Used-car managers nationwide will share ideas and financial data under the aegis of three groups formed by the National Automobile Dealers Association.
The "20 groups," so called because such idea-sharing groups in auto retailing traditionally have had 20 members, aim to improve the profits and performance of dealers' used-vehicle operations.
Dave Magarrell, used-car manager at Scarff Ford-Isuzu in Auburn, Wash., is chairman of the first of the three groups NADA is launching this year. He says franchise dealerships' used-car operations have become less profitable in the past few years as dealers have focused more on selling new vehicles.
Rising interest rates will require dealers to pay more to finance new vehicles. That can cut profit margins - and it means used-car operations will become crucial, Magarrell says.
"It's important for the used-car (manager) to watch what inventory you have, how many vehicles you have, how fast you're selling them," Magarrell says.
The 20 groups can improve the performance of used-vehicle managers, he adds. The managers will get monthly financial information about the members' used-car operations. They will discuss such topics as buying and managing used-vehicle inventory.
Group members from different market areas are scheduled to meet three times a year for 1½ days at a time under the direction of an NADA consultant. NADA previously formed 20 groups for dealers, dealership general managers and service managers.