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MAY/JUNE 2011

INDEPENDENT DEALER

O F FI C IA L P U B LI CATI O N O F T H E O H I O IN D E P E N D E N T AU T O M O B I L E D E A L E RS A S S O C IATI O N

NIADA CERTIFIED PROGRAM GROWS ALSO Mobile Commerce Takes Center Stage PLUS Ohio Laws & Compliance Requirements

DALLAS, TEXAS Permit No. 2079

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V isit us at w w w.ohiada.org

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FOR INFORMATION ON HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER CONTACT JAMES R. MITCHELL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

INSIDE

OIADA • 2040 Brice Road • Suite #110 Reynoldsburg, OH 43068 PO Box 216 • Brice, OH 43109-0216 • jrmitch49@aol.com • www.ohiada.org

MAGAZINECONTENTS

Past Chairman Thomas Smith Smittys’ Auto Sales 668 S. 7th Street Greenfield, OH 45123 Tel: 937-981-4317 Fax: 937-481-9317 Cell: 937-218-3658 Email: tommy4317@yahoo.com

6 Mobile Commerce Takes Center Stage 18 NIADA Certified Program Grows 20 Ohio Laws & Compliance Requirements

NEW EDUCATION SESSIONS FROM THE CONFERENCE OF AUTOMOTIVE REMARKETING ARE NOW RUNNING ON NIADA.TV

Chairman Thomas Onesti Car Port PO Box 9943 Youngstown, OH 44513 Tel: 330-726-6633 Fax: 330-726-2633 Cell: 330-565-6833 Email: tomocarport@aol.com President Jay North Jay North LLC 501 E. Columbia Street Springfield, OH 45503 Tel: 937-325-3748 Fax: 937-398-1075 Cell: 937-206-0575 Email: htron435@yahoo.com Vice President Daniel Reel Reel’s Auto Sales LLC 547 East Main Street Orwell, OH 44076 Tel: 440-437-5893 Fax: 440-437-5758 Cell: 440-319-1247 Email: danreel@hotmail.com

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

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 niada.tv.

Secretary Terry Reineke Rino’s Auto Sales Inc 1610 Industrial Pkwy Celina, OH 45822 Tel: 419-586-6161 Fax: 419-586-8700 Cell: 419-305-4009 Email: rinos@bright.net

ADVERTISERSINDEX

Treasurer Mark Meadows Miracle Motor Mart 2380 Morse Road Columbus, OH 43229 Tel: 614-437-0037 Fax: 614-337-1063 Cell: 614-348-6503 Email: dmarkmeadows@aol.com

ADESA.......................................................................... 9 AutoTrader.com ............................................. Back Cover Auto Use ...................................................................... 7 CarMax Auctions ......................................................... 5 Cars.com ..................................................................... 13 Chase.......................................................................... 19 Columbus Fair Auto Auction ......................................... 15 Corry Auto Dealers Exchange ...................................... 17 Manheim.com ..................................... Inside Front Cover NADART...................................................................... 11 Smart Auction ...................................... Inside Back Cover United Acceptance...................................................... 16 Western General / Protective ......................................... 3

ADMIN ASSISTANT Christine White OIADA 2040 Brice Road, Suite 110 Reynoldsburg, OH 43068 Office: 614-863-5800 Fax: 614-863-5801 Email: cwhite91@att.net

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.

THE OHIO INDEPENDENT DEALER NEWS IS PUBLISHED BIMONTHLY BY THE NATIONAL INDEPENDENT AUTOMOBILE DEALERSASSOCIATION 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 76006-5203. THE STATEMENTS AND OPINIONS EXPRESSED HEREIN ARE THOSE OF THE INDIVIDUAL AUTHORS AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF OHIO INDEPENDENT DEALER NEWS, THE OHIO INDEPENDENT AUTOMOBILE DEALERS ASSOCIATION, OR THE NATIONAL INDEPENDENT AUTOMOBILE DEALERS ASSOCIATION. LIKEWISE, THE APPEARANCE OF ADVERTISERS, OR THEIR IDENTIFICATION AS MEMBERS OF OIADA OR NIADA, DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN ENDORSEMENT OF THE PRODUCTS OR SERVICES FEATURED. COPYRIGHT 2011 BY NIADA SERVICES, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 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

Executive Director James R. Mitchell, OIADA PO Box 216 Brice, OH 43109 Tel: 614-436-3393 Fax: 614-916-3023 Email: jrmitch49@aol.com

Jeff Rader Rader Car Company 1429 Schrock Road Columbus, OH 43229 Tel: 614-888-3111 Fax: 614-888-3811 Cell: 614-582-1822 Email: jeff@radercarco.com John Remy Remy’s Auto Group 58905 US 50 McArthur, OH 45651 Tel: 740-596-4694 Fax: 740-740-596-5526 Cell: 740-395-4214 Email: jremy@remysauto.com Robert Vaughan Vaughan Motor Car Company 808 Parsons Avenue Columbus, OH 43206 Tel: 614-444-7839 Fax: 614-444-1133 Cell: 614-565-5682 Email: sales@vaughanmotors.com Terry Reineke Rino’s Auto Sales Inc 1610 Industrial Pkwy Celina, OH 45822 Tel: 419-586-6161 Fax: 419-586-8700 Cell: 419-305-4009 Email: rinos@bright.net Robert Fahey Fairdale Auto Sales 6209 Glenn Rd. Cambridge, OH 43725 Tel: 740-432-4185 Fax: 740-435-0765 Cell: 740-607-4011 Email: r_fahey@yahoo.com George Polce Jenroc Auto, Inc. 101 N. Tuscarawas Ave Dover, OH 44622 Tel: 330-364-2525 Fax: 330-364-6726 Cell: 330-268-4724 Email: Jenroc@wilkshire.net Lauren Bowden Thomas Bowden Motors 1426 South Main Street Bellfontaine, OH 43311 Tel: 937-593-0014 Fax: 937-593-0514 Cell: 914-216-4994 Email: bowdenmotorslauren@ embarqmail.com Randy Griesdorn Complete Automotive Repair & Sales, Inc. 123 East Main Street Coldwater, OH 45828 Tel: 419-678-3969 Fax: 419-678-3575 Cell: 419-852-331 Email: cars@hometowncable.net David Adkins Wilmington Auto Sales Inc 1780 Rombach Avenue Wilmington, OH 45177 Tel: 937-382-7714 Fax: 937-383-2392 Email: david@ wilmingtonautocenter.com

Need Easy Training Opportunities For Your Dealership?

Check out the new Education and Training Consortium (ETC) to watch our list grow. The programs listed on this site have met stringent criteria that ensures that the program or product:

s s s s

DON’T FORGET TO VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR IMPORTANT INFO: WWW.OHIADA.ORG

Responds to dealership needs of today; Demonstrates history of effectiveness; Comes with dealer recommendations; and Offers professional presentation of goods and services.

Just go to NIADA.com’s Education page and follow the links to ETC or contact Georgia Brown at 800-682-3837 for more information. 4

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MOBILE COMMERCE WITH CONSUMERS LOOKING FOR VEHICLES, PARTS AND ACCES SORIES This past holiday season, surveys and statistics showed what many analysts and industry observers were thinking: mobile commerce is growing by leaps and bounds, and every industry is in on the trend, including automotive.

In 2011, smartphones are forecasted to account for half of the mobile phone market, according to The Nielsen Co. On top of that, an ABI Research report says mobile online shopping will generate $119 billion in sales by 2015, accounting for 8 percent of the e-commerce market. When car dealers make it easy for their business to be found through a mobile web browser, loyalty campaigns, marketing initiatives, text promotions and sales can attract and retain customers. What are consumers browsing with their smart phones? The same types of items they started browsing on computers: researching purchase decisions, cost comparisons and finding the location of physical items. Recently, eBay reported a substantial increase in mobile traffic, where sales more than tripled in 2010 to near $2 billion in gross merchandise volume. Last year, vehicle purchases led all categories on eBay mobile applications in terms of GMV, while parts and accessories were number two in terms of the total number of items purchased. Dealers know when they have a physical lot, customers still come to kick the tires when the sales office is closed. Now, today’s consumer might still come to the lot, but he or she will also pull out a smart phone, check the hours of the dealership and research the same make and model for competitive pricing. The same thing is happening even if the consumer doesn’t drive to a physical lot. A consumer may be in his garage working on a car and need to find a part or accessory. Instead of going inside and turning on the computer, he’s browsing his smart phone to find the part, price and local availability. Just as e-commerce has completely changed the way we do business, wireless devices and smartphones are again altering what we know about consumers’ purchasing behaviors. Seeing similarities in mobile commerce and e-commerce, auto

dealers ask themselves a familiar question: would anyone really buy a car from their smart phone? In 2010, more than $118 million in car and truck purchases were made via the eBay mobile application – more than 12,600 vehicles were sold. Parts were the second biggest category in mobile last year, with more than 911,722 parts purchased, and more than $60 million in sales. For independent dealers, mobile applications and mobile commerce are the must-have digital tools of 2011. With smartphones capable of surfing, downloading apps and co nnecting with coworkers and friends in an instant, researching and shopping for vehicles, parts and services is a natural extension. For example, a business traveler waiting at an airport may use that downtime to look for a needed part for his car or browse available vehicles for a new truck. If an independent dealer’s inventory is not readily available on a mobile app, chances are there’s an entire customer segment that may not see what’s for sale. A recent ForeSee Results survey found 30 percent of consumers used a mobile phone to research products on the Internet, compared with 11 percent in 2009. Those making a purchase through a mobile phoWWne increased from 2 percent in 2009 to 11 percent in 2010. For example, Tilo Steurer, founder and owner of Eurocar, the West Coast’s largest independent dealership of its kind, sells and buys vehicles and regularly uses eBay’s mobile app to buy cars, parts and accessories. “I purchase anywhere from five to 10 cars every month, most of the time through the eBay mobile app,” Steurer said. He also uses the eBay mobile app to keep track of his business while not in the office. With any form of sales – online, mobile or in-store – customers consider the credibility of the seller and business before making a purchase. Building that credibility takes consistent communication, which is made easier when dealers can keep in touch through mobile and online sources. “Communication is very important, especially when making an expensive online purchase such as a luxury car,” Steu-

rer said. “With the eBay mobile app, I can respond more quickly to customer questions, which builds credibility and increases the opportunity for a sale.” To accommodate this growing trend, eBay Motors is launching a mobile app that will provide a customizable buying experience optimized for vehicles, parts and accessories, as well as unique social and community features for the enthusiast. 

FOR DEALERS, HAVING PARTS, ACCESSORIES AND VEHICLES AT A CONSUMER’S FINGERTIPS IS AN IDEAL WAY TO EXTEND MARKETING AND SALES WITHOUT A LOT OF DEVELOPMENT AND TECHNICAL EFFORT. Features include VIN scanning and a virtual garage to give enthusiasts personalized information. After searching for a vehicle, users can share it with friends and social networks or ask the seller a question. Users can create “car cards” for their vehicles which display photos and stats about the vehicle and can be used in searches for parts and accessories. On the garage tab, consumers can input and store the vehicles they own or scan the VIN barcode with the iPhone’s camera to populate information. In the garage, car owners can create to-do list for vehicle projects, store custom parts searches and share the garage with their social network. For dealers, having parts, accessories and vehicles at a consumer’s fingertips is an ideal way to extend marketing and sales without a lot of development and technical effort. Mobile commerce is still in its infancy but is growing at a faster pace than e-commerce. With the Internet available wherever consumers are with their smart phones, it’s only a matter of time before mobile commerce becomes a dominant form of purchasing. Because of the similarities to e-commerce, consumers are quickly adopting m-commerce and expecting businesses to be on board.

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NIADA and Constellation Automotive Solutions Announce Training & Education Partnership This partnership between NIADA and Constellation Automotive Solutions opens up a wealth of new educational and training opportunities for NIADA members.

CONSTELLATION’S CONSULTANTS HAVE BEEN PROVIDING INDUSTRY-LEADING TRAINING AND EDUCATION FOR DCF DEALERS FOR WELL OVER A DECADE AND ARE EXCITED ABOUT THIS OPPORTUNITY TO EXPAND ITS SERVICES AND AID NIADA MEMBERS WITH ALL THEIR NEEDS IN THE BUY HERE – PAY HERE AND LEASE HERE – PAY HERE ARENAS.

The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association and Constellation Automotive Solutions are pleased to announce an education and training resources partnership designed for NIADA members. Constellation will provide comprehensive education and training solutions for the Buy Here – Pay Here and Lease Here – Pay Here dealerships, together known as the “Dealer Controlled Financing (DCF) industry”. These educational programs

will include best practices training with solutions for maximizing sales, collections and profitability through seminars, online training on NIADA-TV and articles in NIADA publications. Partnered with NIADA, Constellation will add a Certified DCF Dealer option to NIADA’s Certified Master Dealer Program®. “I was looking to develop a partnership with an entity that has good, experienced trainers that NIADA could use as our BHPH and LHPH training solution”, said Michael Linn, CEO of NIADA. “It was important to me to offer quality education and training to our members. Constellation Automotive Solutions was the perfect fit for us.” Linn continued, “Their training materials are superb and their trainers, Al Mosher and Don Miller, have extensive knowledge and experience in the Buy Here – Pay Here and Lease Here – Pay Here industry.” “NIADA is the leading voice for independent auto dealers in the country”, said Robert Lowenstein, Business Manager for Constellation. “It is an honor to be able to serve its 20,000 members and help NIADA expand its educational resources for dealers engaged in Dealer Controlled Financing.” Constellation will provide a number of valuable services to NIADA members, including:

National DCF Monthly Composite

The DCF Monthly Dealer Composite provides the BHPH/LHPH dealer a four page report reflecting their dealership’s business results from the previous month, as well as year-to-date. It compares their operation with the averages, minimums and maximums of other BHPH/LHPH dealers across the nation. Also included are

12 months of historical figures and graphs which can aid dealers with projections and spotting dangerous trends.

Convention & Expo Seminars

Constellation, in consultation with NIADA, will be responsible for providing educational opportunities concerning dealer controlled financing at the NIADA Convention & Expo every year. This will kick off at this year’s convention June 20th – 23rd in Las Vegas with a seminar titled “7 Keys to Success in Dealer Controlled Financing”. That session will include valuable information on 7 key topics ranging from business models to inventory to collections and will feature tips from a panel of successful dealers.

DCF Manager Training Course

The Manager Training Course is a comprehensive, 3-day class involving all aspects of the day-to-day operation of a DCF dealership. Techniques and guidelines are taught to help you better utilize your inventory and personnel, improve your sales process, establish better and more consistent underwriting, effectively collect what is owed you, better manage your delinquency and stay in compliance with laws and regulations affecting our industry. Attendees will come back to the lot better equipped to consistently produce results to improve their dealerships bottom line. This partnership between NIADA and Constellation Automotive Solutions opens up a wealth of new educational and training opportunities for NIADA members. Constellation’s consultants have been providing industry-leading training and education for DCF dealers for well over a decade and are excited about this opportunity to expand its services and aid NIADA members with all their needs in the Buy Here – Pay Here and Lease Here – Pay Here arenas. NIADA and Constellation urge all NIADA members to explore how these new programs can benefit them and help them improve their businesses.

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N A D A R T R E T I R E M E N T P L A N S O F F E R Y O U F I D U C I A R Y A S S I S TA N C E I N Y O U R R O L E O F S P O N S O R I N G A P L A N

Choosing the Right Retirement Plan for Your Small Business Did you know that NIADA and NADART have partnered to offer its members the exclusive opportunity to sponsor a plan that affords small businesses the same features and advantages as those of larger businesses?

A retirement plan is a valuable tool for recruiting and retaining quality employees, as well as an excellent investment for a small business. Both employers and participating employees reap a number of benefits for starting and contributing to a retirement plan. Employers can benefit from starting a retirement plan because their employer contributions are tax deductible. As an added benefit, small businesses may qualify for a tax credit associated with starting the plan. According to the Department of Labor, this credit equals 50 percent of the cost to set up and administer a plan, up to a maximum of $500 per year for each of the first three years of the plan. Employees benefit from participating in a retirement plan in several ways. High contribution limits ($16,500 for pre-tax contributions for 2011) let them save large amounts for retirement and catch-up contributions allow those age 50 or older to save an additional $5,500 beyond the regular contribution limits. If the plan has adopted the Roth 401(k) Contribution feature, participants may invest their after-tax dollars for retirement, and are not constrained by the wage limitations of a Roth IRA. Certain low- and moderate-income employees can also earn a tax credit, known as “Saver’s Credit”, for participating in their employer-sponsored retirement plan. NADART retirement plans offer you fiduciary assistance in your role of sponsoring a plan. In order to help you administer the plans, we will assume the role of Plan Administrator and recordkeeper. NADART has provided automobile dealers with affordable, high-quality retirement plans since 1957. This experience, combined with easy-streamlined administration, allows us to provide NIADA members with exclusive services at an affordable cost. Our Sub20 Plan, designed for companies with 20 or fewer employees, was specifically designed and focuses on the needs of small businesses, including:

Trustee and Custodial services A variety of different investment options 24/7 online plan account access Online Investment Guidance Comprehensive educational materials Roth 401(k) Contributions A D D I T I O N A L I N F O R M A T I O N about NADART’s products and

services, including the Sub20 Plan, can be found at www.nadart.org/retirement. You may also contact NADART at 800-462-3278 or at nadart401k@nada.org.

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NIADA’s Whann Participates in First FTC Roundtable I have just returned from the FTC roundtable entitled “The Road Ahead: Selling and Financing Motor Vehicles” held at the Wayne State University School of Law in Detroit, Mich. Choosing a law school

SPRING

INTO ACTION NOW VIE W 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

as the venue for the event was perfect! So many of the discussions centered around complicated fact patterns, the application of overlapping federal and state laws and variations and inconsistencies from state to state, you felt as though you were sitting in a law school classroom. The program consisted of six panel roundtable discussions on the following: Understanding the Motor Vehicle Sale and Credit Transaction, From Both Prime and Subprime Perspectives; Interest Rates, Dealer Reserves and Markups; Payment and Locator Devices and Consumer Privacy; Spot Delivery; Contract Add-Ons and Vehicle Title Problems and Dealer Bankruptcies. The panels consisted of five members each (one had four) and had a mix of regulatory, industry and consumer representatives. They were moderated by six different FTC staff members, all of whom I have met on my trips to Capitol Hill (and have had the opportunity to discuss the issues being considered in the roundtables) and they did an excellent job facilitating discussion. While all other industry members were limited to participating on a single panel, I was asked to participate on two (I volunteered for all six). I took it as a compliment, but you decide for yourself. The goal for the day was to “explore consumer protection issues pertaining to motor vehicle sales and leasing” and to determine “what consumer protection issues, if any, exist that could be addressed through a possible rulemaking or other initiative.” All in all, I would say the day was quite productive. However, with the individual roundtables lasting only 30 to 90 minutes, it was difficult at times to get into depth on many of the subjects. Consider the challenge in even being able to explain something as basic as what is a motor vehicle dealer and how do they operate? Franchised or independent? Big or small? Metro or rural? Three-party paper financing or two-party paper financing, with a little Buy Here-Pay Here thrown in for good measure? And we are only beginning to scratch the surface! As background, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is a federal statute in the U.S. that was signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 21, 2010. The act is categorized into sixteen titles and from the and, from the estimates I have seen, requires regulators create 243 rules, conduct 67 studies, and issue 22 periodic reports. The stated aim of the legislation is: “To promote the financial stability of the United States by improving accountability and transparency

F EDER AL ADVOCAT ES LOBBY ING REPOR T

in the financial system, to end ‘too big to fail,’ to protect the American taxpayer by ending bailouts, to protect consumers from abusive financial services practices, and for other purposes.” So what exactly does the act do? This description from Wikipedia is one of the best I have seen: “The Act changes the existing regulatory structure, such as creating a host of new agencies (while merging and removing others) in an effort to streamline the regulatory process, increasing oversight of specific institutions regarded as a systemic risk, amending the Federal Reserve Act, promoting transparency and additional changes. The Act establishes rigorous standards and supervision to protect the economy and American consumers, investors and businesses, ends taxpayer funded bailouts of financial institutions, provides for an advanced warning system on the stability of the economy, creates rules on executive compensation and corporate governance, and eliminates the loopholes that led to the economic recession. The new agencies are either granted explicit power over a particular aspect of financial regulation, or that power is transferred from an existing agency. All of the new agencies, and some existing ones that are not currently required to do so, are also compelled to report to Congress on an annual (or biannual) basis, to present the results of current plans and to explain future goals. Important new agencies created include Financial Stability Oversight Council, the Office of Financial Research, and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.” It should be noted while section 1029(d) of DoddFrank confers on the FTC authority to prescribe rules under the Administrative Procedures Act with respect to unfair or deceptive acts or practices by motor vehicle dealers it does not, however, expand or otherwise address the authority the FTC already possesses under the Federal Trade Commission Act to initiate enforcement action against unlawful behavior. Given the fact there appears to exist a somewhat unbalanced and hostile view amongst some in the regulatory community towards dealerassisted financing, one of the most important tasks as an industry will be to assist the FTC and the consuming public in better understanding the mechanics of dealer-assisted financing. We must also collectively establish a facts-based record upon which the question of whether to engage in a UDAP rulemaking may be considered. Over the past 27 years (the last 16 as outside general counsel to NIADA) I have had the opportunity to work with federal regulatory agencies, including the FTC, to promote independent dealers’ compliance with federal statutes and regulations and to educate consumers about the car buying and financing processes. Never in this time period has there been an issue as important to independent dealers and the future of our industry as this. It will change the landscape of how cars are sold and financed for years to come. We will continue to be actively involved in the process as things progress and I look forward to having the opportunity to discuss the issues in greater detail at the NIADA Convention & Expo in June. Until then, you can stay current with the latest developments by following me at www.facebook. com/keithwhann and twitter.com/keithwhann. See you in Las Vegas! FEDERAL ADVOCATES is NIADA’s governmental advocacy partner. To read past lobbying reports, visit www. niada.com/legislative_and_legal.php

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FACEBOOK 101

THE DEALERS SOCIAL MEDIA

BY DUSTIN JANSSON

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. J A N S S O 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 DUSTIN

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CNW

Dealers Are Finding Inventory Short on Cars

In what could be stemming from gasprice anxiety, dealers’ used-vehicle inventory on hand appears to be changing. And the shift that CNW Research spotted could possibly end up being “troubling” for dealers. What, exactly, did CNW see?

Basically, CNW noticed instead of there being a shortage of trucks within dealership inventories, dealers are now finding that their lots are short on cars. Overall, used-vehicle days’ supply in March was estimated to be 48.27 days. CNW noted used vehicles are available, but suggested this possible shift in the mix of cars and trucks may be troubling for dealers. In recent years, CNW explained, truck demand has been stronger than car demand. “Beginning in February, though, the trend changed,” said Art Spinella, president of CNW. “Of inventory on hand, cars now represent about 92 percent of days’ supply while trucks have climbed to over 110 percent. “If this were a one-month snapshot, it could be written off as merely an anomaly,” he added. “And it still may not be reflective of a long-term

trend. But it is worth noting.” He went on to suggest a likely impetus for the change is concerns about gas prices may finally have hit home and sent people to the car side. “While this will have little impact on casual sales, it will definitely affect franchised and independent dealerships who now have to beware of overloading lots with trucks or being forced to lower truck prices to facilitate a sale,” he said. CNW Projects Robust March With March used-vehicle sales projected to show as high as a 6-percent year-over-year spike, the first quarter of 2011 is likely to signal some significant progress for the used side of the market. Pushed by looser credit, CNW is projecting used sales in March will show anywhere from a 5.5-percent to a 6-percent improvement from the 2.39 million used sales in March 2010. “That would make the opening quarter of 2011 the best since 2008 – 6.336 million versus 6.63 million three years ago,” Spinella noted. CNW also looked at sales per outlet data for

independent stores in February and discovered this average increased by double digits. Specifically, the company found independents moved an average of 17.6 vehicles per outlet during February, which marks a 15.7-percent hike from the 15.2 unit-per-store average from a year ago. “In fact, because of the decline in the economy in 2008 and 2009, the independent dealer body shrunk dramatically,” Spinella said. “With an economic uptick and the availability of inventory, there are more independent outlets today. Outlook: a better profit picture for independents.” Web Trends Another area of the used market CNW examined was used-vehicle sales in the online arena. The company found the sales rate of Internet vehicles came in at 26.9 percent during February. A year ago, it was at 23.9 percent. “The 12.7-percent boost represents a near 90,000 unit increase,” Spinella said. “Total inventory offered on the Internet is four percentage points larger than last year.”

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NADA Guide Analyst: Used Auto Prices Continue to Surge from Crisis in Japan Prices of fuel-efficient, used autos – both at auction and at the retail level – continue to feel the ripple effect of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

“The dramatic increase in wholesale vehicle prices indicates that buyers are expecting the supply of small, fuel-efficient cars to dwindle even more because of the crisis in Japan and gas prices that continue to rise,” said Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst for the NADA Used Car Guide. “In response to this trend, NADA values for April 2011 reflect large increases in most car segments compared to March 2011,” Banks added. “We’re basing our adjustments on the current market conditions and the expectation that these price increases will continue during the next few months.” From March 11 through March 28, for example, auction prices for two- to five-year-old compact cars, such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus have increased by about 11 percent compared to February.

AUCTION PRICES FOR INTERMEDIATE-SIZED CARS, SUCH AS THE NISSAN ALTIMA, HONDA ACCORD AND CHEVROLET MALIBU HAVE INCREASED BY ABOUT 8.5 PERCENT FROM MARCH 11 THROUGH MARCH 28 COMPARED TO FEBRUARY.

Auction prices for intermediate-sized cars, such as the Nissan Altima, Honda Accord and Chevrolet Malibu have increased by about 8.5 percent from March 11 through March 28 compared to February. Looking at the entire used-vehicle market from March 11 through March 28 compared to February, Banks said overall auction prices across all vehicle segments have increased by about 5 percent, which is higher than the expected seasonal improvement of 3 percent. The crisis in Japan and the subsequent damage to the Fukushima nuclear plant have caused several auto assembly and parts plants to suspend operations, interrupting the supply of new vehicles and parts for export to the U.S. market. “The impact of the crisis in Japan will have its most significant effect on the global auto industry during the next three months, unless Japan is able to quickly restore consistent power,” Banks said. “The bottom line is that price increases—for used cars in demand—are here to stay for the short term.” 17

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N IADA/NAC CERTI FI ED PRO G R A M

GROWS WITH NEW PA R T N E R S H I P S, E N H A N C E M E N T S

NAC is the administrator of the NIADA Certified program. The warranties are backed by an A-rated insurance carrier with more than $26 billion in assets, a figure that gives dealers with the peace of mind provided only by a fully insured program.

BY CHRISTINA SCHRANK

To give independent dealers the ability to compete with franchise dealers offering manufacturer certified pre-owned vehicles, NIADA and NAC (formerly National Auto Care) last year created NIADA Certified.

The program includes comprehensive 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty coverage with no deductible, 24-hour roadside assistance, towing, rental and more. In November 2010, the program underwent significant changes to incorporate more value for dealers and even higher satisfaction for customers. NIADA Certified added additional team members experienced in the used vehicle market to ensure processes were put in place that would support dealer certified success. Today, the program is supported by an active training calendar with contribution from strategic partners and best practice review. “Certified used autos has become its own listing category. Between new and used, the NIADA Certified program levels the playing field and allows independent dealers the opportunity to compete for those consumers looking for certified inventory,” said Greg Levi, NIADA Certified strategic relationship director. “The program allows independent automobile dealers the opportunity to create their own competitive program.” Subject to a comprehensive inspection, NIADA Certified vehicles include a 12-month, 12,000-mile limited warranty with a zero dollar deductible. Dealers will now be supported through ongoing training and best practices review by the NIADA Certified team. Better yet, even

with the increased warranty coverage, the same eligibility guidelines for NIADA Certified qualify, including most 10-yearold or newer vehicle models with less than 100,000 miles. “The independent market needed an answer to the manufacturers’ certification program and the NIADA certification program lives up to the promise,” Levi said. The positive consumer experience is assured by repairs that can be made at any licensed repair facility and with a program that’s supported by 25 years of administration experience. After a vehicle has passed an inspection that meets the program’s certification standards, it’s then registered with NIADA Certified through our unique online Express Lane™. Following registration, the dealer has access to a free copy of an AutoCheck® vehicle history report, the ability to print a compliant buyer’s guide, print a clean and professional inspection checklist which can be used in either the showroom or online, plus the capability to export certified inventory to third party portals including Auttr Motors, eBay® Motors, and EVERYCARLISTED. com®. These exports provide the ability to advertise the vehicle as NIADA Certified and offer it with a limited warranty that begins when the vehicle is retailed to the consumer. These many new partnerships with third party portals, especially its newly announced affiliation with eBay® Motors, allow the dealer’s NIADA Certified inventory to be discovered with a search for certified inventory alongside manufacturer results. NIADA Certified is the first independent certification program to be recognized with the

manufacturer programs. And, because our system is Web-based, all of this – and much more – is accessible to dealers in just a few simple clicks. The program coverage enhancements have allowed us the opportunity to grow and add to our strategic partnerships, provide above-and-beyond support and service and give dealers a way to offer consistent value to consumers and solidify relationships with lenders. NIADA Certified most recently partnered with eBay® Motors as one of our program’s inventory exports. Each program dealership will have its NIADA Certified inventory exported to eBay® Motors classifieds, providing a free listing to be displayed to all within a 200-mile radius of each dealer. Also, NIADA Certified recently announced a partnership with OPENLANE, an online auction company which now offers program listings to dealers on Open Auction. This new listing acknowledgement gives the NIADA Certified brand additional creditability and provides an option to those dealers who want to wholesale inspected vehicles which meet the program’s certification standards. “These many new third party online portal partnerships are vital to the success of our NIADA Certified program,” said Michael Linn, CEO of NIADA. “The recognition and powerful marketing arm these online portals provide is invaluable to all of the dealers who participate in the program. It’s like free advertising, and research proves over and over again that online listings that promote certified vehicles sell faster and for a larger profit.” CO NTI N U E D O N N E X T PAGE

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The NIADA Certified team also has focused efforts on building partnerships with lenders in order to create incentives and discounts on funding for NIADA Certified vehicles. Recently, NIADA Certified announced Columbus Finance, Inc., a lender serving the central Ohio market, agreed to give dealers an additional 10-percent advance (up to $1,000) and will offer customers one percentage point off program rates when purchasing a NIADA Certified vehicle. The team also is working with additional lenders to put together similar partnerships and lender opportunities to dealers across the country. “As our NIADA Certified program continues to grow, so will the lender partnerships associated with it, at the local, statewide and national levels,” said Linn. “Over the past four years, NIADA has been highly successful at bringing lenders and dealers together, and the NIADA Certified program is another great opportunity to expand on great relationships like the one locally that was just announced in Ohio.” The NIADA Certified team is excited about the momentum that’s been building

during the first quarter of 2011. Today, there are 120 dealers participating in the program in 30 states around the country and the number is growing weekly. Those dealers are enjoying the benefits of the NIADA Certified team’s support before, during and after initiation into the program. Now, after signing on to participate in the free program, dealers attend an online implementation webinar hosted by our NIADA Certified team. The webinar is interactive and allows our team to review the program, tools, best practices and, most importantly, how to get the program started within a dealership. The training is available for both the dealer and their personnel every week. Once implementation training has been completed, marketing materials are sent to the dealership and our training team follows up to ensure the dealer has all the information and tools needed to succeed. Our team then consistently communicates with each dealer on items such as program enhancements and additional training opportunities and continues to review best practices.

NAC is the administrator of the NIADA Certified program. The warranties are backed by an A-rated insurance carrier with more than $26 billion in assets, a figure that gives dealers with the peace of mind provided only by a fully insured program. There is zero dealer liability for repairs that fall under the warranty period. All dealers on the program receive a contractual liability insurance policy issued directly from the insurance company. For more information on NIADA Certified, call 800-840-2567 or visit www. niadacertified.com. Don’t forget to visit often, as the site is constantly updated with new and exciting information, announcements and program enhancements. NIADA Certified also can be followed on Facebook, Auttr and Twitter. CHRISTINA SCHRANK

is the vice president of marketing for NAC and a 15year veteran of the auto industry. NAC has been developing innovative, value-based aftermarket products and competitive service agreement programs for automotive, power sports, and recreational vehicles for almost 30 years.

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RE ME MBE R: E X PE RIE N CE D OE SN ’ T ME A N T H AT YOU K N OW

LAWS & COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS MONTHLY: APPROXIM ATE LY, 9 OU T OF 10 D E A L E R S V I OL ATE THE F OL L OW I NG (1) Adverse Action Compliance (2)Privacy Laws (3) OFAC Compliance (4) Risk Based Pricing (5) Red Flag Rule (6)Safeguard Rule (7) Gramm Leach Bliley Act (8)Selling Out Of Trust (9) Power of Attorney Compliance (10) Truth In Lending (11) Temp Tag Compliance (12) Consignment Compliance (13 )IRS Form 8300 Compliance (14) FTC Buyers Guides (15) Spot Delivery (16) Ohio Deposit Rule (17) Written Limited Warranty (18) Repossession Violation (19)GPS Disclosure (20) Illegal Fees (21) Odometer Disclosures (22)UDAP Statutes (23) TDR Compliance (24) Payroll Violations (25) Paying Bird Dog Fees (26) Title Compliance (27)Temp Tag Compliance (28) Doc Fees (29) Forms Compliance (30) IRS Rules

Independent dealers violate all or most of the aforementioned laws on a regular basis for one of two reasons; they either didn’t know or they didn’t care. Every year more than 850 used car dealers go out of business in the state of Ohio and the majority of these dealers violated one or more of the listed laws and didn’t know that they did anything wrong. OIADA has decided to do something about this starting in January 2011. We have met with individuals from the Department of Dealer Licensing at the BMV and informed them that we were going to offer a monthly class for all dealers to learn how to be a dealer. There are no classes available in this state for a dealer to learn the legal, compliant and proper way to do business as a used car dealer and that is going to change in 2011. OIADA will offer a Dealer Workshop in our offices located at 2040 Brice Road in Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068 where all dealers, new and seasoned veterans alike, can go to learn the right way to be a dealer. The seminar will be eight hours in length and lunch will be included for all attendees. The price for this workshop will be $98 and the classes fill up quick so register today. Everything listed above will be addressed at this workshop and much more. Now the decision is up to you but if you violate the law now, what excuse will you use?

TO CHECK THE DATES THAT THIS IS BEING OFFERED GO TO WWW.OHIADA.ORG AND CHECK THE EVENT CALENDAR, TO REGISTER SIMPLY CALL THE OFFICES OF THE OIADA, 614-863-5800 AND GET REGISTERED TODAY.

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OIADA MEMBER BENEFIT VENDOR GUIDE OIADA MEMBER BENEFIT & VENDOR GUIDE A U CAUCTION T I O N - F– EFEE E - -D DISCOUNTS I S C O U N T S

MEMBERS RECEIVE (2) V.I.P AUCTION CARDS THAT ENABLE YOU TO RECEIVE A NUMBER OF FREE BUY AND/OR SELL FEES FROM 11 DIFFERENT AUTO AUCTIONS (Value up to a maximum of $200.00 each)

DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT INSURANCE __________________________________________________________________________ Intellinetics Dealership Liability Insurance __________________________________________________________________________ Jim Perry Grafmiller & Davis Insurance 2190 Dividend Drive Sarah Mendenhall Columbus,CARD OH 43228-3806 103-A Commerce Park Drive CREDIT PROCESSING INSURANCE Tel: 614-921-8170 Westerville, OH 43082 jperry@intellinetics.com Tel: 614-818-9467 Dealership Liability Insurance   ELECTRONIC MERCHANT SYSTEMS sarah@grafins.com Grafmiller & Davis Insurance 5005 Rockside Road VEHICLE LOCATOR SERVICE Sarah Mendenhall Penthouse 100 Ebuy Auto.com Medical Insurance 103-A Commerce Park Drive Independence, Ohio 44131  Frank Wertenbach Westerville, 43082Insurance WellsOH Fargo Tel: 888.558.4367  Tel: 614-818-9467 160 Clifton Dr Suite C Services, USA, Inc http://www.emscorporate.com sarah@grafins.com Warren OH 44484 Jamie Zelewicz Tel: 330-974-0109 580 N. Fourth Street INTERNET, WEBSITE, COMPANIES Medical Insurance fwertenbach@ebuyauto.com Columbus, OH 43215 Wells Fargo Insurance Services, USA, Inc Tel: 614-324-2821 AUTOTRADER.COM Jamie jamie_zelewicz@wellsfargois.com Zelewicz AUTOMOTIVE PARTS Columbus, Ohio 580 N. Fourth Street Tony Phillips PROGRAM Columbus, OH 43215 614-989-0467 Auto Zone Workers Comp Group Tel: 614-324-2821 Tony.Phillips@AutoTrader.com Tom Edgerton Insurance jamie_zelewicz@wellsfargois.com 463 Waterbury Ct Ste B CompManagement Inc. H IGHER TURNOVER , LLC Gahanna, OH 43230 Genny Hart Workers Comp Group Insurance  Robert "Jake" Jacobson Tel: 614-475-2621 6377 Emerald Pkwy CompManagement Inc. 22 Brook Lane tom.edgerton@autozone.com OH 43017 GennyDublin, Hart Shelburne VT 05482 Tel: 800-825-6755 6377 Emerald Pkwy Tel: 800-430-2119 Dublin,genny.hart@sedgwickcms.com OH 43017 SERVICE CONTRACTS info@higherturnover.com Tel: 800-825-6755 A U L Corporation genny.hart@sedgwickcms.com Kevin Cullop Life – Disability – 1250 Main St, Ste 300 Retirement Insurance Life – Disability – Retirement Insurance  Napa, CA 94559 Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co. Mutual8800 of Omaha Insurance Co. Tel: 800-826-3207 Ext - 215 Lyra Drive, Suite 530 8800 Lyra Drive, Suite 530 kcullop@aulcorp.com Columbus, OH 43240 Columbus, OH 43240 Tel: (614)785-1122 Tel: (614)785-1122 Diamond Warranty Corporation christian.foote@mutualofomaha.com christian.foote@mutualofomaha.com Samuel McArthur/Jim Limongelli 9 N Main St CREDIT CARD PROCESSING Pittston, PA 18640 Electronic Merchant Systems Tel: 570-602-2820 5005 Rockside Road
Penthouse 100
 rosiebisky@aol.com Independence, Ohio 44131 Tel: 888.558.4367 The Milby Group www.emscorporate.com Mike Milby 210 Pershing Dr. Suite A INTERNET, WEBSITE, Lancaster, OH 43130 COMPANIES Tel: 740-652-9942 AutoTrader.com mikemilby@milbygroup.com Columbus, Ohio Tony Phillips National Auto Care 614-989-0467 Christina Schrank Tony.Phillips@AutoTrader.com 575 Westar Xing Westerville, OH 43082 Higher Turnover, LLC Tel: 800-548-1825 Robert “Jake” Jacobson cschrank@nacsolution.com 22 Brook Lane Shelburne VT 05482 DEALER SUPPLIES Tel: 800-430-2119 & DISPLAYS info@higherturnover.com Displayability.Com Tom Williams 
 FORMS – DEALER P.O. Box 100 
 Automotive Dealer Resources Excelsior Springs, MO 64024 
 Nancy Chapman Tel: 816.630.5550 55 E. Long Lake Road tom@displayability.com Troy, MI 48085 Tel: 800-364-8833 INTERNET SECURITY nchapman@miada.com Nuspire Michael Vaughn GPS – STARTER INTERRUPT 3155 Dellavo Ct. PASSTIME Commerce, MI 483920 J R Jones Tel: 248-295-9190 861 Southpark Dr., Suite #200 mike.vaughan@nuspire.com Littleton, CO 80120 Tel: 877-PASS-TIME jjones@passtimeusa.com 21

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ONLINE SALE S SUCCE S S:

LET YOUR LISTINGS DO THE TALKING Top dealers consistently get more leads because they pay attention to how their car listings appeal to online consumers. Almost anyone can start selling cars using the Internet today, but those who are most successful give buyers the right information during the shopping process. Sellers like you can break

through the clutter of online used car sales by giving consumers photos, compelling descriptions and vehicle history they want to see while they shop. If you’re not already online, you need to be. The best way to increase used car sales is to be where the most people shop. Eighty percent of consumers today use the Internet to help find their next car. Once your business is established online, you’ve got to make buyers take notice of your online listings. This is vital to online selling success. Consumers visit less than two dealerships on average before deciding to buy. Why so few? Most shoppers narrow their dealer choices down by doing extensive research online – listings, pricing, customer reviews, etc. In fact, when consumers finally do visit a dealership, they have specific cars and prices already in mind and are armed with details about each car. Typically, shoppers start by visiting thirdparty online automalls like AutoTrader.com and Cars.com. A quick search can return hundreds of dealer listings for vehicles similar in style and price. Internet managers and used car dealers with online inventory know the top concern is getting buyers to notice their cars and contact them. Since you can’t sell online shoppers face-to-face, you have to rely on your listings to do the talking. So how do you make them stand out from the rest? Focus your marketing efforts on two lead-generating areas that attract the most attention: Search Results Pages (SRPs) and Vehicle Details Pages (VDPs). Did you know only 4% of online shoppers that see your listing in their search results actually click through to the detail page for your contact information? For all the money you spend to post your cars for sale online, it’s in your best interest to highlight your inventory properly. The SRPs and VDPs are the most prominent places to communicate the value of your used car inventory online. When a

shopper clicks on an SRP listing, they go to the VDP to browse additional photos, read about features, see the vehicle history and locate the seller. The key is getting more shoppers to notice and click your SRP listings so you generate more leads from your VDPs. The vehicle description you provide on SRPs is your first opportunity to tell consumers what they should know. SRPs give you a limited amount of space to market your vehicles, so use that space wisely. Be brief but informative. A vehicle description should not be exclusively technical. Remember, shoppers don’t know as much about cars as you do and detailed features may not mean as much. Things like automatic transmission, power windows and air conditioning, which are standard on most vehicles, shouldn’t be the focus of your selling points. You don’t want potential customers glancing past your listings because they didn’t peak their interest. Generally, your listings also include a small photo when they appear on typical SRPs. It might sound obvious to seasoned sellers, but photos are one of the best ways to grab attention of shoppers during their online used car search. Use the best fulllength photo for the small ‘thumbnail’ image on your SRPs and save detailed images of the interior and other angles for consumers to browse while on the VDP. There are several quick improvements that can make your listings more attractive to online shoppers. One is to use relevant information to attract attention. The more details you can provide the better your listings look. For example, it’s easy to find hundreds of ‘2005 Ford Explorers’ with the same trim package for sale online, so make sure you tell potential customers why they should buy yours. Try to describe the car’s benefits unique to a specific customer – as if they were standing in front of you. For example, you might say, “this van comfortably fits up to eight people” or, “we offer low financing on all our cars” or, “this car shows no reported recalls and comes with a Carfax Vehicle History Report” in the vehicle descriptions on your SRPs.

SO HOW DO YOU MAKE THEM STAND OUT FROM THE REST? FOCUS YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS ON TWO LEAD-GENERATING AREAS THAT ATTRACT THE MOST ATTENTION: SEARCH RESULTS PAGES (SRPS) AND VEHICLE DETAILS PAGES (VDPS). To connect with more online shoppers, you need to think like one. You can compete online and sell cars faster by giving buyers relevant information to help them make an educated decision. Another great way to build confidence with online consumers, in addition to providing a good photo and description, is to link your Carfax Reports to your SRP and VDP listings. You’ll stand out on SRPs by offering these reports free. Plus, being open and up-front builds trust with online shoppers, making them more likely to buy from you. Top dealers consistently get more leads because they pay attention to how their car listings appeal to online consumers. Build consumer confidence by providing trusted information in your listings. 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 DA L E P O L L A K A N D L A N C E VI C KE RY

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.

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NEW NIADA MOBILE SERVICE

FOR SMART PHONES PUTS KE Y APPR AISAL DATA , MEMBER NE WS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS BY S C O T T L I L JA , V I C E P R E S I D E N T, N I A DA M E M B E R S E RV I C E S

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 s 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

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.

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

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

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,

participating 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.”

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 C H I P Z Y VO LOSK I

Chip Zyvoloski is senior attorney for indirect lending at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services. For more information, visit www.wolterskluwerfs.com/indirect.

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