★★★★ Max Zanan knows cars. After years spent working his way up through sales in the car dealership business, Zanan penned Car Business 101: #CrazyShitCarDealersDo with the goal of helping brick and mortar dealerships survive the next 10 years. The future, according to Zanan, is looking mighty shaky, thanks to increased competition from online retailers like Carvana and Autonation, and a general reticence to change that has dulled the modern dealership’s ability to adapt to new consumer buying habits. Zanan provides a full rundown of the different aspects of the car dealership business, from HR to staff training to online advertising and development, offering insight on each one and recommending ways for dealerships to better ensure they respond effectively to future changes in the industry.
As Zanan warns in the first page of Car Business 101, this book is not meant for consumers. Rather, he hopes it will serve as a wakeup call for dealership managers and owners, who might be wondering how to combat the rise of online competitors. Zanan’s text is clear, concise, and relatively easy to parse, even for non-industry readers. It accepts a variety of common beliefs that affect the consumer/dealer dynamic—like the fact that car salesmen have a reputation for stretching the truth in order to make a profit—while seeking to dismantle them. Ultimately, Zanan’s advice is simple: replicate the success of online retailers by offering more convenience and transparency to the consumer, and remind them that nothing beats the brick and mortar experience when it comes to examining a product for yourself. In business, as in life, the simplest solution is often the best, and Zanan provides a compelling playbook to help car dealerships get with the times.