How About This Year’s Black Friday Auto Sales?

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Those are some pretty impressive auto sales figures emerging from November and Black Friday! So did we do something special this holiday season or was this a one-hit-wonder? The Los Angeles Times reported that the Black Friday sales were good for GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota as auto sales rise in November, and again, anticipated this December. “The Thanksgiving weekend saw a lot of promotion by automakers, riding the Black Friday wave, and it seems to have paid off,” said Michelle Krebs, an analyst with auto information company Edmunds.com. Ford offered... Read The Rest →

Pricing Strategies for 2014 – Why being the cheapest isn’t always better

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Since its inception the car business has blamed the Internet for leading the new and used car pricing race to the bottom. The OEMs, dealers, and consumers have all had to make adjustments as pricing information has become more accessible and transparent. The story of TrueCar (version 1) has been a testament to the growing lack of harmony between dealers and vendors on that front. Yet, plenty of data supports the fact that consumers aren’t just looking for the cheapest price. So how can vendors and dealers better work together... Read The Rest →

Fresh Innovation in FastBook® Mobile VIN Scanner App Launch

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DealersLink®, the creator of the first dealer-to-dealer marketplace in the United States, just released the newest version of their FastBook® Mobile VIN Scanner App and cloud-based booking tool for auto dealers and are offering demonstrations and free trials this week at the 15th Digital Dealer Conference. I had an opportunity to play with it first-hand and what struck me was the speed and accuracy of the scanner, and how quickly I could view all necessary information to value a car – with simultaneous viewing of NADA, Kelly Blue Book, MMR,... Read The Rest →

Why are people buying smart phones instead of new cars?

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According to CNW Research’s July Retail Automotive Summary, at least a quarter million new-car intenders this year decided at the 11th hour not to buy. That’s a lot of revenue hanging in the balance – for the manufacturers and the dealers. “They aren’t postponing the decision, (they are) simply electing to buy something else,” explained CNW president Art Spinella. CNW found that 37.06 percent of these new-car intenders dropping out of the new-car market in the first half of 2013 chose to buy a non-automotive durable good instead – up... Read The Rest →

Are the days numbered for the old school “golden gut” car dealer?

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Question? I’ve heard this question asked frequently in the past years, and in increasingly more articles this year, so I thought I would pose the question to the UCM Pros: Are the days numbered for the old school golden gut car dealer? Where are we at with dealers making the shift to data and analytical tools to help them buy, price, market, and sell their units? Dealers clearly do still make snap judgements about vehicles. The auction format, even with online tools and access to bidding, promote this quality in... Read The Rest →

The Future of E-Commerce: The Virtual Showroom

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Technology vendors speak of the future of online retailing – full e-commerce, richer media,  enhancing the online merchandizing user experience, and so forth. However, there are several regulatory and systemic barriers to achieving the ‘next level’ with respect new car e-commerce. So what’s next in the e-retailing innovation cycle? Enter the used car Virtual Showroom. While most dealers still struggle to grapple with the current technology, especially social media, there are two major problems with dealers ability to innovate: Playing catch up / marrying new processes with the growing complexity... Read The Rest →

Best-Practices | Vendor Management and Consolidation

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There is not a lot of published data about CRM utilization rates. Interestingly, CRM’s at car dealerships remind me of those folks that buy SUV’s that never leave the asphalt – both are powerful machines that are rarely used to their fullest. My (educated) guess is that usage follows the all-too-familiar 80/20 rule trend – perpetuating the chasm between those that produce, and those that flounder. First of all, I’d like to note that this is not only a technology problem, it is actually a three-pronged problem involving your talent,... Read The Rest →

Used Car Dealer Trades – Don’t let the customer leave!

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New car dealer trades – we’ve been doing it for a while now. As more and more customers turn to the internet to research models, trims, colors, options, reviews, comparisons, and pricing, they equally more often know exactly what they want – and we give it to them. So why must our used car philosophy vary when that is what the customer now expects from us? With all the profit data supporting an aggressive turn schedule, why can’t we do the same thing – give the customer what they want?... Read The Rest →

Western Region March 2013 Wholesale Inventory Availability Report

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Sourcing inventory in the western region? We compiled a report of available inventory from some of the largest auctions and online resources to give you more options and flexibility to buy and sell wholesale units! I think you’ll be amazed by the results. Click the graph below for a larger image.   For more information, visit: www.dealerslink.com www.manheim.com www.ove.com Happy inventory hunting! UCMPros.com        

My New Favorite Multi-Book and Valuation Tool

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When it comes to valuing cars today – for me what that means is accessibility, speed, accuracy, and centralized data and tools to make educated decisions anywhere. My choice to feature the DealersLink® FastBook® product is because it boasts an extraordinary set of features and integrated services for the price tag. Watch here to view the demo: So my question is, does your booking tool have all this? 1. Available for Android… The VIN Scanner FastBook® mobile application is available for late model Android smartphones. 2. … and iPhone Now... Read The Rest →

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