Bob Clements of Bob Clements International responds to a question regarding the number of manufacturers a dealership should carry:
"It is fairly common to see a dealership selling from multiple manufacturers. I feel that having more than one line in your dealership can potentially be more harmful to your business than good.
"The more lines you carry, the more it costs you to do business. In a perfect world, where one specific manufacturer has everything a potential customer might need, then working with one manufacturer is better than two or even 10. The most important question you have to ask yourself as you are evaluating lines is, 'Can you meet the needs of your customers with your primary vendor?'
"Your customers are going to be varied in both their needs and their financial ability to purchase. As a dealer you want to have products that will work for both the first-time customer who is just starting out and doesn’t have a lot of money as well as an established customer that understands money buys quality. If one manufacturer can provide a product mix that fits the range of your customer’s needs, then just stay with one. If you need a couple of manufacturers to cover your customer base and a comprehensive product mix, then go with two. The thing I find too many dealers doing is carrying products from different manufacturers that are similar and end up just simply cannibalizing sales that would have happened anyway."
Learn more strategies in "Create a High Performance Dealership."