On-the-Point

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(16)

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)

Living Under the Volcano

The Alpha Dawg steps into a familiar role as he predicts death and destruction for inflated sales figures and underperforming third-party lead providers.

April 3, 2015

The Alpha Dawg steps into a familiar role as he predicts death and destruction for inflated sales figures and underperforming third-party lead providers.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Friday, April 3, 2015 3:30 PM | » Comments(2)

The Convention and the Big Game

Dealers and industry executives flocked to the Moscone Center in San Francisco for the 2015 NADA convention.

March 2, 2015

The Alpha Dawg returns from the NADA convention with hope for the future and serious doubts about play calls by factory execs and the coaches of the Seattle Seahawks.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Monday, March 2, 2015 3:30 PM | » Comments(1)

Giving Up The Ghost Pepper

Photo via IStockPhoto.com

February 4, 2015

The Alpha Dawg has hot sauce, Cadillac’s identity crisis and Ford’s brand equity on his mind as he prepares for another profitable — and competitive — year in the auto industry.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Wednesday, February 4, 2015 11:51 AM | » Comments(0)

The Time of Our Lives

Photo:istockphoto.com/cworthy

January 14, 2015

The Alpha Dawg survives a shipborne illness only to confront a series of new challenges brought by incompetence at the highest levels.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Wednesday, January 14, 2015 3:54 PM | » Comments(0)

BBQ Platter and a Bud Light

January 12, 2015

The Alpha Dawg finds solace against the growing tide of recalls, quality issues and exploding air bags.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Monday, January 12, 2015 5:16 PM | » Comments(1)

The Barbershop Mirror

A properly run special finance department helps dealers sell more cars and help customers repair their credit, but still-common bad practices could derail subprime lending if dealers don’t act to stop them.

November 17, 2014

Pondering the concept of infinity, the Alpha Dawg finds a never-ending cycle of outside agitations and self-inflicted wounds that continue to cast dealers in a bad light.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Monday, November 17, 2014 11:48 AM | » Comments(1)

Every Day I’m Shufflin’

The Alpha Dawg’s dance card is filled with industry events, high-octane launches, failed crash tests and more nonsense at the OEM level.

During the 2012 presidential election, Republican nominee Mitt Romney took Chrysler to task for reports the company planned to move Jeep production overseas. The OEM denied the story at the time but announced plans to build at least one Jeep model in China less than two years later. 

October 7, 2014

The Alpha Dawg’s dance card is filled with industry events, high-octane launches, failed crash tests and more nonsense at the OEM level.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Tuesday, October 7, 2014 11:41 AM | » Comments(0)

Blurred Reality

The ongoing recall saga has left dealers in a world of confusion, and new threats related to unrepaired units may be larger than they appear.

Many dealers operating in New York State already have procedures in place for identifying used units with open recalls. The author notes that the constant stream of recalls in 2014 would test any dealer’s system. 

August 28, 2014

The ongoing recall saga has left dealers in a world of confusion, and new threats related to unrepaired units may be larger than they appear.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Thursday, August 28, 2014 11:48 AM | » Comments(0)

The Car Business According to Bob Dylan

The industry is riding high, changing rapidly and generating new opportunities for dealers — and their detractors.

Look around your showroom. Do you see any angry people? Despite what some vendors would like the public to believe, there is nothing inherently adversarial about the car-buying process.

July 30, 2014

The industry is riding high, changing rapidly and generating new opportunities for dealers — and their detractors.

Author: Jim Ziegler | Posted @ Wednesday, July 30, 2014 9:54 AM | » Comments(2)

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