Cure complacency culture and save your car dealership’s reputation
In some ways, the automotive industry saw some of the most amazing growth and profitability over the last two years. While this is an exciting time for car sales, savvy car dealers have started to pick up on the negative effects. On the latest episode of Mind Your Own Business, host Jonathan Dawson, founder of Sellchology Sales Training, discusses the pitfalls of complacency culture. Watch the complete segment here.
Several major automakers released recent earnings reports this week, with some automakers seeing better results than others. General Motors said it brought in $1.8 billion in the fourth quarter and that its net income for 2021 as a whole totaled $10 billion. GM also reached a record for earnings before interest and taxes, which totaled $14.3 billion, and reached record earnings-per-share numbers as well. Honda released its January sales numbers, which showed a significant drop compared to January of 2021. Honda sold just under 74,000 vehicles, down almost 20% from a year ago. Honda and Acura models that did sell well throughout the month of January included its HR-V, Passport, and ILX vehicles. Volvo said this week it also saw a 20% drop in sales throughout January despite a continuing demand for vehicles. The automaker is supposed to release its full fourth-quarter results next Friday but cited that low sales numbers are due to ongoing supply issues as well as an increase in the number of vehicles currently in transit.
Sources say Ford will be investing an additional $10 to $20 billion into transitioning current ford factories into plants equipped to make electric vehicles. Reuters reported that the latest expansion is being encouraged by technology executive Doug Field, who previously worked for both Apple and Tesla. The plan will widen the automaker’s “Ford+” plan and will reportedly also include research and development of electric batteries and artificial intelligence. A Ford spokesperson declined to comment on the additional investment.
Tesla supporters have garnered over 33,000 signatures on Change.org requesting that President Biden and the White House acknowledge Tesla for its efforts in reducing climate change and advancing the shift to electric vehicles. Supporters say the Biden administration is showing favoritism towards the unionized Detroit automakers and rarely mentions Tesla and its success in the EV industry. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted this weekend that Biden is “unable to say the word Tesla” and that he did not invite Musk to last week’s visit with other automakers like Ford and General Motors. Tesla has previously expressed opposition to Biden’s suggestion of a higher tax credit for buyers of EVs made by unionized automakers, which would disqualify Tesla customers.
Celebrating Black History Month:
This February, in honor of Black History Month, we want to celebrate and recognize the achievements of black retail automotive professionals past, present, and future. Today, we’d like to highlight C.R. Patterson, founder of the first black-owned automobile manufacturer, Patterson & Sons.
Patterson was born into slavery in 1833 and escaped from Virginia to settle in Ohio, later in life. After learning blacksmithing and creating a successful horse-drawn carriage business, Patterson bought out his business partner and produced his first automobile in 1915, under the name Patterson & Sons.
News & Opinion:
How to save your customers time at the dealership without compromising relationships
In 2019, McKinsey said, “The automotive customer experience can often feel outdated and inferior, especially for younger customers, who seem to be losing interest in car ownership and prefer more convenient and flexible mobility options such as ridesharing which might lead to totally new mobility concepts.” Most dealership leadership would agree that a customer’s time is a valuable asset and should be treated as such. A customer’s time is worth so much that many businesses have started offering “time-saving” options to increase sales. Over the past two years, dealerships have been forced, for example, to rediscover the benefit of pick-up and drop-off services. Read More
Groundhog sees his shadow, but service departments should prep for Spring anyway
Another six weeks of winter are coming, according to the least official weather predictor in the nation. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Tuesday, and that lore says that winter is going to stick around for another month and a half. The massive, majestic rodent might not indicate that Spring is around the corner, but nonetheless, dealership service departments should be preparing for Spring repairs and servicing. The timing for certain repairs and services tends to be seasonal, according to a YourMechanic study from 2018. As well, some drivers avoid taking their cars out on the roads until the Spring season arrives. And for dealers, some services are well-timed for just before summer is here. Read more
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