Over the past several months, we have spoken to automobile dealer association presidents from California to New York and many in between. With different stages of COVID-19 lockdown and varying market conditions, every state has its unique set of challenges and achievements. Today, we check in with Doug Smith, President and CEO of the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association, to talk to us about how dealers are faring in his state.
According to Doug, Missouri dealers have been innovative and inventive in their approach to business during this pandemic crisis. Service departments have been reporting strong numbers, and showroom sales are steadily coming up as well. A lot of Missouri’s larger dealer groups were ahead of the curve in terms of pivoting to digital retailing. However, the pandemic has forced all dealers to re-evaluate their strategies in every department. Doug believes that the pandemic has exposed digital retailing as a service that dealers can no longer ignore.
In the last couple of months, automotive retail professionals have continuously reported the challenges facing inventory levels on both the new and used sides. Doug agrees that new vehicle inventory especially is a real concern for dealers. Record high wholesale prices have also hindered some dealers with their inventory management.
This is the biggest concern that Doug has heard from his 385 dealer members. MADA also represents around 250 independent dealers, power sports dealers, and RV dealers as well. Doug says that there are a lot of similar struggles across all of these different vehicle providers, but he is hopeful for what the latter half of 2020 has to offer.
Did you enjoy this interview with Doug Smith? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic with host Jim Fitzpatrick at email@example.com.