Straight to the point – car dealers have seen better times. I speak with dealership owners everyday and feel their pain, as I also own one myself. I have witnessed the closing of several smaller dealerships this week alone and fear that larger franchises may not be failure-proof either. Manufacturers are reporting record losses and as I’m writing this, CNN in the background reports at least 600 dealerships have closed and the pre-owned giant, CarMax, has announced over 600 lay offs.
The question is… What can a dealership do to survive and profit in these uncertain times?
My answer is simple… Get back to the basics. It’s time to seriously re-evaluate your vendors, your overhead, and wasteful spending. How much are you spending on your website? Does it even differentiate you in the marketplace or communicate your value proposition? How are you showing your potential customers you care and want their business? Managers should get their hands dirty, sales people can picture cars, print your own window stickers, and cut out the silly gimmick advertising that is unproven and not needed right now.
Yesterday, an ecarlist account rep was consulting with a medium-sized franchise dealership that was hemorrhaging in online spending with medium success. He demonstrated to them how they could improve processes, launch an integrated and effective website solution, reallocate current staff, eliminate the need for outside photography services and even replace expensive market pricing tools all by moving to ecarlist – the yearly savings was over $30,000 (on software/service cost alone) and with greater productivity.
These times can be seen as an opportunity for your dealership to improve. Provide better service to your customers and get back to the basics of running your dealership as a lean and process driven machine.
Contact any of us today at ecarlist or email me directly at (firstname.lastname@example.org). I am happy to discuss ways in which we can save you money and get you on the right track to marketing and competing online.