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March 2017, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Tesla vs. Franchise: Weighing the Pros and Cons

By Todd Bryant

Todd Bryant ponders the implications of Tesla’s direct-sales model for car buyers and their communities, both of which have benefited from the franchise model.

Tags: Electric Vehicles, Franchise Laws, Franchised Dealerships, Tesla Motors

October 2016, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

How to Get Bonded With Bad Credit

Photo: Kevin Cabral

By Todd Bryant

Expert offers a six-point checklist for dealers who bring past credit challenges to the surety bond application process.

Tags: Accounting, Credit, Finance

May 2016, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

The Ratings Giant

Allen Turner’s Pensacola, Fla. Hyundai dealership beat out 800 competitors nationwide to earn DealerRater’s 2016 Dealer of the Year honors.  Photos by Caleb Pierce

By Tariq Kamal

Allen Turner credits his Hyundai store's 2016 Dealer of the Year award to a customer-first sales and service philosophy that has generated more than 1,000 positive reviews on DealerRater.

Tags: Dealer of the Year, Dealers, Hyundai

October 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Merchants Auto Is Winning

Photo: Robin David

By Greg Wells

General Manager Adam Secore’s focus on people, process and product has helped Merchants Auto minimize turnover and increase sales by 89% in four years.

Tags: Dealers, hiring, sales, Turnover

January 2015, Auto Dealer Today - Cover Story

Lead Generator or Time Waster?

Members of the Millennial generation are more likely to be found on Twitter than LinkedIn, and if they visit your website, they will probably be using a mobile device. 

By Rich Moore

Early experiments with social media have left many dealers wondering whether they should continue to invest time and money in the platform and how to quantify the return on investment.

Tags: Internet Leads, Online Marketing, social media marketing

October 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Apples and Pomegranates

By Tom Hudson

Consumers will suffer from the CFPB’s use of the word ‘loan’ in place of ‘auto finance contracts.’

October 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

It’s Monday, But That’s OK

By G.P. Anderson

F&I pros can escape the weekly grind by focusing on authenticity and turning car buyers into loyal customers and dealer advocates.

October 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Saving F&I

Combining the efforts of sales and F&I could negatively affect customers by narrowing their financing options. F&I professionals must be trained to demonstrate the value of all types of financing, including dealer-arranged financing. 

By Ron Reahard

Before you eliminate your F&I department, bring it back to life by clearly delineating its purpose and establishing its value to your customers.

October 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

6 Touchpoints for Service Customers

Customers are more likely to order needed repairs and return for future service when dealers make constant, transparent and friendly communication a priority. 

By Paul Potratz

Dealers are earning loyal service customers by focusing on providing a positive experience in every phase of the transaction.

October 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Progressive Dealers

Steve Song took over as president of FH Dailey Chevrolet in San Leandro, Calif., in 2011. Song believes General Motors is invested in creating opportunities for minority members in a changing industry. 

By Stephanie Forshee

Minority dealers have increased their numbers, but many say the industry is still lacking in terms of representing its customer base.

September 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Stop Punishing Your Staff!

Videos are most effective as part of a training curriculum that adds context to the lessons presented.

By Harlene Doane

Sentencing your sales staff to an afternoon in front of the TV or computer is no way to motivate them.

Tags: Harlene Doane, Sales Training, special finance

September 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Stop the Presses!

Dealers who excel in SF know that the documentation customers use to prove residence and income is becoming increasingly easy to fake, prolonging the verification process. 

By Greg Goebel

A recent front-page article spins the facts to make the auto finance industry and dealers look bad.

Tags: Greg Goebel, special finance

September 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

5 Ways to Redefine the Customer Experience

At John Elway’s Crown Toyota in Ontario, Calif., a sales manager bar takes the place of the menacing, raised sales towers that still loom over many showrooms. 

By Brent Tally

Facilities expert shares five design trends that are driving sales and service at dealerships nationwide.

Tags: customer satisfaction, Customer Service, internet sales, Sales Tactics

August 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Every Avalanche Starts With a Snowflake

Properly presented and described, biweekly payment programs can be an asset to the F&I office and provide benefits to car buyers throughout the life of their loans. 

By Jim Ganther

The FTC’s probe of biweekly payment programs was limited in scope and consequence, but it could be a harbinger of further concerns over F&I products and dealer markup.

Tags: compliance, Jim Ganther

March 2014, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

Data Games

By David Gesualdo

NADA 2014 brought the battles and brinksmanship over big data into sharp focus.

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

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 - 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

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

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

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 - 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

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 - 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

September 2012, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

Express Auto Emphasizes the R in CRM

At Express Auto, a five-store BHPH operation based in Kalamazoo, Mich., follow-up is the most important aspect of CRM. Management wants to cultivate relationships with all customers who submit leads because many of them are weeks or months away from buying.

By Kimberly Long

Customer relationship management can be particularly challenging for buy here pay here dealers. Express Auto has tackled this challenge by focusing on building relationships with its customers through mutual trust and respect.

Tags: BDC, bhph, CRM, CSI, Customer Experience, Customer Relations, customer satisfaction, data mining, demographics, Email Marketing, follow up, Love It or Return It, repeat and referral sales, reputation management, text marketing

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