INGENUITY UNLEASHED

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How American Car Dealers Survived the Great Recession

Shaped and hardened by the economic trauma of 10 years ago, a generation of dealers reinvented auto retailing in the U.S. In each issue during September, Automotive News will profile dealers who gutted out the worst of times with a wealth of innovation. The stories describe how they seized upon solutions that were varied, brilliant and often counterintuitive.

Jettisoning the status quo: 8 shrewd strategies

When the bottom fell out 10 years ago this month, every car dealership in America was on the spot. Yet each store had its own set of problems, and no two responses to the crisis were exactly alike. This week, we look at how eight dealership groups coped and note the two things they all had in common: iron will and a willingness to jettison the status quo.

Opportunists amid the economic wreckage

The authentically original survival strategies that grew out of the Great Recession tended to result from lateral thinking — that is, the indirect approach; the solving of problems through reasoning not immediately obvious. It's how many dealers and dealership managers spotted opportunity as the crisis raged.

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