I leave for Las Vegas tomorrow. I will see many of you at the JD Power Automotive Summit on Thursday, I suspect. If not, I hope to find you somewhere on the show floor or at some happy hour.
It will be interesting to see what the mood is this year. It’s not like the industry is in the dumps. New car sales are pretty good by any standard, though they are slowing. Used car sales, on the other hand, are hot. Fixed ops are driving profitability for many dealerships. Will dealers see the glass as half empty or half full? I suspect half full because dealers must by nature be optimists to succeed.
Indeed, the Q1 2018 Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index found optimism high, with the main driver seemed to be tax reform, which dealers expect will impact them positively.
One subject I am sure will be hotly discussed in Vegas is online sales. That is one aspect of the increasing digitalization of the retail car experience. Dealerships already store huge amounts of customer data online; that will only grow. In this issue, our cyber security expert Rick White returns with some cyber attacks to watch out for in 2018. Reading it made me want to stop storing any personal info online.
Also, this week Len Bellavia returns with advice on some a bit out-of-the-ordinary provisions you might want to include in your buy sell agreement. For example, you might want to warrant that the seller can’t take deposits from friends and family on a bunch of hard-to-get models, leaving you, the buyer, to deliver these at cost.
Len has a whole list of additional unpleasant possibilities you should warrant against. Reading his column reminded me of that Farmers Insurance commercial that comically re-enacts how unusual auto damages have occurred that Farmers covered.
And of course even in your NADA-induced excitement you won’t forget to check out Transaction News.