November 26, 2013
Need to Know

toyota_fuel_cell_car22 Fuel Cell Cars: Not Going Away Anytime Soon

Toy­ota made a deci­sion — the fuel-cell car is going to be a big part of our future,” John Han­son, a Toy­ota spokesman, said. “That’s the direc­tion we’re going, big time.”

Find out more about Toyota’s fuel cell opti­mism, and other automak­ers as well. [More]

New York Times
gm_logo22 GM Enters 2014 Free of Government Control

After one of the largest bank­rupt­cies in U.S. his­tory, Gen­eral Motors Co. plans to close the books on gov­ern­ment own­er­ship and may well begin offer­ing a dividend.

Find out more about gov­ern­ment plans to sell its remain­ing shares of GM. [More]

Wall Street Journal

VIDEO: Used Truck Market Stable for 2 Years

Penske is see­ing inven­tory reduc­tions of up to 30% in light and medium duty vehi­cles com­pared to pre­vi­ous years.

VIDEO: Goodwill (and Sales) for the Holidays!
  Creating Goodwill Through Community Outreach

The hol­i­day sea­son is upon us, and it’s time for deal­ers to plan their end-of-year strate­gies. Com­mu­nity out­reach pro­grams are often a good place to start.

VIDEO: Think Tank Tuesday
  Are You Ready For Black Friday?

The hol­i­days are quickly approach­ing, do you have a plan in place to make your deal­er­ship a stop on cus­tomers shop­ping lists?

Dealer Pain Points

Service-Department-Wide-Shot-1024x576 Mismanaging Workflow Hurts Bottom Line

To the aver­age con­sumer, one ser­vice tech is the same as another. Savvy ser­vice man­agers know bet­ter and uti­lize per­son­nel to pro­duc­tively man­age a work­flow that requires dif­fer­ent tal­ent and skill levels.

The chal­lenge for ser­vice man­agers is sim­i­lar to one fac­ing coaches of sports teams: putting the right play­ers on the field and in the right posi­tions to succeed.

Click here to learn more.

Tech-working-on-car-1024x576 Used Car Manager Headache: Waiting for Reconditioning

Why do some deal­er­ships ignore their deal­ers’ invest­ments? Trade-ins sit and sit, wait­ing to be reconditioned.

The used-car man­ager, who needs those vehi­cles ready for retail because he’s des­per­ate for inven­tory, just can’t seem to get anyone’s attention.

What’s the solution?

You’ll find a few when you watch this video.

Stolen Service Profits Stolen Service Profits

The famed bank rob­ber Willie Sut­ton said he robbed banks because that’s where the money is.

If he were going after deal­er­ship prof­itabil­ity, his rich­est tar­get would be your ser­vice department.

It’s a stealth attack.

Click here to learn more.

Doing It Right  
Do or Do Not. There is No Try.
4 Rules for Responding to Angry Customers

In busi­ness, you are what you are per­ceived to be.  Your cus­tomers not only have their own opin­ions of your busi­ness, but they can also influ­ence other poten­tial cus­tomers. How you actu­ally run your busi­ness is cer­tainly impor­tant. Just as impor­tant, how­ever, is how cus­tomers that have never stepped foot in your busi­ness per­ceive you.

Before they ever step foot into your busi­ness, many con­sumers will research it online. Every sin­gle web­site that con­tains feed­back from other con­sumers about your busi­ness will help shape their per­cep­tion. Every review they read; Every com­ment on your Face­book page; What peo­ple are say­ing about you on Twit­ter; All of these will con­tribute to form a busi­ness pro­file for these new customers.

Most busi­nesses nowa­days under­stand the impor­tance of mon­i­tor­ing com­ments and reviews for prob­lems. Some will out­source this mon­i­tor­ing. Some will do it them­selves. Regard­less of who does it, if it’s not done prop­erly, you can do more dam­age than if you had done nothing.

Most of these upset cus­tomers can be dif­fused if the sit­u­a­tion is han­dled prop­erly. And a proper and appro­pri­ate han­dling will also show poten­tial cus­tomers that you care and are pay­ing attention.

Sara Calla­han, Carter­West PR pro­vides a few sim­ple guide­lines that you should take to effec­tively com­mu­ni­cate with, and dif­fuse, angry cus­tomers online.

Behind the Numbers  

Japan­ese car­mak­ers’ dom­i­na­tion over car reli­a­bil­ity rat­ings is start­ing to show cracks, accord­ing to Con­sumer Reports’ annual reli­a­bil­ity survey.

Lexus, Toy­ota, and Acura topped the list, but Audi moved up to No. 4; Volvo and GMC also moved into the top 10.

Ford and Lin­coln still were way down on the list, dri­ven much by prob­lems with MyTouch info­tain­ment system.

It was a very good report for Sub­aru, which saw its 2014 Forester end up as No. 1 on the vehi­cle list.

Like it or not, Con­sumer Reports does have its influ­ence on new vehi­cle sales and brand image.

Check out more details on how the 2013 Annual Auto Sur­vey turned out.

Build a Better Dealership

bad-credit-scoreWhy Should You Care About Five Subprime Auto Loan Predictions?

Just as pay­day lend­ing evolved to bet­ter meet the needs of the under­banked, so will auto lend­ing change to meet the needs of non-prime customers.

That indus­try is large, it’s grow­ing, it’s incred­i­bly frag­mented, it’s inef­fi­cient, it’s lop­sided (the house mostly wins), and it’s one of the largest yet worst con­sumer finan­cial experiences.

New tech­nol­ogy, new busi­ness mod­els and new reg­u­la­tion rep­re­sent an enor­mous oppor­tu­nity for incum­bents and entre­pre­neur­ial thinkers to cre­ate a more effi­cient and more trans­par­ent marketplace.

Here’s what we could see in five years…

Smart Thinking - Pass It On  

There are 159 work­shop ses­sions being offered at the con­ven­tion this year! Work­shops are led by NADA Uni­ver­sity approved experts and guar­an­tee that you will go back to your deal­er­ship with inno­v­a­tive ideas and new prac­tices. Here are sam­ples that may inter­est you:

1. Ladies and Gen­tle­men: Meet Your Customer

Not all car shop­pers are cre­ated equal! The Auto­Trader pre­sen­ter will iden­tify 6 dif­fer­ent types of car shop­pers and demon­strate how deal­ers who deliver tai­lored shop­ping expe­ri­ences – com­bined with appro­pri­ate trig­gers, online mer­chan­dis­ing, and com­mu­ni­ca­tion – can cre­ate game-changing shop­per engage­ment, ulti­mately lead­ing to sales.

Alan Smith,, Atlanta, GA

2. Online Reviews Drive Sales and Service

You need an online rep­u­ta­tion that enhances the public’s opin­ion of your deal­er­ship and its employ­ees, which in turn will drive more sales. Deal­ers cap­i­tal­iz­ing on their rep­u­ta­tion have put a strong offense in place when it comes to online reviews and instilled a review-based cul­ture across sales and ser­vice depart­ments. Rely­ing on actual deal­er­ship exam­ples and real-life expe­ri­ences, the Deal­er­Rater pre­sen­ter will high­light var­i­ous dealer tech­niques, tools, and inte­grated mar­ket­ing approaches for ensur­ing rep­u­ta­tion ROI for both your deal­er­ship and employees.

Heather MacK­in­non, Deal­er­Rater, Waltham, MA
Jeff King, Bozard Ford Lin­coln, St. Augus­tine, FL

Dealer Resources 
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