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  • 01/01/2011
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  • Comments Off on Buy-Sell Market Medium Cool – Expect 2011′s store acquisitions to be limited, strategic
By Phil Villegas

Despite forecasts predicting an uptick in annual retail sales next year, the reality is that 2011 will likely continue to be a challenging retail environment for dealers.

By Phil Villegas

Over the past two years, most dealers have had to tackle a myriad of unprecedented challenges.

In September 2008, following the Lehman Brothers collapse, sales completely seized up, and they stayed that way through early 2009 (due to fear of the economy and a lack of lending from banks that were in financial peril).

This sales meltdown led to stockpiles of inventories, followed closely by the Chrysler and General Motors dealership terminations (not to mention stores that simply closed during this same period).

After these historic events, dealers had to confront both the success and the inefficiencies of Cash for Clunkers. Closing out 2009 and through the beginning of 2010 we began to see a stabilization of the economy and marginal increases in sales volume — until this summer.

That’s when new concerns about the economy resurfaced and sales once again began to stagger. Fortunately, this time manufacturers, dealers and banks are [...]

  • 11/01/2010
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  • Comments Off on Just in Time for the Dealership’s Annual Parts Physical: Ideas Your Team Should Have in Place Before the Variance Is Announced
By Marilou C. Vroman, CPA, CFE Published in: Professional Auto News

Chances are most dealers and managers have either experienced first-hand or heard stories of a large parts write-off upon completion of a dealership parts physical inventory. Interestingly, while an employee may lose his or her job over a cash shortage of $200, a parts variance of $25,000 may result in only a temporary stir among the management team. After a brief search for the cause, it is often back to “business as usual” for many dealership organizations.

  • 09/01/2010
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  • Comments Off on Maximizing Profitability by Understanding Frozen Capital: What Dealers Need to Know
By Marilou C. Vroman, CPA, CFE Published in:  Professional Auto News

Through recent economic challenges, dealerships have faced the reality that conventional approaches to profitability are not enough to ensure business success.

By Phil Villegas

If you saw the recent World Cup Soccer games, you probably noticed Mahindra ad banners along the playing fields. It made me wonder if indeed Mahindra & Mahindra vehicles will ever hit our shores.

By Marilou C. Vroman, CPA, CFE

Published in: Professional Auto News

As dealerships press for profitability in a challenging economic climate, now is the time to look for hidden opportunities and greater efficiencies – all while maintaining a dedicated focus on eliminating roadblocks to success. One area that certainly merits a closer look is the service department.

By Phil Villegas

Many dealer groups are betting that automotive retail sales will recover at a quicker pace than the rest of the economy. There are valid reasons to believe this.

By Phil Villegas

What single element defines a successful dealership?

Is it simply about having the right franchise or having a high-volume location or sole market representation? Maybe it’s having a strong fixed-operations department or great customer service?

By Phil Villegas

For the past decade, Toyota dealerships have been the “prized” operations to own in any market.

These dealerships have been at the very top of the list for any dealer or group looking to expand. A few years back, Toyota dealerships would routinely command a 10-times Blue Sky multiple.

  • 03/01/2010
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  • Comments Off on In an Era of Shrinking Budgets, Dealers Should Not Overlook the Cost of Inefficiency

By Marilou C. Vroman, CPA, CFE

Published in:  Professional Auto News

Under any economic conditions, successful dealers look to run their businesses as efficiently as possible. Now, facing serious financial pressures, efficiency has taken on new meaning, and many dealerships are searching for additional ways to reduce expenses and improve margins. While this strategy is necessary and even advised in some cases, too much cost reduction – and cuts in the wrong areas – can be as damaging as the overarching economic realities that we all face.

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