Over the course of the past two years, I’ve written frequently about the success of Finishline Ford in Peoria, Illinois. Over the weekend I got a call from dealer Bill Pearson of Finishline Ford, and he was anxious to tell me about his success in the past year. According to Bill, Finishline Ford ended the year of 2009 with over 3200 used retail sales. This week, they are opening across the street a warehouse type facility dedicated to used vehicle sales. Bill believes that this investment will further increase production.
December’s results at Finishline Ford were particularly strong. Used retail units were well over 300 (also a record net profit) and his total SRPs for December were approximately 1.25 million, with 62,000 VDPs. The last week of the month yielded 12,500 VDPs, with Christmas day alone accounting for about half of the weekly total. It is no coincidence that Finishline Ford’s extraordinary sales success is accompanied by an equally impressive performance in SRPs and VDPs on AutoTrader.
I’ve written extensively on the subject of the relationship between SRPs, VDPs and sales in my new book Velocity 2.0: Paint, Pixels and Profitability. I’ve also included recent postings on this subject, because I understand the fact that dealers will not achieve significant sales results without also achieving significant results in the areas of SRPs and VDPs. Importantly, the factors that drive SRPs and VDPs are under the dealer’s control but they are largely ignored. Every dealer should track SRPs and VDPs week-to-week if not day-to-day because they are the leading indicators of sales success.