THE DAWG DOUBLES DOWN … from Jim Ziegler’s April 3rd, 2022 Newsletter, sign up for FREE email newsletter here … CLICK HERE
The Alpha Dawg Doubles Down … Jim Ziegler is quiet, shy and introverted, humbled with humility.” … said no one ever.
Don’t ask the man a question if you’re Not prepared to hear the answer. In this issue of the Dawg’s Newsletter, Jim Doubles Down on his opinion that
the manufacturers are planning to dump their dealers.
After the NADA Convention, many dealers returned home more convinced than ever that the manufacturers were planning to sell ‘Direct to The Public’ with the advent of the new age of total BEV Production as they rapidly phase out ICE cars. Some dealers believe the factory is planning to eliminate them.
BUT, it appears to me that other dealers are living in a fantasy world and they’re believing that that the manufacturers’ plan include them into the future. “Slap a little cold water in your face here Roscoe, snap out of it! Somebody get Will Smith to slap them!”
WELL, It appears to me that both camps are correct in their beliefs, although; there will be a lot of pain before these wounds heal. I’d hold off on buying a new dealership right now.
MY OPINION: Ford Motor Company is leading the charge as the other manufacturers are laying in the weeds watching to see how it turns out. At Ford, they’re more out in the open with what they are doing and telling their dealers, “Like it or Not this is what we’re going to do.”
The Manufacturers know they got a lot to learn. There are many moving parts to this, and they’ve got to keep the patients calm while they perform this surgery. So, it’s important to keep the franchised dealers believing they have a future until they’ve got all of the pieces in place. When I said everybody is correct, what I meant is the plan appears to be to continue with the franchised system until they have totally boiled the frog who was too stupid to jump out of the pot as the heat increased and they were boiled alive.
They got to figure out logistics, like Used Cars, and replacing Service Departments, disposing of Trade-ins, and much more … Boom, “Car Bravo”. Yup, GM is launching Car Bravo to help the dealers. Be real when has any manufacturer, other than maybe Toyota done anything genuinely designed to help the dealers? (Especially GM) OR, are they just turning the heat up on the Frogs again?
The truth of the matter is, when they have created NEW CORPORATIONS that are totally Electric Cars (BEVs) then they will no longer be bound by States Franchise Laws and they plan to dump their dealers, use private repair facilities and operate their own delivery centers. Maybe we’ll see Ford Vending Machines on the highway next to Carvana.
I personally believe that is the vision of virtually every manufacturer. In the meantime, they’ll threaten to hold back prime merchandise if you object to being boiled as they reduce margins and cutback floorplan credits and forbid you charging market adjustments on the window stickers. How much is the dealer paid on a Mach-E sale?
BUILT TO ORDER CARS AND TRUCKS? That’ll last until the first time they lose market share. They can’t build and deliver routine standard equipment vehicles in less than six months in most cases. Every manufacturer (especially Ford) is more screwed up than a pile of coat hangers when it comes to their ability to order and deliver cars and trucks. I am Not saying they’re ‘Stoopid’ but on the other hand, I’m Not saying they’re Not either.
Will it work, you ask? Here’s the fun part, the manufacturers, once again will fall flat on their collective asses as they’ve done before. Their inbred culture forbids success in retail. I remember watching Alan Mullaly speaking to dealers when He and I were co-keynote speakers at sever al state conventions, when he was literally begging dealers to help bail Ford Out (again) following the severe abuse I feel they’d suffered under the Jacques Nasser regime. Mulally became a good friend, I had his personal cell number, and he called me on occasion for my advice on certain matters. I had the relationship with the top people at GM, Chrysler, and Ford at executive levels back in the day when they cared a little.
AND, don’t look to the NADA to get involved in saving us. There’s too much revenue loss so I predict they’re on the sidelines looking the other way whistling Dixie with their head in the sand … still. (my opinion based on limp flaccid past performance) AND, don’t be believing all of the Dealer Council Dealers all have your best interests in mind, some of them are hand-picked Bell Cows.
So, in the end, I predict they’ll try it, the manufacturers can’t help themselves, all of them, they’ll fail miserably because they’re getting into places they will never understand. They’ll come crawling back to us to save them, again. This time, I hope the Dealers will cut a better deal than you’ve had and boil them in return, just a little bit.
NOTICE: Just to be Clear, this is all just my perceptions and opinions based on the fact that I have an IQ higher than a garden snail, and of course, I might be wrong. Check it out and make your own opinions. #AlphaDawg