When the recession hit and General Motors' captive finance company abruptly stopped offering leases, dealer Bill Perkins did what he had to do.
He retrained his salespeople to sell vehicles through retail contracts.
Previously, leasing was virtually all some of them knew, said the president of Taylor Chevrolet, in Taylor, Mich.
That meant bringing in trainers who focused on how to pitch vehicles' features and benefits to shoppers, rather than concentrating on the low monthly lease payment.
"Some salespeople were so used to leasing they didn't know what to do," recalled Perkins, 69, with an ironic chuckle.
At the time, he also owned Merollis Chevrolet, in Eastpointe, Mich., which he sold in October 2017, and Jim Bradley Pontiac-Buick-GMC, in Ann Arbor, Mich., which he sold in 2010. Prior to the recession, 50 to 60 percent of the vehicles were sold through leases at Perkins' stores.