Alex Flores, owner of Bravo Auto Group in Texas, has been in the auto retail business for nearly three decades and learns something from each episode. He requires all his managers and his employees in the used-vehicle department to listen each week.
“People have to learn the art of acquisition and inventory management,” he said. “Now more than ever, it’s important for everyone to be paying attention and to understand how that used-car world works.”
Bravo improved used-vehicle pricing based on suggestions from members of the group. Vehicles were aging on the lot, and Bravo was losing money on them at auctions.
“We had the old mentality of try to make the most when we first got the car and then change the price. This room has changed our mindset on that,” Flores said.
Bravo began pricing the vehicles based on market supply rather than desired profit. The shift has helped the group sell vehicles faster and reversed wholesale losses.
“It has made a night-and-day difference. It has really changed our game,” Flores said.
Another dealer, from Buffalo, N.Y., applied Hansel’s playbook on developing a buy center and acquired 50 cars in his first month, Long said. Long shared those results with his employees as a proof point that their business was innovative.
“You talk about supporting the direction we’re headed, that does it more than anything else,” he said. “It’s one thing to talk about it, but it’s another thing to see somebody doing it with success.”
Hansel Auto Group’s eight dealerships sold 6,500 new vehicles and 4,500 used vehicles last year, and they rounded out their strategies based on conversations with peers from across the country.
“This is the way that I can gather information from smart people and have them all in the same room and ask questions and get answers and hear perspectives,” said Long. “It’s one of the best things that I’ve ever stumbled into.”