Used Car Dealers: How Much are you Leaving on the Table?

Dollar Bills

By Steve Miner

In today’s high­ly com­pet­i­tive used car mar­ket it is still pos­si­ble to achieve both a good gross and a good turn. Used car deal­ers who only focus on one or the oth­er are leav­ing a lot of poten­tial mon­ey on the table.

Retail Per­for­mance Man­age­ment incor­po­rates the prac­tices of the Best of the Best in auto­mo­tive to max­i­mize BOTH gross and turn. The top retail­ers in auto­mo­tive focus on 4 key areas to max­i­mize gross and turn every month.

• Vis­i­bil­i­ty: This means hav­ing the abil­i­ty to quick­ly go from a 30,000 foot view to a very gran­u­lar lev­el in the blink of an eye. Whether bench­mark­ing and mang­ing per­for­mance at the group lev­el or man­ag­ing at a sin­gle store it is essen­tial to have deep vis­i­bil­i­ty into areas like Appraisal Clos­ing and missed trade oppor­tu­ni­ties, Inven­to­ry Aging, Val­ue Pric­ing, Stock­ing and Online Per­for­mance.

Final­ly, you need to have the sales data that allows the Group lev­el Exec­u­tive, Store GM or Deal­er Prin­ci­pal to see gross prof­its, turns and oppor­tu­ni­ties across all stores with a focus on their Retail Sales Effi­cien­cy (sales with­in 60 days).

• Best Mix: The top retail­ers com­bine the pow­er and vis­i­bil­i­ty of their his­tor­i­cal Deal­er­ship DNA with the top Mar­ket per­form­ers to deter­mine the Best Mix of inven­to­ry for their unique store. Then they exe­cute high­ly inno­v­a­tive prac­tices to source that inven­to­ry.

• Val­ue Pric­ing: Rather than “start­ing every car at 96% of mar­ket,” these retail­ers have adopt­ed a val­ue pric­ing mind­set to max­i­mize the gross poten­tial of EVERY car. This means lever­ag­ing the tools at their dis­pos­al to deter­mine the dif­fer­ence between the high mar­gin and low mar­gin cars on their lot, and pric­ing them accord­ing­ly.

• Online Mer­chan­dis­ing: With 50 mil­lion vehi­cles ads online at any one time the need to stand out from the crowd has nev­er been greater. This requires uti­liz­ing con­tent that res­onates and is high­ly rel­e­vant to the buy­er. Sell the val­ue of the vehi­cle in your ad.

Steve Min­er, Direc­tor of Prod­uct Mar­ket­ing at First­Look Sys­tems can be reached at



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