Innovative Dealers

Is the dealership sales call center obsolete?

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 27, 2013
As Internet leads, mobile phone calls and texts swamp dealerships, business development centers are starting to look counterproductive to some dealers. Some dealers are dumping their BDCs, while others -- who defend the centers as the best way to handle the rising tide of Internet leads -- have worked out a truce between the two staffs.... Read More »



Dealer cash juices Volt sales boom

2:54 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 18, 2012
The record month for Chevrolet Volt sales in August surely pleased GM brass, green-car believers and perhaps even the Obama administration. But the folks at Ourisman Rockmont Chevrolet in Rockville, Md., likely are even happier.... Read More »


Default rate for auto loans continues to fall

10:23 am U.S. ET | Dec. 28, 2011
Auto loans outperformed other major categories of consumer debt in November, part of an ongoing pattern in consumer behavior, according to figures released last week by Standard & Poor's and Experian.... Read More »



Dealer's obstacle course is geared for Jeep customers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 12, 2011
Any Jeep dealer can tell customers what a Jeep can do. Ralph Mahalak Jr., on the other hand, can step outside his dealership and take customers for a spin over hills, rocks and logs on his private dirt track. Mahalak is one of a handful of dealers in the United States with a Jeep obstacle course next to his store.... Read More »



3rd-generation dealer relies on 'no-fuss' strategy

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 12, 2011
At the recent opening of his renovated Toyota store in Bristol, Tenn., David Hudson was asked by a factory rep how he succeeds at a time when many other second, third and fourth-generation dealers struggle. His reply was standard business textbook fare: Find great managers and associates, empower them and give them resources to perform. Hudson, a modest, 38-year-old third-generation dealer, has become a solid, steady operator during a period of uncertainty for many small dealership groups.... Read More »



After Katrina, online sales save La. stores in blighted area

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 12, 2011
Six years ago, Hurricane Katrina left Troy Duhon's Toyota and Honda stores in New Orleans decimated by 8 feet of water. And now the stores are surrounded by weed-choked lots and boarded-up buildings, including an abandoned hospital and grocery store. So the two dealerships turned to Internet leads to keep customers coming in.... Read More »



Selling online? Great car pictures are a must

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 12, 2011
The old saying that "a picture is worth a thousand words" rings true for dealerships that sell cars on the Internet. Dealers who sell a lot of vehicles on the Internet say most customers look at the pictures of the vehicle before anything else.... Read More »



Small stores unite for better vendor prices

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 12, 2011
Chuck Jacovina knows his dealership can get better prices from vendors. Just 14 months ago, he worked for a different dealership group that once had 20 stores. He bought in volume from vendors and got low prices. But Jacovina's present employer, Gettel Automotive Group, has only 12 stores throughout Florida. Jacovina's experience is similar to many single-point stores or family-owned dealership groups. They don't get the same prices as the larger dealerships that buy in volume.... Read More »



Dealer Brian Benstock wins by defending Civic

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 12, 2011
Dealer Brian Benstock of Paragon Honda in New York City wasn't about to let poor consumer reviews of the next-generation Honda Civic compact get in the way of a crucial product launch. When the car arrived in April, Benstock had his own Civic marketing campaign ready to complement Honda's marketing materials.... Read More »



'Pay-here' outlets are high-risk diversity

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 12, 2011
When the economic downturn hit and new-car sales tanked, family-owned Bill Marsh Automotive Group in Traverse City, Mich., decided to diversify. In 2009, the Marsh group opened a "buy-here, pay-here" outlet that specializes in selling old, high-mileage used cars and trucks to customers with poor credit. The business model calls for dealers to finance customers at interest rates that typically exceed 20 percent.... Read More »



How dealers coped with a challenging year

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 12, 2011
Jon Lancaster Toyota in Madison, Wis., started 2011 with the goal of bolstering its quick-service operation. Today the four-lane shop is pulling in more than $200,000 a month in sales, up from $125,000 at the beginning of the year. General Manager Joe St. Marie credits the gain to a relentless focus on improving the customer experience.... Read More »


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