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The challenge for retail sale: stand with panache

Car dealerships are, for most of us, big batisses or vehicles, or places where you actually do the maintenance of the car is purchased. That's right, yes, but also much more! And as in all areas, competition is fierce, often between concessions offering the same brand. In this context, how can survive a dealer, especially if it is not the biggest of its region?

To answer our questions, we met Philippe Lamarre, co-owner of Metro Mazda. From the field of wholesale (it was previously manager of territory, we will return), Lamarre is well placed to see both sides of the medal.

Internet changes everything

Firstly, regardless of the prestige or the size of the concession, the profit margin on each vehicle sold is very thin. It is not the money that is! As for the clientele, need to rely to its fidelity. Certainly, there are still people who like to deal with the same dealer for many years but they are becoming increasingly rare. Internet has greatly upset buying habits. For example, before the Internet, people were visits to seven or eight concessions belonging to many manufacturers, which brought traffic in showrooms and gave the opportunity to a representative to sell its product. Today, people who enter into a concession know what model they choose, the level of equipment and its approximate price! And as they know they will pay has roughly the same price elsewhere, the geographical location becomes paramount.

It is the differences that must be bet, especially when you're a small player. The delivery time of a new car has become crucial. If earlier people waited a few days before taking possession of their new baby, he will henceforth very differently and most people want their car to signing the contract. Some dealers like Metro Mazda, have established as clean as modern warehouse which may contain dozens of vehicles. Thus, there is a good chance that the desired vehicle is already on site, warm (you know that the City of Montreal now requires new vehicles sold by dealers are not left outside? Question of get more taxes, of course). It is therefore possible to deliver the vehicle to the customer in less than an hour, the time to refuel and fix the license plate!

Bread or cars

If we can do almost anything at the sale price, a dealer may try to reduce its operating costs and to benefit its customers. Metro Mazda, for example, attempts to have the least possible use a subcontracting by having control over all operations of the concession, the Internet site Plowing through the installation of remote starters. In addition to saving some money, this integration brings a greater sense of belonging, which is essential for the success of a company that sells cars or she makes bread. The employees have five to eight years of seniority, indicating a low turnover.

These are just a few examples of what a dealer can do to retain customers ... but that show how the competition is fierce!

Atypical, typical success?

When we met Philippe Lamarre last February, it was only in his first weeks as co-owner of the franchise. If we could answer that easily, is that it knows when the same music.

Interesting character that Lamarre! He began his automotive career in 1991 at General Motors. In 1995, we find him in Toronto when he was manager of territory (district sales manager). Four years later, the life brings Mazda or for a dozen years, he acted as manager of territory Manager a parts and service and in the service of national marketing. In 2012, we find him at Kia or is Regional Director for 18 months. Then, in January 2014 he became co-owner of Metro Mazda. Nothing because a typical course in the automotive world, it is on the side of the wholesale (manufacturing) or that of retail sale, never both. Switch from one to the other is equivalent to breaking the mouth. But it does not seem to fear Philippe Lamarre, his own words, has always had a very "consumer" approach.

It is probably that in the future more or less close, will be the success or lack of success of a car dealership ... in the way of addressing the clientele, to find new ways to monetize the business and knowing all aspects of the sale, from the perspective of the manufacturer has the consumer. It is not obvious to realize Philippe Lamarre but is on track to do it!

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