Like those affected by the overinflated housing market, many auto dealers are experiencing a similar situation with their real estate. During the recent boom times, the thinking was that you needed a big, flashy facility with all sorts of extras and perks to attract customers. Manufacturers helped push the trend by offering extra incentives to dealers for interior and exterior upgrades, or flat-out demanding that some brand outlets conform to a particular standard.

That's all well and good when you're able to grab people's attention and dollars with your store's circus atmosphere, but the rent bills keep coming relentlessly while buyers have all but buried their cash in coffee cans. Some markets that still hold their noses high will continue to demand ridiculous dealerships that are more experience than transaction, while other markets will see the excesses of the past catch up and take a bite out of the dealership's hides.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]


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