A good question from Chris Irwin

April 6, 2010

irwinzoneBelow is an exchange of emails between Chris Irwin and me regarding stocking Honda’s.  Chris and I would love to hear any thoughts you have.

Dale- Second best volume month in our history. This stands out as we are typically very seasonal with May-Sept being much more busy. Grosses could be better, but we’re working hard on lowering reconditioning expenses which I hope to have resolved by June.

Did have a question about Honda’s— We lack a Honda dealer in our immediate market. If we had one I wouldn’t try to compete with their CPO program. Seeing how we don’t it’s a segment we could probably sell some vehicles in. We, however, can’t find Honda’s to stock at prices we can pay, price as aggressively as I’d like, and have any chance of making any money on. Do we relax pricing parameters or do we stay away from trying to buy these units unless we find them cheaper? I want to sell vehicles but I also don’t want an aging issue. Any thoughts?

Thanks for your help – Chris

Chris, first, congratulations on your success.  You’ve worked hard for a long time to get it right, and it’s beginning to pay off, that’s wonderful. 

Regarding Honda’s, I personally love Honda’s, but owning them and selling them are two very different propositions.  They’re expensive, competitive and subject to certification headwinds.  It probably wouldn’t hurt to try it, so long as you do it cautiously.  I would not necessarily adjust your pricing guidelines, but rather your profit expectations.    Does this make sense to you?  Thanks – Dale

Dale – Yes, unfortunately we’d be starting them at breakeven or a loss! – Chris

Chris, I understand, and consequently, there are probably better opportunities. Let me know your thoughts.  – Dale