Helping good dealers become better has been NCM Associates' mission for more than 54 years. We want to assist you in planning and operating your business in a most proficient manner. With the following information, you should have a point of reference in constructing your 2002 plan.

When a tragedy such as the Sept. 11 terrorists' attacks occurs, it creates certain reluctance on the part of the consumer to spend freely. Considering the economic climate that exists today, forecasting is especially important. A forecast coupled with a sound business plan will help you attain the available level of profit.

The accompanying chart shows selected NCM client averages and benchmarks to assist you in formulating your 2002 forecast. Remember that many of these numbers are stated as a percentage of gross profit. If the gross isn't in line, the expense percentages naturally will be out-of-line.

A few important words about the planning and forecasting process:

Involve your management personnel. Get away from the dealership and the everyday business concerns.

Look at your business objectively but realistically. Incorporate and establish best practices that will help you succeed and reach the available profit level. When you have this meeting, there can be “no sacred cows” or agendas other than what is best for the overall dealership and its personnel.

Look at each individual expense item and your required personnel needs. This also is a time for a concentrated effort on asset management by everyone. When this forecasting and planning meeting adjourns, you should not only have a plan that everyone has bought into, but one that can be accomplished.

Should you have any questions regarding any of the information provided in this article, please feel free as always to contact me at NCM Associates.

A special note:

Everyone in our nation and our many international friends has been impacted by the events of and subsequent to Sept. 11. The thoughts and prayers of our entire staff at NCM are with those directly impacted, for our nation and those that serve to protect our freedoms.


Tony Noland is director of international operations for NCM Associates. He has 30 years of automotive retail experience.

DOMESTIC IMPORT HIGH LINE
TOTAL DEALERSHIP Avg. Benchmark Avg. Benchmark Avg. Benchmark
Net Profit (Pre-tax & Owner Comp) as % Oper. Gross 18.6% 25.6% 21.3% 28.0% 32.4% 39.2%
Net Profit (Pre-tax & Owner Comp) as % Total Sales 2.4% 3.3% 2.9% 3.8% 4.5% 5.4%
Ratio Used Vehicles to New Vehicles .79:1 .77:1 .60:1 .57:1 .40:1 .38:1
Fixed Coverage 66.6% 66.9% 66.4% 67.7% 80.7% 81.6%
Gross Per Employee - Average Month $6,492 $6,890 $7,612 $8,125 $11,192 $11,900
Departmental Net Profit as % Dept. Operating Gross
New Vehicle Department 0.6% 13.8% 8.0% 19.8% 41.6% 47.7%
Used Vehicle Department 17.8% 28.2% 16.7% 26.6% 2.6% 16.9%
Parts Department 35.9% 46.1% 26.3% 33.0% 38.6% 49.5%
Service Department 8.2% 17.0% 17.8% 23.6% 15.1% 23.1%
Body Shop 2.4% 6.4% 15.7% 16.9% 11.3% 14.6%
Selected Departmental Benchmarks
New Vehicle Department
Net Profit % Total Dealership Departmental Net 1.4% 15.1% 19.8% 27.7% 67.9% 67.4%
Gross Per New Car Retail $1,335 $1,631 $1,129 $1,528 $4,379 $5,559
Gross Per New Truck Retail $1,444 $1,737 $1,771 $2,257 $2,714 $3,514
Net F&I (Pre-Comp) PNVR $491 $655 $492 $710 $575 $791
Sales Comp (Incl F&I) % Departmental Gross 24.4% 22.4% 23.7% 22.2% 18.4% 17.9%
Total Employment Expense % Total N/Vehicle Gross 26.9% 23.6% 26.7% 23.5% 16.5% 14.5%
Floor Plan Interest % New Vehicle Departmental Gross 11.80% 7.2% 8.5% 7.1% 4.0% 1.8%
Net Advertising % New Vehicle Departmental Gross 16.5% 12.1% 15.4% 10.9% 6.6% 5.1%
Used Vehicle Department
Net Profit % Total Dealership Departmental Net 36.6% 35.6% 27.6% 27.0% 1.1% 3.1%
Gross Per Used Car Retail $1,525 $1,667 $1,458 $1,559 $2,279 $2,596
Gross Per Used Truck Retail $1,581 $1,724 $1,600 $1,993 $2,529 $2,490
Net F&I (Pre-Comp) PUVR $545 $710 $581 $826 $588 $817
Sales Comp (Incl F&I) % Departmental Gross 24.1% 22.3% 23.5% 22.2% 25.6% 24.0%
Total Employment Expense % Total U/Vehicle Gross 22.5% 19.1% 24.8% 21.4% 30.7% 26.5%
Parts Department
Net Profit % Total Dealership Departmental Net 46.0% 32.6% 24.8% 19.3% 19.2% 17.9%
Total Gross Profit % Total Department Sales 30.5% 35.6% 31.1% 34.6% 33.4% 35.8%
Total Employment Expense % Total Parts Gross 38.1% 31.0% 42.0% 37.1% 35.6% 27.3%
Parts Level of Service 85.4% 85.8% 87.6% 87.6% 82.1% 86.7%
Departmental Sales (Avg. Mo.) Per Parts Employee $31,021 $33,547 $32,550 $33,681 $49,203 $53,827
Service Department
Net Profit % Total Dealership Departmental Net 13.1% 13.0% 24.8% 23.4% 11.1% 10.7%
Gross Profit % Total Labor Sales 69.4% 72.0% 72.8% 75.7% 73.6% 76.7%
Hours per Customer RO Excluding Quick Lube 2.15 2.13 1.88 1.88 2.56 2.58
Total Employment Expense % Total Service Gross 54.2% 47.8% 49.6% 44.0% 48.7% 44.2%
Departmental Gross (Avg. Mo.) Per Service Empl. $3,993 $4,470 $4,527 $5,055 $5,812 $6,379
Body Shop
Net Profit % Total Dealership Departmental Net 2.4% 3.3% 3.1% 2.7% 0.8% 0.9%
Gross Profit % Total Labor Sales 61.1% 62.8% 60.1% 60.2% 61.5% 61.6%
Total Employment Expense % Total Body Shop Gross 51.6% 48.9% 48.1% 47.7% 53.8% 52.5%
Departmental Gross (Avg. Mo.) Per Body Shop Empl. $4,084 $4,412 $4,775 $5,466 $4,439 $6,246
Paint & Materials Gross Profit % 35.6% 36.5% 38.0% 38.0% 41.5% 41.5%
Asset Management Performance
New Car Days Supply 59 45 45 38 37 33
New Truck Days Supply 69 53 46 15 47 43
Used Car Days Supply 51 46 40 35 44 34
Used Truck Days Supply 48 45 59 51 79 73
Parts & Accessories Days Supply 64 60 57 49 53 48

For information to obtain a complete analysis of your financial operation in comparison with Best Practices benchmarks, fax a written request to (913) 649-7429.