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How Auto Dealerships Increase Sales at Three-day Weekend Events

Posted by Joe Gargiulo on Mon, Sep 23, 2019 @ 06:45 AM

It’s Saturday morning on Memorial Day weekend. The inflatable tube man is in perpetual motion, burgers are sizzling on the outdoor grill, and the television ads have been running for days. Your auto dealership is ready for its big, big marathon holiday sales event.

You close out the preparations with a sales meeting. It’s “all hands on deck.” There are boxes of gooey donuts, pots of hot coffee, and a cadre of sharp-dressed sales people with their chins up. Your general manager delivers a pep-talk that would make the legendary Knute Rockne take notice.

Article Summary

  • Industry Stats Affecting Auto Sales
  • Down Payment ‘What Ifs’
  • Down Payment Solutions
  • What Is the Best Down Payment Solution?

Sure, you’re going to demo a lot of cars this weekend, but how many more units could you sell if the hefty cost of making a down payment was more affordable in this day and age? Here’s what you need to know.

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Tags: Auto Dealerships, Multiple Check

Brandes Elitch: Auto Industry Payments Expert

Posted by Harrison Friedes on Mon, Sep 16, 2019 @ 12:04 PM

Brandes Elitch is the director of Partner Acquisitions here at CrossCheck, Inc. Apart from that, he has years of experience being involved with the payments and automotive industries.

Elitch (on the right in the above photo) worked in cash management for a Fortune 500 company, consulted for bankcard acquirers, and has sold cash management services for major banks. He was the also the first cash manager at Charles Schwab and directed middle-market sales group at Wells Fargo.

His automotive experience includes being the owner of numerous collectible cars; attending well-known collectible car shows (e.g. Pebble Beach and Concorso Italiano); and authoring Lancia Loraymo and the Loewy Logic of Industrial Design, a comprehensive history of Raymond Loewy’s specially designed car.

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Tags: Brandes Elitch, Independent Sales Organization (ISO), Auto Dealerships

How the Glut of Off-lease Vehicles Affecting Dealerships

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Wed, Sep 11, 2019 @ 08:45 AM

Over the last few years, an interesting development has occurred in the business of selling new cars — a glut of off-lease vehicles has hit the market. Let’s take a look at what this means to dealers and consumers.

During the new vehicle sales bonanza of 2014 ­– 2016, records were set for annual sales, and surprisingly, about a third of those sales ended up as leases. By the end of 2019, an estimated 12 million low-mileage cars were coming off lease to create the glut of off-lease vehicles.

First, a recap of how leasing works. There is an up-front cash payment, and then you make a monthly payment for typically 24 or 36 months, with an option to do a buyout at the end of the lease. In theory, you are just paying for the depreciation during that time.

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Tags: Auto Dealerships, C.A.R.S.

Where to Buy Auto Parts for Modern Cars

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Mon, Sep 09, 2019 @ 07:45 AM

Owning a car is expensive. The American Automobile Association (AAA) says it costs about $8,469 if you drive an average of 15,000 miles a year. But Nerdwallet gets more granular and they calculate a typical monthly cost as follows:

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Tags: Auto Aftermarket, Auto Dealerships

Why Is Fixed Ops Important to a New Car Franchise?

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Tue, Aug 20, 2019 @ 07:45 AM

Consumers think that selling new vehicles is the most important and profitable part of running a new car franchise, and that dealers make a lot of money on each unit sold. Yes it is important, but there is another part of the business that really pays the bills and keeps the lights on: the parts and service operation. This now comprises 49% of a dealership’s gross profit, up from 45% in 2012. You will hear this referred to as “fixed ops.” That’s a strange term; what does it mean?

Car dealers have historically called one part of the business variable and one part fixed.

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Tags: Auto Dealerships

The Shortage of Car Mechanics Can Affect Dealership Revenue

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Fri, Aug 16, 2019 @ 08:55 AM

A current study by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) found that there is a serious shortage of car mechanics at dealerships, somewhere around 20,000 – 25,000 people. The trade group predicts that dealers will need another 46,000 more people by 2026. If you own or manage a dealership, this will keep you up at night, because today the parts and service area (aka “fixed ops”) comprises fully 49% of the dealership’s gross profit. It’s what keeps the lights on and pays the bills!

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Tags: Auto Dealerships, Auto Repair

Best Practices: How CrossCheck Helps Mitigate Auto Dealership Risk

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Fri, Jul 12, 2019 @ 03:22 PM

Here at CrossCheck, I am fortunate to attend a variety of payments industry events, such as the CardNotPresent Expo (CNP) last month, and two previous conferences by the Information Security Media Group, the world’s largest media organization devoted solely to information security and risk management. Seminar sessions are offered at most of these events, and the informational sharing is invaluable.

I thought I had a good understanding of the perils involved in accepting payments, but I was very surprised to learn at the CNP Expo that fraud is now increasing auto dealership risk. If your dealership has not experienced a recent uptick in consumer fraud, you are about to, so you might want to read this.

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Tags: Auto Dealerships

Automotive Study Addresses Dealership Staffing Challenges

Posted by Harrison Friedes on Mon, Jun 10, 2019 @ 10:00 AM

Cox Automotive’s “Dealership Staffing Study” addresses the dealership staffing challenges that plague auto dealers every day. This study randomly sampled 50 dealerships executives (owners, principals, and GMs), 343 dealership employees, and 834 people from the general U.S. population.

Below is a synopsis of the challenges and solutions presented.

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Tags: Auto Dealerships

The Benefits of Using Auto Dealer Management Systems Pt 2

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Mon, Apr 29, 2019 @ 01:55 PM

In our last column, we talked about the challenges and intricacies of being a car dealer, and along those lines, why a car dealer would need a reliable and robust Dealer Management System (DMS).

The car retailing business is unique. It has a lot of moving parts and there is a lot of money flowing through it every week. The owners and managers need to stay on top of the numbers that drive the business every day, not once a month. The DMS is a kind of supercharged general ledger accounting system that addresses the unique needs of a car dealer. Consequently, you do not want to change DMS or providers lightly; it is a big commitment to learn how to use a DMS and is usually a long-term commitment.

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Tags: Auto Dealerships

What Is the Future of Automotive Retailing for New Car Dealers?

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Mon, Apr 22, 2019 @ 01:56 PM

Today I heard another comment about the future of automotive retailing from someone who is not in the industry, but considers themselves fully qualified to predict the future. Predicting is a tricky business, particularly about the future. In this case, his prediction was that new car dealers would go away, and be replaced by “test drive centers” where you can take a test drive after doing all your research online.

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Tags: Auto Dealerships