In a recent article on Auto News, contributing author Alan Brown states that over the past decade, dealerships have done everything the manufacturers have asked: multimillion-dollar facility upgrades, more inventory and increased square footage. With the proliferation of the electric-vehicle and ride-share economies, what are automakers doing to return the favor, now that dealerships are oversized and underperforming?
Brown’s statement: ‘Not enough.’
Do you agree?
Throughout the article, Brown builds his case, and he makes some valid points.
- For just the third time in a decade, the U.S. auto industry entered the summer selling season without a monthly sales gain. This is the first sign of an industry in flux — even as the economy continues to soar.
- With a dealership-footprint crisis at our doorstep, manufacturers should be working in lockstep with their dealer advisory councils to right-size dealerships now — not 10 years from now.
- Because every dealership has a different facility footprint and staffing model, each requires customized right-sizing strategies, which means that information-sharing from the top must be relevant, appropriate and individualized.
In summary, Brown explains that we need creativity and support from auto makers, and communication.
“Successful communication is a two-way street. The moment we stop listening to our individual dealers is the moment we see manageable issues become massive black eyes on our industry.”
Alan Brown is a former Chairman of the Volkswagen National Dealer Advisory Council with 27+ years of leadership experience in the automotive space. He currently serves as Global Executive Vice President, Distributor and National Accounts of NuVinAir® – a Dallas-based startup offering a line of science-backed, proprietary products, and defined revenue-generating-platforms specific to the auto industry.
Conversation with Troy Blackwell, SVP, NuVinAir
To talk with us this week on the Mobility Tech & Connectivity Show, we welcome NuVinAir SVP – Troy Blackwell. With nearly 20 years of leadership experience in the automotive industry, Blackwell recently joined NuVinAir Global from AutoNation, where he worked as a senior director, spearheading a major brand extension for the largest automotive group in the nation.
During his tenure, he helped launch a chain of stand-alone used-car dealerships called AutoNation USA, which streamlines the car-buying process with new technology and a no-haggle strategy.
The Mobility Tech & Connectivity Show
What does right-sizing actually mean?
In Brown’s article, the author states that, “automakers excel at coming up with innovative incentives and communicating them to their dealer partners. Why? Because profitability is baked into these incentives and their adoption across the dealership network is key to improving the overall business.”
Brown then states that, “Although right-sizing strategies are more reactive than proactive, they are still just as important as incentives. Because every dealership has a different facility footprint and staffing model, each requires customized right-sizing strategies, which means that information-sharing from the top must be relevant, appropriate and individualized.”
What Say You?
Let us know in the comments section below what right-sizing means to you, and what automakers can and need to be doing better to demonstrate they understand dealership pain, offer creativity and support, and ensure better communication to help minimize frustrations and debacles in the future.
About the Show
The Mobility Tech & Connectivity Show is a live weekly webcast that explores, people, ideas, and technologies that influence how we are connected and the way we get around. The show is streamed live on YouTube and then featured on the AutoConverse Mobility Tech & Connectivity Podcast.
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