COMMENTARY: It’s decision-making time
It’s that time of year again to reflect on the past 12 months.
As we navigate from one crisis to another, one reality shines through: We are one resilient industry. I mean come on, what else can they throw at us?
Oh, yeah: 2024 is an election year!
The used-car market is definitely showing signs of declining prices. We knew the market would have to correct itself eventually. The amount of new-car inventory availability is improving and with it, our opportunity to make some choices:
— Do we take what we have learned during the COVID 19 pandemic?
— Can we capture our lease return portfolio for retail inventory?
— Grow the partnership between service and sales?
— Will we continue to use our service department as our best source for quality inventory?
— Find better ways to use our service loaner and internal rental car programs (or at least use our OEM-closed sales) to supply our 1-year-old inventory rather than using external auctions or rentals?
— Can we capitalize on and grow our certified pre-owned programs?
In the industry, we often let our sustainable long-term growth planning be overtaken by a desire for a more robust short-term profitability. This ultimately leads to inevitable bad decision-making and profit losses that erase short-term gains. And that could prevent us from achieving our best results next year.
Robert Grill is senior partner development manager at CARFAX