I received an e-mail from a reader thanking us for putting together a no-nonsense magazine (his words — not mine) that constantly provides usable and applicable information on the automotive retail industry.

I think that may be the best description of Ward's Dealer Business I have heard. Frankly, our no-nonsense approach is what separates Ward's from the competition.

The publishing business has become just as competitive as car sales. My last count turned up 17 trade magazines that are competing for the attention of 21,200 franchise dealerships. That does not include the countless e-mail newsletters those trade magazines publish.

You're over-dealered — we're over-magazined.

I can hear some of you now: “So you've got some competition, Cliff. Stop whining, and start writing.”

My point for bringing this up, is what it means to you. There is a lot of information available that can help you, at least on some level, to manage your dealerships.

On the other hand, there is a lot of fluff and nonsense that you often have to wade through to get to the good stuff. This is where Ward's Dealer Business can help you.

Look at our Profit Center columnists. They are seasoned, credible and recognized veterans of automotive retailing. Most have spent years working in the dealership and now are using what they've learned to help you.

Is there a better industry columnist than Tony Noland? I doubt it. Every month you can read his column and learn something that will help you run your store. And, you don't have to wade through a bunch of braggadocio and nonsense — not to mention vendors who have paid advertising dollars for the right to subtly pitch products to you in columns or have cover stories written about themselves.

Speaking of our columnists, some of you have noticed Dennis Gregg, our remarketing expert, is no longer writing his column for Ward's.

A couple of months ago, Dennis, who had been an NCM and Associates consultant, became a partner in a dealership somewhere in the Southeast. He has sworn us to secrecy, though, in part, because he doesn't want the local competition to know he's around. You could say he is going stealth and plans to steal some used-car sales from a couple of used-car giants in the area.

We wish you luck, Dennis.

Fortunately, we have an able and equally talented replacement in Ed Curry, whose column starts this month (p. 38). We had to wait a couple of months for him to finish his position at the Sonic Automotive Group, where he spent the last eight years, several of them running the group's used-car operations and developing Sonic's Dealer Academy.

Ed now is a consultant with NCM, taking Dennis's spot there also. Ed started selling cars in 1977 and was a general manager at two dealerships. He has spent most of his career in the used-vehicle part of the business and will be a great addition for Ward's.

Cliff Banks
Editorial Director
248-799-2649

cbanks@wardsauto.com