Common Dealership Inventory Management Challenges (and Solutions)

April 9, 2024

A row of parked cars in a dealership parking lot

Managing inventory is one of the trickiest responsibilities for dealerships. Without proper inventory management practices, your business won’t be as productive or profitable, and you may lose ground to competitors who are better able to organize and manage their inventory.

With that in mind, let’s examine some of the most common inventory management challenges for dealerships and what you can do to address them.  

5 Inventory Management Challenges ACV MAX Can Help Dealerships Solve

1. Failing to Stock the Right Vehicles

There are so many different body styles, colors, and trims when it comes to deciding which vehicles to stock at your dealership. How do you know which cars to have on your lot? 

You might stock the model a customer is interested in, but you'll lose that sale if a competing dealership across town has the same model with the color and engine option they want. Vehicles not in demand will end up sitting in your stock for far too long, dragging down your sales efficiency. 

The solution here is to use data analysis to find cars that are in demand at any given moment. You can use your best judgment and professional expertise when picking your vehicle stock, but constantly evolving customer preferences make it difficult to make 100% accurate choices.

Instead, rely on an inventory management platform like ACV MAX that analyzes data from your market to tell you exactly which cars are in demand at any given moment. You can also look at your historical data within the platform to learn what models you have proven success in selling.

2. Trouble Tracking Key Metrics

Do you know exactly how long the average vehicle stays at your dealership? What your mean cost to market is? What about your median reconditioning time? These are all key metrics in inventory management that many dealerships struggle to track accurately. 

You need to track and monitor key metrics like these to understand how your dealership is performing and find areas where you can improve. Without accurate data, you won’t have a clear picture of your inventory management. 

This challenge can be solved by using a digital inventory management system, which will automatically track these metrics for you. Then, you can view metrics and dig deeper into your results from a dashboard that updates with real-time data. You’ll never have to worry about manually tracking and calculating these metrics again. If anything changes with your inventory management, you’ll know right away by checking the dashboard in the digital system. 

3. Low Inventory Turnover

The faster you can sell vehicles and get them off the lot, the more sales you’ll be able to rack up each year. Unfortunately, low inventory turnover is a common problem in automotive inventory management. Not only does taking a long time to sell the vehicles you have on hand cut down on your total sales, but it can also lead to higher carrying costs from storing and insuring the vehicles. You’re tying up your money in inventory that isn’t moving fast enough. 

When you have low inventory turnover, you’re either stocking too many vehicles or have other problems with your inventory management procedures. Take it as a sign to dig deeper into your procedures and find areas for improvement. Then, adjust your acquisition strategy to address low inventory turnover. Focus on finding the right vehicles at the right time so they sell quickly.

Using inventory management software from ACV MAX will help. You can discover which cars are most in-demand right now in your area. The platform will also help you appraise those vehicles and set your prices, giving you the best odds of selling your inventory quickly. 

4. Struggling to Execute a Pricing Strategy

Experts are predicting that the auto industry will be a buyer’s market in 2024¹. Dealerships will need to price their vehicles competitively to close sales or risk losing customers. However, finding and executing the right pricing strategy is challenging for most dealerships. 

If you price your vehicles too high, customers will shop from your competitors. If you price your cars too low, you’re missing out on potential revenue and harming your profitability. Instead, use data transparency to your advantage.

You can't underestimate the value of data in the digital age of car buying. The ACV MAX inventory management system uses real-time market and wholesale data from a comprehensive data set to determine exactly how much you should charge for a given vehicle. With ACV MAX, you can find that sweet spot that makes the deal great for both you and your customers.

This data must be real-time because it isn’t just about offering the right car at the right price. Timing is everything, too, and auto dealers have to be sensitive to how long a vehicle is on their lot. You’ll know exactly when it’s better to wholesale a trade-in instead of leaving it in your inventory where it’s just taking up space.

5. Weak Vehicle Detail Pages (VDPs)

A whopping 90% of vehicle shoppers prefer a dealership where they can start shopping online². If your dealership’s vehicle web presence is weak, you’re missing out on potential sales to customers searching online. 

Your website should clearly display all the vehicles you currently have for sale and all the details shoppers use to select vehicles. Vehicle detail pages need clear images, transparent prices, detailed specs, and any other information that might help customers decide to buy from your dealership.

Instead of manually entering basic details for your vehicle detail pages, use ACV MAX for upgraded VDPs. ACV MAX helps you get your inventory online quickly with search-engine-friendly, detailed vehicle descriptions. It’s easy to upload vehicle images, add additional details, and make your VDPs more engaging in the ACV MAX system. 

MAXimize Your Inventory With ACV MAX 

Using ACV MAX, you can take control of your inventory management and drive better results. Analyze what’s on your lot to guide acquisition strategy and develop more effective merchandising, all in one platform. Schedule a demo today to see how ACV MAX can help your dealership. 



  1. Root, A. (26 February 2024). Car Prices Are Finally Coming Down. It Looks Like a Buyer’s Market. Barron’s. Retrieved March 22, 2024, from 
  2. 90% of Car Shoppers Want an Online Buying Process. Porch Group Media. Retrieved March 22, 2024, from