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I love my 1969 Superbee and as much as I enjoy the ride, there are a few things that give me reason to be careful when driving this classic.
Today we have grown accustom to air bags, superb braking and handling technology, surround sound stereo, iPod connectors, and the convenience of navigation systems. All of these conveniences are not included in this enhanced 1969 Dodge Coronet frame.
At 80 miles per hour on the Garden State Parkway I admittedly do not feel as safe as I do in my 2010 Infiniti G37x Sedan. A car that was once deemed safe in 1969 is now marginally acceptable. Did I mention that the Superbee lap belts just don't feel right without a shoulder harness?
Its in our human nature to remember more of the "good times" when we were younger than the bad. We relish the memories of our high school cars whether it was a Superbee, Chevelle, Charger, Camaro, or some clunker. Cars were much simpler and working under the hood was easy.
Members of DrivingSales.com, what was your favorite car in high school or college?
Today, some dealers want to believe that the strategies that they used to marketing their dealership in the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's are basically the same today. I think they want to remember easier times and less complicated processes. They are hooked on how easy it was to work "under the hood" of their dealership in the past.
However, the reality is that in the past 10 years, marketing and operating a car dealership requires a significant investment in education that may be unparalleled in recent automotive history.
I might concede that once a consumer walks into a dealership not much has changed in the past 10 years. However, getting customers in the door and how dealer connect with consumers in your local market has drastically changed.
The cure for the 1969 Blues? Education and Engagement. There are a number of great opportunities for dealers to learn from their peers. There are ample opportunities to read great case studies of dealers who are leading the way in new marketing strategies. They are not found in the trunk of a 1969 Dodge Superbee.
They are found in great online communities like DrivingSales.com. They are found at great conferences like the Automotive Marketing Boot Camp. There are also found on an emerging breed of online universities and teaching communities like www.DrivingSalesUniversity.com.
I estimate that less than 10% of dealership employees are attending live conferences and participating in online communities to grow their knowledge and refine the career path. This is embarrassing and so 1969! It's time to invest in the staff that will become the next generation of car dealers.
With that said, I hope to see many community members in Orlando on April 16th!