On-the-Point

The Future Ain't What It's Cracked Up to Be

Photo courtesy Universal Pictures

April 6, 2017

The Alpha Dawg sets the record straight on Tesla’s troubled lineup, GM’s European misadventures, and Sergio Marchionne’s endless search for a suitable trading partner.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Thursday, April 6, 2017 2:49 PM | » Comments(1)

Convention and Super Bowl Hangovers

March 7, 2017

The Alpha Dawg has a lot of ground to cover after a memorable trip to New Orleans, a soul-crushing loss to the Patriots, and more factory mischief than one man can take.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Tuesday, March 7, 2017 3:25 PM | » Comments(3)

Welcome to Saturation Nation

‘Da Man’ has a message for the manufacturers flooding the market with inventory and the dealers who have to sell it off.

After several years of strong sales, and despite strong economic indicators, dealers will have to fight for every sale until the market desaturates. Photo by Tom Hilton

March 1, 2017

‘Da Man’ has a message for the manufacturers flooding the market with inventory and the dealers who have to sell it off.

Tags: incentives, new-vehicle sales

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Wednesday, March 1, 2017 10:50 AM | » Comments(0)

Turn Out the Lights, the Party's Over

February 9, 2017

The Alpha Dawg says goodbye to recordbreaking sales, uncovers the truth behind Trump vs. Ford, seeks justice for criminals in the executive ranks, and throws ‘The Book’ at Cadillac.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Thursday, February 9, 2017 3:13 PM | » Comments(1)

The Leads Are Weak

Did you ever try to cancel a lead provider for poor performance and, all of a sudden, their leads started closing at a crazy percentage? 'Da Man' reveals the ugly truth about the lead provider business.

Photo courtesy New Line Cinema

January 24, 2017

Did you ever try to cancel a lead provider for poor performance and, all of a sudden, their leads started closing at a crazy percentage? 'Da Man' reveals the ugly truth about the lead provider business.

Tags: Third-party leads, lead generation

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Tuesday, January 24, 2017 5:06 PM | » Comments(2)

It's a Nerd Meltdown

January 6, 2017

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.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Friday, January 6, 2017 2:50 PM | » Comments(0)

There’s a Vacancy in Mom’s Basement

December 16, 2016

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.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Friday, December 16, 2016 3:19 PM | » Comments(0)

Objects in the Rearview Mirror

Photo by EGGHEAD06

November 8, 2016

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.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Tuesday, November 8, 2016 2:43 PM | » Comments(9)

The Big Talent Drain

October 10, 2016

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.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Monday, October 10, 2016 3:15 PM | » Comments(1)

A Faster Horse

Courtesy Ford Motor Co. 

September 7, 2016

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.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Wednesday, September 7, 2016 4:23 PM | » Comments(0)

Strangers in the Mall

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

August 2, 2016

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

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Tuesday, August 2, 2016 3:16 PM | » Comments(1)

You Can’t Handle the Truth

The Alpha Dawg says dealers need to be smarter to compete through the next downcycle, and manufacturers need to stop making boneheaded moves if they hope to stay in business at all.

Courtesy Columbia Pictures

July 11, 2016

The Alpha Dawg says dealers need to be smarter to compete through the next downcycle, and manufacturers need to stop making boneheaded moves if they hope to stay in business at all.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Monday, July 11, 2016 4:22 PM | » Comments(3)

Watch Out for Grizzlies

The Alpha Dawg weighs in on the dangers of swimming upstream, competing with OEMs for sales, Cadillac’s date with oblivion, and whether VW’s criminal conspirators deserve mercy from the courts.

June 8, 2016

Manufacturer hubris is fueling ongoing attempts to sell vehicles online, force underperforming vendors on dealers and reposition their brands.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Wednesday, June 8, 2016 3:46 PM | » Comments(1)

Alpha Dawg Down

A rigorous travel schedule, 108-month financing and more mischief at the manufacturer level can’t stop the Alpha Dawg, but a bout with pneumonia was enough to slow him down.

May 3, 2016

A rigorous travel schedule, 108-month financing and more mischief at the manufacturer level can’t stop the Alpha Dawg, but a bout with pneumonia was enough to slow him down.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Tuesday, May 3, 2016 3:07 PM | » Comments(0)

We’re Selling Cars Like Candy Bars

Sales are off the charts and the Alpha Dawg is on the road. Learn why Donald Trump is targeting Ford, how the Scion experiment failed and why even third-party lead providers deserve a second chance at love.

Photo: Bodo

April 18, 2016

Sales are off the charts and the Alpha Dawg is on the road. Learn why Donald Trump is targeting Ford, how the Scion experiment failed and why even third-party lead providers deserve a second chance at love.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Monday, April 18, 2016 12:24 PM | » Comments(0)

The Empire Strikes Back

The Alpha Dawg smells revolution in the air as tensions between Nissan and its U.S. dealer network approach the boiling point.

March 17, 2016

The Alpha Dawg smells revolution in the air as tensions between Nissan and its U.S. dealer network approach the boiling point.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Thursday, March 17, 2016 4:15 PM | » Comments(18)

Flock of Turkeys

March 2, 2016

The Alpha Dawg finds himself surrounded by birdbrained regulators, factory executives and techno geeks promoting shaky theories and risky inventions.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Wednesday, March 2, 2016 3:50 PM | » Comments(0)

Dawg in the Cat Box

Dealers, manufacturers and the Zieglers are learning to face their fears in a market rocked by recalls and initial quality concerns.

December 4, 2015

Dealers, manufacturers and the Zieglers are learning to face their fears in a market rocked by recalls and initial quality concerns.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Friday, December 4, 2015 9:27 AM | » Comments(0)

Got Your Fahrvergnügen Right Here

The Alpha Dawg has some choice words for Volkswagen and an in-depth analysis of recent news from Cox, Subaru and Hyundai.

November 10, 2015

The Alpha Dawg has some choice words for Volkswagen and an in-depth analysis of recent news from Cox, Subaru and Hyundai.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Tuesday, November 10, 2015 9:04 AM | » Comments(2)

Elvis Is Dead and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself

The Alpha Dawg has a bad feeling about globalization, inflated sales reports and the move toward a fully online sales process.

October 7, 2015

The Alpha Dawg has a bad feeling about globalization, inflated sales reports and the move toward a fully online sales process.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Wednesday, October 7, 2015 2:21 PM | » Comments(2)

Undercover Stealth Car Guy

The Alpha Dawg dons the guise of an average American consumer to buy a new vehicle.

September 1, 2015

The Alpha Dawg dons the guise of an average American consumer to buy a new vehicle.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Tuesday, September 1, 2015 8:40 AM | » Comments(0)

Gizmos and Gadgets and Apps! Oh, My!

A close call pits the Alpha Dawg against distracted driving, in-vehicle technology, deceptive ads and local repair shops. 

August 5, 2015

A close call pits the Alpha Dawg against distracted driving, in-vehicle technology, deceptive ads and local repair shops.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Wednesday, August 5, 2015 3:26 PM | » Comments(0)

That Ain't Gonna Happen

The Alpha Dawg puts the brakes on driverless cars, technology overkill and Nissan’s incentive program. 

July 2, 2015

The Alpha Dawg puts the brakes on driverless cars, technology overkill and Nissan’s incentive program.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Thursday, July 2, 2015 3:08 PM | » Comments(2)

Did You Bump Your Head?

The Alpha Dawg weighs in on FCA's plans to squeeze dealers' profits, Millennial marketing madness and Sen. Elizabeth Warren's auto finance revolution. 

June 1, 2015

The Alpha Dawg weighs in on FCA's plans to squeeze dealers' profits, Millennial marketing madness and Sen. Elizabeth Warren's auto finance revolution.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Monday, June 1, 2015 2:15 PM | » Comments(8)

The Vast Research Conspiracy

The Alpha Dawg takes the latest research with a grain of salt and reminds dealers to trust their instincts and never sacrifice F&I.

May 5, 2015

The Alpha Dawg takes the latest research with a grain of salt and reminds dealers to trust their instincts and never sacrifice F&I.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Tuesday, May 5, 2015 4:41 PM | » Comments(7)

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