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Dashboard Dialogues Episode 3 – The Used Car Shortage and the “Frankenstang”

Dashboard Dialogues Episode 3

Dashboard Dialogues Podcast host Sam Flecker chats with Travis Wise.

One of the biggest characters in the Dealerslink office and an automotive industry legend Travis discusses his thoughts on the inventory shortage, the state of the automotive market and the legend of the ``Frankenstang``.

Transcript

00:00:16 Sam Flecker 

Hello and welcome to the Dashboard Dialogues Podcast sponsored by Dealerslink. 

00:00:21 Sam Flecker 

My name is Sam Flecker and I’m your host as usual and today I’m joined by Travis Wise the man himself. 

00:00:29 Sam Flecker 

It is a beautiful day here in Colorado and we are excited to be talking about the use of our. 

00:00:34 Sam Flecker 

Shoulders with you all. 

00:00:35 Sam Flecker 

Today, Travis is one of the most experienced automotive experts we’ve got here in the office and in the industry. 

00:00:41 Sam Flecker 

As a whole. 

00:00:42 Sam Flecker 

And he’s. 

00:00:43 Sam Flecker 

Been in the. 

00:00:43 Sam Flecker 

Industry for just shy of 30 years, so we’re super excited to have him on our show. 

00:00:47 Sam Flecker 

Today thought to be the perfect person. 

00:00:50 Sam Flecker 

You talk about the current state of the market with. 

00:00:52 Sam Flecker 

And yeah, I’m super excited. 

00:00:54 Sam Flecker 

So First off, Travis, as usual. 

00:00:57 Sam Flecker 

We talked about your first car. 

00:01:00 Travis Wise 

My first car, yeah, so thank you for having me First off Sam. 

00:01:04 Travis Wise 

This is really awesome. 

00:01:05 Travis Wise 

I I love doing this kind of stuff so ah, my first car. 

00:01:09 Travis Wise 

Well, my actual first car was a 486 Deville Cadillac Big old 4 door bruiser. I remember I worked with my dad for. 

00:01:19 Travis Wise 

I don’t know. 

00:01:20 Travis Wise 

He was a. 

00:01:20 Travis Wise 

He was a drywall contractor. 

00:01:22 Travis Wise 

He had big him and my grandpa and I remember working with him and and I slowly saved up enough money spotting nails on the wall to pay for this old junk Cadillac. 

00:01:33 Travis Wise 

You know it was a good car haul all my friends around hauled a. 

00:01:36 Travis Wise 

Lot of beer. 

00:01:36 Travis Wise 

With it so got me through school. 

00:01:38 Sam Flecker 

The finer things in life right there? 

00:01:40 Travis Wise 

Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. 

00:01:40 

Just now. 

00:01:42 Sam Flecker 

Awesome, well to get a. 

00:01:44 Sam Flecker 

Little bit of background before we get into things. 

00:01:46 Sam Flecker 

You tell us a bit about your. 

00:01:47 Sam Flecker 

Roots like you grew up in Wyoming. 

00:01:49 Sam Flecker 

Similar to our CEO. 

00:01:51 Sam Flecker 

Last week Michael. 

00:01:52 Sam Flecker 

Cuccia you just tell us about growing up in Wyoming. 

00:01:55 Sam Flecker 

Kind of hide out in the automotive industry. 

00:01:56 Sam Flecker 

Well that was like, yeah so. 

00:01:59 Travis Wise 

Growing up in Wyoming was amazing. 

00:02:01 Travis Wise 

You know, of course, that’s where I met Mike. 

00:02:03 Travis Wise 

And you know, it’s a it’s a wonderful state if you don’t mind the wind blowing sideways 24/7, you know. 

00:02:12 Travis Wise 

It’s phenomenal for the car business because your communities are so small and the things that go on inside that community are really talked about. 

00:02:20 Travis Wise 

Like you can’t buy a car from somebody for 10 grand and put it out next week for 15 without hearing. 

00:02:26 Travis Wise 

About it at the coffee. 

00:02:27 Travis Wise 

Shop ’cause everybody knows everybody, so you. 

00:02:30 Travis Wise 

Gotta really operate tight. 

00:02:32 Travis Wise 

And you really gotta operate efficient. 

00:02:35 Travis Wise 

How I got in the car business is a great question. 

00:02:38 Travis Wise 

I was I bought a car I you know the the galleys with I I was she was pregnant with my first. 

00:02:44 Travis Wise 

Kid and we only had one vehicle and I needed to start getting to work and I bought this little junker from this car lot downtown. 

00:02:51 Travis Wise 

It was. 

00:02:51 Travis Wise 

A Ford Escort 250 bucks you know knocked I didn’t know it was knocking. You know I bought the thing, took it to work and they’re like you’re aware of the motors knocking in this junker right? And I didn’t know. So by 6. 

00:03:05 Travis Wise 

Months later, the guy was putting temp tags on my car over and over because he couldn’t get it out. 

00:03:10 Travis Wise 

So finally my grandmother was a mayor. 

00:03:12 Travis Wise 

I call her up. 

00:03:13 Travis Wise 

I’m like what do I do and she’s like. 

00:03:15 Travis Wise 

Go threaten them. 

00:03:15 Travis Wise 

With the state. 

00:03:16 Travis Wise 

Tell him you’re calling the state on him, so I go in and I’m like, hey, you know I can’t get a title. 

00:03:22 Travis Wise 

My grandma says the. 

00:03:23 Travis Wise 

Colostate on you and the owner came. 

00:03:25 Travis Wise 

Out and he’s like, oh man, you seem personable. 

00:03:26 Travis Wise 

You’ve been in here a bunch which I had been trying to get a title and he offered me some money. 

00:03:31 Travis Wise 

To move some cars around, he had a bunch of junk cars in the back lot and the city was getting on him to move the cars so. 

00:03:37 Travis Wise 

He needed me for two hours, gave me 50 bucks, was 25 bucks an hour. I felt that was pretty solid at my age at that time, and sure enough, we just started joking around and he’s like, why don’t you come down Saturday and try? 

00:03:48 Travis Wise 

And sell a. 

00:03:49 Travis Wise 

Car no better way to do it, oh. 

00:03:51 Travis Wise 

Yeah yeah so. 

00:03:51 

That’s another. 

00:03:52 Travis Wise 

So by like 10:00 o’clock in the morning that day I’d had my first car out and. 

00:03:57 Travis Wise 

He pulls this. 

00:03:57 Travis Wise 

Big sweaty wad of money out with rubber bands around it and he whips off 350 bucks cash and he’s like you’ve been in the car business for what two and a half? Three hours now and you just made 350 bucks cash. What do you say? 

00:04:10 Travis Wise 

Well, I’ve been hooked on it ever since, so. 

00:04:13 Travis Wise 

That’s beautiful, yeah, I sold 536 cars that year. 

00:04:16 Travis Wise 

First year in. 

00:04:17 Travis Wise 

The business and then I fell on my face ’cause I thought I knew how to do it. 

00:04:21 Sam Flecker 

Well, I guess you know, let’s get into it. 

00:04:23 Sam Flecker 

Let’s talk about these. 

00:04:24 Sam Flecker 

Kind of the. 

00:04:25 Sam Flecker 

Conditions we’re seeing right now in the automotive industry. 

00:04:28 Sam Flecker 

Pretty intense. 

00:04:29 Sam Flecker 

We’ve seen just about everything this year. 

00:04:31 Sam Flecker 

Low inventory, high demand, chip shortage. 

00:04:34 Sam Flecker 

I think we all know about that. 

00:04:37 Sam Flecker 

You you know you’ve been in the industry for a long time, nearly nearly 30 years, not mistaken. 

00:04:41 Sam Flecker 

So you, you know, have you ever seen conditions like this? 

00:04:45 Travis Wise 

Of of course, I gotta say, great question. 

00:04:48 Travis Wise 

The industry right now as a whole needs some answers, needs, needs, some opportunity in some direction on what they’re doing, so I appreciate that I appreciate all the all the compliments. 

00:04:59 Travis Wise 

But the big thing that that we all have to understand as a whole is the big entities. 

00:05:05 Travis Wise 

Are eating up the cars. 

00:05:07 Travis Wise 

Yeah OK. 

00:05:08 Travis Wise 

And and I love that fine that’s that’s that’s capitalism. 

00:05:11 Travis Wise 

The big entities and I mean there’s a shortage out there. 

00:05:14 Travis Wise 

We all know what it’s from. 

00:05:15 Travis Wise 

We know chip shortage manufacturers stalling. 

00:05:18 Travis Wise 

They stop buying parts now. 

00:05:19 Travis Wise 

The part manufacturers have to kick up and they found different clients and I. 

00:05:23 Travis Wise 

Mean it’s just. 

00:05:23 Travis Wise 

A storm OK and. 

00:05:25 Travis Wise 

And then we had the. 

00:05:26 Travis Wise 

Rental car companies. 

00:05:27 Travis Wise 

They they got. 

00:05:28 Travis Wise 

Rid of tons of inventory and now they’re not holding enough to execute on that. 

00:05:32 Travis Wise 

You know the leases cars are worth so much people aren’t turning their leases in, they’re buying them out and. 

00:05:38 Travis Wise 

Trying to sell them on Craigslist so you know right now more than ever in the industry they we need to start thinking about it as a whole entity. 

00:05:48 Travis Wise 

And what I mean by that Sam is is if the car business starts working as a single Organism and starts working together from the top side of the executives in the car business. 

00:05:59 Travis Wise 

Down to what they feed the consumer. 

00:06:02 Travis Wise 

This can correct itself. 

00:06:03 Travis Wise 

Yeah, and it’s a lot like an LS for. 

00:06:06 Travis Wise 

For real estate. 

00:06:08 Travis Wise 

You know if you’re a realtor and you’ve got, you know 10 houses for sale. 

00:06:13 Travis Wise 

OK, now you’re pretty pigeonholed if you only have 10 pieces for sale, So what they did in the real estate community? 

00:06:22 Travis Wise 

Is they brought? 

00:06:22 Travis Wise 

All those pieces to. 

00:06:24 Travis Wise 

Gather so it doesn’t really matter which office you work for. 

00:06:28 Travis Wise 

Yeah, you have opportunity with all of the available inventory out there in the market. 

00:06:33 Travis Wise 

So yeah, So what? 

00:06:34 

Hear more. 

00:06:35 Travis Wise 

What happens there is we need to get that focus in the car business so we do it with new cars. 

00:06:41 Travis Wise 

We trade with new cars. 

00:06:42 Travis Wise 

We need to be able to. 

00:06:44 Travis Wise 

Work together on used cars. 

00:06:45 Travis Wise 

I mean everybody has the right cars for their area. 

00:06:49 Travis Wise 

Everybody has the right inventory. 

00:06:52 Travis Wise 

We just need to focus on that and focus on what’s best for the dealer and then get the cars that are bad in that market to the dealers that it’s good for and share and work together. 

00:07:03 Travis Wise 

You have a client, they want a car. 

00:07:05 Travis Wise 

Everybody can make money on that. 

00:07:07 Travis Wise 

You know everybody can facilitate that deal. 

00:07:09 Travis Wise 

So I think the big shift with the shortage. 

00:07:12 Travis Wise 

’cause we know it’s short. 

00:07:14 Travis Wise 

And no, I’ve never seen anything like this. 

00:07:16 Travis Wise 

I mean, I’ve I’ve seen the oh a I’ve been. 

00:07:19 Travis Wise 

I’ve been through the rollercoaster of the car business. 

00:07:22 Travis Wise 

But shortages like this are are pretty pretty detrimental and and they’re more detrimental to the little guy than the big guy ’cause the big guy has buying power, yeah? 

00:07:34 Travis Wise 

So you know someone like CarMax like? 

00:07:38 Travis Wise 

Great car company. I mean they specialize in used cars so you know something like 30 to 40% or some crazy number is done through vehicle locates and utilizing that inventory as a whole. 

00:07:51 Travis Wise 

And that’s what needs to happen for everybody in the business is they need to get on board to utilize those inventories. 

00:07:58 Travis Wise 

As a whole, and then there isn’t such a shortage. 

00:08:01 Sam Flecker 

So going off of that, you know. 

00:08:03 Sam Flecker 

What would be your? 

00:08:04 Sam Flecker 

Kind of predictions for the automotive industry within the next. 

00:08:07 Sam Flecker 

5 to 10 years. 

00:08:09 Sam Flecker 

You know where do you see it? 

00:08:09 Sam Flecker 

Going how do you see? 

00:08:10 Sam Flecker 

It I mean that might be a little difficult. 

00:08:14 Sam Flecker 

To answer. 

00:08:15 Travis Wise 

I get asked. 

00:08:15 Travis Wise 

This question all the time. 

00:08:17 Travis Wise 

People don’t like the answers. 

00:08:18 Sam Flecker 

You know the Magic 8 Ball, what does? 

00:08:19 Sam Flecker 

The 8. 

00:08:20 Sam Flecker 

Ball say the magic. 

00:08:21 Travis Wise 

8 Ball says yes. 

00:08:22 Travis Wise 

Yes, the Magic 8 Ball says yes by cars. 

00:08:26 Travis Wise 

Buy as many cars as you can and sell as many cars as you can. 

00:08:30 Travis Wise 

So many so many guys right now are essentially stop being car dealers. 

00:08:36 Travis Wise 

OK, so that’s gonna that’s going to change the future immensely. 

00:08:40 Travis Wise 

And what I mean by stop being car dealers is if you’re not buying and selling a car. 

00:08:45 Travis Wise 

Sam, you’re not really, uh. 

00:08:47 Travis Wise 

Car dealers. 

00:08:48 Travis Wise 

OK, now you’re a car holder and. 

00:08:51 Travis Wise 

You have a facility. 

00:08:52 Travis Wise 

Honey, you know it’s kind of like a baseball team that doesn’t go. 

00:08:55 Travis Wise 

Out and play. 

00:08:56 Travis Wise 

You know you you got a clubhouse. 

00:08:56 

Do you have this? 

00:08:58 Travis Wise 

You got a bunch of guys together, but you’re not really being a baseball team ’cause you’re not going. 

00:09:02 Travis Wise 

To play in baseball. 

00:09:03 Travis Wise 

Beautiful now yeah, is this the way it is so so these guys have stopped by and they’ve stopped inserting themselves. 

00:09:09 Travis Wise 

I’m not paying that, it’s too much it’s it’s like well that’s the market. 

00:09:12 Travis Wise 

If you want a car to sell and have the opportunity with a customer, that’s the market. 

00:09:16 Travis Wise 

So the future. 

00:09:17 Travis Wise 

Is the guys that have stopped me in car dealers right now and they left 1,000,000 bucks on the table ’cause they didn’t want to pay what uh, cars work today because the prices have gone up and they think it’s going to crash. 

00:09:28 Travis Wise 

Think it’s going to crash? 

00:09:29 Travis Wise 

Well, it’s not. 

00:09:30 Travis Wise 

OK, if if they brought. 

00:09:32 Travis Wise 

8,000,000 cars in the market right now. Those cars would have to roll for 12:18. 

00:09:37 Travis Wise 

24 months before we see the trade ends, yeah. 

00:09:40 Travis Wise 

All right, so that’s going to re facilitate, so you bring in eight million cars. 

00:09:44 Travis Wise 

What are you doing correct in Texas and California? 

00:09:46 Travis Wise 

So, so everybody just needs to get on board with the way it is ’cause the the future is is going to be all in the inventory. 

00:09:54 Travis Wise 

OK so we have you know 10s of thousands of wholesale cars for sales, you know so? 

00:10:00 Travis Wise 

Through that I have a. 

00:10:01 Travis Wise 

Crystal ball to see to know. 

00:10:03 Travis Wise 

The right questions to ask the Magic 8 ball. 

00:10:07 Travis Wise 

We’ll just say it that. 

00:10:07 Travis Wise 

Way so yeah, once once. 

00:10:09 Travis Wise 

You have that transparency. 

00:10:11 Travis Wise 

You can kind of predict the future so. 

00:10:14 Travis Wise 

When you’re predicting the future, it’s all about supply and demand, right? 

00:10:17 Travis Wise 

That’s car business. 

00:10:19 Travis Wise 

What’s your supply? 

00:10:20 Travis Wise 

What’s your demand? 

00:10:22 Travis Wise 

And what’s it worth? 

00:10:23 Travis Wise 

Yeah, because there’s no bad car. 

00:10:26 Travis Wise 

There’s just a. 

00:10:27 Travis Wise 

Bad price to pay for a car? 

00:10:30 Travis Wise 

OK, that’s. 

00:10:31 Sam Flecker 

Yeah, what’s that, yeah? 

00:10:32 Travis Wise 

There’s no bad car. 

00:10:33 Travis Wise 

There’s just a bad. 

00:10:34 Travis Wise 

Price, I mean that’s that’s there. 

00:10:36 Travis Wise 

So yeah, so the future right now is going to be all dependent on transparency of what the car is worth. 

00:10:37 Sam Flecker 

That’s true. 

00:10:45 Travis Wise 

The opportunity, like right now leads are coming in like wildfire. 

00:10:49 Travis Wise 

I mean, it’s just you have something. 

00:10:51 Travis Wise 

It’s good your phone blows up. 

00:10:53 Travis Wise 

Yeah, that’s the way it is. 

00:10:54 Travis Wise 

You don’t even have to stop. 

00:10:55 Travis Wise 

Did you want it? 

00:10:56 Travis Wise 

No, oh do you want it? 

00:10:57 Travis Wise 

Yeah, can I drive it? 

00:10:58 Travis Wise 

Do you want? 

00:10:59 Travis Wise 

Anybody, that’s the sales. 

00:11:01 Travis Wise 

Pitch right now. 

00:11:02 Travis Wise 

We don’t have time for a test drive. 

00:11:03 Travis Wise 

You want this. 

00:11:04 Travis Wise 

Thing or not you. 

00:11:05 Travis Wise 

Know and it’s closing deals, but that makes you lazy. 

00:11:06 

’cause yeah. 

00:11:10 Travis Wise 

And the future is we the. 

00:11:14 Travis Wise 

The future is going to be a little bit of a stagnant sales market. 

00:11:17 Travis Wise 

Yeah, people are going to be a little more buried in vehicles than we’re used to, so we’re going to be overcoming some negative debt out there in the front line. 

00:11:26 Travis Wise 

And F&I trying to get stuff bought and the banks will have to buy. 

00:11:29 Travis Wise 

A little deeper. 

00:11:30 Travis Wise 

But as far as the future goes, as long as you’re buying selling. 

00:11:34 Travis Wise 

Cars and still being a car dealer, you’re gonna do great. 

00:11:37 Travis Wise 

You stop buying cars. 

00:11:39 Travis Wise 

Well, that’s too expensive. 

00:11:40 Sam Flecker 

Well, well, activity is just the the key to it. 

00:11:42 Sam Flecker 

You know just kind. 

00:11:43 Sam Flecker 

Of keep doing what you do. 

00:11:45 Travis Wise 

Keep me in a car dealer. 

00:11:47 Travis Wise 

Then everything is going to be fine. 

00:11:49 Travis Wise 

You stop being a car dealer. 

00:11:50 Travis Wise 

You might. 

00:11:51 Travis Wise 

Need to find a new career? 

00:11:52 Sam Flecker 

Well, Travis, we’re getting close to that. 

00:11:55 Sam Flecker 

Time before we leave. 

00:11:57 Sam Flecker 

What around the? 

00:11:58 Sam Flecker 

Offices you have. 

00:11:58 Sam Flecker 

A pretty cool classic car collection that I myself. 

00:12:02 Sam Flecker 

Have been pretty. 

00:12:02 Sam Flecker 

Cool, curious about. 

00:12:03 Sam Flecker 

I think a lot of. 

00:12:04 Sam Flecker 

People out there would be pretty curious about it do. 

00:12:06 Sam Flecker 

You mind telling us a bit about that. 

00:12:07 Travis Wise 

Yeah, I I seen that question so today I I decided to bring one for you so I have a 65 Shelby Cobra not a Mustang or Shelby Cobra sitting outside for you guys to check out and fiddle with today. 

00:12:22 Sam Flecker 

I’m pretty excited. 

00:12:23 Travis Wise 

Yeah, it’ll be fun. 

00:12:25 Travis Wise 

We’ll go rot it. 

00:12:25 Travis Wise 

Up and down the road a. 

00:12:26 Travis Wise 

Little bit, but the the cool one that’s going on. 

00:12:29 Travis Wise 

I mean I I have some cars this. 

00:12:31 Travis Wise 

And that but the. 

00:12:32 Travis Wise 

The cool one that’s going on is I have my 15 year old son is really crazy about cars, diesel trucks. 

00:12:39 Travis Wise 

He’s working on him and he just went and inquired himself. He he went and you know his grandpa gave him a 67. 

00:12:46 Travis Wise 

Not staying, that’s this beat up and needs help. 

00:12:48 Travis Wise 

So he went out and just acquired A59 Cummins diesel. 

00:12:52 Travis Wise 

With his own. 

00:12:53 Travis Wise 

Own money, own merits and he’s going to put that 59 Cummins diesel in a 67 Mustang. 

00:12:59 Travis Wise 

I guess it’s a big deal on YouTube and everybody putting a diesel in all these different cars, so he’s hoping to get it done and be the first one in the nation. 

00:13:08 Travis Wise 

With a. 

00:13:08 Travis Wise 

67 Mustang with a Cummins in it. I guess that’s gonna join the collection. 

00:13:13 Sam Flecker 

How you feel about that? 

00:13:16 Travis Wise 

Yeah, I’m like awesome. 

00:13:18 Travis Wise 

You know I’ve seen these other guys that I’ve got buddies that have transplanted Cummins into their trucks and different stuff. 

00:13:23 Travis Wise 

So I I think it’s pretty cool. 

00:13:24 Travis Wise 

I’ve never been in a car with. 

00:13:26 Travis Wise 

Mine so I I I know he hasn’t. 

00:13:28 

Let’s stop it. 

00:13:29 Travis Wise 

Yeah yeah. 

00:13:31 Travis Wise 

We’ll see how that turns out. 

00:13:32 Sam Flecker 

Choosing honest. 

00:13:33 Travis Wise 

He’s calling it the Frankenstein. 

00:13:35 Travis Wise 

Yeah, that’s. 

00:13:37 Travis Wise 

Yeah, that’s his plan is to call it the Franklin staying for for the world. 

00:13:41 Travis Wise 

But yeah, that’s that’s pretty much what’s going on in. 

00:13:43 Travis Wise 

The cars right now with me. 

00:13:44 Sam Flecker 

Awesome well Travis. 

00:13:45 Sam Flecker 

Thanks so much for joining us. 

00:13:46 Sam Flecker 

Today it was great having. 

00:13:47 Sam Flecker 

Me great talking with you. 

00:13:48 Sam Flecker 

And I’ll see you around the office around Colorado. 

00:13:52 Sam Flecker 

Wyoming wherever you’re at. 

00:13:54 

Lee, absolutely. 

00:13:55 Sam Flecker 

Awesome, well thanks so much for joining into the dashboard dialogue podcasts, everyone. 

00:14:01 Sam Flecker 

We’ll be back relatively soon with a new episode. 

00:14:05 Sam Flecker 

So stay tuned in the meantime, be sure to follow deals like DealersLick on social media, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and be sure to check out the Dashboard Dialogues podcast on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music. 

00:14:18 Sam Flecker 

And SoundCloud. 

00:14:19 Sam Flecker 

Thanks so much everyone, and we’ll see you soon.