To land used inventory, Ron Marhofer Auto Family focused on acquiring cars from customers. Managers told salespeople to buy every trade and were willing to spend more per vehicle to seal those deals. The group also reached further back — as far as 24 months — into its portfolio of lease customers, and vehicle buyers scoured the classifieds such as Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.
Chuck Anderson Ford also had a preexisting focus on used-vehicle sales, said Nick Anderson, the Excelsior Springs, Mo., store's general manager. But the current inventory crisis has forced it to shift its strategies.
"Normally we'd carry stuff that's 6 years old or newer," Anderson said. "Now we're carrying stuff that's 10 years old or newer just to have more vehicles on the lot."
It has been the right move. The store's vehicle turn rate has gone up dramatically, Anderson said, and it has helped feed the body shop, parts and service departments and, ultimately, the dealership's bottom line.
Through this year's inventory crunch, the dealership leaders Automotive News spoke with for this story said their stores have not had layoffs. Some have even had to add staff.
And they see a light at the end of the tunnel, whether it comes this summer or later in the year. They know that ups and downs are part of the business, but new lessons have been learned.