Things That Scare Me

It scares me when a dealer hires a buyer. It’s always done with good intentions, but more often than not it doesn’t have a happy ending. The buyer I’m talking about is the one the dealer is putting on the road to go off to wonderland to buy cars. Months down the road the dealer is stuck with a lot of aged units and wonders what happened?

It scares me when a dealer makes a wholesale profit. There are rare sets of circumstances when it can be done. Maybe the dealer cut his/her teeth in the wholesale business or maybe they run an in-house auction for the junker units. But other than that, there aren’t many legitimate reasons for making a wholesale profit.

It scares me when a dealer tells me “We never miss a trade.” I understand the intent. It’s the right thinking no doubt, but never think for a minute that you don’t miss trades. Everybody misses trades. I’m thinking if you’re making that wholesale profit you might be missing more trades than you think.

It scares me when a dealer hires a new used car manager and turns ’em loose. They come on board with great stories of how much they have accomplished at their previous stores. (Notice, stores is plural.) So, the dealer says, “Go get ’em.” What should happen is the dealer or GM becomes Siamese twins with the new used car manager for next 90 days. Every minute that the dealer can spare should be spent with this used car manager listening, teaching, learning, coaching and sorting out fact from fiction.

It scares me when a dealer doesn’t know what their oldest used car in stock is. Better yet, the used car manager doesn’t know. To add insult to injury no one knows where it’s parked. These are your sickest children. How can you not know?

It scares me when a dealer tells me they get units through service and recon in 3 days. There are some that do. Most don’t and most don’t really know. The best and worst answer is the same. “I don’t know.”

It scares me when a dealer has a belief that it’s ok to keep used vehicles for 75 or 90 days. I might understand it if we wre living in the 1970s. Back then maybe we just didn’t know any better. How can you not know better in today’s information society? How can you not understand the fact that you don’t make money when vehicles sit that long? How can you not know you’re working with a depreciating asset?

I’ll tell you what I know. A lot of things scare me. That’s all I’m gonna say. Tommy Gibbs