What Brian points out in this article is a sad state of affairs in our auto industry at the retail level… In order to understand it, you must understand that for far too many dealership managers the “name of the game” is not to thrill and delight customers so they will WANT to do business with their dealership, instead it is to “beat the competition” by having the lowest advertised price in the newspaper. Since print advertising like newspaper is unable to be dynamic in nature, the strategy is to use deception to artificially reduce the advertised price on a particular make and model to a level below which no other competing dealer will dare to publish.
The thinking is flawed in this day and age, but was flawed when it still worked back in the 80’s and 90’s… I lived through the times when this was the predominant advertising strategy used, and in fact was a participant at times… The whole idea was to “switch to get rich” by dissuading customers from considering the advertised vehicle, and if that didn’t work, you would have to “scoop the trade” by allowing a lower trade-in value than the internal Actual Cash Value (ACV) thereby injecting additional gross profit margin in the deal to try and make it profitable above and beyond what was afforded by the “low-ball” price published in the newspaper… Other tactics include the dreaded “Desert Protection Package” at $995 that was added to the sale price because it had already been installed on all vehicles in inventory.
Finance and Insurance was often relied upon to generate additional Gross Profit Margin on the “Back End” of these advertised specials to again, make the loser advertised special make sense for the dealership. None of these practices work well today and if truth be known, they weren’t so good for the business back when they did work. Please use the link provided to read the actual article that Brian Pasch published on the ADM Professional Community.