Nate Ladendorf: Insights On The Market For Pre-Owned Vehicles
Based in Central Missouri, Nate Ladendorf spends a great deal of the time on the road which includes six months of the year in Sarasota, Florida. Nate covers a wide range of the United States where he calls on Automotive Dealers throughout Central Missouri, Central Illinois, Southern Kansas, the entire state of Mississippi and Tampa and the Florida region. We sat down with Nate recently to learn more.
Dealers Resource Center: So, what types of dealerships do you call on?
Nate: I’m cold calling on dealerships that aren’t owned by major dealer groups. They tend to be smaller such as dealer groups with three, six or ten stores. That’s my wheelhouse. I also go to a ton of single stores, especially in smaller cities where you find family dealerships that have been in around for 45 years. I find out what their needs are first, because I believe that with our great products and services, we can earn their business. I also have large stores in the South, and I help them with our services.
Dealers Resource Center: How did you get your start in the Auto industry?
Nate: I was in the retail side of the automotive business for 22 years. I spent 17 years as a Finance Director at one of the largest Cadillac dealers in St. Louis and then went to another large St. Louis dealership and spent 5 additional years on the retail side where I worked with pre-Owned cars. I had many responsibilities including purchasing, transporting, and managing online descriptions including pricing for every vehicle.
Dealers Resource Center: What have you seen happen in the past six months and what are you expecting to see for the remainder of the year in the automotive world?
Nate: Well, obviously the big one is high mileage warranties. The way that inventory is around the entire nation, there are dealerships that are going to keep higher mileage cars. They used to want to get rid of them because they always had a fresh flow of the vehicles coming in. Now that isn’t the case. They are keeping their trade-ins with 130,000 to 160,000 miles, and most warranty companies would never protect a car with that number of miles. With DRC’s warranty, ours is going to be exclusionary bumper to bumper up to 216,000 miles. Our higher mileage warranty is our number one coverage with the way the inventories are right now, because everybody is looking for higher mileage cars at auction. Buying strategies have changed.
Dealers Resource Center: What do you see as the biggest challenge?
Nate: The inventory shortage is not going away anytime soon. I think one of the biggest challenges for our competition and even DRC is the Electrical Vehicle movement. The good news is that we are already a step ahead of everybody else and have the coverage. We also have admissions and EV coverage as well. It is funny because there are people scratching their heads and still are not believers that it is not coming – but it most definitely is! Most dealerships are saying by the end of this decade 90-95% of their vehicles could be electric and we are ahead of the game. Helping dealerships with their buying habits is a focus as well with the market that is going on right now.
Dealers Resource Center: What do you enjoy most about calling on Dealerships?
Nate: Growing up in a small town and a lot of the dealers I visit within Central Missouri, I will usually run into someone I either grew up with or knew from an adjoining county. Sometimes, I will end up knowing someone that a dealer knows. It is kind of an icebreaker because you generally have a common person that you can either talk about or laugh about or tell a story about. It makes it much easier to get to know potential customers, make a friend and see how we can help them. If I can do that, I can earn their business.
Dealers Resource Center: What do you love about working at DRC?
Nate: After 22 years on the retail side and pretty much working most nights and most weekends, I enjoy the freedom of going to meet people instead of waiting for someone to come into the front door. I also enjoy the traveling I get to do seeing a lot more of the country. Dealers Resource Center has given me that great opportunity and the very positive environment from Deric, Mike and Rick is one of the things I enjoy most.