The Dirty “V” Word

I think my first experience using the “V” word was when I went on a camping trip. Ok, it wasn’t a camping trip as such. I was actually having the time of my life at the Marine Corps boot camp, Parris Island, SC. It was there that I first used the “V” word.

The M14 rifle has a muzzle velocity of 2,800 feet per second.

Up to that point in my life I had never used the word. Heck, I probably didn’t even know what it meant. Speaking of meaning, since it’s become such an ugly word to some, I decided to look it up.


1. Rapidity of motion or operation; swiftness; speed: a high wind velocity.
2. Mechanics. The time rate of change of position of a body in a specified direction.
3. The rate of speed with which something happens; rapidity of action or reaction.

To keep things simple, my takeaway is that velocity simply means speed. There’s a book out by Jason Jennings and Laurence Haughton that has the perfect title for the automobile business, “It’s Not the Big that Eat the Small…It’s the Fast that Eat The Slow.”

I could not find anywhere in the many definitions I looked up where it said:

“Velocity-a method of giving your cars away so as to impact your gross to a point of a substandard amount that will make you want to throw up your hands, beat yourself over the head, and barf.”

I have a new definition for the word velocity; the whipping boy of the auto industry that can be blamed when we use software pricing tools as the bible, don’t use our brains and don’t use the tool as it was intended in the first place.

This nasty “V” word often comes up in 20 group meetings and beyond. The complainers are the ones who want to blame someone else for their woes such as a lack of front gross profit.

You can make one of two choices.
1. Hold high gross profit per unit.
2. Do lots of volume at a little lower gross.

Which way do you think is going to pile up the most gross to pay the bills at the end of the month?

Back in my day if you shot an M14 rifle and you didn’t hit the target, you didn’t blame the velocity of the rifle. You blamed the poor marksmanship.

Dealers have been known to complain that when they went on the velocity method of pricing their used cars to market, their grosses went south. Well duh, of course they did. You had to fix your sins first.

One of the main reasons the gross went south, especially in the beginning, is they had aged units on hand. And, lo and behold, when they finally priced them correctly to the market they got killed. Well, no kidding, of course the grosses went down. Those dealers were buried in the cars and they finally priced them right. What else could they have expected?

When you first buy into the velocity concept there’s going to be some pain. It’s the prolonged pain you have been putting off. You’re now paying for the sins of your ways.

And there will continue to be pain unless you use your brain. I like that, “Pain, if you don’t use your brain.”

You cannot have the mindset that the software is going to save your butt. You have to use your head in order to hit the target.

It’s just like shooting the rifle. The bullet traveling at a high rate of speed is only going to hit the target based on the shooter’s skill.

If you’ve been missing the target using the velocity method maybe you need to sharpen your skills. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs