The GOOD news is that almost every brand has a hot product – Camry, Cruze, Fusion, Altima, Sonata and the list goes on. Good core product has proven that with a solid marketing plan, hot vehicles can increase both traffic and sales when you hit the market at the right time. I realize this is not news to you, and hopefully you are experiencing the spike right now. Be aware that now is also the best time to prepare for the dip that comes when your hot product is depleted.
When it comes to inventory management, awareness and anticipation are a function of good communication and ahead-of-the-curve planning. The rise and fall of hot product on your lot is dictated by factory supply and demand. If your team has a green-light plan and moves into the replenishment mode at the earliest indication of product shortage, you can better survive until the next allotment. I know dealers who have standing orders to secure late-model core vehicles to offer as certified units when that product is plentiful. This is especially true when nearing model year end. You can promote the 2012s without saying “new,” and at a lower price point.
What’s the most frustrating feeling in this business? “If I had them, I could sell them all!” It would be nice to have them all, but most dealers would settle for significantly more than fair-share. To ensure that scenario, encourage your inventory managers to take action. Work as hard to get just one as you would to get twenty. Do it sooner rather than later, because you sell cars not pavement!
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.