July 19, 2024


Where Innovation Lives

The noteworthy takeaways from July’s Automotive Ventures Intel Report

7 min read


Welcome to this episode of The Friday 5 with Steve Greenfield, Founder and CEO of Automotive Ventures, an automobile technologies advisory company that can help business owners raise funds and increase the price of their organizations.

July Automotive Ventures Intel Report

The July Automotive Ventures Intel Report is out, and I wanted to recap two thematic locations that surface to be top of thoughts for dealerships, and are areas that sellers must specifically be concentrated on monitoring. 

Automotive VenturesVery first up, it’s well worth reflecting on the measurement of the franchise dealership footprint. NADA reviews that there are 16,658 franchise dealer areas in the U.S., while City Science reviews 18,230 bodily “rooftops”.

As direct providing and far more of an Agency Product are becoming discussed with far more regularity in the news, a crucial problem is if and how automakers will try to reduce the amount of actual physical dealership locations in the U.S.

Sure models have overbuilt the range of dealerships required, particularly as a increased share of people inevitably turn out to be relaxed with acquiring their auto sight unseen.

We can set this into stark distinction by evaluating the domestic and import OEMs, in phrases of new vehicles offered per actual physical location. For example, very last yr GM sellers bought an normal of 290 new autos for each area, and Ford sellers sold on ordinary 493 new vehicles for every rooftop. 

This contrasts with the regular Honda retailer selling 1,401 new units for every keep, and Toyota dealerships marketing on normal 1,884 models per spot. Efficiencies apart, it’s no speculate that the average Honda and Toyota retailer transacts at a larger valuation than their domestic counterparts.

In phrases of how a deliberate orchestration of shrinking the dealership footprint could possibly engage in out, we require not look any more than how matters have performed out throughout the Cadillac model.

The amount of Cadillac sellers in the U.S. has shrunk to 564, as as opposed to 921 vendor destinations just 4 yrs ago.

You may well recall that Cadillac demanded that sellers devote $200,000 to electrification improvements: factors like on-internet site car charging stations, new tooling, assistance updates, beauty enhancements, and coaching for product sales and support staff.

Dealers who opted not to upgrade for the EV transition ended up provided a buyout deal stated to have been an amount of money in between $300,000 to practically $1 million. Some sellers documented lower customer fascination in EV merchandise, such as some dealers positioned in far more rural spots.

With the evolution toward EVs and direct offering, it’s incredibly most likely that other automakers may perhaps observe accommodate to intentionally shrink their dealership footprint.

It’s also extremely most likely that OEMs will motivate more substantial, more powerful dealers to get weaker and more distant shops and operate them as satellite spots.

We will be keeping an eye on whole dealership depend, especially across the legacy domestic makes, that have created out a physical dealership footprint that is at the moment also significant to ensure solid dealership earnings into the foreseeable future. 


Subsequent up, but connected to this past topic, I desired to give a standpoint on the benefits of measurement and scale for dealerships. 

A query that I’m getting a lot more and a lot more often from little vendor groups is “How big do I need to be to temperature all of the dynamics in the marketplace?” This concern is coming up a lot more frequently as the information cycle introduces more uncertainty about the upcoming. 

I’ve believed a ton about how best to deal with this question, and the solution is not essentially simple. Having said that, I feel dealers ought to look at this from 3 different perspectives: Cost Construction, Diversification, and OEM Impact.

In phrases of price construction, the scale and dimensions of the community teams do set them at an edge vs. the regular dealership. 10-15% of effectiveness in offering, standard and administrative expenses (normally referred to as SG&A) movement directly by means of to the bottom line, and this effectiveness supplies the general public groups with a lot more “dry powder” to acquire merchants (or invest in back again shares). 

A different way to glimpse at expense efficiencies is as a result of promotion costs. In 2021, Carvana used $479 million on advertising, which is 3-moments additional than CarGurus. CarMax invested $218 million, even though Lithia invested $162 million. 

It is not unreasonable to job that in just a couple of many years some of the substantial supplier teams will shell out far more than $1 billion per calendar year on promotion, which is form of astonishing when you imagine about it. This will make it significantly harder for smaller sized dealerships to contend for purchaser eyeballs. 

In parallel to keeping a watchful eye on their price tag buildings and applying size and scale to centralize and eliminate expenditures, dealers may possibly appear to diversify across a number of OEM manufacturers. Some of the automakers are relocating in direction of factors of an “Agency Model” at a faster pace than many others, and owning a diverse portfolio of OEM brand names will permit sellers to normally hedge in opposition to any one OEM turning into extra aggressive with direct product sales, centralizing inventory, and reducing margin for each device sold. 

Previous, but not minimum, the a lot more locations you possess, and far more units bought for any supplied OEM, the a lot more influence and voice you will have when it comes to the evolving retail product and currently being prioritized for new motor vehicle allocations. 

The regular dealership place doesn’t have a great deal leverage when in comparison to the sizing of the regular automaker. But by escalating by way of acquisition, compact seller teams can become mid-sized dealer teams, which gain a lot more management and possibly a “seat at the table” in conversations with OEMs about how to form OEM/seller tactics and affect the foreseeable future. 

I’ll go on to think about how ideal to reply this query on “How significant is big enough?”, presented all of the dynamics evolving in the marketplace. If you have unique ideas on this query, please shoot me a take note at steve@automotiveventures.com. I’d like to focus on it with you.

Firms To Observe

Every week we spotlight fascinating corporations in the automotive know-how area to retain an eye on. If you browse my regular monthly business Intel Report, I showcase a couple providers each thirty day period, and we acquire the option listed here on the Friday 5 to share some of these providers each and every 7 days with you.

Now, we have two providers to enjoy: Armatus by DealerUplift and Rolling Energy Resources.

Armatus by DealerUplift

DealerUplift and its Armatus solution enable Sellers Boost Their Yearly Guarantee Parts Gross Revenue by $80,000 – $100,000. 

Complicated point out statutes, maker protocols and pressures, gatekeepers, and minimal internal sources are just a several of the troubles that make receiving comprehensive retail guarantee reimbursement tricky for automotive dealerships.

Auto sellers across the state have been forced to “discount” their warranty sections. When they are reimbursed, they generally only acquire a 40% markup or MSRP. Neither displays true retail reimbursement prices.

Further more, legislation in 49 states entitles automotive dealers to be reimbursed by companies for warranty perform at retail, which is basically the dealer’s shopper “repair” level.

The explanation I adore this business is that the benefit prop is type of like finding up greenback costs that are just laying on the flooring in a dealer’s company bays. For nearly no incremental function from the dealership, the enterprise guarantees benefits and doesn’t cost the vendor until eventually you see an ROI.

You can examine out Armatus/DealerUplift at www.DealerUplift.com.

Rolling Energy Assets

Rolling Electricity Resources can take a new technique to managing electric need from car or truck charging. 

They link directly to EVs via the vehicle’s native APIs, employing units that are now in position. 

Rolling Electrical power Methods can then handle charging and keep track of battery point out-of-cost, no matter of in which the buyer plugs in.

The motive that I like this enterprise is that they deliver electric powered utilities with wise charging, demand reaction, and electrical vehicle study methods for all automotive brand names, without the need of getting to install new components. They present persistent battery status monitoring, and their MyCharge stories advise clients of their charging costs and push satisfaction.

You can check out Rolling Electrical power Sources at www.RollingEnergyResources.com.


So which is your weekly Friday 5, a swift wrap-up of the massive bargains in the automotive know-how room around the previous 7 days.

If you are an early-phase automotive technological know-how entrepreneur on the lookout to increase revenue, or an entrepreneur who is attempting to choose no matter whether and when they should elevate funds or offer their small business, I’d like to discuss with you.

Thank you for tuning into CBT Information for this week’s Friday Five, and we’ll see you next 7 days!

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