In talking with dealers last week, located from New York to Texas, I have drawn one conclusion about trying to guess or plan for auction trends in different markets:
No two auctions are the same right now.
In Georgia, cars were bringing ‘clean book’ on Tuesday; there was a shortage and they couldn’t find enough to restock from the year-end push in December. However, on Thursday, another dealer in that same town reported that he was buying ‘back of rough book’. On the same day, in New York you could name your price. You could get what you wanted and pay what you wanted. Meanwhile, cars were scarce in Texas. So my advice to you – throw Automotive News in the trash, hit delete on Auto Remarketing Emails and look at your own trends and what has been selling the best in your defined market area and what your are able to retail the best. Your 20 Group buddy, your district manager, even your ad guy may all have information on what is selling and where it is – but you must employ and empower. Make your managers make the decisions. When they are wrong, hold them accountable and when they are right – recognize it.
In the next 60 months, Used Cars will either make you a fortune or a minimal amount of money. Prepare yourself by recognizing your own market and what you need to focus on with inventory. Then plan your advertising based on who you are selling and what you are selling and be prepared to make a fortune.
John Paul Strong
John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 140 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.