Figures lie and liars figure! But playing with numbers can be mind boggling – like if you started by saving a penny and doubled the amount saved for 31 days, you would have how much? $10,737,417! Anyone got a penny to get me started?!?
Here’s another one. GM is projecting 11.9 million new vehicle sales in 2009; divide that by the number of dealers open right now – 20,000 – that’s a yearly average of 595 new vehicles sold per dealership. Divide by 12, a monthly average of 49.5 new vehicles sold. Problematically, that number would thrill a Jaguar dealer… and put most Toyota dealers in a coma. But it gives credence to the analysts who are saying up to 30% of dealers may close, sell or merge, in the next two years.
I always think in terms of ‘good, better, best’ (it comes from how we have determined media budgets). For 2009, your overall planning must key on ‘best’ – the best promotion at the best time with the best offers to the best market segment considering a purchase.
The ‘best’ comes when you think ahead! February this year is a good example: Presidents’ Day falls on Monday the 16th, a holiday after an early Friday payday. Do you have something planned – an email blast, direct mail, a special Used Car event?
Here’s a long term example of thinking ahead: If one of your competitors closes the doors, are you ready with the ‘best’ message to convert their existing service customers to your dealership? Are you planning on how to ‘best’ reach that entire owner body?
Planning is the‘best’ way to create traffic, increase absorption, and climb way, way, above that 49.5 average. The ‘best’ will survive and prosper… think about it!
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 Merchandising.