Stocking Used-Vehicles that Customers Want

Les Abrams, NADA University

By Les Abrams

If your used-car man­ag­er is stock­ing the lot with seat-of-the-pants deci­sions, he is miss­ing the boat. It’s long past time to drop the old ways of build­ing inven­to­ry. The dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion has changed how the game is played.

There’s a wealth of data avail­able to deal­ers to make sound stock­ing deci­sions.

What are the high-demand, low-sup­ply vehi­cles in your mar­ket? That infor­ma­tion is avail­able from any num­ber of ven­dors. We rec­om­mend that deal­ers inves­ti­gate the solu­tions that best fit their deal­er­ships. All the dig­i­tal solu­tions have the abil­i­ty to give deal­ers feed­back as to which vehi­cles they should stock and which vehi­cles prob­a­bly aren’t going to work on their lot.

One of the most crit­i­cal pieces of infor­ma­tion is the mar­ket days’ sup­ply of a vehi­cle. What is the sup­ply and demand of that par­tic­u­lar vehi­cle with­in a spec­i­fied radius of your deal­er­ship? A deal­er has to know beyond his four walls what’s going on in the mar­ket­place.

There are tools to assist deal­ers in iden­ti­fy­ing what’s in-demand in their mar­ket. They can pull ana­lyt­ics that tell them which cars have the most and the least days’ sup­ply in their mar­ket, and what’s the aver­age gross. They can stock what their cus­tomers want.

Here are ques­tions to ask your used-car man­ag­er about every car in stock:

  • What is the days’ sup­ply in our mar­ket?
  • What is the car sell­ing for at auc­tion?
  • What is it sell­ing for at retail?
  • How does our price com­pare to oth­ers in the mar­ket?

The data is avail­able — and data needs to be the cen­ter­piece of every stock­ing deci­sion.

Instruc­tor Les Abrams teach­es Vari­able Oper­a­tions I in week 4 of 6 in the NADA Acad­e­my pro­gram. Vari­able Ops I encom­pass­es dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, inven­to­ry con­trol, show­room traf­fic pro­ce­dures, and new- and used-car sales. Reach Abrams at [email protected]. Vis­it to down­load the sched­ule and appli­ca­tions for all pro­grams.

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