Common Problem

September 16, 2011

Below you’ll find a question that I recently received from a used car manager.  I thought that his question and my response would have relevance to many others.

Hi Dale,

I am an Internet Manager and I recently was hired at a new store with a lot of potential. We have an inventory of over 350 used vehicles and I have been a vAuto fan for over a year now. We had vAuto at the location that I was at previously and after 2 months, we became a velocity store, selling 100 cars a month with an inventory of 150. This dealership has so much potential because of their buying power and the fact that we are a chain and affiliated with 7 other dealerships and we are the only pre-owned, the rest are franchise.

My issue is since we are finally using vAuto here our inventory is way over priced. There’s so much water that I need a boat to check stock numbers. My conversion rate on AutoTrader is 1.3% and at my previous location, I was right at four.

My question is: how do we get the buyer, who happens to be the 75 year old owner to “buy” into the vAuto appraisal and stocking process. He normally buys a car “just ‘cause he wants it”!

Thanks for vAuto!     


The first thing I would do is to get a copy of Velocity 2.0 and ask the owner and other managers to read it.  Depending on their reactions, you’ll better know what to do or not to do going forward. 

I suspect that the owner is probably proud of his average gross profits and relatively unaware of the water in his inventory. As a newcomer in the used car manager’s position, you owe it to the owner and yourself to properly calculate and present the water.  Ask the owner if he/she is prepared to accept that much water and that many aged used cars going forward.  Chances are, you’ll be told that the answer is no, and that’s why the old manager is no longer there.  You should then ask the owner if he/she is prepared to make changes in strategy and to take the pain of rectifying the present situation. 

When you’re questioned about what new strategy could be employed, simply refer to that strategy which is described in Velocity 2.0.  If the owner asks about the pain of removing the water, you must be honest and let them know that you are not a magician or a miracle worker.  The best that you can do is to attempt to minimize the loss, but you’re not able to avoid it.

If the owner doesn’t give you permission to implement the Velocity Strategy, or isn’t willing to deal with the losses that are inevitable, then you need to reevaluate whether you are in the right professional position.