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I am about to participate in a meeting that includes some fairly heavy hitters in the automotive vertical... Check it out and let me know what you think, or any questions you might have about the discussion that ensued.

Discussion Topics:

  1. Update on summer traffic and performance

  2. Feedback on OEM incentives across brands and categories

  3. Used car operations feedback. How are volumes? Trade-in strategies. Are dealerships retailing v. wholesaling? How are used car prices trending? Front-end used car gross margins?

  4. Fixed operations feedback. Is growth continuing? Outlook for the rest of the year?

  5. Updates on financing environment. How has the rate increase impacted subprime demand? Any changes in credit availability by lenders? Any changes in default rates?

  6. Updates at the major dealership groups. Autonation, Sonic, Penske, Carmax.

  7. What is the ROI on marketing spend - traditional / channels. Is the shift to online marketing continuing?



  • Bill Feinstein - President of Planet Honda, Dealer Advisory Board Member at, Treasurer of TriHonda Dealer Advertising Association, and member Honda National Dealer Advisory Board.

  • Benjamin Morse - Portfolio Manager at Wilson Automotive Group, a team of 19 dealerships throughout the Southwest US.

  • Claudia Laughridge - Dealer / Partner at Terry Reid Group. National Automobile Association. DEAC President Group. True Car Dealer Council.

  • Ralph Paglia - President of ADM Consulting, serving the technology strategy and tactical implementation needs of Car Companies, Car Dealers and companies that supply the industry. 20+ years of leadership in information technology enabled automotive strategy and tactical implementation.

  • Ian Beavis - Chief Strategy Officer at AMCI Global,  the automotive industry leader in providing manufacturers with a wide range of innovative brand and product launch solutions.  Former Executive Vice President, Global Automotive Group at The Nielsen Company. Former VP Marketing Kia Motors America.

  • David Villa - CEO of IPD, an automotive marketing firm servicing franchised dealerships across the United States and hosts "Auto Dealer Live" a weekly radio show with close to 15,000 listeners.

  • Paul Nygaard - SVP Marketing at Larry H. Miller Dealerships, the 10th largest dealership group in the country according to Automotive News, operates 60 dealership locations under 20 different automotive brands in seven western states.

  • Kurt Maletych - VP-Co-Owner Managing Partner at Ken Grody Ford, an award-winning group with 2 locations in Southern California, with both locations in the top 30 in US sales.

  • Jason Klotch - SVP of Servicing & Collections at LoanMart, a leading technology company providing non-traditional lending services, specializing in auto title loans.

  • Adam Armbruster - Sr. Partner at Eckstein, Summers, Armbruster & Company, the nation's premier retail advertising and media sales consultancy. National Expert at Wards Auto, a world-leading provider of auto industry news, data, and analysis.

  • Chad Bernstein, CFA - Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis at Hendrick Autoguard,which markets, issues, administers and underwrites Motor Vehicle Service Agreements and Prepaid Maintenance Agreements sold through Hendrick Automotive Group and JL Hendrick Management automobile dealerships. Part of Hendrick Automotive Group, one of the largest automotive retail organizations in the US.

  • Rene Abdalah - Senior Vice President at RVI Group, the world’s leading provider of residual value insurance.

  • John Brown - General Manager at Olympia Nissan Chrysler Jeep, in Washington. Part of Bruce Titus Automotive Group, a renowned, award-winning automotive group with six franchise in the area.

  • Haig Stoddard - Senior Industry Analyst at WardsAuto, part of the Ground Transportation Division of Penton, a world-leading provider of auto industry news, data, and analysis, having served the industry's information needs for more than 80 years.

  • James Kurtenbach - Marketing Director at Schomp Automotive Group, with 6 locations in the Colorado area, featuring Honda, MINI and BMW dealerships in their large main campus, as well as a motorcycle and Mercedez-Benz dealership.

  • Mark Humphrey - Business Development & Partnerships at AutoGravity, a digital platform connecting car shoppers directly with lenders and dealers. Former Chief Credit Officer at Tidalwave Finance, a sub-prime auto finance company specializing in offering second chance buyers the opportunity to buy a used car.

  • Stan Sher - Founder & President at Dealer eTraining, an automotive consulting and training company that specializes in automotive internet sales, business development center (BDC) operations as well as showroom sales (recruiting and training).

  • Joe Fornal - Treasurer & CFO at Ganley Automotive Group, a collection of new and used car dealerships in Ohio, featuring brands including Toyota, Ford, Hyundai, and GM.

  • Greg Goebel - CEO of DealerStrong, a group of consultants, coaches, and trainers for auto dealers that want to strengthen their operations and accelerate their growth.  They are an authority on special finance and auto dealer operations, working with dealers across the US through private consulting and coaching, hosting industry events and training.

  • Philip Moore - Director, Strategic Insights at CARFAX, the vehicle history expert for used car buyers, sellers and the automotive industry.

  • Ken Elias - Partner at Maryann Keller & Associates LLC, a global automotive strategy consultancy that provides professional advisory services for companies and professional firms associated with the automotive industry.

  • Brian Reed - CEO and President of F&I Express, a technology company dedicated towards moving the automotive industry towards an industry wide eCommerce car buying process also an eContracting platform for aftermarket F&I products. Brian is a Nationally recognized expert in the application of Internet technologies and marketing strategies to reach more customers, drive exponential business growth, and streamline overall business operations.

  • Scott Kolb - Director, Business Development - National Remarketing at United Road Services, the premier automotive transport expert, annually shipping more than three million vehicles for 10,000+ customers throughout North America. Board Member, International Automotive Remarketers Alliance (IARA).

  • Mike Smitka - Professor of Economics at Washington and Lee University and Judge at Automotive News PACE Supplier of the Year awards. Author on automotive economic trends.

  • Jerry Jackson - President at JRJ2 Automotive, offering Fixed operations (Service and Parts) Consulting for Dealerships.

  • Jeremy Schultz - Director of IT, Business Intelligence at Gerald Auto Group, with 5 locations in the greater Chicago area. Brands include Nissan, Subaru, Hyundai and Kia.

It was a fascinating meeting with a variety of perspectives! 

Tags: auto industry, automarketing, automotive meeting, dealer traffic, finance, meeting, opinion

Views: 65

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