December 20, 2013
Top News Rewind

auto-dealership The Week’s Top Automotive News — Dec. 20, 2013

Sales­peo­ple Using Tablets Gain High­est Cus­tomer Satisfaction

  • Cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion high­est when auto sales­per­son is using tablet
  • Helps main­tain con­sis­tency in the sales process & pro­vide information

Auto Loan Debt is Now at Record Levels

  • Car buy­ers rack­ing up auto loan debt to finance vehi­cle purchases
  • Aver­age auto loan bal­ance will about $18K per bor­rower in 2014
  • Con­sumer have fewer finan­cial options so going to straight loans

Cold Weather Cre­ates High Demand for SUVs, Trucks

  • SUVs and trucks are scarce in cold areas
  • Boston & Chicago have high demand for SUVs

U.S. Eco­nomic Growth to be Solid in 2014

  • U.S. Econ­omy poised for strong job growth in 2014
  • Econ­omy pro­jected to increase 3% next year

NHTSA Head Leav­ing Over Ques­tion­able Rule Mak­ing & Tesla Fires

  • Top guy Strick­land is resign­ing over unre­solved issues
  • Many open cases; issues never seem to get resolved

Be the Smartest Per­son in the Room: get more in-depth (but still fast) run­down of the above-mentioned sto­ries RIGHT HERE.


VIDEO: The Best Defense Against 'Stealership'

Inde­pen­dent repair facil­i­ties are work­ing to cre­ate a false sense that deal­er­ship ser­vice depart­ments are out to rip cus­tomers off. Your best defense? Get­ting your cus­tomers to tell them it’s not true.

VIDEO: Smart Marketing
  Reputation Management Isn’t Rocket Science

Pay­ing atten­tion to your rep­u­ta­tion online is just as impor­tant as pay­ing atten­tion to it offline. And pos­i­tive feed­back from con­sumers is a smart way for your deal­er­ship to mar­ket itself.

VIDEO: Must-See Workshop at NADA
  Online Reviews Drive Sales and Service

Heather MacK­in­non, Vice Pres­i­dent of National Accounts at Deal­er­Rater invites you to attend her joint pre­sen­ta­tion with Jeff King, GM at Bozard Ford Lin­coln at NADA 2014. MacK­in­non and King will present a NADA work­shop enti­tled, “Online Reviews Drive Sales and Service.”

Dealer Pain Points

pp35_babies Family Leave is for More Than Childbirth

If you thought the Fam­ily Med­ical Leave Act is just for employ­ees who are going to have a baby, think again.

NADA Uni­ver­sity has a course on the sub­ject, and you can click for a video that briefly cov­ers your responsibilities.

Crook Insider Crime: How to Handcuff a Crook

A “trust but ver­ify” pol­icy with employ­ees at your deal­er­ship may save you a lot of money and headaches when it comes to a uniquely Amer­i­can phrase: The Five Fin­ger Dis­count. Act now before the police string up the yel­low crime scene tape at your store.

Click here to learn more.

mechanic Boosting Service Profitability

You ser­vice the vehi­cles you sell. Every­body gets that. But you have the best trained ser­vice tech­ni­cians in town. They can fix any­thing. Why not let them?

Click here to see a video that show­cases a deal­er­ship that uti­lizes its ser­vice techs tal­ent to the max.

Awards and Accolades  

Deal­er­Rater is mak­ing changes to its Dealer of the Year Award Pro­gram for the 2015 awards.    This highly com­pet­i­tive annual award pro­gram rec­og­nizes a select group of car deal­er­ships in the United States and Canada for out­stand­ing cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion as expressed through con­sumer reviews posted on DealerRater’s web site for the pre­vi­ous cal­en­dar year.

The cri­te­ria for the 2015 Deal­er­Rater® Dealer of the Year Award Pro­gram will include the following:

  • Aver­age min­i­mum star rat­ing of 4.0 on Deal­er­Rater (cal­cu­lated quar­terly); with 5.0 as the high­est pos­si­ble rating
  • Min­i­mum of 25 reviews on Deal­er­Rater for the 2014 cal­en­dar year
  • At least one review on Deal­er­Rater per quar­ter dur­ing the 2014 cal­en­dar year

“With the planned changes to the 2015 pro­gram, we expect more deal­ers to become eli­gi­ble for the Dealer of the Year Awards,” said Chip Grueter, pres­i­dent at Deal­er­Rater.  “Hav­ing zero reviews in one par­tic­u­lar month will no longer put a deal­er­ship out of the run­ning as they will be able to make up for that zero score dur­ing the quar­ter. We look for­ward to an inten­si­fied com­pe­ti­tion next year.”



Build a Better Dealership

auto_dealerships22Dealer Alert: OEMs Making Management, Design, Pricing & Product Moves

Here is the Sit­u­a­tion as seen by your Dealer Digest Daily Press Corps:

Pickup up the Busi­ness sec­tion of the WSJ, Finan­cial Times, your strug­gling home town news­pa­per, or even Auto­mo­tive News– or go online –and you will see arti­cles and announce­ments in almost every daily issue about an OEM mak­ing some major change in some as aspect of their mar­ket pres­ence or orga­ni­za­tional structure..

Some Exam­ples of head­lines and fea­tured arti­cles in just the last week:

  • Nis­san Pins Hopes on a Man­age­ment Trio
  • Daim­ler Open to China Stake Sale
  • Mar­chionne Gains Room to Maneuver
  • VW Poised to rein in costs after sales growth stalls
  • Rolls-Royce & Mini Look into Mak­ing SUVs
  • Hyundai Bets on Gen­e­sis in Lux­ury Path

What does this mean to you & your deal­er­ship? READ MORE about how all these news devel­op­ments might impact your deal­er­ship, its sales, and prof­its – and maybe your job.

Smart Thinking - Pass It On  

If you’re won­der­ing about our weekly newslet­ter Used Car Mar­ket Reports being on hia­tus – yes, it is com­ing back. And there are few changes to design being made…..

You’ll still find the lat­est mar­ket reports and video inter­views. In the right col­umn, you’re going to see some changes in the design and con­tent with a lot more analy­sis of the big pic­ture – what’s going on in fore­casts and what’s behind all of it.

Remar­ket­ing is going through big changes these days, and it’s crit­i­cal to stay up on the broad hori­zon and tech­nol­ogy changes being integrated.

Leas­ing is a hot topic, as is sal­vage titles and how to effec­tively remar­ket these high tech cars loaded with gadgets.

Here’s some of the top­ics you can expect to read about – and see charts, videos, and info­graph­ics on…..

Dealer Resources 
Looking for the Best Leads in the business?
Helping dealers manage their reputation.
OneCommand deploys leading-edge communications technology proven to increase response rates, drive traffic, and lower marketing costs.
Partnering with alone gives your inventory unparalleled online exposure.
Fiserv offerings address every step of the automotive lending process.
Thrifty Car Sales
Find out what Thrifty Car Sales Franchise Opportunities can do for you.
AutoUSA Internet Sales Solutions brings the best-in-class tools to increase Internet sales and lower costs for automotive dealerships.
IMN is the digital marketing company that delivers branded newsletters and content for more than 3,000 organizations worldwide, combining custom, vertically-oriented content with advanced publishing technology and services.
vAuto's Provision™ suite of inventory management tools is the auto industry's leading solution to help dealers increase used vehicle sales, profitability and return on investment.
Turn-key automotive Internet marketing on one platform.
NADA University
One Source, Endless Possibilities, 24/7.

If you find that you received this newsletter by mistake or wish to unsubscribe to this publication, please click here to unsubscribe from the mailing list.

ADVERTISE WITH US - Contact AIN Media Publisher Chuck Parker at or (310) 265-2225 to learn more.