Honda's Dan Wright: 'Our efforts have remained the same'

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Dan Wright, Sr. manager of National Field Sales for American Honda Motor Corp., on what he gleaned from 2010.

Dealernews: This last year wasn’t greatest year for anyone, how did 2010 affect you?
Wright: While the industry faced many challenges during 2010, our efforts have remained the same. Our primary goal has been to strengthen the dealers by focusing consumer and dealer programs specifically targeting non currents. Honda’s efforts in eliminating non-currents and reducing overall inventory levels provided greater consistency in retail sales planning, inventory and expense control. Over a year ago we started our MOP retail planning program. Rather than inventory building, we provided a better balance between retail planning and inventory control. Challenges still exist in this area however we are experiencing a high level of success in this partnership with our dealers.

DN: Despite the tough times, what went well for you in 2010?
Wright: 2010 provided great opportunity in the used product area, allowing dealers to successfully trade customers up. Dealer’s reported a significant shift in the balance between new and used all last year. We think this also provides a healthy opportunity and profitable alternative for dealers now and into the future.

DN: How will you approach 2011 compared to 2010?
Wright: Toward the end of 2010 the market began to stabilize some. Since most of our industry continues to be recreational focused, we expect 2011 to remain a challenge for the pure recreational models industry wide. But that being said, the hardships of 2010 can be defined by change. At Honda we welcome change and while change creates new challenges, they are the fuel that makes everything work for a business. We remain committed to attracting customers to our dealers and supporting dealer’s efforts to improve profit opportunity.

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