“The only logical fix for the automakers
during the talks of an industry bailout for the Big 3″
“Nothing happens until somebody sells something” is a trademarked line that Mike Strong, founder of Strong Automotive Merchandising in Birmingham, Alabama, coined back in the early 1980’s. The meaning of this hits right to the heart of the matter at what is affecting the Auto Industry today. The manufacturers are seeing the end of about a 16-month slump in sales and are to a point where drastic financial matters such as bankruptcy are being discussed. The dealers’ are coming to the end of a year that for most will be one of the least profitable years in the last ten. This gets compounded when the manufacturers require (and stress) for new dealerships of massive size and structure to be built to withstand the abundance of sales and help the automakers in their sprint for market share and segment dominance.
So what is the answer? Here’s my thought…
“Handouts, bailouts, economic stimulus checks, tax breaks for the middle class…” there is no shortage of ideas and many of them will probably work if the problem had been addressed early on and the dealers hadn’t endured this climate for so long. But since there is a “lame-duck” President, with the Democratic party taking over command, I don’t think these will get done and get done in time to save a lot of dealers from going down and a lot of jobs from being lost. All the money in the world Washington throws at the Big Three Crisis will be wasted UNLESS DEALERS SELL CARS! Nothing will pull out the manufacturers’ “out of the red and into the black” faster than the cars being sold.
That may be the mentality of a salesmen and not a numbers guy, but think about it…
How do you fix the union?
Send more production to their plants, which comes from selling more cars.
How do you fix the automakers finance positions?
Send them more finance contracts by selling more cars.
How do you increase the declining “parts and service” industry in the dealerships?
Send more cars on the street, thus they require more maintenance and the production of more parts.
And finally, how do you directly impact the Economy, Consumer Confidence, Consumer Spending and the Consuming Public?
Send more cars from the lots to the streets because Activity Breeds Activity.
There are over 12,000 New Car Franchise Dealerships in the USA today. For every dealership, there are at least 100 vendors – everyone from coffee companies, to uniform suppliers, TV stations and electric companies. When the market gets tight, dealers cut back and the ripples can be greatly felt. But if cars are being sold, money is changing hands and commerce is happening.
“Nothing happens ‘til someone sells something” is a simple principle
that the people of Strong believe in – and often times it works great.