Let’s talk about cars. Not the kind you drive and sell, but a report you should be doing once a week called a CAR Report. Which stands for "Cars At Risk."
If you will follow this simple little discipline I can guarantee a lot of your problem children will go away. If you’re the dealer or GM I’m thinking it’s a pretty good bet that from time to time you sit down with your used car manager and go over your aged list.
In that discussion you talk about this car and that car and what the plans are to get it sold. Often the used car manager is able to hold you off from demanding that they dump the car or whatever.
They tell you they have a deal pending or they have plans to take it to the auction by the end of the week. You know the drill. It becomes a very nice conversation with no real demands on your part as you don’t want to upset your manager because if you do, you know nothing’s going to get done today.
Stop this insanity and use my CAR process. Once a week you should meet with the used car manager to review the CAR report. It’s a list of ten cars based on whatever formula you might want to use. Just be consistent. It could be your 10 oldest, it could be your 10 most expensive, or it could be the 10 with the lowest vAuto scores. (The form is at the bottom of this article.)
Go over each car on each line. As you do so, ask your used car manager "Do you agree this car is at risk?" There will be some cars on the list that your manager will say something like "No we are ok on this car, etc." But, every time your manager says "Yes I think we are at risk on this car" have them turn the form over on the back.
The back of the form requires the used car manager to give you one of two plans. Either a plan, (a real plan!) to retail the unit or a plan (a real plan!) to wholesale the unit.
Now, here’s what really makes this process work. Each week when your manager brings in a new CAR report for you to go over, they must also bring in the previous week’s report. You will notice on the right hand side a column that says "Did You Lie?"
In other words Mr. or Ms. Used Car Manager, when we had the meeting last week you said "You had a plan to make this car go away. So you lied to me because it’s still here. You did not follow through and do what you said you were going to do with this car."
This simple weekly process avoids these ongoing conversations about what you are going to do with a car. Yes, it takes discipline to do this every week. I will guarantee you that by taking 15 minutes of your busy schedule to do this every week that your inventory is going to shape up, your volume will get better and your grosses will improve.
Almost everything we do in this business, or any business for that matter, gets down to "the pain of discipline or the pain of regret." You will have one or the other. And the best part is you get to choose. That’s all I’m gonna say. Tommy Gibbs