Aurora, Co — Mike Tynan is a Volkswagen/Nissan dealer whose joint used-car lot has helped him withstand the inroads of the new-vehicle sales slump. Aurora is a suburb of Denver whose foreign-brand penetration is well above 50%.
Salespersons sell new cars from either franchised store as well as pre-owned vehicles, and early 2009 sales of the used-car facility climbed 30% from a year ago, while new-vehicle sales plunged 25%.
Tynan's January sales were the dealership's best January ever in the dealership's 48-year history, he tells Ward's.
“We had a great January. February's sales dropped a bit, and sales in March have fallen considerably,” says Tynan, hoping for some spring momentum.
“We benefited from a number of other moves to bolster pre-owned sales,” says Tynan, whose uncle, Edward Tynan, opened the VW point in 1963 and added the Nissan brand 21 years later.
“One of the first measures we executed was joining the vAuto inventory management system and Progressive Basics consultancy. We also pushed the fact that we have about 25 brands for sale on the used-car lot, which keeps an average of 250 units at all times.”
Using auctions across the western and central regions for their sourcing, the Tynan dealerships stress parts and service, which Tynan says “gave us a welcome counterbalance to the new-car downturn.” A full-time buyer handles auction acquisitions.
“We also consistently have kept close ties with our financing sources,” says Tynan. “This includes special-finance specialists, which at least 75% of our customers need to put them into a new or used vehicle. VW Credit and Nissan Acceptance have been especially supportive.”
For sales leads, Tynan relies mostly on the Internet, Nissan and VW certified pre-owned programs and “40 years of customer loyalty.”
A Tynan rule: 60-day turnover for inventoried units. “That keeps the fleet churning and used-car sales lively,” he says.
His staff of about 60 in each store sold about 1,500 Nissan and 1,300 Volkswagen vehicles in 2008, both new and used.
Given today's uncertain economy and other factors, Tynan says, “I hope Obama is the best president we've ever had, because we sure need that now.”'