Are you running your used car department the same old way expecting different results?
1. Re-evaluate-Take a minute and go walk your lot. Take the blinders off. First thing you have to ask yourself is “Does it look like Nordstrom?” Ok, maybe it’s not going to look like Nordstrom, but does it look like Walmart after a big sale? You know, everything is just thrown everywhere. Let’s do a little checklist:
3. Re-Recon-Take every unit over 30 days old back through a recon process. (You’ve already missed your best window of opportunity to make gross; that would be the first 20 days.) Most of them should not need mechanical work done, but if they do, get it handled. Most importantly, put a full clean up back on them. Whatever you have to spend, it’s going to be worth it.
4. Re-Invest-in yourself and your management team. Do something to gain some knowledge. Hire me, visit CarMax, or visit a dealer friend in another state that does a good job in used. Attend a workshop. Join a Twenty Group. Join a Used Car Twenty Group. Do something besides sitting there and waiting for something to happen. You may think you already know all there is to know about the used car business and you will just be wasting your money. The fact is maybe you actually know a lot, but you need something to jar your brain and get it going again. You have become real good at talking the talk, but you may not be walking the walk.
5. Re-think- your management team. Do you really have the right person running your used car operation? Yes, that person may have been with you for years. Loyalty sometimes equals mediocrity. Maybe they have some great skills, but the fact may be that you are not making the best use of their talents. Used car managers today have to be “Asset Managers.” It is not a matter of just being a “Car Guy.” They have to have a good blend of common sense and ability to make use of technology. In my travels, about 75% of the dealers have the wrong person managing their used car operation and they wonder why they are not maximizing their full potential? (Even if you have the right person, they have to have the right tools, processes and your full support to be successful.)
A special note to those of you in management that feel somewhat frustrated by the lack of support from your Dealer or General Manager. You may have some things you want to do, but the Dealer or General Manager keeps rejecting your ideas. Next time you have a brilliant idea, don’t just discuss it with your Dealer or General Manager, put your idea in the form of a proposal totally written out with every detail. Present it to the Dealer or General Manager and ask for 90 days to make your plan work. When you give it to them, tell them not to make a decision right away. Ask them to review it and make a decision within the next 48 hours. Most of the time, a dealer with half a brain will let you go with it, unless it’s just totally out there in left field. If your request is reasonable and the Dealer or GM rejects it, you might want to start looking for someplace else to hang out because you are fighting a losing battle. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs