January 22, 2014
Quick Reads: Six in 60

leasing 1. OEM & Dealers Using Pull-Ahead Programs to Renew Leases Early

  • Lease pull-ahead pro­grams are now being used by man­u­fac­tur­ers & dealers
  • Pro­grams seek to get lease dri­vers to turn leases early & “re-lease” another vehicle
  • Being offered to lessees with less than 5 months remaining


bdc 2. BDCs Can Be Center of Dealership & Source of Sales Success

  • Deal­ers are cred­it­ing their suc­cess to their Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Centers
  • Most shop­ping cus­tomers are doing research on Inter­net before entere­ing showroom
  • BDCs com­mon among mul­ti­ple fran­chise dealer oper­a­tions to spread costs


Automotive News
newF-150 3. Big-Sized Market Content Among OEMs Over Mid-Sized Pickups

  • GM goes for smaller truck, Ford for lighter alu­minum F-150 body
  • All OEMs focused on fuel effi­ciency to improve aver­age mpg
  • Gov­ern­ment requires 54.5 mpg per­for­mance by 2025


Financial Times

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: 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.”

VIDEO: Smart Reputation Management
  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.

More Six in 60

customer communication 4. Customers Do Not Think Contact During Ownership is Nuisance

  • Meth­ods and fre­quency of cus­tomer com­mu­ni­ca­tions to increase
  • Maritz sur­vey revealed that 18% of cus­tomers sought more contact
  • Sur­vey said that con­ver­sa­tion can­not stop with the sale of car


slim seats 5. Airline Slim Seats Get Big Fat No [Try on Way to NADA]

  • Slim line seats are loved by air­lines but not passengers
  • Air­lines are installing 17” seats to get more peo­ple on board
  • Half of sur­veyed trav­el­ers did not know what seat they sat in


square 6. Dealers & Merchants Say Square Not Squarely Behind Support

  • Square’s mobile pay­ment ser­vice has major cus­tomer ser­vice issues
  • Mer­chants and deal­ers can accept credit cards via smart phone
  • But Calls and Emails are going unanswered


Want to Be Dealer of the Year?  

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

red-bumperSuccess Story: Lynn Smith Chevrolet

Here is a Suc­cess Story of how an inno­v­a­tive tech­nol­ogy com­pany solved a dealer’s used car inven­tory man­age­ment prob­lem and got rid of source of frus­tra­tion and inefficiency.

The Deal­er­ship:  Lynn Smith Chevrolet

The Prob­lem:  There was no uni­fied or sys­tem­ized process for apprais­ing, track­ing, or man­ag­ing the used vehi­cle inven­tory of the deal­er­ship. Time, sales and prof­its were being lost and the per­for­mance of the store was neg­a­tively impacted.

The Solu­tion: The intro­duc­tion and imple­men­ta­tion of a used vehi­cle inven­tory man­age­ment sys­tem from Red Bumper. By bring­ing a sys­tem and process using a mobile phone plat­form tech­nol­ogy,  the deal­er­ship sales and ser­vice depart­ments were able to know the “where, what, and when” of which vehi­cles and cus­tomers were on the front lot or in the ser­vice department.

What Hap­pened?  The Ser­vice depart­ment was turned into a “gold mine,” used car sales increased, and prof­its improved almost immediately.

READ MORE to Get the whole impact of this extra­or­di­nary case study.

Smart Thinking - Pass It On  

What does run­ning a restau­rant have to do with run­ning a dealership?

Here’s some advice from Wolf­gang Puck him­self — specif­i­cally, Three Actions that have con­tributed to the suc­cess of the Puck Restaurants:

  1. Talk to Your Cus­tomers – When cus­tomers come to your deal­er­ship, they are com­ing to your “house.” They ulti­mately are going to pay you for a car or ser­vice so reach out for them, and talk and listen.
  2. Stick to What You Know Best — In a deal­er­ship oper­a­tion, your team has to do it all — but  your cus­tomers will tell you if your team does sales or ser­vice or cus­tomer rela­tions well. Mar­ket and sup­port this “specialty.”
  3. Hire Young Peo­ple: Get new ideas and pay atten­tion to what the young peo­ple in your deal­er­ship are telling you. They will tell you what is hap­pen­ing and what you should be doing to gain new cus­tomers – and how to take care of your exist­ing ones.


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