If you have cars aging on you and you are dumping them in the wholesale market and losing money, then you are totally on the wrong path.
If you are paying attention to the right things and if you understand that you are in the retail automobile business there should be very few units you blow out and lose money on. It’s about retailing cars before they get to the end of the cycle.
1. It starts by selecting the right inventory. Unless you are an exception to the rule, most of those aged units are auction purchase cars. There’s nothing wrong with buying auction units, but you have to think “hole fillers” and “short life cycle.”
2. Tackle my “Life Cycle Management” concept-like your life depends on it, because it does. You are either getting tired of hearing me talk about it or you have started utilizing it. Software is coming to help you. You will never get your inventory under control as long as you allow all units to have the same number of days on the shelf. You have to identify and acknowledge what each car is on day 1 not day 61.
3. Making smart and quick decisions on trade-ins you bury yourself in-Happens all the time. You step up for whatever reason, but since you don’t use “Life Cycle Management” you treat these units just like every other unit. Look Einstein, if you buried yourself in it on day one it’s only going to get worse. The best thing you can do is price that unit below market and make it disappear.
4. Don’t get too excited-about a successful short term run. It will kick your butt every time. Stop it. All of a sudden you have a strong 30 day period when you sell 10 XYZs. For whatever reason they were hot. So, what do you do? You run out and buy 20 more of those bad boys. And guess what happens? They sit and they sit. And now you have some more huge wholesale losses staring you in the face.
If you go back and analyze those first 10 you popped out like hotcakes you will probably find something unique and special about those units. Might have been miles, might have been color or it might have been the price of gas during that stretch that influenced those sales. I’m not saying you shouldn’t get excited and try some more of those hot babies, but you need to be smart enough to keep your enthusiasm under control. You have much more control when you take them in small doses rather than choking yourself to death.
5. Understand that you are in the retail business-You need to make sure you are pricing your cars to market early enough and attractive enough to find a retail buyer early in the life cycle. In most cases, if you analyze your aged units you will discover that for whatever reason you overpriced them too long. Key words here are “too long.”
When you are retailing your retail pieces you don’t have to worry about aged units and wholesale losses. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs