By on August 10, 2017

used car sales, Image: alptraum/Bigstock

 “The internet has ruined the car business.”

“I’m not interested in a race to the bottom.”

“There’s an ass for every seat.”

Yes, my friends, in the year 2017, dealership general managers still say these sentences. What’s worse is that they’re not even being ironic. And in this era of record-setting car sales (yes, despite what you’ve heard, 2017 is going to be the fourth-best sales year in history), some of them are even able to keep their jobs.

But smart dealers know better. They know that the internet is their friend, that being the cheapest sometimes really is the best strategy, and that no, there most definitely is not an ass for that 2013 Malibu that’s priced at 117 percent of the market average.

Why are they so smart? Because they understand a seemingly simple concept that can get quite complicated when dealers try to execute it. That concept? It’s called “turn.”

(Read More…)

By on January 8, 2016

auction1

I buy a lot of cars, which means I often find myself thinking about car sellers and buyers. These are two interesting groups of human beings. In many cases, they’re openly trying to screw you. In other cases, they have no idea they’re screwing you, and you don’t discover they have until four days later when you go to put your briefcase in the trunk and it’s full of rain water.

This got me thinking: What is the least trustworthy group of automotive sellers in existence?

I’ve bought cars from all of them. New car dealers. Used car dealers. Family members, friends, auctions, and strangers on the Internet, from Craigslist to Cars.com to Autotrader to web forums. Every transaction is a little different. And every time, I’m wonder to myself: Is this person going to screw me?

That’s why I’m soliciting your opinion on a topic that’s near and dear to my heart (and wallet). Which car seller can you count on to be the very worst?

(Read More…)

By on December 4, 2015

005

I come before you today to state a simple truth, a truth that is so obvious that it doesn’t even need to be said, yet it has never been properly addressed. The car franchise dealership, as we know it, is broken.

It’s too bloated. It doesn’t live in the now. It spends far too much to acquire its customers. It doesn’t focus on the things that matter. Some OEMs wish that they could eliminate it. In most cases, it’s owned by a guy whose only achievement in life is having been born to the owner of a car dealership.

It’s also the only business in America that intentionally operates in a way that is frustrating and oppressive to its customers. You could never run any other business in America the way that a car dealership is run. The posted price means nothing. Virtually no two people will pay the same price for a car. Even once the price is finally negotiated, surprises keep coming to the point where virtually nobody is entirely sure if he or she got a fair deal on his car.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. If I owned my own dealership (and, honestly, could I really be any worse at it than 90 percent of the guys who own dealerships?) here’s what I’d do to help my dealership make more money, sell more cars, be more ethical, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, and even have more fun doing it.

(Read More…)

By on September 25, 2015

Used Car Dealership NYC

Used car dealerships have filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Volkswagen over cars they say they can’t sell and are seeking the same compensation the German automaker is offering its new car dealers, Reuters reported (via Automotive News).

According to the attorney representing the dealers, selling the cars could put the businesses at risk of lawsuits from their customers. If the used dealers can’t sell their in-stock Volkswagen diesels, the businesses would shoulder the losses, the lawsuit alleges. (Read More…)

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