The Key to a Successful Summer:

Planning and Preparation for Auto Dealers


As we bid farewell to May and welcome the onset of summer, we’re reminded of the phrase “dog days of summer.” Historically, this period was associated with drought and unrest, as both animals and people struggled with the unbearable heat. Interestingly, I’ve observed a similar dichotomy among auto dealers: some are daunted by the challenges ahead, while others approach the summer with the same eagerness as a child bursting out of school, ready for vacation. Why the stark contrast? It boils down to one crucial factor: planning.

Reflecting on my own childhood, summer was an exciting time because it was filled with well-planned activities—from vacation Bible school to summer baseball and family vacations. The same principle applies in adulthood: preparation is key to creating a successful and profitable summer season. Here are three essential steps to ensure your dealership experiences its very own “Christmas in July.

1. Review Your Inventory Honestly

Start with a thorough assessment of your current inventory. Identify any mistakes that need immediate resolution. Are there units you’re holding onto, hoping for higher margins instead of focusing on faster turnover? Address these issues now to streamline your inventory and prepare for the summer surge.

2. Develop a Data-Driven Purchase Plan

Base your buying strategy on concrete data rather than opinions or assumptions. This plan will guide you through the complexities of the market. For instance, while rental companies might offer appealing inventory, remember that these units often have high day supply and can flood the market. If you choose to incorporate these vehicles, price them aggressively to stay competitive.

3. Establish an Exit Strategy for Every Vehicle

From day one, have a clear exit strategy for each vehicle in your inventory. Every unit has an ideal end user; your job is to identify and reach that customer, whether through retail or wholesale channels. This proactive approach will help you manage your inventory more efficiently and profitably.

These three steps are just the beginning of what you can do to ensure a successful summer. If you need more detailed analysis and personalized advice, The Automotive Advisor Team is here to help. Let’s work together to make this summer your best season yet.

Reach out to The Automotive Advisor Team today for a comprehensive inventory review and customized action plan. Let’s turn these dog days into a thriving, profitable season for your dealership!

Frank Knox | 5F Consulting and Acquisitions

Author: Frank Knox

Frank in a partner in Unique Auto Sourcing and has spent more than 20 years in the Auto Industry. His qualifications include serving as the Purchasing Manager for several CarMax locations before moving to one of the largest independent dealers in the country. He now leads a team of buyers assisting dealers in finding quality inventory in this difficult Post-Covid used car market.

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