In response to a notice of termination and sales performance review from General Motors and ChannelVantage, a Michigan Cadillac dealership retained Anderson Economic Group (AEG) to provide an independent analysis for the dealership. The analysis specifically focused on 1) the factory’s assigned sales and service area, and 2) the methodology used to calculate the dealership’s Retail Sales Index (RSI).
To begin, we reviewed GM’s sales performance calculations and the methodology used by ChannelVantage to arrive at the dealership’s RSI score. Our Geographic Information System (GIS) was utilized to plot the location of the dealerships, its assigned Area of Geographic Sales and Service Advantage (AGSSA), nearby Cadillac dealers, and a ten-minute drive-time area from each dealer. The latter helped to identify census tracts within our client’s AGSSA that were more naturally and/or easily served by another dealer. Measuring the drive-time distances from each of center of these census tracts’ to nearby dealers aided in our revision of the assigned AGSSA. We next analyzed the demographics from the assigned AGSSA and the revised AGSSA, with a focus on variables that correlate with luxury vehicle sales, such as education levels, age, and income. We adjusted the RSI to account for our revisions to the AGSSA based on the reduction in the targeted demographic base, and a reduction in expected market share capture for the vehicle segment.
Our findings illustrated that our client had an unreasonably large market area, including over 20 census tracts that were located closer to other Cadillac dealerships. We also accounted for local demographics and customer behavior, as opposed to broad reaching assumptions based on state-level data, to estimate expected sales levels in the market. With these adjustments, we arrived at a significantly higher RSI relative to what GM determined, and used as a primary factor in termination the dealership. We compiled these findings in a report for the client, which he has shared with members of Congress while lobbying for passage of the Durbin-Hoyer bill that was enacted, and allows all terminated dealership a chance at arbitration.
This guide is for dealers that are considering participating in the arbitration process established by H.R. 3288, which was signed in to law by President Obama on December 16, 2009. It reviews the timeline and arbitration process, and the criteria that will be considered by the arbitrator. It concludes with some practical steps dealers should take as they consider whether to participate in the arbitration process.
As part of its dealership restructuring efforts, one of the Detroit Three invited current dealers to submit proposals for a new luxury vehicle dealership in suburban Detroit. Our client, a large dealership group in the Detroit area, retained us to assist in evaluating the OEM’s preferred site and an alternate site that was believed to be better positioned in the market.
We began with an assessment of the current dealer network in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties. This included a drive-time analysis to assess market coverage, both for the current structure and for the structure after the known dealerships closing. We next identified the most likely site for a new dealership in the OEM preferred area and our client’s preferred area, and delineated a market area for each, accounting for drive-times, infrastructure networks, natural barriers, and the market areas for existing dealerships. A demographic and socio-economic analysis was done for each trade area, focusing on variables that predict the success of luxury automobile dealerships. We also analyzed luxury vehicle registration data from RL Polk to measure historic vehicle purchase patterns in each market. Lastly, we considered site specific factors, such as visibility, traffic count data, and proximity to other luxury vehicle dealerships.
Our final results were summarized in a memorandum and presentation to the client, and found the client preferred site to be a much stronger location. Our deliverable included summary data tables and custom maps showing market areas, demographics, and luxury vehicle registrations. The memorandum and presentation was included by our client in their proposal to the OEM.
The Illinois City/County Management Association, Illinois Government Finance Officers Association and the Northern Illinois University Center for Governmental Studies Civic Leadership Academy holds an annual financial forecast forum for municipal leaders and financial officers from throughout the state. The day long forum for 2009 attracted more than 50 attendees, and feature speakers from the federal reserve, the banking, retail, and real estate sectors, as well as a presentation on the automotive industry by AEG’s Scott Watkins.
Our presentation addressed: the global nature of the automotive industry and overall economic slowdown; what the automotive industry in the State of Illinois region looks like and how it has changed in recent years; how the industry slowdown might impact automotive operations in the state; the current and forthcoming issues that will further challenge the automotive industry and regional economies that strongly depend on automotive industry employment; and the need to automotive dealership contraction and how that will impact communities throughout the country.
The presentation was delivered to the over 50 attendees of the forum at Northern Illinois State University’s Naperville, Illinois campus. After the presentation AEG consultant Caroline Sallee joined Scott Watkins to address questions from the audience.
Our experts have closely followed the ups and downs of the automotive industry, providing clients with detailed information to help them understand and plan for the resulting changes. Our industry analysis is designed to provide timely, concise, and relevant information that can help any organization—from professional investors, to retailers, to governments—understand the rapid change in the industry, and how restructuring in the industry may impact their own sales, revenues, customer base, and more.
In October, November, and December of 2008, our experts provided clients with a series of reports updating them on the economic relaities facing the automotive industry. AEG then teamed up with BBK, Ltd. in order to produce the first comprehensive analysis of the taxpayer costs of the Federal bridge financing requested by the auto manufacturers, compared with the likely costs of a bankruptcy declared by one or more of the same manufacturers.