuits, reputation management, trademark infringement, WayBack Machine, Yelp reviews

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Serving Up Sales

By Stephanie Forshee

Terry Longmore was focused on service-department sales long before it became fashionable. That dedication is paying off for Beasley Ford Lincoln, where Longmore’s department is capturing 3 to 5 percent of his store’s sales leads from customers waiting in the service lounge.

Tags: Closing Ratios, Creative Selling, Customer Loyalty, Customer Satisfaction, data mining, dealership profiles, educational-based questions, JD Power and Associates, selling cars to service customers, selling with mobile devices, TEGA Technologies’ Service Turn

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Back on the Road

By Tariq Kamal

Meet four dealers who are closing deals and driving loyalty by providing a much-needed service to customers who have filed for bankruptcy.

Tags: bankruptcy, Consumer Portfolio Services (CPS), financing bankruptcy customers, First Investors, OnlineBKManager, Prestige Financial, rebuilding credit, repeat customers or referrals, special finance

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Clock is Ticking

By Greg Goebel

Special finance guru offers a time-proven strategy for converting all types of special finance leads.

Tags: a phone call and a call guide., a plan, adverse action letter, Credit Interview, CRM, Customer Interview, establish rapport, handling subprime credit internet leads, Internet Leads, special finance

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Keeping The Lights On

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Sales Professional of the Month: Mike Smith

By Kristi Correa

In his 41st year working at Jim Bass Cars & Trucks in San Angelo, Texas, Mike Smith has sold nearly 140 units in the first half of 2013.

Tags: benefit of the customer, Customer Loyalty, Customer Satisfaction, follow up, repeat and referral sales, Sales, salesman incentives ideas, top sales producer

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Comments Are King

By Steve Hurn

Asking every customer to submit an online review is the best way to encourage positive reviews, head off negative reviews and get car buyers talking about your brand.

Tags: commenting platform for genuine reviews, customer referrals, Customer Reviews, Customer Satisfaction, facebook marketing, Google, Kia, Marketing, Online, Online cars study, public comment, reviews, social engagement platform, twitter, web marketing

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

5 Ways To Maximize BDC Leads

Greg Wells is president of AllCall Automotive Contact Center

By Greg Wells

Is your website designed with BDC leads in mind? Expert lists the five features that produce the most appointments.

Tags: BDC, business development center, credit application, Customer Service, electronic leads, Internet, live chat

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Thomas B. Hudson is a partner in the law firm of Hudson Cook LLP.

By Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.

Subprime loan programs with automatic interest-rate reductions are great for both dealers and their customers, but could run afoul of TILA standards.

Tags: APR, CFPB, credit reports, Good Repayment Incentive Program, GRIP, Lending, Subprime, subprime lending, TILA, Truth in Lending Act, UDAP

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Counting On Service

By David Keller, CPA, CFE

An efficient, profitable parts and service operation can generate steady revenue and keep customers coming back.

Tags: Customer Satisfaction, customers, Parts and Service, Revenue, Service Department

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Point And Shoot

Paul Potratz is COO of Potratz Advertising

By Paul Potratz

Marketing expert explains how selling a car is like selling a camera: You have to create brand awareness before trying to sell a price.

Tags: Car Shopping, Marketing, Pricing, sales cycle, sales funnel, Sales Process, Shopper Behavior

August 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

What Generation Gap?

By Gregory Arroyo

What I think does make Gen Y different is that they lived through one of the worst economic crises since the Great Depression. And if you had family that lived through the ’30s, you know what that did to their psyche.

Tags: Consumer Buying Habits, effects of the recession, Generation X, Generation Y, Young buyers

July 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Sales Professional of the Month: Michael Nekava

Michael Nekava, Helms Bros. Inc. Bayside, N.Y.

By Kirsti Correa

Michael Nekava is known on the show floor of the Bayside, N.Y.- based operation as “Mikey Mercedes".

Tags: client relations, creating relationships, Customer Service, repeat and referral sales, top sales associate, top sales producer, Vehicle Sales

July 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

5 Keys To Better Callbacks

By Kelly Wadlinger

The magazine's F&I pro lays out a five-step primer to getting stronger callbacks from finance sources.

Tags: Auto Lending, automatic allowances, bankruptcies, creating relationships, Credit Bureaus, credit reports, Equifax, Experian, F&I , F&I manager, financing bankruptcy customers, flat program, Relationship lending, special finance, TransUnion

July 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

The Diesel-Powered Dealer

By Tariq Kamal

Auburn (Wash.) Volkswagen's Matthew Welch is fiercely loyal to his customers, his staff and the VW brand. He's also a tireless advocate of diesel powerplants.

Tags: automotive SEO, Dealer Websites, diesel an alternative to hybrid, Diesel Powered, Digital Marketing, EPA, Fuel Economy, product penetration, sales incentive ideas, Subprime Financing, United Car Care inc., Volkswagen, Volkswagen Credit

July 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Check The Stubs

Greg Goebel is the CEO of Used Car University LLC. GoebelG@AutoDealerMonthly.com

By Greg Goebel

Fraudulent paystubs are a serious threat to your dealership and the trust you’ve built with your finance companies.

Tags: bank fraud, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Credit, Credit Applications, Federal Trade Commission, Finance, finance company, Fraud, special finance, testimonials

July 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Failure To Sign

Thomas B. Hudson is a partner in the law firm of Hudson Cook LLP.  THudson@AutoDealerMonthly.com

By Thomas B. Hudson

A Georgia dealer dodged a legal bullet after management failed to sign a document, but there was no escaping the cost of defending the matter in court.

Tags: arbitration agreements, documentation, implied warranty, Lawsuit, legally binding, Warranty, you review your closing processes and training mat

July 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Putting Up A Fight

By Stephanie Forshee

The industry continues to emerge from the Great Recession, but dealer-protection bills approved in New Hampshire and Colorado prove that not everything is getting back to normal.

Tags: auto dealer, dealer bill of rights, dealer protection, disenfranchisement, economic downturn, Essential Brand Elements (EBE), facility upgrades, lawsuits, lobbying, NADA, OEM, two-tier pricing

July 2013, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

3 Sales-Killing Words

By Michael Cassinelli

F&I expert identifies three words producers need to avoid at all costs when working with customers. Find out what they are and what words you should use instead.

Tags: auto finance, Customer Service, extended warranties, F&I , F&I pricing, F&I products, Finance, GAP, Pricing, Sales, Sales Process, sales skills, Service Contracts, Word Tracks

Blog

On-the-Point

Jim Ziegler
It's a Nerd Meltdown

By Jim Ziegler
The Alpha Dawg coaches sales managers through a CRM crash, shares advice for desking deals the old-fashioned way, and explains why AutoNation’s rumored pay plan revision and GM’s thrice-delayed Project Pinnacle are doomed to fail.

There’s a Vacancy in Mom’s Basement

By Jim Ziegler
The Alpha Dawg discovers the cure for Millennial Madness and goes deep on certified pre-owned leasing, the case against Sage Auto Group, and the end of the big publics’ shopping spree.

Objects in the Rearview Mirror

By Jim Ziegler

The Big Talent Drain

By Jim Ziegler

Opening Observations

Over the Curb