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Retailers live and die by their inventory turns, says WardsAuto Industry Voices columnist Adam Armbruster..

How to Turn, Turn, Turn Car Dealership Inventories

Develop an on-air/online video message that motivates real buyers, not just shoppers.

You don’t see brown bananas in supermarkets.

That’s because stores price to the pace of the bananas ripening. Browning bananas get marked down quickly and often.

Retailers live and die by their inventory turn. What about vehicle inventory? Are your 90-day supply units getting priced to market in real time? Could your new-car inventory turn be faster? Could this drive new-car net profit due to floor plan credit gains based on quicker unit sales? (WardsAuto Industry Voices columnist Adam Armbruster, bottom left)

Case in point, vAuto’s Brian Finkelmeyer says, “Dealers who accelerate their new-car inventory turn benefit financially by holding on to a higher percent of their below-the-line factory dollars, reducing the necessity for extreme discounting on distressed inventory, and most importantly, turning the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ faster.”

Imagine if you could turn your inventory just one more time each year. What impact would that have on your gross dealership income?

Advertising is fine, but AdverTiming is better, timing properly for real buyers, not just shoppers.

If you feel like you’ve been paying twice for the same customer lead, you could be right. Many dealers are still spending heavily in sourced digital sales leads only to find out that their traditional media brought in that same buyer.

So what to do?

First, sit down and assess a realistic per-vehicle retailed marketing cost you can live with.

Decide which media are most cost-efficient. Begin with high efficiency or your campaign will lack proper scale and impact.

Then develop an on-air/online video message that motivates a real buyer. Speak to a buyer. What do they care about right now? Their trade, monthly payment or down payment?

Second, make sure your branded search is on point. Buying generic keywords has minimal effect when your competition is buying them as well.

Think of direct leads coming from branded search as higher quality and ultimately more profitable.

Vehicle detail page hits are the benchmark that matters, because real buyers drill deep for those.

Third, tie in your lot display, road signage, front row, business development center and of course your sales team with this effort. Make sure they echo the same offers, promo units and specials when consumers call.

Velocity marketing is a customized marketing plan that features a campaign for buyers in real time with hyper-efficient, high-scale media driving it.

That's how to accelerate inventory turns.

Adam Armbruster is a senior partner in the business growth firm Eckstein, Summers, Armbruster & Company located in Red Bank, NJ. He can be reached at 941-928-7192.

TAGS: Dealers
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