Issuu on Google+

R

A

A S K

I N D E P

E

N

D

T

N

N

E

E

B

R

NEIADA N

A

O

U

I

T

MAY/JUNE 2011

T

O

D

E

A

L E R S

S O A S

C

I

A

DEALER UPDATES

N E B R A S K A I N D E P E N D E N T A U T O M O B I L E D E A L E R S A S S O C I AT I O N

2011 ANNUAL NEBRASKA CONVENTION ALSO Carter Lee Smith, 2010 – 2011 PLUS Preparing Your Dealership for Summer

DALLAS, TEXAS Permit No. 2079

PAID

PRSRT Standard U.S. Postage

V isit us at w w w.neiada.com

NE_0511.indd 1

4/19/11 3:33 PM


NE_0511.indd 2

4/21/11 11:26 AM


NE_0511.indd 3

4/20/11 3:38 PM


Secretary-Treasurer

R

A

A S K

I N D E P

E

N

D

T

Brad Quackenbush Q Family Auto 540 S. E St. Broken Bow, NE 68822 308-872-2227 qfamilyauto.com

NEIADA O

Dean Cerny Columbus Auto Mart 2817 13th St. Columbus, NE 68601 402-564-4952 columbusautomart.com

R

T

Roger Bohrer Catherland Auto Sales 642 N. Webster Red Cloud, NE 68970 402-746-3780

Assistant Executive Director

U

DIRECTORS

Gary J. Merritt,

N

Les Bockmann Bockmann Auto Sales P.O. Box 93 St. Paul, NE 68873 308-754-5645

Arlan Kuehn Kuehn Auto Sales Inc. 495 Old Hwy. 20 South Sioux City, NE 68776 402-494-2677 www.kuehnauto.com

N

Dale Cotner Dales Trucks 625 S. Lincoln Ave. York, NE 68467 402-362-5933

Joel Kershner Kershner’s Auto Korner 220 W. South St. Hasting, NE 68901 kershnerautokorner.com 402-461-3161

5701 Russell Dr. P.O. Box 29107 Lincoln, NE 68529 800-659-5453 402-464-2089 402-464-8878 (fax) niada2289@windstream.net or neiada@msn.com www.neiada.com

A

Over 12 sessions from the recent conference will be posted to www.NIADA. TV throughout April and May, so check back often over the next few months.  These sessions   will be posted in NIADA.TV’s “Remarketing” Channel as well as in the “New Programs” Channel.  Get caught up on the latest in “Remarketing” at your leisure 24/7 by visiting to www.niada.tv.

Vice President

Executive Director

E

Several educational sessions from the recent Conference of Automotive Remarketing (CAR) are now up and running free of charge on NIADA.TV. 

Dennis DeNovellis Sidney Auto Sales 1229 Illinois Ave. Sidney, NE 69162 308-254-3921

Jan Merritt,

O

New education sessions from the Conference of Automotive Remarketing are now running on NIADA.TV

President Elect

Don Deepe 81 Automotive 1380 River Road Hebron, NE 68370 402-768-6918

I

8 Carter Lee Smith, 2010 – 2011 10 Preparing Your Dealership for Summer 12 2011 Annual Nebraska Convention Highlights

Doug Borgmann Creighton Auto Sales P.O. Box 365 Creighton, NE 68729 402-358-5252

Jody Smith Jody’s Auto Sales 4 S. Jeffers North Platte, NE 69101 308-534-3729 jodysautosales.com

D

T

MAGAZINECONTENTS

Andy Chase ABC Auto 3801 N. 70th St. Lincoln, NE 68507 402-466-1613

B

President

E

OFFICERS

N

INSIDE

E

A

L E R S

S O A S

C

I

A

Chuck Rogers Chuck Rogers Auto Sales P.O. Box 11 Tekamah, NE 68061 402-374-2400

ADVERTISERSINDEX AutoTrader.com...................................Back Cover Cars.com............................................................5 Chase................................................................9 Manheim.com ..........................Inside Back Cover Nebraska Auto Auction ............Inside Front Cover NIADA.TV...................................................... 17 SmartAuction......................................................7 Western General / Protective..............................3

NATIONAL INDEPENDENT AUTOMOBILE DEALERS ASSOCIATION WWW.NIADA.COM • WWW.NIADA.TV NIADA HEADQUARTERS: 2521 BROWN BLVD. • ARLINGTON, TX 76006-5203 PHONE (817) 640-3838 FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION CONTACT: TROY GRAFF (800) 682-3837 OR TROY@NIADA.COM.

NEBRASKA DEALER UPDATES IS PUBLISHED 6 TIMES PER YEAR BY THE NATIONAL INDEPENDENT AUTOMOBILE DEALERS ASSOCIATION SERVICES CORPORATION, 2521 BROWN BLVD., ARLINGTON, TX 76006-5203; PHONE 817-640-3838. PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID AT DALLAS, TX AND AT ADDITIONAL OFFICES. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO NIADA STATE PUBLICATIONS, 2521 BROWN BLVD., ARLINGTON, TX 6006-5203. THE STATEMENTS AND OPINIONS EXPRESSED HEREIN ARE THOSE OF THE INDIVIDUAL AUTHORS AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF NEBRASKA DEALER UPDATES OR THE NATIONAL INDEPENDENT AUTOMOBILE DEALERS ASSOCIATION. LIKEWISE, THE APPEARANCE OF ADVERTISERS, OR THEIR IDENTIFICATION AS MEMBERS OF NIADA , DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN ENDORSEMENT OF THE PRODUCTS OR SERVICES FEATURED. COPYRIGHT © 2011 BY NIADA SERVICES, INC.

STATE MAGAZINE MGR./SALES Troy Graff • troy@niada.com EDITOR Mike Harbour • mharbour@niada.com PRODUCTION MGR. Jacob Kerns • jacob@niada.com ART/PRODUCTION MGR. Christy Haynes • christy@niada.com PRINTING Nieman Printing

NEW DIRECTOR ADDED TO NEIADA

Roger Bohrer of Catherland Auto Sales, Red Cloud, Neb., was newly elected to the board of directors at the 2011 Nebraska IADA general business meeting. Roger had been on the board one other time for three years and has been a member since 1995. Newly elected officers for 2011 are: Doug Borgmann, Creighton Auto Sales, Creighton, to president; Dennis DeNovellis, Sidney Auto Sales, Sidney, to president elect; Dale Cotner, Dale’s Trucks, York, to vice president; and Les Bockmann, Bockmann Auto Sales, St. Paul, to secretary-treasurer. Pictured left to right is Chuck Rogers, Doug Borgmann, Dean Cerny, Dennis DeNovellis, Don Deepe, Dale Cotner, Joel Kershner, Brad Quakenbush, Jody Smith and Andy Chase.

4

DEALER

NE_0511.indd 4

UPDATES

MAY/JUNE 2011

W W W. N E I A D A . C O M

4/19/11 3:33 PM


NE_0511.indd 5

4/19/11 3:33 PM


R

A

A S K

I N D E P

E

N

D

T

N

N

E

E

B

R

NEIADA N

A

O

U

I

T

T

O D

E

A

L E R S

S O A S

C

I

A

A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT If you have any ideas or things that need to be brought to our attention, please let Jan, Gary or myself know.

I would just like to take a moment and thank you for the honor of being your president for 2011. With the

help of Gary and Jan, I will do my best for all of you. Most of you probably already know me, but for those who don’t, I will give a little information. I am Doug Borgmann and own Creighton Auto Inc. in Creighton, Neb. I was born and raised in Creighton and still reside there. My dad started Creighton Auto in 1957 and I worked for him from the time I was 13 until 2001. That’s when my wife and I purchased it from him. It has been a wonderful learning experience, and the Nebraska IADA

has been a big part of that. This organization has meant so much to us, not only for the education but for the lifelong friends we’ve met. I have been married to my wife, Nyla, for 27 years (high school sweethearts, ya know). We have three children: Benjamin, 24; Brittany, 20, and Mitchell, 15. We have all enjoyed coming to conventions every year and even the older ones still look forward to it. It is kind of like the family you only get to see once a year. Both Ben and Brittany have received scholarships thanks to all who’ve participated in these conventions. We’ve also had the opportunity

K ARLSSON RE TIRES

FROM NEBRASKA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE Ruth Karlsson, Nebraska Department of Revenue, spoke at the NEIADA Annual Convention. As usual, Karlsson, who works in the sale tax division, was well received and dealers had a lot of questions for her. This was the fourth year in a row she has spoken at the convention. Laz Flores, educator, another department employee also attended this year’s convention.

SEE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS YEAR’S CONVENTION ON PAGES 12 AND 13. It was shortly after the convention when Karlsson called our office to let dealers know she was retiring. She wanted to thank us for getting to know the dealers over the past four years. We also enjoyed having her at the conventions and getting to know her. We wish Karlsson well on her future endeavors.

to attend two national conventions and for any of you thinking about it, it is a wonderful and worthwhile experience. Gary and Jan are full of information on these subjects and would love to share with you. Once again, thank you for this opportunity. If you have any ideas or things that need to be brought to our attention, please let Jan, Gary or myself know. We are all here to do our best for you. Doug Borgmann Nebraska IADA President

S TAT E AU X IL I A R Y H A S

SUCCESSFUL AUCTION The final function during our annual convention Saturday evening was the Auxiliary Auction. It immediately followed the Grand Banquet, where more than 60 items was auctioned off, plus many silent auction items. Calling the auction was Les Bockmann of Bockmann Auto Sales in St. Paul. Ringing was Chuck Rogers, president, Chuck Rogers Auto Sales, Tekamah; Doug Borgmann, president elect, Creighton Auto, Creighton, and Dale Cotner, Dales Trucks, York (elected vice president on Sunday). The action was active and lively, with some stiff bidding competition between the auctions present and the vendors and dealers alike. All in the name of a good cause. At the end of the evening, many retired to the hospitality room sponsored by Wheels for You for some good old comradery. The proceeds fund the Auxiliary Scholarship program, convention activities for the kids, and community involvement, as well as support the auxiliary president while attending the NIADA convention. This year, enough was raised to fund six scholarships of $750 each. These scholarships are open to member dealer’s children or grandchildren, who are seniors the year of the convention and are attending post secondary education. The scholarship winners for 2011 are:

RUTH KARLSSON

Page Dunkle Brianna Pohlman Dealership: Dealership: Bill Von Tersch Motors 81 Automotive Valley, Neb. Hebron, Neb. Bill & Barb Von Tersch Don & Carol Deepe Emma Bohrer Trezden Ford Dealership: Dealership: Catherland Auto Sales Dale’s Trucks Red Cloud, Neb. York, Neb. Roger & Lila Jo Bohrer Dale & Ramona Cotner Aisha Bourke Trevin Launsby Dealership: Dealership: Bridge Street Auto Troy’s Auto World Lexington, Neb. Homer, Neb. Jeff Bourke Troy Launsby

6

DEALER

NE_0511.indd 6

UPDATES

MAY/JUNE 2011

W W W. N E I A D A . C O M

4/20/11 3:37 PM


NE_0511.indd 7

4/19/11 3:33 PM


A PPRECI AT IO N F RO M

FROM THE SMITH FAMILY “WHEN SOMEONE YOU LOVE BECOMES A MEMORY, THE MEMORY BECOMES A TREASURE.”

Hello, We are writing this letter in great appreciation of all the kind and healing words, deep sympathy, support and amazing gratitude shown to us by all our NEIADA family. It will not be possible to forget those wonderful days we all spent with Carter in Columbus this year. It is always friends like all you who make all the difference between happiness and sorrow. It’s a wonderful feeling to know we have friends like all you in our moment of sorrow!

Jodi and I have been overwhelmed by all the letters, cards, e-mails and flowers we have received for Carter. It means a lot to us to know others are thinking of us and him. We are eternally grateful for all the support and guidance of everyone during the time of crisis where we were ramshackled; we didn’t expect to lose him so young and suddenly. He has left a hole in our lives so big words cannot describe it. Bed time, bath time, meal time – nothing will feel the same again. We console ourselves knowing he didn’t suffer, his end was quick and he is in a better place. But we all just miss him so desperately. We would like to thank you again for all your help with a feeling of gratitude! Deeply touched and warm regards, Michael, Jodi and Caiden Smith “When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.” Forever in our hearts!

IN LOVING MEMORY… C A R T E R L E E S M I T H , 2 0 10 – 2 0 11 For those of you that know Jody Smith of Jody’s Auto Sales, North Platte, know for many years he brought his son Michael to our conventions ever since he was nine years old. Michael grew up, moved to Omaha, got married and started a family. Then, Jody brought Michael and Michael’s wife, Jodi, and their son, Caiden. This year, Michael, Jodi, Caiden and new son Carter came to the convention. Being the three-monthold baby he was, Carter got more than his share of attention at our convention in Columbus this year. Three days after the convention was over, Carter passed away. At first, it was thought Carter died of sudden infant death syndrome, but an autopsy revealed he had myocarditis, also known as heart failure. Carter had such a beautiful funeral and a great crowd gathered to honor the baby and the family.

Dear NEIADA Members, We wanted to say a big thank you for the tremendous kindness and support we have received during the loss of grandson Carter Lee Smith. We have always considered NEIADA as part of our extended family. Our children have grown up going to conventions. Then to have the blessing of our grandchildren attending conventions. Truly your cards, prayers and thoughtfulness have been humbling and we are grateful for the NEIADA’s support and you the individual dealers during our time of grief. Sincerely, Jody and Cindy Smith Jody’s Auto Sales North Platte, Neb.

A NOTE FROM THE

AUXILIARY PRESIDENT Hi! I am Nyla Borgmann, wife of the Nebraska IADA president, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the position of Nebraska IADA Auxiliary president. I remember when I started coming to this convention and the excitement this organization brought to it. I will do my best to keep it going with the same enthusiasm you have all brought to it. I would like to thank the ladies for the support you always bring and I know I can count on you again. Please bring your ideas, questions or concerns to us in the hope that together we can make our organization the very best it can be! Here’s to a great 2011. Nyla Borgmann Nebraska IADA Auxiliary President

8

DEALER

NE_0511.indd 8

UPDATES

MAY/JUNE 2011

W W W. N E I A D A . C O M

4/19/11 3:33 PM


JOEL KERSHNER,

2010 QUALITY DEALER OF NEBRASKA Joel Kershner of Kershner’s Auto Korner in Hastings, Neb., was named the 2011 Nebraska Quality Dealer. Kershner received the award at the 34th Annual NEIADA Convention on Feb. 11-13 in Columbus, Neb. Last year’s Nebraska Quality Dealer, Arlan Kuehn of Kuehn Auto Sales Inc. in South Sioux City, Neb., presided over part of evening. Many dealers have had the chance to get to know Kershner, as he is a past president of the association. He also serves on the board of directors and has done so for several years. Kershner started in the used auto business at a very young age (while he was still in school) helping his father Val Kershner in dealership in the mid-

1980s. He went to Central Community College and took auto mechanics. Kershner worked alongside his father for many years and can do anything in the business. He is very good in all aspects; he’s a good detailer, a great salesman, gets along well with the public and has many repeat customers. In addition, Kershner does most of the computer work, including the billing and accounts payable. In other words, he knows the business inside and out. Born in the late 1960s in south central Nebraska, Kershner is the youngest of four siblings (he has one brother and two sisters). He and his wife Tami have four children: Matti, 14; Grady, 12; Logan, 10, and Evan, 8.

Like many of the dealers in the association, Kershner is carrying on a family tradition. Not only is he a second generation dealer, but he’s also is a second-generation quality dealer, following his father, the 1996 Nebraska Quality Dealer. Val and Joel Kershner are the fourth set of father and son quality dealers from Nebraska.

9

W W W. N E I A D A . C O M

NE_0511.indd 9

MAY/JUNE 2011

DEALER

UPDATES

4/19/11 3:33 PM


SUMMERTIME AND THE SELLIN’ IS EASY

SUMMERTIME AND THE SELLIN’ IS EASY

BY AN DY FRI ED LAN D ER

people are out there buying cars in the heat of summer, even in places like Hinesville and Tyler, Texas, were the temperature regularly climbs above 100 in July and August. So a dealer who wants to snag some of that business needs to play it cool – with his customers and his inventory – even when it’s broiling outside.

It gets hot during the summer in south Georgia. Real hot. How hot, exactly?

“So hot our sales people don’t even want to get out there,” said Larry Mannion of M&M Motors in Hinesville, Ga., about 35 miles southwest of Savannah. “I’m talking really hot, you know, like that 100-degree index. I usually take the attitude that if someone is on the lot looking for a car when it gets like that, he must need a car pretty bad, because it’s so hot. I mean, who wants to be out there?” Nevertheless, people are out there buying cars in the heat of summer, even in places like Hinesville and Tyler, Texas, were the temperature regularly climbs above 100 in July and August. So a dealer who wants to snag some of that business needs to play it cool – with his customers and his inventory – even when it’s broiling outside. That means little touches like plenty of chilled water or soft drinks available for potential car buyers, or running the air conditioning for a few minutes to cool off the car before inviting customers in for a test drive. It means checking the coolant level and the AC of every car on the lot before a customer wants to look at it. It means being prepared for the inevitable heat of summer. “One thing you have to remember is our business is all emotional,” said Joe Lescota, chairman of the Automotive Marketing department at Northwood University in Midland, Mich., and the instructor for the NIADA’s Certified Master Dealer program. “It’s a very psychological business. You have to kind of cast the logic out the door a little bit and think about the consumer and the consumer’s experience. Think about how you can make the customer experience much more enjoyable.” In the summer, that’s all about cool, from the look of the offices – fresh paint in light colors – to placing misters outside, an inexpensive touch that can lower temperatures 20 degrees or more on a hot day. “Hook them up to a garden hose and they can blow a cool mist over where customers will be,” Lescota said. “Think about creating

a psychologically cool environment. Have water for the customer, but not just in a water cooler. I like a big bucket filled with ice, where you can actually see bottles of water chilling. That’s psychologically refreshing. Let the customer stay inside as much as possible and provide a huge washtub full of ice and water or soft drinks.” It doesn’t hurt to keep the cars cool, too. Lescota suggests investing in a large tent or canopy to put over some of the inventory, protecting it from the sun and, in climates where sudden hailstorms can pop up, hail damage. “Think about putting as much of the inventory as possible under one huge tent,” he said. “I really encourage dealers to get a professional tent or awning company. If I’m looking at lots and one guy’s inventory is out in the sun baking all day, and another’s is in the shade, I can see the difference.” And dealers shouldn’t be afraid to get the word out about their cool touches through their advertising. After all, none of those ideas will bring in customers who don’t know about them. “Dealers not only need to do these things – they need to tell the public about it – advertise it,” Lescota said. “‘Our vehicles are in the shade,’ or, ‘Come on in for some icecold water.’ Let people know it’s ice cold. Remember the old days when movie theaters used to advertise ‘ice-cold air conditioning?’ There is a psychological response to that.” That is also true of the dealership’s grounds. Summer is prime time for weeds, those persistent pests that seem to constantly be growing in cracks in the pavement. “You have to look at your property, and that’s an everyday thing, too, because weeds can pop up overnight,” Lescota said. “We have a tendency to look past those things.” The one thing that can’t be looked past is the temperature, which can climb to 130 degrees inside a closed car in hotter climates. If a customer wants a test drive, making him get into that blast furnace isn’t likely to sell him on a vehicle.

10

DEALER

NE_0511.indd 10

UPDATES

MAY/JUNE 2011

W W W. N E I A D A . C O M

4/19/11 3:33 PM


“We’ll go out and crank the vehicle and bring it up front for them and sit inside and talk to them for awhile and let the vehicle cool off,” said Brian Pool, co-owner — along with his father, Scott — of Autohouse Auto Finance in Tyler, Texas. “Let the AC run.” Lescota is all for that. He also said rolling the car’s windows down on hot, sunny days can keep the interior from getting too bad in the first place. Sales consultant Jan Kelly of Kelly Enterprises said having windows tinted can help, too. “If it gets too hot in there, when I get in that car, I’m not thinking, ‘Wow, this is a nice car.’ I’m thinking, ‘I hope I don’t get a thirddegree burn,’” he said. “And of course, don’t just throw a customer in the darn car. Let the salesperson crank the car and cool it down, so when the customer gets in the car, it’s an ‘Ahhh’ feeling as opposed to an ‘Ow, this hurts’ feeling.” Jim Coury, owner of Integrity Auto Sales, has been selling cars in steamy Port Orange, Fla., since 1987, so he knows a thing or two about dealing with heat. One of his major changes for summer is his of hours of operation, a move aimed at increasing traffic of customers trying to avoid the hottest part of the day. In the winter, Coury’s lot closes at 6 p.m., sometimes earlier. In summer, it will be open until 8 or beyond. “We find people don’t want to be out in the middle of the day in the heat and get into a car that feels like it’s about 180 degrees,” he said. “We post 8 o’clock hours but a lot of times we are here even later.” Coury also changes his advertising during the summer, buying more radio ads to target people out driving or at the beach. “Radio advertising does well in the summer – you get a lot more bang for your buck that time of year,” he said. As for the cars themselves, Lescota said it’s worth the extra time and effort to keep the inventory looking clean and sharp. That can be especially difficult in summer, when the hot sun tends to fade paint and upholstery, and dust and debris tend to blow in from the surrounding area. While keeping the vehicles out of the sun is preferable, it isn’t always feasible, so a dealer has to be prepared to clean the inventory often. “People buy visually, so you need to be sensitive to making sure every single car, every single day, looks fresh,” Lescota said. “It’s easy to get a car looking good for the lot. The hard part is keeping it looking good while it’s on the lot. That’s why it’s very important for the dealer to make sure he’s got a good coat of wax on the car. And have the porter wipe the cars down first thing in the morning, not anywhere near the afternoon because that water will cause water spots and some water spots can be very, very, very

SUMMERTIME AND THE SELLIN’ IS EASY “The price of gas is going to continue to rise, which means fuel-efficient is in again,” she said. “The fuel-efficient ones are going at a premium. In fact, there might be a shortage of fuel-efficient cars. I hear dealers are having a hard time getting inventory.”

difficult to get out. A lot of that preparation needs to be done very early in the morning.” Lescota also suggested washing the windows with a solution of one part ammonia to four parts water to “make them absolutely sparkle.” “People might say that kind of stuff isn’t a big deal,” he said. “Of course it is. Look at how any person shops. If I’m at a store and I find something on the shelf that has dust on it, I put it back and I look for a box or can that doesn’t have dust on it. Dust says it’s old. Dust says it’s stale. It might not be, but that’s what it says. That’s a very powerful tool that can motivate a potential buyer.” Not all of the issues facing cars sitting in the heat of summer are cosmetic. Some can be legal – the heat can make stickers face or even fall off, including required FTC stickers and Monroney stickers. And the heat can even keep a car from starting. “Believe it or not, we have to make sure we keep the cars started once a week because batteries take just as much of a beating in the summertime as they do in the winter,” Coury said. “The heat is just as bad for a battery as the cold. It’s funny, it will be the dead of summer and you’ll be going, ‘What the heck? All these batteries are going bad on me.’ The heat is really tough on those batteries. So we make sure we have a lot of batteries in stock, ready to go.” Ross Turner, assistant commercial category manager for AutoZone, an NIADA National Member Benefit provider, suggests keeping a careful eye on the cars’ rubber items – such as belts, hoses, tires and wiper blades — because rubber can be greatly affected by heat. And an extra thorough wash might be a good idea when the weather warms up, especially in places that had rough winters. “Remember that it wasn’t just snow and mud that accumulated on the cars,” he said. “If they were driven, there were also salts, sands and other melting chemicals that have built up on the auto’s finish. Cleaning the interiors and exteriors more thoroughly might set one dealer out ahead of another when it comes to customer impressions.” Summer can even affect the type of cars a dealer wants on the lot. Kelly said the hot items – pun intended – for the upcoming

summer will be fuel-efficient vehicles. “The price of gas is going to continue to rise, which means fuel-efficient is in again,” she said. “The fuel-efficient ones are going at a premium. In fact, there might be a shortage of fuel-efficient cars. I hear dealers are having a hard time getting inventory.” At least one dealer already is finding that to be the case. “We’re trying to buy stuff that gets decent gas mileage as we look forward toward summertime,” Pool said. “We’re having trouble finding any inventory. We’re keeping our eyes on gas prices and trying to stock a lot of stuff that gets good fuel economy – cars and small SUVs – and trying to stay away from diesel trucks with the price getting close to $4 a gallon. “We want to get some stuff in here that we can sell. We used to buy SUVs and Suburbans and Tahoes because people were getting ready to go on vacation in the summer and they’d buy those bigger vehicles to carry their families in. But not these days.” Summer actually brings more than heat when it comes to weather. In some areas, it means sudden hailstorms or tornadoes that can pop up at a moment’s notice. In Florida and along the Gulf coast, it means the beginning of hurricane season. Coury found that out the hard way in 2004, when Florida was pounded by four hurricanes – Charley, Francis, Ivan and Jeanne – which left his dealership a wreck. That summer reinforced the need to have a storm plan, whether that’s a tent or cover to keep cars out of the hail in Texas or places to hide Florida cars from hurricane-force winds and storm surges. “One thing I have to do constantly is storm preparedness,” he said. “We rehearse where cars are going and what to do. I’m very close to the water here, probably 100 yards from the Intracoastal Waterway. So I have to worry about any storm surge, flooding, high winds. “During one of the hurricanes we had, I put a bunch of cars together in a big square, not realizing the shingles were going to blow off my roof and skin up every car there was. So I try to take the largest assets and protect them the best, and do what I can do with the rest of it.” 11

W W W. N E I A D A . C O M

NE_0511.indd 11

MAY/JUNE 2011

DEALER

UPDATES

4/19/11 3:33 PM


12

DEALER

NE_0511.indd 12

UPDATES

MAY/JUNE 2011

W W W. N E I A D A . C O M

4/19/11 3:33 PM


13

W W W. N E I A D A . C O M

NE_0511.indd 13

MAY/JUNE 2011

DEALER

UPDATES

4/20/11 3:40 PM


NEW NIADA MOBILE SERVICE

FOR SMART PHONES PUTS KE Y APPR AISAL DATA , MEMBER NE WS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS BY SCOTT LI L JA , VI CE PRESI D ENT, N IADA M EM BER SERVI CES

This spring, NIADA members will have access to a new mobile application tool from NIADA that will enhance their productivity and profitability and stay up to date on the latest developments impacting their dealership. This new tool, NIADA Mobile Service, is accessible by Apple iPhones, Android-type phones and other select models. It puts at members’ fingertips a wealth of critical data to help them make better vehicle appraisal, purchase and retail sales decisions. Now, members can access their subscriptions to appraisal services from NADA Guidebook, Kelley Blue Book, Black Book, and Galves Auto Price List. They also will access run lists from participating auctions. Furthermore, NIADA Mobile Service links them by smart phone to select content on NIADA.com. Here’s how NIADA Mobile Service will streamline your operations: On the lot or on line: More quickly appraise a vehicle, for customers at your lot or those selling online through sites such as Craigslist. Access your guide book vehicle appraisal service or a market report – or your subscription vehicle history report service – on the specific unit. Have at your fingertips the right current facts to pencil your best deal. Buying from auction: You can access the auction’s pre-sale run list while at the auction or sitting in your office. You may view the inventory then, once you land on a unit you like, press on the appropriate smart phone icons to pop up auction-supplied information about the unit, its appraisal data, and a vehicle history report. Continual and timely updates ensure you have the freshest available data. During a moment of downtime: Activity suddenly slows its hectic pace for a few minutes, so you use the time to access the NIADA website. There you check some key association information or watch a NIADA.TV video you’d put off. The service also alerts you to urgent messages that might require immediate action. Designed for NIADA

NIADA Mobile Service was developed by leading automotive mobile applications developer and NIADA technology partner and advisor GigglePop.com Inc. The company is importing NIADA web content and coupling it with existing GigglePop software mobile applications. GigglePop’s technology is known

for speed, accuracy and, of course, mobility. Its fat-finger icon or button designs are a special value when searching for key information when working in distracting environments like auctions. These large icon designs help users easily find and stroke with their fingers the right icons or buttons they want, reducing keystroking errors. As NIADA’s technical partner, GigglePop will continue to support Mobile Service and be an industry liaison for NIADA Mobile. Accessible subscription guidebook data and features through Mobile Service include:

Customizable software settings All guidebook regions or states include s VIN look-up decoder s Stores booked vehicles, recall in an instant s Enter personal notes on booked vehicles s Lists and sorts appraised vehicles s Re-values saved vehicles with each new update s Automatically updates wirelessly s Barcode scanning capability s Seamless integration with all GigglePop valuation tools, including vehicle history report subscription services and auction run lists s SmartBid Market Report s Large easy-to-read fonts s s

NIADA Mobile Service also makes your day at the auction simple, easy and productive. Accessible auction run list data from participating auctions includes: s

s s

s s s

s s

Search by lane or run number to view auction vehicle data Barcode scanning capability Continual auction run list updates even while auction is in progress View those late arrivals Save target vehicle data for future reference Enter personal notes and bid pricing on specific vehicle records Lists and sorts saved target vehicles Seamless integration with all GigglePop valuation tools, including Guide Books, Vehicle History and participating Market Reports

In addition to providing mobile access to these key services, NIADA Mobile Service also connects members to select NIADA content on the NIADA site. Wherever you are, you can stay on top of moving legislative decisions, regulatory compliance issues, new NIADA member services and educational programs.

Especially in today’s market, still recovering from the recession, this mobile service will help members operate more profitably. It puts at hand the insight needed to buy and sell more profitably and keep abreast of industry news and events influencing the used vehicle retail market. The more competitive dealers today are clearly adapting to our changing industry by using mobile technologies and solutions to help them better manage their used vehicle operations, inventories, vehicle sourcing and retail sales processes.

DELIVERS TANGIBLE MEMBER BENEFITS Members’ use of the NIADA Mobile Service tool will help them:

Identify quality, retail-ready inventory: Mobile accessibility to auction inventory as well as vehicle valuation guides can help dealers meet challenges presented by the economic fallout from the last three years’ depressed vehicle sales, drop in leasing activity and reduced stream of fleet rentals into the remarketing stream. s Source the right-priced vehicle for the customer: Reduced levels of wholesale units flowing into remarketing channels have made it more difficult to source and match the right vehicle to customers’ ability to pay. NIADA Mobile Service helps dealers locate those vehicles at an acquisition price the customer can afford and finance, while providing enhanced profit for the dealer. s

Often spread thin by needing to be in the office, on the lot and at the auction seemingly simultaneously, the independent used auto dealer must use time and resources wisely. By adding this new Mobile Service tool to the NIADA portfolio of member services, the association helps its members access critical association information and related vehicle valuation, history reports and auction run list services right from their smart phone. As market needs continue to change and dealers seek new ways to remain competitive, like purchasing inventory outside their local market areas and using web-based competitive vehicle analysis and pricing tools, GigglePop and NIADA will continue to enhance Mobile Service to help dealers make the most informed and profitable business decisions.

14

DEALER

NE_0511.indd 14

UPDATES

MAY/JUNE 2011

W W W. N E I A D A . C O M

4/19/11 3:33 PM


SALES

ONLINE SALES SUCCESS

Let Your Listings Do the Talking Anyone can start selling cars using the Internet, but those who are most successful give buyers the right information during the shopping process. Sellers can break through

the clutter of online used car sales by giving consumers photos, compelling descriptions and vehicle history while they shop. If you’re not already online, you need to be. Eighty percent of consumers today use the Internet to help find their next car. Furthermore, shoppers visit less than two dealerships before deciding to buy – conducting research online before visiting any lot. Typically, they start by visiting third-party automalls like AutoTrader.com and Cars. com. A quick search can return hundreds of listings for vehicles similar in style and price. Since you can’t sell online shoppers face-toface, your listings have to do the talking. Focus your marketing efforts on two lead-generating areas that attract the most attention: Search Results Pages (SRPs) and Vehicle Details Pages (VDPs). The SRPs and VDPs are the most

prominent places to communicate the value of your used car inventory online. When shoppers click on SRPs, they go to VDPs to browse additional photos, read about features, see the vehicle history and locate the seller. Getting shoppers to click on SRP listings generates more leads from your VDPs. The vehicle description you provide on SRPs is your first opportunity to reach shoppers. Try to describe the car’s benefits as if shoppers were standing in front of you. Be brief but informative. For example, you might say, “this van comfortably fits up to eight people” or, “we offer low financing” or, “includes Free Carfax Vehicle History Report.” You don’t want potential customers glancing past your listings because they didn’t peak their interest. Photos are another way seasoned online sellers grab the attention of used car shoppers on SRPs. Use the best image as the SRP ‘thumbnail’ image on SRPs and save detailed images for the VDP. You can build confidence with online

consumers by linking Carfax Reports to SRP and VDP listings. Shoppers are more likely to buy from open and up-front sellers and your listings will stand out even more. To connect with online shoppers, you need to think like them. By giving buyers relevant information to help them make an educated decision, you can compete online and sell cars faster. Top dealers consistently get more leads because they pay attention to how their car listings appeal to online consumers. Make your SRPs stand out in the crowded online marketplace and more shoppers will click through to your VDPs. More clicks equals more leads and ultimately, more sales. BY DALE POLLAK AND LANCE VICKERY

Dale Pollak, founder of vAuto, is a highly sought-after authority on maximizing profits from used vehicle operations, working extensively with Dealer 20 Groups, Dealer Associations and large dealer enterprises across the country. In addition to his regular contributions to auto industry publications like Dealer Magazine, Pollak is a published author of 2 books, Velocity: From the Front Line to the Bottom Line and Velocity 2.0: Paint, Pixels and Profitability. Lance Vickery is director of dealer business at Carfax and has spent more than 25 years in the auto industry.

15

W W W. N E I A D A . C O M

NE_0511.indd 15

MAY/JUNE 2011

DEALER

UPDATES

4/19/11 3:33 PM


FACEBOOK 101

THE DEALERS SOCIAL MEDIA BY DUSTI N JANSSO N

How effective is your dealership’s following and interaction with Facebook and other social media? Most dealers create a fan

page, load a photo of their dealership and don’t invest any more time or effort in the page’s content or building the fan base. Although thousands of dollars are spent in a dealer’s monthly advertising budget, the Facebook and social media investment is often overlooked when it could be the best source of customer retention and referral business. Social media can be exceptionally beneficial when you’re dealing with hundreds of millions of people on multiple levels. First, you have the ability to connect with consumers on more of a personal level. Second, you create a one-off relationship where the thought of making a purchase from a dealer utilizing these tools is a much more comfortable engagement. Third, you can effectively continue a relationship with the consumer for years rather than days.

FACEBOOK FACTS

• More than 500 million active users • 5 0 percent of active users log on to Facebook in any given day

• Average user has 200 friends •  P eople spend more than 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook

•  2 5 percent of all internet traffic in the U.S. is going through Facebook

• “Like”  button found on two millionplus websites (Bing, etc.)

Start by tending to your own backyard… your customers! The horsepower of a fan page is built by your following that will give you the power to deliver your messages more efficiently and methodically. Advertising a sale every weekend by posting it on FB is not the answer.

Remember the customer calendars with the picture of them buying their car from your dealership and those cut-out coupons spread throughout months for service and parts? Social media is the same concept, but on steroids and at a fraction of the cost or effort! You want your customers to “like” your fan page because that shows their hundreds of FB friends they like you. You can take this one step further and take a picture of every customer in their new car and “tag” them in the photo. Once you’ve tagged that person, all their friends will see it, leading to limitless impressions! The immediate network everyone possesses on FB is your highway to customer retention and referral business. Try enticing your customers by offering a referral or bird-dog fee to give them incentive to engage their FB friends into your dealership. Again, social media is not necessarily lead generator, but a vessel to grow your business’s reputation on multiple levels. You may not get a Facebook message saying, “I would like to purchase a car from you,” but you will likely get recommendations from people in your network to buy from your dealership. Proper page setup and execution of your social media is important. Your dealership page should be set up as a fan page on FB, not a personal profile. Information and photo captions on fan pages are indexed for search engines, so make sure your information is complete and appropriately labeled. You also can have your inventory listed with videos, if applicable. Sending mass messages to your fans is only possible with fan pages. The list of fan page do’s and don’ts goes on and on so if you believe you need help with the setup of your social media pages contact DealerNet Solutions for some consulting. Execution of your social media really comes down to this: what reason do you give people to like your page and revisit

it? You need to run on all cylinders (sales, parts, service, customer appreciation, etc.). Make your content fun and attractive to the customer as well as informing and beneficial. Update your fans about the little league baseball team you sponsor, or about a little-known holiday that’s occurring today, then add something about the new offerings your service or detail department has. Prospecting with social media is possible, too. There is technology now available that allows you to enter keywords to search for in a specific geographic radius on the social networks. Every time those words show up in somebody’s shared post or tweet, you see them (e.g. shared post; I am looking at a Toyota Camry) and can often capture their contact info by just “friend-ing” or “following” them. Companies such as DealerNet Solutions have taken the lead in the social media realm by not only providing auto-targeting to capture the millions of consumers, but also by tying in traditional internet inventory posting on their social media thus creating a web around all aspects of internet marketing. Again, driving sales with Internet postings is not enough, but coupling it with social media creates a new generation of sales. All the potential is in the big picture. The way dealers advertise has changed immensely and the days of the instant leads are growing fewer. Your services and reputation are what set you apart from the rest of the competition. Being able to manage millions of potential customers will take you to the top. DUSTI N JANSSO N provides consulting on social media and social media management tools as well as complete dealer inventory marketing and management products. Contact him at 303-232-3435 or dj@ dealernetsolutions.com

16

DEALER

NE_0511.indd 16

UPDATES

MAY/JUNE 2011

W W W. N E I A D A . C O M

4/19/11 3:33 PM


Product Discounts for NIADA Members NIADA members can save up to 29 percent on select FedEx® shipping services. For more information or to enroll in this program, visit www.1800members.com/niada or call 800-6362377 (8 a.m.–6 p.m. Eastern, Mon.-Fri.).  enting a car just became easier and economical with R the new Thrifty Car Rental Discount Program for NIADA members. Visit www.thrifty.com/?iata=00227148&Promo tionCode=NIADA to receive a 5 percent discount off Thrifty’s already low rates anywhere or any size vehicle in the U.S. A 24-hour advance reservation is required and reservations can only be made through this URL or via the link on the NIADA website. Offer is valid for travel until Dec. 31, 2011. AutoZone is the leading retailer and a leading distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the United States with over 4,350 stores across 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. NIADA members have access to AutoZone’s “hotshot” delivery program including discounts on more than 750,000 product level SKUs in over 70 distinct product categories. NIADA members have our expert field management team and experienced Territory Sales Managers who every day do whatever it takes to help customers deliver the highest level of quality service, manage their shops efficiently, train their technicians and maximize their profits. For more information, contact AutoZone’s Sales Center at 1-866-727-5317 or sc53@autozone.com

SPRING

INTO ACTION NOW

VIEW OVER 450 HOURS OF DE ALER EDUC ATION SE S SIONS A S WELL A S OTHER SPECIAL TR AINING SEMINARS AND MONTHLY DE ALER TIP S 24/7 AT W W W.NIADA.T V

ENTER SITE AND CLICK ON NEW PROGRAMS

17

W W W. N E I A D A . C O M

NE_0511.indd 17

MAY/JUNE 2011

DEALER

UPDATES

4/19/11 3:33 PM


CARFA X L AUNCHES ADVANTAGE PROGRAM FOR DEALERS NEW PROGRAM DESIGNED TO INFLUENCE SHOPPER’S DEALER CHOICE, ENHANCE CONFIDENCE

Carfax is giving dealers a powerful new way to attract customers using the Carfax brand. The Carfax Advantage™ Dealer Program distinguishes Carfax-subscribing dealers that are committed to transparency. Through the program, partici-

pating dealers can set themselves apart from their competition. Used car shoppers know they can buy with greater confidence when shopping at any Carfax Advantage dealership. “Being a Carfax Advantage dealer with unlimited access to Carfax Reports, Carfax has quickly become one of our most valued partners,” said Adam Warmka, general sales manager at Dick Brantmeier Ford Lincoln Kia in Wisconsin. “We use them when we’re buying cars to make sure everything checks out and our salespeople are constantly asking for printed copies so they can show our customers. Every car we list online has a Carfax Report. Carfax is in our advertising, out in front of our dealership and on every car in our inventory. We use them every day.” According to recent research, more than 80% of used car shoppers surveyed said they would prefer to shop at a Carfax Advantage dealership. Carfax Advantage dealers have another way of building confidence with used car buyers and help customers make faster buying decisions. “Our participation in the Carfax Advantage program has helped us build credibility with customers,” said Dan Moltz, general manager at Car Center of Waldorf, Md. “We show the Carfax up front on every car. Customers appreciate it and the result is additional sales and higher customer satisfaction. Also, by pulling Carfax Reports prior to buying inventory, we shorten our turn, which we all know increases retained earnings. The more you turn, the more you earn.” As part of the program, participating dealers have unlimited access to Carfax Vehicle History Reports and Carfax Auction Quick Check, plus a Consumer Information Pack for every car being retailed. Carfax also provides enhanced point-of-sale materials for free, including new items that highlight Carfax Advantage dealerships. “Transparency greatly influences consumers when making their dealer choice,” said Bill Eager, vice president of Carfax. “Thousands of consumers we tested said that the Carfax Advantage program means trust and confidence. They know immediately that a Carfax Advantage dealer will show them the Carfax. As a result, participating dealers enhance their reputation and sell more cars faster.”

PRE-GAME WARM-UP:

REVIEW FINANCING PRACTICES AHEAD OF CFPB AND FTC RULES It’s the beginning of the baseball season. Experts are poring over team rosters, game schedules and statistics to predict the season’s outcome. The fun and fear is the

element of the unknown. The same is true of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. As it takes shape, we are checking its roster of leaders and their speeches and public announcements to predict first-year activities. The fear, not so much the fun, is the element of the unknown. One unknown is how the bureau and the Federal Trade Commission will define an unfair, deceptive, or abusive act or practice in motor vehicle financing. The Dodd-Frank Act authorizes them to make and enforce rules to prevent such acts and practices in consumer financial products and services. Many states already have similar statutes, but each state has its own unique definitions and case law. Some states have developed a large body of case law defining the standard, but the Dodd-Frank Act will add a unique layer of federal law, regulations and court decisions. State attorneys general also can sue to enforce federal law, so we may see case law develop based on unique state decisions to enforce. In addition, state laws that provide greater consumer protection will continue to be enforceable. The FTC recently announced it’s conducting public roundtables in three to five cities around the U.S. to discuss consumer protection issues in connection with motor vehicle sales and leasing. It published a list of discussion topics indicating the acts and practices under the most intense scrutiny. The list includes yo-yo financing, finance company incentives to dealers resulting in more expensive credit, interest rate mark-ups and upfront charges of which the consumer is unaware, negative equity financing, selling and financing add-on products and services and use of GPS location devices. Details may be found at ftc.gov. Information from the roundtable meetings will likely shape the FTC’s view on whether the practices discussed are in any way unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices. The meetings will likely be a game changer. Whether or not you participate in the meetings, you should review your dealership’s practices in these areas. The legal standard for review will develop over time. For now, I suggest the common person standard: Would you be comfortable having your practices displayed on the Jumbotron at the ball game? BY CH I P ZYVO LOSKI Chip Zyvoloski is senior attorney for indirect lending at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services. For more information, visit www.wolterskluwerfs.com/indirect.

18

DEALER

NE_0511.indd 18

UPDATES

MAY/JUNE 2011

W W W. N E I A D A . C O M

4/19/11 3:33 PM


NE_0511.indd 19

4/19/11 3:33 PM


NE_0511.indd 20

4/19/11 3:33 PM


NE_0511_O