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Dealer News Today Podcasts

Author: Dealer News Today

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A collaboration between the Dave Cantin Group and Cox Automotive, Dealer News Today creates content and information for dealers in the automotive industry. The information they need today and insights for tomorrow. Our content is exclusive and our podcasts feature automotive industry powerhouses from around the globe giving master-class advice to dealerships.
95 Episodes
Tom Maoli’s background is in real estate investment, global logistics, and as a serial entrepreneur. As a relative newcomer to automotive, he has a much broader perspective than the average car dealer who grew up in the industry.For years, Tom Maoli hosted a radio show, Go Big or Go Home, to teach entrepreneurs how to start a business, manage risk, leverage loans, and navigate the American economy. Today, he’s a real estate mogul, philanthropist, car collector, and the owner of New Jersey-based Celebrity Motor Cars. On this episode, he blends all his experience to give us his unique take on the current state of the auto industry. Plus, Derek puts Tom on the spot to give us an automotive “Maoli Minute” — calling back a one-minute economic update he used to do for iHeartRadio.Interview Highlights:Predictions on how pent-up demand could affect markets in 2023 and 2024.Updates on manufacturers that are cutting production.Reasons why the automotive industry is faring better than other industries through the current shortage of employees.Episode quote:“I’ve interviewed all the manufacturers. Every single one of them feels the same way . . .  Their overhead is down. They’re making double the money. So why chase volume? There’s a paradigm shift in the industry and I think you’re going to see it this way for a long time.”— Tom Maoli| Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production
At age 25, Troy Duhon bought a 10% stake in a Dodge dealership, then helped take it to #9 in the country. At 30, he was the world’s youngest Toyota franchise owner. Today, his company Premier Automotive owns dealerships across LA, TX, MO, KS, and CA.On this episode of the DNT podcast, Troy gives us 30 minutes packed solid with value — including innovative strategies for buying new and used inventory, foresight on EVs and the chip shortage, thoughts on the future of the franchise model, and so much more.And Troy doesn't only sell cars across a large network of dealerships. He also gives back to communities, currently feeding over 4000 people per day and building orphanages around the world, through the Giving Hope Foundation. This activity helps him build relationships with partners, retain employees, and create a "purpose for the profit".Troy Duhon brings incredible mind, heart, and soul to our industry, and if you implement what you hear on today’s episode, you’re sure to create value in your automotive career.Interview highlights:How to train and incentivize employees to compete with Carvana and rental car companies by buying cars “off the street”Why the chip shortage will end with OEMs paying more money to the chip manufacturers (Troy’s been talking to OEM CEOs)A system for securing both car buyers and new inventory through vehicle pre-orderingEpisode quote:“You don’t need to be the biggest. What you need to be is the best. And the question is, What are you called to be the best at?”— Troy Duhon| Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production
Today’s guest, Aaron Zeigler, has acquired nine dealerships in the past 16 months for his company Zeigler Auto Group.  Sure, 2020 was a record year for many dealers, but these numbers are incredible in any market.  So how did Zeigler's team create this kind of success? They learned from past crises like 9/11 and the 2008 recession. While everyone else was cutting back, they were buying up new inventory and investing in their employees. In Aaron’s own words:  “We were back 100% before most organizations were, and the philosophy was — if we’re going to compete with a full team against others who were competing with half a team, we would win.”  This type of thinking has made Zeigler one of the most successful auto dealers in the country, now selling 24 brands across 36 dealerships throughout the Midwest. The company’s forward philosophy has also made them one of the top-rated companies to work for in the United States. Today, on the Season 3 premiere of the Dealer News Today Podcast, Aaron Zeigler joins Derek D to discuss many of the lessons he’s learned through his career in auto sales and to unveil some of the secrets that made his company so successful during the pandemic.  Interview Highlights:     Why Aaron Zeigler believes that inventory won’t be back to “normal” for at least another year.   Which of Zeigler’s 24 brands have done best during the pandemic, and why.   An in-depth look at the story behind the chip shortage.     Episode Quote:   “We realized if we could take out the fear of the unknown for our employees and make them comfortable … then we could focus on creating the future.“— Aaron Zeigler| Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production
Dave Cantin began his career climbing the ranks of the world’s most successful single-point Hyundai dealership, where he became a part-owner and eventually sold his ownership stake. He later negotiated the second-largest dealership sale in U.S. history, before founding his current venture, the Dave Cantin Group — an automotive holding company that specializes in mergers & acquisitions, as well as industry insights and dealership financial growth.Oh, and Dave is the founder and original host of the Dealer News Today Podcast. He launched DNT on March 21st, 2020, as a resource for dealers going through lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic, then hosted the show through its first season.We’re thrilled to have Dave back on the show, for a value-packed conversation on the current state of the automotive industry.Interview Highlights:Predictions for the next 5-6 years of the auto industry, including “build your new car” sales models, reduced need for large inventories, and the emergence of EVs.An explanation of how low interest rates are indirectly raising the sales prices of cars closer to MSRP.The factors behind a record-shattering year in dealership acquisitions.And much more.Episode Quote:“Almost like walking into an Apple store, you’re going to sit down and build your next car . . . exactly how you want it. That’s what I see coming right around the corner in the automotive industry.”      — Dave Cantin| Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production
Tim Devine has some advice for dealers — lost profit is preventable.On the surface, this is obvious. But as Tim digs into the issue, we see how much money is missed by dealers every day, from OEM incentives and rebates, to unnecessary spending and much more. Plus, he explains how you can recapture these funds to increase your bottom line.Tim Devine is Executive Manager at DCG Capital. He has 35 years of experience in the auto business, with a range of top manufacturers and dealership groups. Today, Tim helps dealers sustain and grow profits through CFO services, floor plan financing, and other financial services for automotive dealerships.After you hear this conversation, you’ll have the knowledge to identify whether or not your dealership is leaving money on the table.Interview Highlights:How to navigate manufacturers’ rules around rebates and incentives.Practical guidance for how dealerships can get out of a financial hole.The key difference between the 2008 recession and the Covid pandemic, plus advice for dealers who started after 2008 and haven’t seen a major downturn in the auto industry.Episode quote:“Everybody’s doing well. But what the good dealers are thinking about is ... ‘This isn’t going to last forever. I need to create a sustainable business model, so that when the cycle goes a different direction, I’m prepared.’ “— Tim Devine| Dealer News Today is a DCG Media production
Steve Zabawa began pursuing digital car sales as early as 2012. He’s the co-founder of both Rimrock Auto Group (Billings, MT) and — an online auto retailing tool that integrates with dealers’ websites so they can buy and sell inventory from anywhere, at any time.On the Season 2 finale of DNT, Zabawa and Derek D discuss sales during COVID, online retail, the chip shortage, the current state of acquisitions, electric vehicles, and more.He has a knack for nailing the sweet spot between supply and demand, and if you’re in automotive sales, this conversation is sure to give you perspective on navigating the current and future realities of the auto industry.Interview Highlights:The advantage of selling cars upstream, online (before they hit the lot)Stories of how some of the country’s top dealership owners adapted to the COVID-19 pandemicWhy the chip shortage is worse than COVID for auto dealerships, and how its effects trickle into other aspects of the dealership business.“There’s never been more private equity money, more public money, and more auto group money out there to buy. It’s really amazing how many people want to buy a store right now.” — Steve Zabawa
In a growing number of states, car dealers can now enhance the car buying experience by saving their customers the trip to the DMV, when they integrate electronic solutions for registration and titling.     Today on DNT, Derek D is joined by two key members of the team at Dealertrack: Kait Gavin, VP of Operations, and Sarah Hunsicker, Director of Government Affairs. Kait and Sarah work together daily, communicating from coast to coast on solutions that connect dealerships to DMVs and take the tedium out of vehicle registration and titling.     Interview Highlights — Sarah and Kait describe:     The picture of U.S. states rolling out digital solutions at the DMV. They tell us who’s adopting them, who’s enforcing them, and who’s lagging behind — and what this means for auto dealers in different states.     How electronic solutions are giving car buyers the ability to buy a vehicle in one state and register it in another — and how this could transform the landscape of auto retail.     The advantages enjoyed by states that had these solutions in place before the pandemic, and the wake-up call to those that didn’t.     Episode Quote:     “Those DMVs that had these foundational solutions going into the pandemic fared much better than those that didn’t . . . and those states that didn’t, it resulted in insurmountable backlogs at the DMV that they were trying to dig out of.”     — Sarah Hunsicker     -----     Episode Sponsor:   Dealertrackbuilds integrated technologies that make vehicle documentation—like registration and titling—faster and easier for all parties, from dealers, to state agencies, to consumers, helping to expedite car sales and power growth in the automotive industry.     | Dealer News Today is a Dave Cantin Group – Cox Automotive partnership
During 10-plus years in the consumer packaged goods industry, Nathan Fox watched e-commerce go from being a small part of the industry to becoming a major commercial channel. Now years later, he’s seeing the same dynamic play out in the automotive industry.     Nathan, who is Senior Director of Business Development at Cox Automotive, draws on his past experience to inform his current role, helping automotive dealerships obtain the tools they need to sell more cars at better prices—online or in the showroom.     Interview Highlights:     Nathan talks about the present state of supply and demand in new and used car sales, with a prediction on when the current inventory shortage will end.     Nathan and Derek discuss SnapLot 360, a new imaging technology that lets dealers use their smartphones to capture a 360° interior and exterior video (with a voiceover) of any car in their inventory, to help consumers shop confidently online.     We find out which dealerships saw customer satisfaction rise during the pandemic.     Episode quote:     “I always think there’s a strong connection between the product you have on your lot, the way you price it, and the promotional merchandising you do . . . The more that a dealer pulls on those levers in a concerted, holistic manner, the more they’re going to maximize their returns.”     — Nathan Fox     -----       Episode Sponsor:     vAuto is a powerful inventory management tool that helps today’s dealers run better than the competition. It is part of Cox Automotive, a world leader in Automotive Industry software, information, and innovation.     | Dealer News Today is a Dave Cantin Group – Cox Automotive partnership
Mandi Fang says the new rules of client engagement will come down to two things: the willingness to disrupt ourselves and the ability to think like our customers. What does this mean?     It means we’ll discover where AI can create efficiencies and where we’ll need humans for a deeper level of interaction and problem-solving. It means that, as these efficiencies increase, “personalized” and “at-scale” will no longer be mutually exclusive. It means improving the employee experience will be key to transforming the customer experience.     Mandi draws this insight from decades in the auto industry—from building Chevy S-10s on the assembly line, to 15 years in auto retail, to her current role as Vice President of Client Engagement at four Cox Automotive companies: DealertrackDMS,, VinSolutions, and Xtime.     Interview Highlights:   How furloughs and other disruptions during COVID shutdown forever changed the processes, roles played, tools used, and customer experiences at dealerships.   How AI and virtual reality will help the most forward-thinking dealers create a fully immersive experience for remote and online customers.   How AI is helping Cox Automotive create better solutions for auto dealers, with efficiencies that translate to profit.   Using data and technology will allow us to become efficient and effective at delivering not only products but also experiences . . . What the digital transformation allows us to do is think about every experience with a new lens.”      — Mandi Fang     -----      Episode Sponsor:Xtime — Xtime is the automotive industry’s only end-to-end vehicle service platform, connecting customers and dealers from vehicle check-in to follow-up — and increasing service retention for OEMs and their dealerships.| Dealer News Today is a Dave Cantin Group – Cox Automotive partnership
If you’re not embracing data, you might want to think about the dealer down the street who is.     Today, Derek D talks with two automotive data experts. Tracy Fred is Vice President of three Cox Automotive brands: Dealertrack DMS, VinSolutions, and Xtime. Elton O’Neal is Cox Automotive’s Senior Director of Data Strategy.     Together, they flesh out the case for why data is now paving the path forward for sales in all markets, including the automotive industry.     Interview Highlights:     What is the difference between open and closed approaches to data, and how are dealerships now benefiting from an open approach?   How can startup companies help dealerships not only access but also interpret data, to help make decisions that lead to greater ROI?   Why is any big picture of data more valuable than the sum of all its parts?     “Every consumer out there wants a personalized experience, and leveraging data allows dealers to deliver that personalized experience.”   — Tracy Fred     -----     Episode Sponsor:     VinSolutions integrates all your dealership’s systems and gives you a single view of your consumer. VinSolution is designed both by tech developers who know how to create powerful technology and by automotive dealers who know what it takes to sell cars every day.     | Dealer News Today is a Dave Cantin Group – Cox Automotive partnership
How can Patrick Jane’s car buying advice inform your sales tactics?     Patrick and Derek D cover a ton of ground in this episode of DNT—the state of new car manufacturing, optimizing used inventory, wholesale vs. retail prices… even rental cars.      Patrick Janes, who is Senior Business Development Director at vAuto, has spent 27 years working all angles of the automotive industry, all over the country. The conversation is a multifaceted perspective on car buying and selling, packed with insight and value.     Interview Highlights:     With new car demand overflowing into the used market, what was the average dealership’s used inventory turnaround rate at the start and end of 2020?   What’s going to happen to used car pricing in the coming months—and how do you create your sweet spot for used car pricing and timing?   What’s the best approach: giving customers a price over the phone, or persuading them to come to the dealership?   “We’ve got a stimulus check, we’ve got tax time, we’ve got a lot of cash in the pocket, so that tends to change what kind of used cars are selling faster. We’ve got to be students of the market to take advantage of that.”     — Patrick Janes     -----      Episode Sponsor:vAuto is a leading inventory management service—now featuring Stockwave for smarter auction buying—that helps you run better than your competition. vAuto is part of Cox Automotive, a global innovator in Automotive Industry information and software.| Dealer News Today is a Dave Cantin Group – Cox Automotive partnership
Evolution is a part of any industry or business, and those who keep up are those who survive and thrive.   Today’s guest is Brian Finkelmeyer, Senior Director of New Car Solutions at Cox Automotive. Brian worked for 20 years on the OEM side of the industry and has since been involved with automotive tech developments and trends at Cox. His background makes him uniquely qualified to talk about new trends in the automotive industry.   He joins Derek D to discuss (optimistic) 2021 predictions, including low interest rates, stimulus checks, electric vehicles, and more.     Interview Highlights:   When might OEMs return to pre-COVID levels of inventory production?   To what do we owe the anomaly of Carvana (and how can dealerships compete)?   How will the future of electric vehicles play out, with nearly all manufacturers now entering the game and bringing the EV market to more mainstream consumers?     “You look at the new car sales results and you think that this country is absolutely on fire right now . . . it’s just a remarkable thing.”           — Brian Finkelmeyer     -----     Episode Sponsor:     Cox Automotive is a global leader in Automotive Industry innovation, information, and software. Over 25 Cox Automotive brands work in harmony, delivering resources to dealerships and customers and keeping the industry moving forward.    | Dealer News Today is a Dave Cantin Group – Cox Automotive partnership
Today, Derek D talks to Andy Mayers, Lender Solutions Strategist, and Emil Banga, Asst. VP of Operations at Cox Automotive.   Our guests deliver current insights on the state of automotive F&I, getting to the heart of the consumer’s ability to buy. They also discuss tools and techniques for streamlining the processes around vehicle financing between all parties—consumers, dealers, & lenders.     Interview Highlights:     What to expect in auto sales with stimulus checks and tax returns coming soon to consumers.   2 stats on car buying—one the lowest it’s ever been, one the highest it’s ever been—and how they correlate with each other.   4 of the greatest challenges dealerships are facing in F&I, and how to deal with them.   “There’s change that’s occurred for the best—for the consumer, the dealer, the lender—that’s going to continue and keep getting better.”     — Emil Banga     -----      Episode Sponsor:     Dealertrack F&Icreates integrated technologies to make the vehicle leasing and financing faster and easier for all parties, from dealers, to consumers, to lenders.| Dealer News Today is a Dave Cantin Group – Cox Automotive partnership
Now a full year into the pandemic — what is the state of business at dealerships across the country?     Dan Garwatoski shares his perspective with Randy Kobat, for part 5 in our Novel Thinking series. With over two decades in automotive sales, Dan has led his dealership, Nissan North, throughout the past year to pre-pandemic levels of success.     Today, Dan gives a full update on how his dealership is faring in Q1 of 2021. He gives an overview of all departments, shares his strategies for boosting profits in new and used sales, and looks ahead to tell us which novel aspects of the auto business he believes are here to stay.     Highlights– Dan Garwatoski shares:   His view of the current state of new and used inventory, with a candid account of all the successes and challenges he’s seeing.   How he uses an omni-channel approach in stocking used cars, not just to cover pavement, but to make a profit.   How he’s just begun using tools like ProfitTime 2.0 to know the most profitable price range of any used vehicle, and saving time in the process.   “That’s really all it takes in the car business— once you get some positive momentum you can really start to make good things happen."     — Dan Garwatoski     Our guest Dan Garwatoski is Sales Manager at Nissan North in Columbus, Ohio. He is an automotive sales expert with over two decades of experience in the business.     Our host Randy Kobat is Vice President of Operations for several companies at COX Automotive, including Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer and vAuto.     | Dealer News Today is a Dave Cantin Group – Cox Automotive partnership     -----     Episode Sponsor:   vAutocreates powerful inventory management tools that help dealers run better than the competition. vAuto is part of Cox Automotive, an international leader in Automotive software, information, and innovation.
Eighty percent of automotive salespeople turn over each year on average. “Does it really have to be like that?” asks Chase Abbott, VP of Sales at Cox Automotive (and today’s guest on the DNT Podcast). Chase joins Derek D to discuss his conversations with automotive salespeople, who often give reasons that help explain this 80% turnover statistic. He speaks from his own experience as a car salesman, and explains how he thinks industry culture can  change from old school thinking to an updated approach, where customers are happier because dealership employees are happier.     Chase also gives several examples of how technology promises to help this change.     Interview Highlights:   Chase summarizes the program he presented at this year’s virtual NADA conference.   What percent of customers return to a dealership because of a good experience with a salesperson?   How can technology save time for both customers and employees, to create a better experience for everyone in auto sales?   “There is no out-of-the-box customer or employee culture that you just install . . . They all mean different things to different people, and in order to know, you have to ask.”     — Chase Abbott     -----     Episode Sponsor:VinSolutions integrates your systems to give a single view of the customer across your dealership. It’s a customer relationship tool built by developers who know how to create smart solutions, and car dealers who know what it takes to sell cars every day.Derek D is an actor, comedian, and host with 15 years of experience in the entertainment industry. Before becoming a host on the DNT podcast, Derek was well known in the automotive industry for hosting the award-winning car news show Fast Lane Daily.
“What car?” and “What dealer?” This past year, the “what dealer” question has become far different, and today’s guests are uniquely equipped to address this change.   Brett Pomerantz grew up living and working around his family’s dealership business. That experience now combines with a degree in Digital Media & Marketing to inform his position as Senior Director of Digital Retailing at Cox Automotive.Bob George studied to become an architect, but fell into automotive journalism and eventually his current role—Associate VP at Bob explains how a degree in Architecture applies to the auto industry, and much more.Interview Highlights:   What is Connected TV, and how is it combining the power of digital marketing with tv advertising?   What’s the difference between an average dealership website and a complete digital storefront (and which do you have)?   How do you determine what is the next right step to take in any marketing effort?     “The best digital retail product is the one you actually use.”   — Bob George     -----     Episode Sponsor: — delivers the expertise and the technology, backed by a deep understanding of consumer behavior, to help dealers build comprehensive and profitable digital storefronts.
Kevin LeSage’s career has been a dovetailing of two passions—cars and data—that have led him to his current role as Director of Digital Marketing at Autotrader. Today on DNT, Kevin joins Derek D to tell the backstory of his career, and what he’s doing today to transform sales at automotive dealerships.   Kevin digs deep into his digital marketing expertise to relate how, as an auto dealer, you can optimize data across multiple platforms and build custom digital marketing campaigns to funnel quality prospects onto their websites and into their dealerships.     Interview Highlights:How Kevin and his team can predict, with over 85% accuracy, which brand an online car shopper will ultimately buyCurrent insights on Search Engine Optimization, Analytics, and other areas of Digital Marketing as they relate to automotive salesAn analogy that ties automotive dealerships to fast food restaurants (hint: it’s about options)“My job is to make understanding your marketing efforts and your targeting much easier to take action on.”     —Kevin LeSage-----     Episode Sponsor:AutoTrader — Your ulitmate online tool for new, certified pre-owned, and used vehicle sales. AutoTrader makes the process of buying and selling easier, and gives you more control than ever before.
Today’s episode is about clarity of information—and how it helps customer confidence. In an industry where customers can feel intimidated by transactions, high levels of information and transparency—around pricing, vehicle history, service, etc.—can dissolve fear, build trust, and create more sales.      Derek D is joined today by Juan Flores — Senior Director of Product Management at Kelley Blue Book, and Jade Terreberry — Director of Dealer Sales Analytics for Cox Automotive. Their expertise on information and decision making, both on the consumer and dealership side, dovetail into a thorough picture of the importance of information in sales.     Interview Highlights:     How many years will drivers typically go to the dealership for service, before they defect to other mechanics? (And how do you win them back?)   In vehicle recalls, 60% of drivers go straight to an OEM dealership. What happens to the other 40%?   Where is there pent up demand that could be released post-pandemic?     “It all comes back to the consumer expectations and the consumer desire for price transparency.”      — Jade Terreberry       -----     Episode Sponsor:   Kelley Blue Book — KBB has been the industry standard in used car pricing and transparency for decades. Our resources bring automotive consumers and dealers to the table, equipped with the information and trust they need to move a deal forward.
The past year has transformed car buying—from process streamlining, to digital customer relationships, to customer expectations. And once customers grow to expect a way of doing things, it’s just about impossible to turn back.On this episode, Derek is joined by Jessica Stafford, Sr. VP of Consumer Solutions, and Lori Wittman, Sr. VP of Dealer Software, who discuss transformations in auto retail, with expertise on both sides of the sale. “Seamless. That’s the key word,” says Derek, referring to the fact that digital retail tools work at all touchpoints, from trade-in values, to credit reports, to the final sale, integrated into a CRM that works for dealers and consumers across all devices.The results are time savings for all parties, and an increase in customer satisfaction.Interview Highlights:What percentage of dealers adopted digital tools in the past year, and what percentage see that digital retail increases customer satisfaction.How digital retail tools can make data easy to utilize for consumers and dealers who are not data-oriented people.A Derek D personal story about how NOT to use customer data.--------------“We gotta keep moving forward . . . because consumers aren’t going backwards.”— Jessica Stafford--------------Episode Sponsor:AutoTrader — Your ulitmate online tool for trading new, certified pre-owned, and used vehicles. AutoTrader gives you more control, and makes the process of buying and selling easier than ever before.
Randy Kobat and Jake Sodikoff last spoke in March, at the beginning of the pandemic. Back then, Jake predicted the importance of used inventory during COVID. During 2020, his team was ahead of the curve, both in buying up inventory and providing at-home services to customers.Today, Randy and Jake catch up on the events of 2020 and make new predictions for the year ahead in the automotive industry. In 2021,  Jake remains competitive in finding innovative ways to serve customers and move vehicle inventory.Interview Highlights:At what levels are Nissan and Toyota producing inventory, compared to normal times?The importance of exploring better services and processes for streamlining home vehicle delivery.Jake’s biggest takeaways on 2020—uncertainty, challenges in leadership, navigating the social and political environment—and his optimistic predictions for 2021.Guest Quote:“And as the market picks up, we’ll ride that wave and continue to be efficient with our turn.”— Jake SodikoffJake Sodikoff is Dealer Principal at Steven Nissan in Harrisonburg, VA. He is a board member of the Virginia Auto Dealers Association and Chairman of the NCM Velocity 20 Group.Randy Kobat is VP of Operations for several Cox Automotive companies, including vAuto and Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer.The DNT Podcast is a production of Cox Automotive and The Dave Cantin Group.--------------Episode Sponsor:vAutois an inventory management and pricing service that helps dealers work better and more precisely than the competition. It’s a part of Cox Automotive, an international leader in Automotive Industry innovation, information, and software.
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