Car Dealer Insider Feb 15, 2008
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Car Dealer Insider Feb 15, 2008

10 dealer strategies for 2008

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10 dealer strategies for 2008

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

I don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom. Gen. George S. Patton

Across America, auto dealers are experiencing more uncertainty about their businesses than any time in recent memory. Plummeting markets and historic actions by the Federal Reserve and by Congress only tell part of this unfolding tale. Even high performing and very profitable Honda and Toyota operators are questioning the aggressive facility and sales commitments to which they have been asked to agree. At the other end of the spectrum, Ford, GM and Chrysler dealers are asking whether their future even has a future with their brands.

Under these circumstances, all dealers should carefully and un-hurriedly consider their situations and options. This much is 100 percent certain: Downturns are cyclical, always followed by upturns. In the months ahead, there will be some percentage of business failures. Yet we know that many dealers will weather the storm more effectively than others, either in their continuing operations or in the deployment of sound exit plans. This article poses some suggestions on how to succeed in difficult circumstances.

Franchisor Relations. For auto dealers of all brands, there will be rough seas for most of 2008, and even beyond. Sales and profits will be down. Dealership valuations will slide, particularly if you have a store that is not Toyota or Honda. While it is true that the domestic brands - i.e., those of the Detroit Three (we no longer use the anachronism, "Big Three") - will be financially challenged most, dealers of other brands have no reason to be complacent. GM, Ford and Chrysler have absorbed the body blows of poor market performance for over a decade now, and current developments and trends suggest that business in the U.S. will be even worse for them in the short term; among other things, they will continue efforts to cure what they perceive as over-dealing in all U.S. regions. At the same time, hot Japanese brands are pressuring dealers to take steps... _(387 of 1546 words)

Also in this Issue:

  • Auto group tightens reins on employee e-mail (592 words)
  • Essential Office Manager: Tips for building a stronger team in and out of the accounting office (587 words)
  • New Ideas (280 words)
  • News You Can Use - Dates to Save, Trends to Watch (219 words)
  • Trend Spotting (317 words)
  • You make the call…Warning: vague dealership pay plans are under heavy legal attack (993 words)