A Day Late, A Mile Too Far

Speedometer and high mileage

We all know new and used owners are holding on to their vehicles much longer than ever. That is good news for the profitability of most dealerships’ service departments. But with the right message to customers in your service lane, it could be great news for the dealership. The right message is educating owners to what more years and more miles mean to a vehicle’s trade value.

CarMax released a consumer survey stating half of the respondents felt they had a good idea on their vehicle’s trade value while 35% were not sure. Over 40% proved to be mistaken in thinking an 11-year- old vehicle brought about the same as a 10-year-old vehicle.

As a long time devotee of mining the service lane for owners who could be enlightened to the benefits of trading a vehicle before it ages another year or passes the next mileage standard, the time to consider more effort to this pursuit is now.  My focus would be on targeting vehicles that will round out your used inventory based on your anticipated off-lease vehicle return.

Engage your service customers in a “Did You Know” presentation to enlighten them on what more months and more miles mean to them as far as trading now compared to later. A chunk of change can change a mind, it always has.

Acknowledgements to:

Auto Remarketing “Untapped potential vehicle trade-ins” August 30, 2016

About the author

John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising. Strong began his career as a fresh-faced account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry. The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners. Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40” feature and the 2017 CEO Awards. The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.


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