Putting a Priority on Customer Service – Dealer Spotlight

When it comes to customers, Florida-based dealer Earl Stewart is the epitome of customer service.

Earl began his career in 1968 selling cars at his father’s Pontiac dealership. Today, he owns the highly successful Earl Stewart Toyota in the small town of Lake Park, Fla., just north of West Palm Beach. His accolades run a mile deep: member of the Toyota President’s Cabinet four times (an honor awarded to only 12 dealerships a year), 12-time winner of Toyota’s President’s Award, member of Toyota’s Board of Governors for four consecutive years, and largest volume car dealer in his market.

Earl talks with Dealertrack about his key to success. In short? He’s really, really nice to his customers. 

Still Not Satisfied with Your Website Lead-to-Sales Conversion Rates? – Dealer Video

As dealers continue to invest more of their marketing dollars in digital, why are so many dealers still not satisfied with their website lead-to-sale conversion rates?

It’s simple; Digital Marketing is only half of a successful online marketing strategy.

Watch as top automotive dealers discuss the overall health of their dealership’s websites since adopting a Digital Retailing strategy and how a dealer-controlled online sales process helps them drive more website visitors further into their sales and F&I process.

Watch Now

Are You Leveraging Your DMS Data for Profits?

Your dealer management system (DMS) is the backbone of your dealership.

However, are you leveraging the data running through and stored on your DMS to drive maximum profits?

In the March issue of Auto Dealer Monthly, I discuss how you can use your DMS’s built-in reporting capabilities to efficiently manage inventory, sales, service and parts. Two key areas where the use of your DMS data and reporting can be invaluable to your dealership are: 

  • Inventory – Inventory reporting from your DMS allows you to monitor the costs associated with reconditioning vehicles, carrying aged inventory and wholesaling vehicles
  • Service and Parts – You can use your DMS data to analyze service technician efficiency and productivity reports to effectively manage your service business for profits.

In my article, I show how several dealerships, including the Gunn Automotive Group, the Heller Automotive Group and the Todd Wenzel Automotive Group, are using their DMS data to improve their businesses. Mining the data in your DMS can help your sales team better prospect for potential buyers and source in-demand used vehicles, and improve your service team’s ability to target customers with service and maintenance reminders and offerings relevant to the individual and their vehicles.  In addition, this mining can help improve overall customer communications, which can pay off for your dealership for years to come.


An Industry First: Online Rate Justification Forms for Dealers

Last year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued guidance on credit discrimination in the indirect automotive finance market, putting dealerships and lenders on notice about potential audits and punishments. In response, Dealertrack recommended that dealers adopt and implement an Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) Fair Lending Policy, including complete documentation of any deviation from a dealer’s buy rate markup policy.

To help dealership develop a fair lending policy and better defend themselves in credit discrimination audits, Dealertrack made an Exception Rate Justification Form available to its Compliance solution subscribers last year. Today, for the first time, this form is available online to its subscribers.

Prospective Creep of CFPB into Auto Finance

  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB”) newly-appointed Director, Richard Cordray, is no friend of auto dealers.  When he was Attorney General of Ohio, Mr. Cordray brought numerous actions against dealers for alleged violations…