This year’s GIE+EXPO in Louisville October 23-25 featured the three “Es” on every dealer’s mind: The economy, the election and ethanol, though not necessarily in that order depending on the topic at hand. For dealers who were at GIE+EXPO and for those who missed it, here’s the scoop on what industry leaders, suppliers and dealers had to say about the dealer outlook towards the next year, especially when grappling with those three “Es”:
• Financing and credit extensions are going to be much tougher to come by in the next year-plus. Dealers need to be more cautious and smarter than ever when buying from suppliers and seeking optimum inventory levels. Finding good, old-fashioned local sources of credit is imperative.
• Opportunity abounds for dealers on the ethanol and renewable fuels issue. Dealers have a great new way to differentiate their businesses from mass merchants by positioning themselves as fuel experts and providing consumers with the right answers for operating equipment in an ethanol-blended fuel marketplace.
• Tough economic times are when it’s super-important to keep an eye on reducing costs and increasing operating efficiencies while bolstering your dealership’s market strengths and service capabilities. It’s also important to be open to new markets and niche products that enable business growth. “Simple change is grounded in the past,” said Husqvarna’s Dave Zerfoss. “Instead, look to transform yourself to meet the future.”