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Automotive News Cites December Sales as Momentum Builder Going Into 2013

Automotive News Cites December Sales as Momentum Builder Going Into 2013

 

As most people know, or at least hear about whenever car sales are bad, the auto industry is “Cyclical” by nature. This is usually used to describe how the business of auto sales are often subject to the ups and downs of various economic and systemic pressures…

Usually, we hear about the cyclical nature of the car business when it is used to describe problems.  Welcome to the part of being in a cyclical business that is exhilarating; the ride back up!  Of course I know we have been on the upside for at least two years now, but for the first time since the recovery started we are seeing VERY STRONG action on the part of consumers.  With many economists calling for over 15 million new vehicles to be sold in 2013 and used vehicles at record demand levels, it is simply a GREAT TIME to be in the car business.

I wanted to share some excerpts from Jesse Snyder’s article in Automotive News where the case is made for activity in December generating sales and demand momentum going into 2013.  Combined with the normal spring and summer hot selling seasons, I have little reservation that many dealerships will be setting all sorts of sales and profit records during the first half of 2013.

So, it is time to put on your selling shoes and get ready to improve productivity on the part of yourself and your team.  Most dealerships are still staffed at recession levels for their customer facing and support teams.  This is not going to work. For dealers, if you want to get your market share when total sales are rising, your sales team has to generate more business.  This market is going to reward the dealers who build up there sales and support teams with additional market share.  For the dealers who do not act like entrepreneurs by anticipating and building out to their staffing needs IN ADVANCE based on a 16 million SARS, they are going to be left in the dust by those who do.

Take a look at Snyder’s article excerpts below and start making plans to build out your organizations and their staffing levels so you can handle more sales and profits.  the ROI on properly trained employees is never better than when we are in the upward trending part of the auto industry’s cyclical patterns.

Automotive News cites strong December sales as building momentum for 2013

  – Excerpt from Automotive News article
The U.S. seasonally adjusted annual sales rate was 15.4 million, the second straight month above 15 million and a performance that created momentum for 2013.

A strong December helped push 2012 U.S. light-vehicle sales to 14.5 million units, up 13 percent from 2011 and the highest volume in five years.

Automakers sold 1.4 million cars and light trucks in December, 9 percent above a strong year-earlier performance. The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate was 15.4 million, the second straight month above 15 million and a performance that created momentum for 2013. The spoils were shared unequally. Volkswagen Group continued to surge as its namesake brand posted a 35 percent gain, also finishing the year up 35 percent.

The two biggest automakers, General Motors and Ford, lost market share with their single-digit percentage gains for the month and the year. Japanese rivals Toyota and Honda scored the biggest share gains. And Honda’s Acura brand dealt a prestige blow to GM’s Cadillac.

Although he doesn’t expect 2013 to match the double-digit gains of the past three years, Toyota Motor Sales President Jim Lentz said low-cost financing, fresh products and U.S. population growth will keep the industry going.

“We see continued economic stability [this] year with modest growth,” he said. “We expect the auto industry to remain at the forefront of an improving economy.”

Jesse Toprak, vice president of TrueCar.com, also expects 2013 auto sales to hit 15.5 million, a 7 percent gain.

“December finished a year of very healthy recovery on a high note,” he said. “As long as the financial markets are steady, auto sales will be OK.”

Some of the highlights:

Boosting volume but losing share

In a strong market like 2012’s, it’s hard to match the overall industry’s 13 percent growth. The eight biggest automakers all posted higher sales in 2012, but only four gained market share.

The market share winners: Toyota Motor Sales, up 1.5 share points; American Honda, 0.8 point; Chrysler Group, 0.7 point; and Volkswagen Group of America, 0.5.

The biggest share losers in 2012 were General Motors, down 1.7 share points, and Ford Motor Co., off 1.3 share points. Nissan North America lost 0.3 of a share point, and capacity-constrained Hyundai-Kia Automotive fell 0.2 of a point, ending its string of U.S. gains.

Two-year share reversals

But over a two-year period, comparing 2012 to 2010, four automakers show a reversal of form. Last year both Toyota and Honda regained share they had lost after natural disasters in 2011, but they’re not back to normal. Over two years, both are down 0.8 of a share point.

And while Hyundai-Kia and Nissan lost share last year, they’re up compared with 2010.

BMW tops Mercedes in luxury race

With an aggressive lease pull-ahead program, BMW brand handily outsold Mercedes-Benz in December, wining its second straight U.S. luxury brand title.

In 2012, BMW sold 281,460 light vehicles and Mercedes-Benz 274,084 (excluding Sprinter commercial vans). A year ago it was BMW by 2,715 units.

Lexus, the best-selling U.S. luxury brand from 2000 to 2010, boosted 2012 sales 23 percent but again finished third with 244,166 units.

Acura outsells Cadillac

Acura moved to fourth place in U.S. luxury sales with a 27 percent gain in 2012, dropping Cadillac one spot to No. 5 as its volume fell 2 percent.

Luxury segment sales rose 13 percent to 1.6 million in 2012. The smaller luxury brands kept the same positions as in 2011: in order after No. 6 Audi were Infiniti, Lincoln, Volvo, Land Rover, Porsche and Jaguar.

Camaro tops Mustang

In a pony car shootout, the Chevrolet Camaro outsold the Ford Mustang by 1,396 units. The tally: Camaro, 84,391, Mustang 82,995. In 2011, the Camaro won by almost 18,000, but its volume fell 4 percent last year, while Mustang sales jumped 18 percent.

Subaru, Mazda up, Mitsubishi down

Subaru of America posted a 9 percent December gain and finished the year up 26 percent higher. Lower-volume Mazda surged 22 percent in the final month to push its 2012 total up 11 percent to 277,046 units.

But Mitsubishi was off 18 percent in December and 27 percent for the year.

Volvo ekes out a 2012 gain

Volvo Cars North America finished the year up 1 percent with 68,117 sales – with all but 69 of the 877 unit increase coming in December.

F series, Camry are top truck, car

Best-selling U.S. truck: it’s the Ford F series again. On the car side, it’s the Toyota Camry, again. Both enjoyed healthy gains: Sales of the F series jumped 10 percent to 645,316; the Camry soared 31 percent to 404,888.

Another silver for Silverado

Chevrolet’s Silverado pickup, meanwhile, held on to its rank as No. 2 seller among all vehicles, thanks to a late surge. After trailing through 11 months, the Silverado recorded 50,699 December sales to 31,407 for the Camry. That was worth a silver, at 418,312 for the year.

You can reach Jesse Snyder at jsnyder@crain.com.

Read more at the source: www.autonews.com/article/RETAIL
Winners and Losers
% change in sales among major brands from Dec. 2012
Winners Dec. Winners 12 mos. Losers Dec. Losers 12 mos.
1 Porsche 61% Fiat 121% Mitsubishi -18% Mitsubishi -27%
2 Fiat 59% Smart 92% Lincoln -12% Lincoln -4%
3 Smart 40% Scion 49% Kia -10% Jaguar -2%
4 BMW division 39% Chrysler Division 39% Jeep -9% Cadillac -2%
5 Volkswagen division 35% Volkswagen division 35% Jaguar -8%
Top selling light vehicles

    Dec.   2012
1 Ford F series 68,787 Ford F series 645,316
2 Chevrolet Silverado 50,699 Chevrolet Silverado 418,312
3 Honda Civic 33,118 Toyota Camry 404,886
4 Toyota Camry 31,407 Honda Accord 331,872
5 Ram 30,211 Honda Civic 317,909
6 Honda Accord 29,428 Nissan Altima 302,934
7 Honda CR-V 25,733 Ram 293,363
8 Toyota Corolla/Matrix 24,679 Toyota Corolla/Matrix 290,947
9 Nissan Altima 23,966 Honda CR-V 281,652
10 Ford Focus 22,604 Ford Escape 261,008

Top selling cars

    Dec.   2012
1 Honda Civic 33,118 Toyota Camry 404,886
2 Toyota Camry 31,407 Honda Accord 331,872
3 Honda Accord 29,428 Honda Civic 317,909
4 Toyota Corolla/Matrix 24,679 Nissan Altima 302,934
5 Nissan Altima 23,966 Toyota Corolla/Matrix 290,947
6 Ford Focus 22,604 Ford Focus 245,922
7 Chevrolet Cruze 21,230 Ford Fusion 241,263
8 Hyundai Sonata 20,826 Chevrolet Cruze 237,758
9 Toyota Prius 20,040 Toyota Prius 236,659
10 Ford Fusion 19,283 Hyundai Sonata 230,605

Top selling light trucks

    Dec.   2012
1 Ford F series 68,787 Ford F series 645,316
2 Chevrolet Silverado 50,699 Chevrolet Silverado 418,312
3 Ram 30,211 Ram 293,363
4 Honda CR-V 25,733 Honda CR-V 281,652
5 Ford Escape 20,131 Ford Escape 261,008
6 Chevrolet Equinox 19,551 Chevrolet Equinox 218,621
7 GMC Sierra 18,710 Toyota RAV4 171,877
8 Ford Explorer 17,244 Ford Explorer 164,207
9 Jeep Grand Cherokee 17,121 GMC Sierra 157,185
10 Toyota RAV4 14,351 Jeep Grand Cherokee 154,734

Source: All data shown is provided by Automotive News

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

5 Tips To Grow Your Business by Grant Cardone – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

5 Tips To Grow Your Business by Grant Cardone

Whether you are a salesperson in a car dealership, a supplier to the auto industry or consultant, Grant’s guidance is relevant and key to your success and ongoing survival.  This video is definitely a recommended “watch” and a great use of 3 minutes and 19 seconds of your mental focus and attention!

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Bankruptcy Good for Auto Industry per TrueCar’s Scott Painter – Automotive Marketing

Bankruptcy Good for Auto Industry – TrueCar’s Scott Painter 

Many thanks to Rob Fontano for the YouTube link to Scott Painter’s interview by Bimbo, er, Bambi Francisco (me bad).  I am sorry, Bambi, but when you try to add color commentary about the auto industry, as if you know something about it, you sound like an idiot.  Now, I am certain Bambi has never sold cars for a living, but HAS SHE EVER ACTUALLY PURCHASED A VEHICLE?

Because, her inane commentary indicate complete auto industry ignorance at a level that makes her unqualified to interview somebody like Scott Painter.

via  Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

For Those of Us Not on ADM…. Automotive Marketing

For Those of Us Not on ADM…. SMH

70% of Americans are online daily, checking emails, facebook, google,etc. Google alone gets over 91 million searches daily. According to QVC.com, QVC expects that 50% of its sales will come from the internet by 2014. Facebook has over 320 million users. Understand that 70% of Americans online includes 70% of your previous customer, 70% of your future or potential customers and 70% of your service customers. Also,your sales force, your family, everyone and this number is growing. Go to where your customers are. I see no downside to branding yourself online. It’s cheaper than traditional advertising and it’s 100% trackable. Marketing ideas can be implemented instantly, measured and changed with a click of the mouse.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

TrueCar – Banned YouTube Video

TrueCar – Banned YouTube Video

WARNING: This is the same video that TrueCar forced YouTube to delete in their attempt to squash the message it contains… Watch this clip while you still can and before the army of attorneys that TrueCar uses to suppress America’s Free Speech constitutional rights are successful in their “Mob Enforcer” style of witness suppression yet again!

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Is The Road to the Sale Obsolete? by Jim Ziegler

Is The Road to the Sale Obsolete? by Jim Ziegler

Jim Ziegler: “Average People with great processes will produce incredible results.”  You can’t manage a high-production dealership with an army of ‘Prima-Donnas’ all doing their own thing without structure or management. Use the link provided to read Jim Ziegler’s article and post a comment for Jim to read…

 

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Does Pine Belt Chevrolet Care About The Zero Moment of Truth?

Does Pine Belt Chevrolet Care About The Zero Moment of Truth?

What Brian points out in this article is a sad state of affairs in our auto industry at the retail level… In order to understand it, you must understand that for far too many dealership managers the “name of the game” is not to thrill and delight customers so they will WANT to do business with their dealership, instead it is to “beat the competition” by having the lowest advertised price in the newspaper. Since print advertising like newspaper is unable to be dynamic in nature, the strategy is to use deception to artificially reduce the advertised price on a particular make and model to a level below which no other competing dealer will dare to publish.

 

The thinking is flawed in this day and age, but was flawed when it still worked back in the 80’s and 90’s… I lived through the times when this was the predominant advertising strategy used, and in fact was a participant at times… The whole idea was to “switch to get rich” by dissuading customers from considering the advertised vehicle, and if that didn’t work, you would have to “scoop the trade” by allowing a lower trade-in value than the internal Actual Cash Value (ACV) thereby injecting additional gross profit margin in the deal to try and make it profitable above and beyond what was afforded by the “low-ball” price published in the newspaper… Other tactics include the dreaded “Desert Protection Package” at $995 that was added to the sale price because it had already been installed on all vehicles in inventory.

 

Finance and Insurance was often relied upon to generate additional Gross Profit Margin on the “Back End” of these advertised specials to again, make the loser advertised special make sense for the dealership. None of these practices work well today and if truth be known, they weren’t so good for the business back when they did work. Please use the link provided to read the actual article that Brian Pasch published on the ADM Professional Community.

 

Data, Data, Data… – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Data, Data, Data… – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Article written by Cliff Banks; The marketing builds the branding – most customers aren’t going to respond to a direct mail piece or an online ad. But when they bring the vehicle in for service, Paragon generates a personal sales proposal for them that reinforces the message they’ve been seeing. Click the link provided to read this original article…

Where Have All the Leaders Gone? – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community (ADM)

Where Have All the Leaders Gone? – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community (ADM).

Hoss Devine

Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

When was the last time you worked with a manager and said, “that person is a great leader”?

Early in my career, I can honestly say I learned more about what kind of leader I didn’t want to be rather than the kind I do want to be. Unfortunately, I found myself learning and practicing management traits of those poor leaders. It wasn’t until someone cared about me enough to tell me “you’re a prick to people at times” that I realized I needed to do something about it.

Needless to say, it wasn’t the first time in my life I had heard that statement, but I had never heard it from someone I respected. This gentleman modeled what it means to be a truly great leader, and I respected him because of his leadership. We don’t agree on everything, but we do agree on core leadership principles.

Over the years, I have consulted many stores and have to say that I have yet to see great leadership initially. I remember a line in the movie “Remember the Titans”: “Attitude reflects leadership.” If your business isn’t doing what you think it should, then you should probably look in the mirror. The speed of the team is the speed of the coach. When you look at any great team or business, leadership is the key to their success. We all have heard “it’s all about people” and that saying will ring true forever.

You can beat yourself up and make excuses for your people by saying, “they learned it from me; it’s not their fault.” But now it’s time to get over it and do something about it.

I hear people say they need better people, processes, inventory, traffic, advertising strategies, etc. and it might be true.

You may need all of those things, but without great leadership none of those things will create a business model with any longevity.

Now that we’ve talked about some of the problems we have, let’s talk about some solutions. Don’t hire or promote people to do a job unless you are committed to training them how to do that job.

It is criminal to put someone in a position to fail. Why do we have one of the highest turnover rates of any business in the country? Do you really think its because all of those people are unqualified or incapable of doing the job? No! It’s because we don’t prepare people to be successful.

Think about it for a minute. We hire a salesman because he interviews well, then we sit him in front of a TV watching videos for 2 days on how to sell a car and then 3 days on product knowledge and tests. Then we spend a couple of hours on how to fill out paperwork, turn him loose and then say, “Go out there and get’er done.

Is that really preparing the person to be successful? The real irony is that if the person we did that to happens to be successful, we promote him to management and say, “Alright – get these guys going and sell some cars!”

In our industry the number of dealerships that actually train their managers to be great managers is very slim. You have a multi-million dollar business, and the only people who have any real training on how to do their job is the office manager (who more than likely has a college degree) and the service technicians. But the least trained people in the company are customer-facing employees that you depend on, not only for your business but also your long-term reputation.

We need to wake up!!! We can’t simply rely on the walk-in customers anymore. You have to have skilled salespeople and managers in order to have any type of success today.

Your people have to love what they do, love the game, be proficient at it, and play for keeps. Managers need to learn how to manage people individually.

No longer can you berate people and M-F them in order to get the desired behavior or result. I’m not saying to coddle them or not hold them accountable, but it is possible to hold people accountable without belittling them or browbeating them; you just have to change your approach.

In order to have any success in the new automotive industry, we must be more scientific about how we manage our business, and that should start with our people. People are not thick-skinned like we were growing up in the business.

We have more generations in the work place today than ever before, and each one of those generations has to be managed differently. If you’re not profiling people before you hire them, you can expect to have a lot of turnover and generally unproductive people.

There are tools out there today to help ensure the success of people, tools that teach how to manage people on an individual level so they can be the most productive.

Over the last couple of years I have read a lot of articles about how to increase business and profit, but nobody is talking about the most important thing when it comes to increasing your business and profit: PEOPLE.

If you really want to make a difference in your dealership, begin training your people everyday and in daily one-on-ones. Take the time and invest in their future. The return on investment will be greater than you ever imagined.

via Where Have All the Leaders Gone? – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community (ADM).

Location:ADM Professional Community

Flashback: How to Power the “Horseless Carriage?” Flashforward: How to Power the “Horseless Carriage?” – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community (ADM)

They say there’s nothing new under the sun, and I’m beginning to believe it.

I went looking online for a quick history of the birth of the automobile industry, and found it.

What was surprising was this: If you deleted or changed a few of the names, places and time references, it read just like a discussion of today’s challenge: how to power the automobile of the future.

Can you believe that just a century ago, the discussion/dilemma was how to power the horseless carriage — with steam, electricity or gasoline? They even tried it with wind power.

Sound familiar?

A century later, engineers are debating and experimenting with how to power the automobile: With Hydrogen, electricity, bio-degradable ethylene?

A century ago, gasoline won out, because, conveniently, a big oil field was discovered in Texas. So, gasoline was cheap, it was local, and at the time, there seemed to be an inexhaustible supply of it.

What is today’s equivalent of this formula for success? What will fuel our automobiles?

The challenge today is essentially the same: Make it work, make it cheap, and find a local supply of it that is inexhaustible.

Oh but, wait! Today we add one more consideration to that formula: Make it do no harm – to the environment, to the health of the human population, and to the future sustainability of our planet’s temperature and life forms.

Where are Henry Ford and all the other auto giants when you need them?

via Flashback: How to Power the “Horseless Carriage?” Flashforward: How to Power the “Horseless Carriage?” – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community (ADM).

via Flashback: How to Power the “Horseless Carriage?” Flashforward: How to Power the “Horseless Carriage?” – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community (ADM).

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