2011 Will Be A Great Year…Even If You Don’t Participate

It's no secret that over the past three years, some pretty forward-thinking information was provided to the automotive industry franchise dealer body. All 24,000 plus of them (not ignoring the independents here, just making a point). Over the coming weeks, all 20,000 of the franchise dealers will get more critically important data. Just like before, it's up to them to participate.

2011 will be a great year. Fewer than last year will make up the bulk of increases in sales, count on it. The most web-versed, socially-minded, communication-skilled and forward-thinking will win. Many of those dealers will win impressively. So the same question bears repeating: why not more? Has the carnage not been great enough? Is there too much money in the coffers still? Or is it that management is still happy sitting on their "duffs" of the bay?

2011 will be a great year. There will be more talent available for dealers to select their next sales, service and parts teams and management from. Efficiency will increase, while hopefully not at the sake of bottom lines. In other words there should be more people working at dealerships unless dealerships ignore the potential increase to their business.

2011 will be a great year. The product lines continue to get better and consumer demand for a wider array of cars (not the same car re-badged) is greater than ever. Floor traffic at the dealers that deserve it will most definitely increase. Savvier dealer marketing and engagement will increase penetration in service departments, expect it. And many dealers will experience true conquest for the very first time because they did it, not the badge.

2011 will be a great year. Technoloy will continue to becon to a larger and larger customer base so those more comfortable with technology will take advantage of that. Chaging interests in Green and alternatives will compel a few more dealers to become as engaged with those movements as their customers. Building dealership brands will become a more heated conversation than building new dealership facilities (no, that won't go away).

So how great of a year will 2011 be for you and your store? Everyone, yes everyone, is betting their bottom dollar — and bottoms — that the numbers will be up. We even believe that will be the case. Remember: it's not what you make, it's what you keep. So if you didn't like what 2010 brought, you may not really be satisfied once 2011 closes it's doors.

2011 will be a great year. Oh by the way, for the ones that will be successful, 2011 has already begun. For those that want to join us, what's stopping you???…

Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results

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