Welcome to Saturation Nation

It’s a new month and a new attitude in the car business, where sales have noticeably slowed down in recent weeks despite a rising economic tide. I keep trying to tell the More »

Convention and Super Bowl Hangovers

It’s almost more than my heart can stand. As I sit here late at night in my darkened office, the Super Bowl is over and I am emotionally drained and stressed. A More »

Who Shot the Dealer?

Historians have put the story to bed and closed the book. I say, however, that only the most ignorant and naïve among us could actually believe that a lone gunman — particularly More »

The Leads Are Weak

Flash back to Alec Baldwin’s classic sales speech in “Glengarry Glen Ross.” Everyone remembers when Jack Lemmon said, “The leads are weak.” That was one of the most brutally tense scenes in More »

 

Welcome to Saturation Nation

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It’s a new month and a new attitude in the car business, where sales have noticeably slowed down in recent weeks despite a rising economic tide. I keep trying to tell the industry that the two are not necessarily entwined. The issue here is good, old-fashioned saturation. You can’t keep on pumping 60 million new and used cars annually into a market that only has about 200 million qualified buyers. About every five years, it catches up with us, and all your customers seem to be driving a new (or newer) car. There are a limited number of new customers coming into the market. It isn’t crashing, not by any means. It’s just adjusting. Read the rest of my short article here on Auto Dealer

Convention and Super Bowl Hangovers

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It’s almost more than my heart can stand. As I sit here late at night in my darkened office, the Super Bowl is over and I am emotionally drained and stressed. A week before the big game, Debbie and I returned home from the NADA Convention in New Orleans, optimistic but concerned. I’m still trying to digest all the things we saw and heard at the convention. There’s a lot on my mind. I love pro football, but I didn’t watch for the majority of the season — that is, until I found out my Atlanta Falcons were favored in the NFC championship. When they beat Green Bay, I was gobsmacked with awe and amazement. If I had bet on the game, I’d have taken

Hire the Alpha Dawg!

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Who Shot the Dealer?

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Historians have put the story to bed and closed the book. I say, however, that only the most ignorant and naïve among us could actually believe that a lone gunman — particularly a bitter, delusional nutcase like Lee Harvey Oswald — could have pulled off the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I just read some interesting memoirs on the topic. Some suggest Kennedy’s widow, Jackie Onassis, actually believed Vice President-turned-President Lyndon Johnson was behind the plot until the day she died. Others say the fact that Oswald himself was killed by Jack Ruby, a low-level Mafia associate, means Kennedy must have had some run-ins with mob bosses. Read the whole article here on F&I and Showroom.

Stop Flushing Those Ad Dollars

To be frank and borderline crude here, most of you dealers are pissing your money away. You are totally ineffective and inept with your advertising dollars. I’m told that automotive advertisers spent more than $4 billion on paid search in 2016. Most of that went to Google. From everything I’ve been able to glean, I am going to estimate that another $3 billion was spent on so-called lead providers. That’s $7 billion in pursuit of the Holy Grail, aka the first page of Google search results. Well, I can tell you from experience that most of you flushed that money down the toilet. In the early 1920s, John Wanamaker created and operated one of the first department stores in the United States. He invented the

The Leads Are Weak

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Flash back to Alec Baldwin’s classic sales speech in “Glengarry Glen Ross.” Everyone remembers when Jack Lemmon said, “The leads are weak.” That was one of the most brutally tense scenes in movie history, ending with the famous line, “Coffee is for closers.” I have recently seen repeated instances where automotive lead provider representatives are beating up on dealers, trying to justify their lack of ROI and the few units delivered from their leads. “The leads are weak,” your managers and BDC employees keep saying. But your lead provider tries to tell you it’s your employees who are weak, not to mention unprofessional and inept. At the risk of upsetting Alec Baldwin, sometimes the leads really are weak. Read the whole article here on AutoDealerMonthly.

It’s a Nerd Meltdown

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Marketers have extended Black Friday through Sunday, which leads into Cyber Monday. The entire week following Thanksgiving has become the biggest engineered consumer shopping spree imaginable. In fact, some of the car manufacturers decided the entire month should be “Black November,” extending the sale to 30 days. Customers flooded the showrooms. Then, just when everything was going so well, at around 10 o’clock on Friday morning, the reports started coming in on social media. The car hashtags on Twitter and private car groups on Facebook all lit up at once: VinSolutions had crashed. The panic was immediate and widespread. If you’re not on VinSolutions yourself, you should know it’s one of the premier CRMs on the market today. I would guess that thousands of dealerships

CPO: Are You In or Out?

It’s going to be the hottest game in town. The question is, will your dealership be sitting at the table or watching from the sidelines? I’ve been predicting for much of the year that used-car values would take a monumental dump in the fourth quarter due to the glut of off-lease and fleet units returning to market. What I didn’t count on was Donald Trump getting elected to the presidency. Yes, I am a huge Trump supporter, believer, and advocate, but, like many of you, I was beginning to buy into the belief that Hillary had him beat. So with the uncertainty came the miscalculation that pre-owned values would drop significantly due to the flood of used inventory returning to an already saturated market. Well,

Internet Battle Plan XXI Schedule & Program

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View and download the full class schedule for Internet Battle Plan XXI in ATLANTA at the link below! Internet Battle Plan XXI Class Schedule – PDF Internet Battle Plan XXI Class Schedule – Word doc

There’s a Vacancy in Mom’s Basement

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Several years ago, I got into a friendly debate with Bill Wittenmyer from ELEAD1ONE. Bill had just performed a dynamic presentation on “How to Market to Millennials” at an Internet Battle Plan conference. In my trademark devilishly antagonistic Ziegler fashion, I told Wittenmyer that Millennials were the most worthless, lazy, know-it-all, entitlement-based, unmotivated generation in the history of the world. I said that most Millennials lived in Mom’s basement on a pullout sofa playing Xbox well into their 30s. Why market to anyone who doesn’t want and can’t afford your products? I cracked up when manufacturers came up with “youth” vehicles like the ill-fated Scion lineup. Millennials didn’t buy them, but old people did, and every unit they moved represented an unsold Corolla. For several