AutoNation just took one giant step for retail automotive and one giant step for women in automotive by naming Cheryl Miller as its president and CEO. Miller’s naming is indicative of the changing nature of the retail automotive world, and not just in the sense that women are a growing presence in the C-suite.
Retail automotive these days is about so much more than just selling new cars at a dealership. New cars aren’t where dealerships earn money, for one. Lithia’s Q2 results are an illustration of that. Among Miller’s accomplishment, she established and grew AutoNation’s cooperation with Waymo, the autonomous driving unit of Google parent Alphabet. As AutoNation CFO, Miller worked on the group’s operational and financial reorganization.
She also worked at Alamo/National car rentals and at Toyota dealer and distributor JM Family Enterprises, plus she has captive finance experience. Clearly, leading the largest publicly-listed dealership group in North America requires a diverse set of skills and experiences.
On to this week’s issue. The service department is one of the profit centers of a dealership these days. Ideally, revenue from service can cover all of a dealership’s expenses, but that isn’t usually the case. This week, a new contributor offers some suggestions on how to boost a dealership’s absorption rate.
Our second column this week is one that dealerships should have all their employees read. Rick White, our cybersecurity guru, returns with suggestions on how to protect private or company email accounts from fraudulent activity. Since a dealership’s employees likely use their work account outside of the dealership itself, they need to take these steps to ensure they aren’t responsible for inadvertently introducing fraud into the dealership’s system.
And we have Transaction News.