Suspending all advertising for a year. Bargaining for 50 percent more air time and print space for the same advertising dollars. Cutting your salary to zero for as long as 18 months.
Those are some of the things that dealers who answered an Automotive News online survey said they did to survive the great recession of the past two years. Many dealers cut costs to the bone to get through the lowest industry sales in nearly 30 years. Many got creative and found new ways to save money and build revenue.
Some of their stories are detailed in the profiles.
Stacey Gillman Wimbish, president of Gillman Cos., called Nov. 11, 2008, a "horrible day" -- when 150 people, or 20 percent of the staff, were let go at the Houston dealership group. But the group also put into practice ideas that could be instructive for other dealers -- for instance, reducing the number of employees authorized to spend money.
Business is better, but Gillman will maintain the cuts, Wimbish said.