Thursday, October 20, 2016

October 2016 SDADA Column

Virtually every dealer, manager or salesperson I know has been put in the position of having to
explain to a customer that one vehicle, with the same MSRP as the identical vehicle sitting next to it, costs $4,000-5,000 more than the other one. Or they have sold vehicles at a significant loss at the beginning of the month in an effort to hit an objective that will allow them to perhaps(!) break even on vehicles they sell at the end of the month.

Manufacturers do not understand the disruption, confusion and malaise they cause with such ridiculous incentive(?) programs. They do permanent damage to their brand, customer-dealer relations and dealer-manufacturer relations.

The NADA Board of Directors had an extended discussion about this topic at our most recent meeting. The frustration, anger and distrust came quickly to the surface as we talked. There was a wide variety of ideas to deal with it but there was not any consensus. Of course, our anti-trust attorney kept the discussion on track and us out of trouble!

The topic is on the agenda for the next board meeting but I'm not confident that NADA is in a great position to really do anything significant (other than have the discussion with the manufacturers) about this issue.

Like most states, South Dakota has a law on the books that specifically deals with this topic (my emphasis added):

Thursday, October 13, 2016

South Dakota Speed Goats

After several years of threatening an antelope hunt, and a couple years of applying for tags, Alex and I finally got tags for a 2016 South Dakota antelope hunt. We had applied for Butte County tags because the number of tags was great and we could stay in our cabin.

Butte County borders Wyoming on the west and sits just north of the Black Hills. The Belle Fourche River winds through the middle of the county. There is some irrigated hay and corn along the river but it is almost completely pasture land when you get away from the river. Cattle (mostly black angus) outnumber humans 5 to 1 in Butte County (50,000 to 10,000).

Since neither of us had ever hunted antelope before, the research began shortly after notification that we had gotten tags. Butte County had two antelope units and I found that there was plenty of public land and walk in access for us to hunt in the unit for which we had tags.

We couldn't hunt the opening weekend because I planned to attend the 2016 Ryder Cup in the Twin Cities. So we made plans for the second weekend of the season. We drove out to the hills on Thursday evening after work and got in late Thursday night.

On Friday morning, we took off early for southern Butte County. We were a 45-minute drive from our destination. Armed with GPS and Google maps on the iPad, we were set. Our entire weekend hunt would be in the shadow of Bear Butte.

Bear Butte could be seen throughout our hunt.
We found some Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land that looked good to us and parked the truck. We loaded up our gear and walked about 2 1/2 miles and sat on hills looking out over the flat area adjacent to the Belle Fourche river. We would sit for a half an hour and then move on to another hill.We saw nothing. So about 10 AM we headed back to the truck to find a new area to hunt.