Acquisition Process
How to buy, not just sell, cars

The best Used car dealers understand that if they’re going to sell more cars, they need to have the right cars to sell in their market. They also understand that traditional acquisition methods can be slow and unpredictable. Instead, they’ve turned to technology, process and dedicated specialists or teams to great effect. These acquisition specialists use technology, such as Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer, vAuto or Manheim to aid in meeting strategic and profitability goals, which take into account time to lot, reconditioning, marketing and pricing.
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Good Practices
  • Emphasis on acquiring/retailing trade-ins
  • Some traditional acquisition methods still used (trade-ins, curb purchases, service lane opportunities)
  • VIN check tool used prior to purchase
Better Practices
  • Mix of online/physical auction acquisitions
  • Additional non-traditional acquisition methods (e.g., “We buy cars” campaign, digital auctions, Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer)
  • Specialized acquisition team (not used car manager) acquires vehicles
  • Tools used to assess retail profit potential prior to acquisition
  • Follow-up process for desired vehicles (180 days)
Best Practices
  • Acquisition & strategy managed by a team that focuses on inventory velocity and profitability
  • Clear Cost to Market and Market Days Supply assessments prior to vehicle acquisition
  • All acquisition methods used (traditional & non-traditional)
  • Greater emphasis on online auctions vs. physical auctions
  • Established timeline for each phase of vehicle purchase (transport, reconditioning, marketing, pricing/adjustments, sale)
  • Tools/services to mitigate acquisition mistakes/risks
  • Exit strategy defined prior to vehicle acquisition
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