I started in the car business in 1968 as a car salesman at Reilly Chevrolet Cadillac in Steubenville, Ohio. I sold cars during the booming 1970’s when the steel mills were running full force. I saw a lot during the 70’s from the oil embargo to the Japanese coming to the American market. In 1981 I had a chance to buy a small Chevrolet dealership in Martins ferry, Ohio I was only 35 years old when I become a Chevrolet dealer, I ran the dealership for 38 years along with my family up until my retirement.
During those years as a Chevrolet dealer, we were mostly a used car dealer. We would go to the auction and buy cars at the GM Factory sale 30 at a time, bring them back and recondition them and have them on the lot in 3 days ready for sale. We would sell nearly all of them and go back the next week and do it all over again. We would continue this process up until the recession of 2008. This is when everything changed. The days of going to the auction switched to going online to purchase used cars and it took me a while to grasp the change on how we bought cars, but you must change with the times and adapt. With the technology available today, you don’t have to leave your office to buy cars. With the switch to online auctions, we could buy 50 to 60 cars a week and have a steady pipeline of cars inbound and always have the right stock of cars.
It always baffled me why some dealers never cared about used cars. Why let the factory tell you when you can sell cars with their incentives changing every month. We concentrated on used cars and by doing this, we got our new to used ratio up to 1:4. New inventory sells itself with the correct advertising, promotions and of course good factory incentives.
I decided to start JMS Automotive Consultants to help dealers not only source cars but the right cars that sell fast.
Dealers are all about numbers so do yourself a favor and go to Do the math tab and find out what you are missing.