My favorite season of the year is almost at an end.
Almost time to put the pigskins away until September, but not before my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes advanced to college football’s national championship game. And not before long-suffering Cleveland Browns fans rejoiced as their team notched its first playoff victory since the Clinton Administration.
Plus, it won’t be long before we know who will hoist the coveted Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl Champions.
Speaking of the Super Bowl, two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Vince Lombardi – yes the man for whom the trophy is named – once said, “Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”
Perhaps that is what made him arguably the greatest coach in any sport. Period.
His key to success was preaching relentless preparation off the field and precise execution on it.
As we chase perfection with the goal of catching excellence, each of us needs to decide what is and is not available to us. We can take advantage of that which is available and create opportunities from that which is not.
Mark Jones, CEO at MCMC in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, recognized this lesson in his company.
Several years ago, Mark began socializing an idea with NIADA and Buckeye Dealership Consulting as he chased MCMC’s perfection.
For about a year, he wondered aloud how buy here pay here dealers could participate in NIADA’s CPO Program.
Soon, he included other buy here pay here dealers in those conversations, including Don Wimbush of E-Z Way Auto Sales in Hickory, N.C
After all, CPO has been the hottest item in the used vehicle industry for the past decade. Sales of certified pre-owned vehicles have repeatedly set records during that time.
Studies have shown CPO vehicles turn faster than other inventory, and that customers are willing to pay a premium for certified cars along with the peace of mind provided by a rigorous inspection and warranty that come with them.
Research also shows a significant percentage of car shoppers include the word “certified” when they begin their search for a vehicle, and CPO buyers are overwhelmingly satisfied with their purchase after the fact. That turns into loyalty to the dealership.
For years, franchise dealers were the only ones reaping the benefits of certified pre-owned vehicles. Then NIADA brought those benefits to the independent dealer space with its NIADA Certified Pre-Owned Program.
Still, even with NIADA’s Certified off to the races, BHPH dealers like Mark and Don felt left out, as the financial realities of serving as the finance company in addition to the dealership made participation in the CPO program impractical.
But Mark Jones, Don Wimbish and others like them chased perfection, and from that chase a new concept was born – the NIADA Buy Here-Pay Here Certified Pre-Owned Program – and its very much alive and well today.
The program extends the benefits of the NIADA Certified to the Buy Here-Pay Here world and is something that has the potential to take BHPH operations to a level they’ve never before been able to reach.
The details of the program require a comprehensive 125-point inspection, include warranty options of three, six and 12 months, and give you the ability to upsell a vehicle service contract.
“We figured out how it could work from a financial standpoint for a Buy Here Pay Here dealer and still be a winning proposition for everyone involved,” Jones said when MCMC signed on as the first participant in the new CPO program.
“It’s a very good program, and the cost is going to be very affordable for Buy Here-Pay Here dealers who are currently doing a warranty of their own.”
The prospect of adding CPO to their operation should have BHPH dealers bouncing off the walls.
Just being able to use the phrase “certified pre-owned” has immense value with today’s car shoppers. It improves search engine optimization and attracts higher credit customers than the typical BHPH clientele.
In the two years since the program’s inception, program participants have seen customers pay more for CPO vehicles because buyers know those vehicles are a step above the rest.
Participating dealers also tell us that they have seen a higher quality customer willing to put more money down, which has led to reduced charge-offs.
But perhaps the most exciting part of the program is the fact its affiliated with the NIADA brand that over the years has become more and more recognized.
There is something to an NIADA Certified Pre-owned vehicle because the dealer selling it is an NIADA member who has agreed to abide by the NIADA Code of Ethics.
That means something to dealers and it means something to their customers.
Plus a portion of the costs associated with the program will be given to NIADA to be reinvested in you!
Why let retail dealers have the exclusive on CPO?
This is your shot as a BHPH dealers to pick up the CPO ball, run with it, and achieve excellence for your dealership.