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In this episode of The David Spisak Show, David hosts Finn Ewing of Ewing Auto Group, the owner of three dealerships in the DFW market and Brendan Harrington the owner of a dealership in Fort Worth to discuss the challenges facing the auto industry in 2023. The conversation centers around the transition year, which follows two record profit years, and the challenges that come with it.

After a record year in 2021, the industry is experiencing shifts in the market that are making it difficult for dealers to sustain their profit margins. One of the biggest challenges, according to the panelists, is the compression of gross margins on new cars, as well as significant drops in wholesale prices on used cars.

To address these issues, the panelists highlight the importance of managing inventory turn and days in stock, which can help dealerships avoid getting stuck with a high volume of underwater inventory. They discuss the need to adopt a 45-day hard turn policy and closely monitor data to ensure that capital is being used efficiently.

The panelists also note the importance of staying up-to-date with market trends and the challenges facing the industry, such as rising operational costs and the shortage of microchips that are affecting the production of new cars. Despite these challenges, the panelists express optimism and a commitment to finding creative solutions to ensure their businesses thrive in the years to come.

We discuss the future of the auto industry and how to improve customer and associate experience. We share three specific trends and technologies that can transform the industry: managing loan cars better, dynamic pricing for new and used cars and services, and one-to-one marketing. We also discuss the challenges of disparate systems and how they make dealerships look disconnected and archaic. David shares good news about a new product that solves the problem of locating cars and a low code app that allows dealerships to build their own apps for loaner cars.

The conversation also touches on other challenges facing dealerships, such as recruiting and retaining talent, keeping up with changing technology, and staying ahead of the competition. Throughout the discussion, Finn and Brendan provide valuable insights and practical advice for dealerships looking to navigate the challenges of the auto industry in 2023.

We also discuss the opportunities that 2023 holds for dealerships. New car volume is still strong, and many brands have over 60-day supply, which means dealerships will sell more new and used cars. The guests emphasize the importance of building customer relationships, enhancing their digital presence, and leveraging data to drive sales. They also discuss the benefits of diversifying their inventory and providing exceptional customer service to stand out from their competitors.

Overall, the guests offer valuable insights and advice for dealerships to navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities in 2023. The episode provides an informative and engaging discussion on the future of the automobile industry and the role of dealerships in shaping it.

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