My parents and grandparents lived through the Great Depression. Their lives and the way they think about money and how they spend it was dramatically changed forever.
In the last 10 years or so many dealers went through their own great depression. No doubt, many learned some very valuable lessons.
It’s funny how a few good years in the car business can make one forget life’s valuable teaching moments. I get to see a lot from where I sit, and what I’m seeing is dealers feeling a great deal of temptation right now.
You might fit one of these two categories:
1. You’ve done a good job of selling down for the winter season. Inventory is short and you’re worried that you may not be able to keep pace with your current growth. You want to go out and buy a bunch of inventory so you can be ready.
Tommy Says: Oh stop it. You’re in the catbird’s seat. Take a look at what you sold last January, February and March. I’ll bet you if you turn your current inventory, add a little here and there that you can exceed what you did last year. You’re poised to have the best spring and summer in your entire career. You’ve gotten smarter this past year. Don’t be stupid and let the Devil turn you into a dummy.
2. You’ve got lots of inventory on hand. Lots of aged inventory, that is. The Devil is telling you to push the panic button, unload them at the auctions and start over. Prices are dropping and you are tempted to go buy some new stuff and be ready for the New Year.
Tommy Says: Oh stop it. You cannot win by dumping all that aged crap at the auction. If you’re going to do anything you’d be better off writing them down, finding retail buyers and getting yourself in position to have a big spring and summer. Now is the time to fix your mess. You’re not going to fix it by letting the temptation of unloading your crummy aged inventory in the wholesale market and loading up on more inventory.
The light you think you’re seeing at the end of that tunnel is a locomotive being driven by the “Devil of Temptation.” That’s all I’m gonna say. Tommy Gibbs