When you read the forward from the book: “Marketing Used Cars” written by Paul G. Hoffman and James H. Greene, which is the article for this month, it will amaze you that absolutely nothing has changed in sound business principles in our industry or any other industry in the retail business. When you read it, imagine to yourself that all these individuals were the grandfathers and fathers of many of you that are reading this, that practiced these principles. This is the reason that I have stayed live and in person when instructing a class rather than utilizing computers. I like working with the information and data from the dealership and the individuals you rely on to make your income for you. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
Here is the full forward from the book, as it was written by C.A. Vane, NADA general manager, 6-10-1928:
No subject has the continuing interest of automobile retailers like used cars. Presidential elections occur every four years, new models make their entry annually and are all absorbing, newspapers bring sensations of interest daily, but to the automobile retailer and his organization, used cars go on forever.
Despite the never ending discussion of used cars, little compilation has been made of the everyday details of second hand car buying and selling, probably following the accepted reasoning that brings us in a year so many volumes of fairy tales and so few good cookbooks.
But to the undernourished, a good cookbook can be quite the most absorbing reading obtainable, provided that the author knows how to cook and to recognize good cooking recipes.
The authors of this book are fully qualified. To those who like to have their authorship royally certified, the fact that Mr. Hoffman is the Vice President of The Studebaker Corporation of America will be sufficient sanction for him but to those who demand confirmation of the witnesses as well as a certified copy of the jury award, it is much more important to know that he is the owner of the Paul G. Hoffman Company, Studebaker distributors in Los Angeles, California. The Paul G. Hoffman Company operates one of the largest automobile retail establishments in America, in one of its most competitive markets. Mr. Hoffman has been an outstanding and successful figure in our business as a retail salesman, as a car dealer, and as a factory executive.
Dr. Greene’s experience has been in the general merchandising field which would seem to fit him ideally for co-authorship with Mr. Hoffman. The automobile business has much to gain by having its problems viewed by a trained observer from the general field. The necessity for developing inventory controls, rapid turnover, and balanced stocks is relatively new to the motor car business but it is an old story to the department stores which have survived.
Dr. Greene was Director of the Research Bureau for Retail Training of the University of Pittsburgh. He is the leading authority in the United States on sales training, acting as a consultant in this field as well as the general sales field for stores such as Marshall Field & Company in Chicago, Kaufmann’s In Pittsburgh, Lord & Taylor in New York, and various other similar institutions. He has been consultant for The Studebaker Corporation for three years and in this period has had an excellent opportunity to study and analyze the used car operations of many dealers.
This book, I feel, responds more nearly to the buyer viewpoint than to that of either the maker or seller of automobiles. It takes the position that the merchandiser’s greatest opportunity lies in learning how to better satisfy used car buyers.
Its chief value to dealers lies in the fact that the authors have taken conditions as they are and said, “Let’s make them a little better.” The coordination into one program of the practices of many sound and progressive dealers has resulted in a plan of action which is distinctly helpful.
This volume is not for the dealer who is looking for magic and a short cut, but for the dealer who works soundly and hard and who is looking for organized common sense, not fitful flares of all too uncommon genius.
It is a pleasure to commend this book to those in our industry who sell used cars and those outside who own them. Few authors start with such world-wide dedication. The End
Absolutely amazing, wasn’t it? The comparison to the department stores, etc., and the turn rate factors, and how little interest was truly paid to a vital link in our industry.
Until next month, I’ll find us something else fun.