A quote from Mike Jackson
Go over and see what Wal-Mart's margin is in their business. It's going to be 14-15 percent. Look at the real estate industry. They don't even have inventory; they're just doing a commission deal, and they charge 6 or 7 percent.
It's highly efficient for the manufacturer, highly efficient for the consumer. Unfortunately, we would go broke, because we don't make any money at that. But then, we have the tremendous added value of installing the infrastructure to care for this highly complex, highly regulated product. There, we make money.
It works for everybody. That's why it's still here. I've been in the meetings, as a manufacturer, where you have these top-flight consultants and you have a discussion: What if the system didn't exist? What if we had a clean sheet of paper and we could go out and do whatever we want? At the end of the day, we came all the way back to, hey, you know, this is not a bad system. This really works for a lot of parties.
The Internet has been absolutely transforming for the business. I'd rather deal with an informed consumer. It facilitates a much easier, friendly transaction. But it's a little bit naive to think that the consumer is going to spend $29,000 on average and not come down and see if that color isn't exactly right, (check) the equipment configuration and drive it around the block before you sign on the dotted line.
We have consumers (with whom) we do the whole transaction online, including the financing. We offer to bring it over to them, and 99 percent of the time, they say no, I'll come down. And you'd be surprised what they learn when they come in. They look around the showroom and say, oh, I didn't realize this; I didn't realize that.