I joined the ranks of the automobile retail business 30 years ago, a milestone that makes me think about how the industry has and hasn’t changed. Factory rebates and the like are here to stay. We had none of that in 1975. We sold ourselves, the vehicle, the dealership and, only then, the deal. Too often today, the order is reversed. Back then, there were far fewer models. Domestics dominated. Inventories commonly ran over 120 days; now we target 60. Safety was just becoming a concern. So ...

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