December 2, 2013
Need to Know

mercedes-gran-turismo Concept Cars to Care About at the LA Auto Show: Are They Going to Production or Oblivion?

Nearly every vehi­cle man­u­fac­turer is con­stantly com­ing up with a con­cept vehi­cle design that causes car show atten­dees to go bonkers – or at least to say, “Wow, that’s very cool!”

Accord­ing to David Under­cof­fler of the LA Times, if you are a dealer for any of the fol­low­ing fran­chises, you can get excited and look for­ward to sell­ing some ver­sion of at least a few of the con­cept cars pre­sented at the Los Ange­les Auto Show: Jaguar, Honda, Sub­aru, Nis­san, Ford and Mercedes-Benz.

READ MORE about what the OEMs are up to with con­cept cars.

Los Angeles Times
drunk-driving Driver Error & Drunkenness Cause 90% of Car Crashes; Kill Thousands

Drunk Dri­vers Killed 10,000 peo­ple last year – and not wear­ing seat belts took the lives of 3,000 more dri­vers and passengers.

NHTSA has had enough, and seeks to save lives by insist­ing that vehi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers get more safety and dri­ver detec­tion tech­nol­ogy in the dri­ver cock­pit and the vehicle.

READ MORE about this impor­tant topic, and get links to in-depth, well writ­ten arti­cles from Los Ange­les Times Nov 29th & Detroit News on Nov 18th.

The Detroit Bureau

VIDEO: Show Off Your Good Reputation

Deal­ers can make a good impres­sion on cur­rent and poten­tial buy­ers by deliv­er­ing good ser­vice — and by show­ing off their good deeds.

VIDEO: The Hard Facts
  Attracting Mobile Shoppers

The num­ber of online shop­pers find­ing deal­er­ships via their desk­tops and lap­tops is actu­ally declin­ing. But the num­ber of shop­pers find­ing your deal­er­ship on mobile devices is absolutely explod­ing — are you ready for them?

BLOG: Automotive Digestibles
  Nobody is Talking to Each Other: The Twelve Informational Silos of Automotive Marketing

As a keen daily observer, par­tic­i­pant, reporter, and pub­lisher of auto­mo­tive mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions & infor­ma­tion, it appeared to me ini­tially that there were at least ten infor­ma­tional silos func­tion­ing at present in the auto­mo­tive mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions infra­struc­ture — silos that sim­ply aren’t com­mu­ni­cat­ing with one another.

But now it appears to me that there are actu­ally as many as 12. Read on to see the list…

Dealer Pain Points

Do your allstars earn allstar pay Do Your All-Stars Earn All-Star Pay?

Every depart­ment has its chal­lenges. In ser­vice, maybe the mar­ket­ing isn’t work­ing. Maybe there are delays at the parts counter. Or maybe the techs aren’t motivated.

Pay­ing for per­for­mance can incen­tivize the ser­vice department.

Are you meet­ing or beat­ing NADA finan­cial per­for­mance guide­lines? Click here to learn more.

49-Tech-working-on-engine-1024x576 Poor Parts Profits? Here’s the Fix.

You can’t rack up prof­its in ser­vice with­out parts. But too many deal­er­ships have too many parts that are obso­lete and quickly declin­ing in value, if not almost worth­less. So the prof­its you pocket in ser­vice are lost to the hole in your pocket in parts.

What to do?

Watch this video to find out how to sew up that hole to ensure that your pocket for parts is profitable.

50-Person-with-Hamburger Time Wasters That Kill Service Profits

Do you put the ketchup on a burger before you cook it? Of course not. There’s a sequence to prepar­ing the burger and adding the fixings.

Ser­vice and parts depart­ments have their own sequence but some are out of whack. And when that hap­pens it eats into the store’s profitability.

Watch this video and we’ll show you how improve pro­duc­tiv­ity and prof­its with advice on how to ensure you’re struc­tured for success.

Doing It Right  

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.

Behind the Numbers  

Sales of alter­na­tive fuel vehi­cles (AFVs) – hybrids, elec­tric vehi­cles, diesel, nat­ural gas, and other alt-fuels – are com­par­a­tively small when look­ing at over­all new vehi­cle sales in the US. Still, they’re grab­bing a lot of atten­tion from media and mar­ket­ing ana­lysts lately.

A recent sur­vey by found that bet­ter fuel econ­omy and cost sav­ings on gas were higher than cleaner emis­sions and bet­ter for the environment.

Phoenix International’s study on AFVs found that lux­ury SUV con­sumers have strong inter­est in AFVs.

As for brand­ing: In the Auto­Trader study, when asked which automak­ers they would iden­tify as lead­ing in the space, Toy­ota came out on top.

Eco-marketing sub-brands that automak­ers are using may not be click­ing very well for name reten­tion. You can test your knowl­edge of it with a list of brands and eco sub-brands.

Here’s the lat­est cov­er­age on how car buy­ers are per­ceiv­ing AFVs……

Build a Better Dealership

yodaDo or Do Not. There is No Try.

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.

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. Tap Into Mobile to Reach New Car Buyers

How do you build rela­tion­ships with tech­no­log­i­cally savvy, mobile buy­ers who have built a cul­ture around instant, text-based com­mu­ni­ca­tions, shop an aver­age of 18 auto­mo­tive sites in the search for a new car, and want “right now” inter­ac­tions with dealers?

In this work­shop, you will learn how mobile tech­nol­ogy appli­ca­tions are being adopted by deal­er­ships in sales, ser­vice, parts, and the busi­ness office — with sur­pris­ing effects on cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion, employee reten­tion, com­pli­ance, and oper­a­tional processes. You will gain an under­stand­ing of cur­rent mobile trends, pri­or­i­ties for use of mobile solu­tions, and assess­ment of your dealership’s abil­ity to man­age new mobile tech­nolo­gies. You will learn spe­cific meth­ods for cre­at­ing a more-engaging cus­tomer expe­ri­ence on web­sites, mobile devices, and in mobile advertising.

John Hanger, Con­tact At Once!, Alpharetta, GA;
John Reed, Domin­ion Dealer Solu­tions, Nor­folk, VA

2. Word-of-Mouth Mar­ket­ing: Get Your Brand Out There!

Gen Y’er John Moore has helped trans­form the way busi­nesses look at mar­ket­ing and brand­ing. In this work­shop he will share action­able insights into how auto deal­er­ships can fol­low the Star­bucks and Whole Food Mar­ket blue­prints to build endear­ing and endur­ing busi­nesses through brand­ing and word-of-mouth mar­ket­ing. USA Today, Best Buy, Kraft, Lit­tle Cae­sars, Proc­ter & Gam­ble, and oth­ers have all ben­e­fited from Moore’s mar­ket­ing expertise.

John Moore, Brains on Fire, Greenville, SC

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