Cox Automotive strategist John Ellis shares bird’s-eye view of what’s happening with car dealerships today

We can't expect the success that we had in the last 20 months to continue in the next 20 months says John Ellis.

Today on Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome John Ellis, Inventory Strategist for Cox Automotive. As an inventory strategist, John has a bird’s-eye view of not only the data but what’s actually happening on the ground with the dealerships he works with every day.

Ellis says the overall theme of advice this year is transforming and thinking differently. The market is changing so much that if we don’t think about operations, consumers, and the retail side of the business, we’ll miss easy wins.

SeptemberDealers should be thinking differently about acquisitions. There’s a problem with the supply chain of constraints of the market with both new and used inventory. Ellis says dealers must also think about their disposal strategy. In the past, wholesalers were thought of as just a lost but that isn’t the case anymore. He also says, you must think about ways to communicate and message your sales staff and talking to the consumer. It’s about educating them with data and insights.

Ellis says transforming the business will allow dealers to be prepared to take full advantage of those tailwinds through tax season. He says to be prepared for the headwinds that may come around June or July of 2022. In their large dealer group side, they’re having to think about changing their inventory mix. Dealers may have to buy a vehicle that’s less desirable, than the ones they’re used to filling their inventory with and spending more money on getting their front line ready. Ellis says it’s worth the investment if it’s the right vehicle.

Related: Wholesale prices expected to climb even higher after setting September record

We can’t expect the success that we had in the last 20 months to continue in the next 20 months says Ellis. He recommends dealers to set themselves up to take advantage of the tailwinds that we’re going to see. Ellis also projects interest rates going up. Dealers need to pivot in midyear to also be successful in the second half of the year, by getting back to the fundamentals.

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