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NADA throws dealer members a Lifeline

November 18, 2010

A free consulting service for dealers, general managers and managers, designed to enhance the operations and financial stability of their businesses, has been instituted by the National Automobile Dealers Association.


The NADA’s Lifeline Consulting Hotline operates 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central time at 888-672-5140, offering free expert consultation. "All (dealers) have to do is call that 888 number and say, ‘I need help,’ and it’s there," said NADA Vice Chairman Dale Willey, a Kansas dealer. 

Callers are connected to 20 Group consultants or Dealer Academy instructors, each with 25 or more years’ experience in the retail auto industry. Consultants might initially go through a diagnostic checklist to uncover any potential problems.


A dealer who needs more in-depth analysis can fax the store’s financial statement to the NADA, and the consultant would crunch it down to a spreadsheet and pinpoint areas where changes could be made. Consultants can help dealers construct an action plan and suggest implementation strategies. All matters are confidential. 

"The industry overall is performing well, but too many of our domestic dealer members are losing money this year," said NADA Chairman William Bradshaw. Annette Sykora, an NADA director in Texas, said many dealers are finding themselves at crossroads, "determining if they want to add, if they want to consolidate, or if they’re just tired of the business."


A document obtained from a large U.S. automaker lists several familiar complaints under "The Factory’s Problem Today": 

• production exceeds demand

• public demands more features at lower prices

• cars must be sold for less in order to reach volume goals

• fierce competition

• more advertising money must be spent per possible buyer

• expenses—especially fixed ops—are out of proportion to sales


But to emphasize the industry’s cyclical nature, the document was written by the Buick-Olds-Pontiac Sales Co.—in 1933.