With demand outpacing supply, many sales professionals acted as clerks. In an ever-changing market, this is a perfect time to focus on the basics and Fully commit to treating our craft as an art. The Summer Tune Up Series will consist of three one-day classes focused on getting back to the basics of sales, F&I, and service.
Finance and Insurance (F&I):” Frustration and Indigestion” or “Fun and Income” Understanding the role of a Finance Manager, today’s customer, and having a non-confrontational process will provide a better performance in the Finance Department. This course will provide immediate measurable results using the tips, techniques, and processes taught. Taking the “Frustration and Indigestion” out of F&I and turning it into ” Fun and Income”.
Learn from a 30-year industry veteran who has trained thousands of high performers. Our Director of Training and Development Eddie Rains will be facilitating the course in our Corporate Training Center in Richfield, OH. This course will be free to GCADA and ADS members/clients.
Follow the link to sign up! https://advanceddealersolutions.com/about-us/class-registration/
A month later, Micron Technology celebrated a new manufacturing site near Syracuse, N.Y., where the chip company expected to spend $20 billion by the end of the decade and eventually perhaps five times that.
And in December, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company hosted a shindig in Phoenix, where it plans to triple its investment to $40 billion and build a second new factory to create advanced chips.
The pledges are part of an enormous ramp-up in U.S. chip-making plans over the past 18 months, the scale of which has been likened to Cold War-era investments in the space race. The boom has implications for global technological leadership and geopolitics, with the United States aiming to prevent China from becoming an advanced power in chips, the slices of silicon that have driven the creation of innovative computing devices like smartphones and virtual-reality goggles.
Today, chips are an essential part of modern life even beyond the tech industry’s creations, from military gear and cars to kitchen appliances and toys.
Across the nation, more than 35 companies have pledged nearly $200 billion for manufacturing projects related to chips since the spring of 2020, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association, a trade group. The money is set to be spent in 16 states, including Texas, Arizona and New York on 23 new chip factories, the expansion of nine plants, and investments from companies supplying equipment and materials to the industry.
The push is one facet of an industrial policy initiative by the Biden administration, which is dangling at least $76 billion in grants, tax credits and other subsidies to encourage domestic chip production. Along with providing sweeping funding for infrastructure and clean energy, the efforts constitute the largest U.S. investment in manufacturing arguably since World War II, when the federal government unleashed spending on new ships, pipelines and factories to make aluminum and rubber.
“I’ve never seen a tsunami like this,” said Daniel Armbrust, the former chief executive of Sematech, a now-defunct chip consortium formed in 1987 with the Defense Department and funding from member companies.
President Biden has staked a prominent part of his economic agenda on stimulating U.S. chip production, but his reasons go beyond the economic benefits. Much of the world’s cutting-edge chips today are made in Taiwan, the island to which China claims territorial rights. That has caused fears that semiconductor supply chains may be disrupted in the event of a conflict — and that the United States will be at a technological disadvantage.
The new U.S. production efforts may correct some of these imbalances, industry executives said — but only up to a point.
The new chip factories would take years to build and might not be able to offer the industry’s most advanced manufacturing technology when they begin operations. Companies could also delay or cancel the projects if they aren’t awarded sufficient subsidies by the White House. And a severe shortage in skills may undercut the boom, as the complex factories need many more engineers than the number of students who are graduating from U.S. colleges and universities.
The bonanza of money on U.S. chip production is “not going to try or succeed in accomplishing self-sufficiency,” said Chris Miller, an associate professor of international history at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and the author of a recent book on the chip industry’s battles.
White House officials have argued that the chip-making investments will sharply reduce the proportion of chips needed to be purchased from abroad, improving U.S. economic security. At the TSMC event in December, Mr. Biden also highlighted the potential impact on tech companies like Apple that rely on TSMC for their chip-making needs. He said that “it could be a game changer” as more of these companies “bring more of their supply chain home.”
U.S. companies led chip production for decades starting in the late 1950s. But the country’s share of global production capacity gradually slid to around 12 percent from about 37 percent in 1990, as countries in Asia provided incentives to move manufacturing to those shores.
Today, Taiwan accounts for about 22 percent of total chip production and more than 90 percent of the most advanced chips made, according to industry analysts and the Semiconductor Industry Association.
The new spending is set to improve America’s position. A $50 billion government investment is likely to prompt corporate spending that would take the U.S. share of global production to as much as 14 percent by 2030, according to a Boston Consulting Group study in 2020 that was commissioned by the Semiconductor Industry Association.
“It really does put us in the game for the first time in decades,” said John Neuffer, the association’s president, who added that the estimate may be conservative because Congress approved $76 billion in subsidies in a piece of legislation known as the CHIPS Act.
Still, the ramp-up is unlikely to eliminate U.S. dependence on Taiwan for the most advanced chips. Such chips are the most powerful because they pack the highest number of transistors onto each slice of silicon, and they are often held up as a sign of a nation’s technological progress.
Intel long led the race to shrink the size of transistors so more could fit on a chip. That pace of miniaturization is usually described in nanometers, or billionths of a meter, with smaller numbers indicating the most cutting-edge production technology. Then, TSMC surged ahead in recent years.
But at its Phoenix site, TSMC may not import its most advanced manufacturing technology. The company initially announced that it would produce five-nanometer chips at the Phoenix factory, before saying last month that it would also make four-nanometer chips there by 2024 and build a second factory, which will open in 2026, for three-nanometer chips. It stopped short of discussing further advances.
In contrast, TSMC’s factories in Taiwan at the end of 2022 began producing three-nanometer technology. By 2025, factories in Taiwan will probably start supplying Apple with two-nanometer chips, said Handel Jones, chief executive at International Business Strategies.
TSMC and Apple declined to comment.
Whether other chip companies will bring more advanced technology for cutting-edge chips to their new sites is unclear. Samsung Electronics plans to invest $17 billion in a new factory in Texas but has not disclosed its production technology. Intel is manufacturing chips at roughly seven nanometers, though it has said its U.S. factories will turn out three-nanometer chips by 2024 and even more advanced products soon after that.
The spending boom is also set to reduce, though not erase, U.S. reliance on Asia for other kinds of chips. Domestic factories produce only about 4 percent of the world’s memory chips — which are needed to store data in computers, smartphones and other consumer devices — and Micron’s planned investments could eventually raise that percentage.
But there are still likely to be gaps in a catchall variety of older, simpler chips, which were in such short supply over the past two years that U.S. automakers had to shut down factories and produce partly finished vehicles. TSMC is a major producer of some of these chips, but it is focusing its new investments on more profitable plants for advanced chips.
“We still have a dependency that is not being impacted in any way shape or form,” said Michael Hurlston, chief executive of Synaptics, a Silicon Valley chip designer that relies heavily on TSMC’s older factories in Taiwan.
The chip-making boom is expected to create a jobs bonanza of 40,000 new roles in factories and companies that supply them, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association. That would add to about 277,000 U.S. semiconductor industry employees.
But it won’t be easy to fill so many skilled positions. Chip factories typically need technicians to run factory machines and scientists in fields like electrical and chemical engineering. The talent shortage is one of the industry’s toughest challenges, according to recent surveys of executives.
The CHIPS Act contains funding for work force development. The Commerce Department, which is overseeing the doling out of grant money from the CHIPS Act’s funds, has also made it clear that organizations hoping to obtain funding should come up with plans for training and educating workers.
Intel, responding to the issue, plans to invest $100 million to spur training and research at universities, community colleges and other technical educators. Purdue University, which built a new semiconductor laboratory, has set a goal of graduating 1,000 engineers each year and has attracted the chip maker SkyWater Technology to build a $1.8 billion manufacturing plant near its Indiana campus.
Yet training may go only so far, as chip companies compete with other industries that are in dire need of workers.
“We’re going to have to build a semiconductor economy that attracts people when they have a lot of other choices,” Mitch Daniels, who was president of Purdue at the time, said at an event in September.
Since training efforts may take years to bear fruit, industry executives want to make it easier for highly educated foreign workers to obtain visas to work in the United States or stay after they get their degrees. Officials in Washington are aware that comments encouraging more immigration could invite political fire.
But Gina Raimondo, the commerce secretary, was forthright in a speech in November at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Used-car retailer CarMax Inc said on Thursday that an uncertain economic environment was starting to take a toll on vehicle demand, sending ripples through the auto sector, which has largely dodged a significant hit from inflation this year.
CarMax shares tumbled 22% to $66.63 to hit a more than two-year low, after the company reported second-quarter results below analysts’ estimates and underscored the impact of inflation and rising interest rates on car sales.
“Obviously, consumers are having to make decisions … I just think they are prioritizing their spend a little differently,” Chief Executive Officer William Nash told analysts, adding that softness in used-car sales continued in September.
Strong demand for personal transport amid inventory shortages has allowed automakers and retailers to pass on higher costs to customers, largely protecting profitability this year.
But analysts have been warning that the industry will soon feel the pinch of rising interest rates and weakening consumer confidence as inventory shortages send car prices to record highs.
Auto research firm Cox Automotive, which tracks U.S. vehicle market trends, cut its forecast for new and used vehicle sales on Wednesday, citing worsening consumer sentiment, while Moody’s changed its outlook for the global Automotive industry to “negative” from “stable” earlier in the day.
The outlook change is driven by a weakening macroeconomic environment and concerns over affordability, Moody’s analysts wrote in a note.
CarMax’s dour comments and disappointing results heaped more pain on the auto sector, which has been reeling from a broader market selloff.
Shares of General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co were down about 5% in morning trade, while those of auto dealers AutoNation Inc, Lithia & Driveway and Group 1 Automotive fell between 7% and 10%.
(Reporting by Priyamvada C in Bengaluru and additional reporting by Joseph White in Detroit; Editing by Anil D’Silva)
The current supply issues are creating a unique ‘sellers’ environment for dealers of all types these days and it is unlike any market I have experienced in my 27 years in the retail industry. Whether you are currently selling cars, RVs, or powersports you are seeing customer demand potentially higher than you’ve ever seen and are rightfully enjoying the fruits of scarcity. We all know this is a cycle, and at some point, we will again see rebates, negotiating, and discounts. The fruits dealers are currently harvesting are well deserved after surviving nearly a decade of margin erosion and a continuous sprint to the bottom of the price chain.
I recently attended a couple of industry events and heard story after story about customers agreeing to purchase, and pay top dollar, for their third or even fourth choice of vehicle. On the surface, this seems like an ideal, highly successful model for dealers to live in. While it has been bountiful, I feel there are some adverse effects as well as some missed opportunities worthy of addressing.
There is an old adage, ‘when perceived value exceeds price, you have a sale.’ Right now, the perceived value is the raw availability to conduct a transaction instead of the traditional checklist of wants and needs. Simply having something to sell is all the value a customer needs to see in a retailer. The dealers I know and work with, want more; they want a customer to see value in the transaction, not just being able to conduct a transaction. Of course, dealers want to maximize on the current opportunity, but they also want to perform the balancing act of earning the well-deserved profit, as well as providing long-term value in doing business with their dealership but for years to come.
Assuming dealers are exceeding their customers experience expectations, then we’ll move on to the value of the vehicle. By value, I am not referring to the features and benefits the customer has spent hours online pouring over, but the additional value a dealer can provide by protecting some of the customers risk exposure. Customers often get caught up in the euphoria of the purchase and forget the reality of owning a car, RV or powersport toy. They forget cars get dirty. They forget RV’s get lived in and spills and accidents occur. They forget their side by side could catch the eye of a thief. The risks of these forgotten realities can be mitigated by dealers including protection products on an addendum.
An addendum allows a dealer to enhance the value of a transaction by pre-selecting one or more value-based consumer products and adding them to a ‘Why Buy Here’ of the dealership. These addendums create a unique presentation opportunity for the sales consultant and most likely leads the customer away from a decision based solely on availability, or worse price. Instead of talking about discounts to meet a competitor’s price, the sales consultant can direct the conversation to the benefit of having a vehicle location device with years of monitoring included, as well as the cash benefit to assist in the event of an unrecovered stolen vehicle. Customers will value peace-of-mind over price if they are educated on the benefits before being ‘sold’ the item or being asked to pay a higher price with no explanation of benefits.
There are a few addendums I have seen backfire on dealers. Pinstripes, although spectacular to some, generally don’t command a $1,495 increase to the cost of the vehicle. And believe it or not, there are some that don’t see $999 of value in a set of plastic mudflaps for their Honda Accord. Whereas customers do see value in knowing their vehicle is protected from everyday spills and stains, as well as having some coverage against the environmental effects to today’s modern painted exteriors. Who out there doesn’t relate to a soda, or ketchup packet spilling on their seats or floorboards at some point in their driving history?
The great part about an addendum is it helps clarify the customers value in the vehicle as well as reminding them of the unavoidable perils of owning a vehicle in today’s world. If the customer doesn’t see value, then the addendum can be removed, and you have a sold vehicle at or near MSRP. If the sales consultant properly conveys the value of each item on the addendum, then it is likely the customer will at least purchase one, if not everything the dealer includes on the addendum. Either way, the dealer and customer are in winning situations; value exceeds cost!
A few suggestions:
Make the addendum something of true value to your customers. Leave out frivolous outdated items nobody sees value in. Today’s buyer is too sophisticated and will see through the gimmicks of what is being attempted.
The success of an addendum is directly correlated in the confidence of the presentation by the sales consultant. If the dealership staff doesn’t believe in what is being offered, it will fail and most likely backfire on the dealer.
Disclose anything and everything. Don’t sneak anything in. Proudly display the addendum and additional cost on the vehicle. Give your team the tools to demonstrate the value of each product being offered. Value based protection products sell themselves when explained properly.
Live it. Like most rewarding actions in life, you cannot be passive. You must be active with your value-added items each and every day. Here are a couple ways to keep everyone focused on the value on in the addendum:
Walk around competitions for some additional Saturday spiff money.
Product knowledge quizzes focused on what makes this product so valuable.
Retain the customer. The addendum should have some form of tie back to the selling dealer. Don’t just sell a vehicle, win a lifelong customer. The real gains come from the harnessed lifetime value of a family in the dealership’s community. Believe it or not, people still like doing business with people they know and trust.
About the author: Ryan Nelson has over 25 years of experience in the retail industry and is a Partner at Advanced Dealer Solutions, a leading independent agency specializing in dealership development in the auto, RV and powersports industry.
To learn more about how the right addendum can benefit your dealership, please reach out to Advanced Dealer Solutions at 844-320-3722 or firstname.lastname@example.org