A Volkswagen dealership in Marion, Ill., is deploying strategies traditionally used to foster vehicle sales to encourage staffers to buy more used cars directly from consumers to help the store stock its lot.
The efforts have helped reduce Volkswagen of Marion's reliance on buying from wholesale auctions, lowered its per-vehicle acquisition costs and boosted used-vehicle sales and overall dealership profitability, said Ashlee Church, general manager at Volkswagen of Marion.
Store leaders ramped up efforts to purchase directly from consumers in early 2019, bolstered tracking procedures around those acquisitions and subsequent sales and implemented bonus opportunities for sales reps who were successful at the new approach. The dealership also scaled back emphasis on its business development center.
"We really had to work to get everybody to embrace this philosophy ... that acquiring a vehicle from a customer today generates a future sale," Church told Automotive News. "That can be difficult in sales because a lot of salespeople, by nature, want instant gratification. They want to sell a vehicle today, earn a nice commission on it and move on to the next customer."