Ken Garff plans to hire another person in early 2019 to fill a role it's calling "acquisition analyst." Acquisition analysts will study the cost to acquire each vehicle in totality, including the wholesale purchase price, auction fees, transportation costs and any anticipated reconditioning costs. They also are tasked with monitoring market-day supply, scarcity and the dealership group's experience with comparable vehicles, Parham said. Dealership-level used-vehicle managers still have to sign off on vehicles before purchase.
At Walser Automotive Group in Edina, Minn., the role of pre-owned manager has been divvied up. Used-car managers still are responsible for retailing vehicles, but each store also has three or four people dedicated solely to wholesaling. That is because it can be hard for a used-vehicle manager to focus on building inventory, pricing it accordingly and worrying about other various pieces of the used-vehicle selling process, CEO Andrew Walser said.
"You become the doer of all and the master of nothing," Walser said. Instead, "We sort of divide and conquer."
That transition for Walser began in earnest about a decade ago, when company leaders realized they could not have just one person handling the various tasks.
Brian Benstock, whose Paragon Honda in New York City is mentioned by J.D. Power's Banks as an innovator when it comes to used-vehicle sales, said he has a rule for his sales managers: Know the numbers.
That could include traffic on online vehicle detail pages and search results pages, which cars have the lowest market-day supply, where those cars are found and how they can most efficiently be acquired. It's no longer just about closing the customers who walk in the door — it's having the right vehicles to offer them, Benstock said.
"You've got to be a student of the math," he said.