Market Conditions Commentary
Cars are as scarce as weeds
by Robert Hollenshead
May 26 2012 8:42AM
I am an avid and very serious gardener.  I take my gardens just as serious as my businesses.  I find that a garden and a business are very similar.  They both need  ideas, skill, will, design, resources, a good location, understanding the location so you plant or stock the right things, manpower, longevity, patience, tolerance for setbacks,  commitment, and a deep natural inclination to enjoy the end result, otherwise you will lose interest and that is fertilizing with Roundup, a recipe for death.

In a garden weeds are everywhere and pop up overnight at the speed of light and twice the size of its competition, desirable plants.   If you don’t stay on top of them, they will overwhelm that garden and make you lose hope or motivation to follow your dream, a beautiful garden.   No different with cars.  Let those little mud babies lay around a second and accumulate and you will be in the hurt locker.  Pulling thistle is what has to happen before it goes to seed.  It hurts and is a pain on the back, but you let thistle go to seed and then your garden is worthless.  Using Roundup doesn’t work either.  Roundup will kill the weeds, but it will also kill everything else that it contacts.  You have to know what’s a weed and what’s a plant.  Can you tell the difference?

Weeds make the desirable plants look like weeds.  It’s guilt by association.  Makes the observer, a buyer, look harder and get turned off.  Why?  Because most buyers have no idea of what they are looking for or buying, but they can tell you if the garden gives o felling of tranquility, confidence based on what else they see, smell and touch.  How’s that any different than your inventory?  When it is surrounded by desirable creamers is there a rub off effect?  If you don’t think so you need re-think it.  When your mother told you to be careful who you hang with, why was that?  Because she was smart enough to know that people will judge you by those around you.  Forgot all about that, didn’t you?  How is it any different with cars?

Flowers sell, weeds don’t.  Every once in a while some donkey will walk in and buy a weed, but that won’t happen too often, sure not often enough to stock weeds and make a profit.

In the wholesale car business, weeds equal what I call mud, unsellable, undesirable, overabundant, slugs.  Mud has got to go, just like weeds, always, with no exception, painful or not, got to go.  Bend over, get those slugs out of there.  The definition of mud can change with the market and has a direct relationship to the perception that there are “no cars out there”.  You have to face it.  Weed will not morph into a flower, honest, it won’t, ever.

If you let mud accumulate, you will come up missing in very short order, especially in the depressed market we find ourselves in.  It’s a market that is flooded with mud (weeds) that are hiding the garden.  Car Fax, wrong this, wrong that, units that make them the Webster’s definition of mud, hiding an ocean of creamers.  Did you lose your will to look?  Or is the market nasty?  And there is a pile of cars with no buyers.  That’s what it looks like from my perch.  That perch sold 650 units this week in 35 states and 12 countries so I feel relatively confident we are not miss-reading the market.

I guess here is the point.   While being surrounded by weeds, there is an incredible abundance of available, desirable, inventory.  It’s almost surreal.  While all the silly things you read is “we are in a tight market” 4,000 cars no-saled in the 17545 yesterday.   I don’t count that as a scarce market.  I call that a depression.  Tight for who?  You talk to anybody that is “tight “ on inventory?  If you hear from anybody that is “tight”, send him my contact information, I’ll loosen him up.  I sold 3,000 unit for May, and have 900 for this week coming.  Tight?

Tight is non-sense.

No cars to buy?  Can’t find inventory?  That is so comical it’s almost surreal.  Just look in the weeds. You barely have to bend over to find them.  If you do have the energy to bend over, you can’t believe your eyes, from one day to the next, them suckers are everywhere.

Robert Hollenshead
Founder and President