Dealer Success – Josh Winders, Inventory Director, Nelson Auto Group

For over 50 years the Nelson family has been a part of automotive retail. Nelson Auto Group in Oklahoma is the perpetuation of the business that started with Jim Nelson Ford in the late 1950’s. The current President and Owner, Robert Nelson, continues to build on the cornerstone of excellence that was set by his father years ago.

Nelson Auto Group is built around its faith and its high standards of customer service. As a dealership group, the Nelson family continues to see growth and loyalty among their customers and employees because of their commitment to create an unparalleled business culture and consumer experience. The family believes that they set themselves apart by giving every customer the treatment they deserve. When you do business with Nelson, the goal is that you experience the Nelson Difference.

The Nelson Difference

And so it is with the above written philosophy and purpose, that Inventory Director Josh Winders and his team at Nelson seek to set themselves apart from the competition in the inventory department. Winders leads a team of 10 buyers across 4 locations in Oklahoma, sourcing nearly 200 used vehicles each month from private party sellers, with or without a vehicle trade.

Vehicle Acquisition Network plays a significant role in this process, and recently we had an opportunity to meet with Josh to find out first hand what circumstances led to the formation of their acquisition business, what it means, and where it’s headed.

Here’s what Josh had to say…


What was it like before you started using VAN?

My story is that I started managing the inventory and reconditioning a long time ago. We realized that we needed to source cars differently, and I was asked to head up an acquisition team for the auto group.

How about when you first started using VAN?

The first few months we had one buyer purchasing about 50 cars by himself. That developed into 2 and then 3 pretty quickly and from there we realized we were creating our own ceiling by not having more people ready to help customers that wanted to sell cars. Out of faith we hired more than we needed and it’s worked out for us.

And now?

We have 10 buyers in Oklahoma. Last month we bought 170 cars, strictly from people off the street. Our goal is to get to 200 cars (a month) in the next few months. I think that is very doable for us.

What is your favorite part about using VAN?

I think VAN is a great way to start a conversation with somebody. VAN works while you aren’t working. It helps source specific cars that you are looking for.

If you’re not good at what you do. If you can’t pick up the phone and have a conversation, make sure your team is trained on the process and what to say, all you’re doing is making a customer upset.

How has VAN helped with customer relationships?

Our dealership and the auto group are really focused on serving people. We love the ability to connect with people in the community and help people out that we may have never been able to connect with before, above and beyond just purchasing their vehicles.


View More Testimonials

Want to hear more about how dealers are using VAN to acquire used vehicles from private sellers and build profitable buy centers? View the Testimonials section on our website.

Free Marketing Analysis

When you’re trying to keep your pre-owned lot stocked with high-quality, in-demand vehicles, dealing with auctions can be costly and time-consuming, plus you always risk having your price bid up by competing dealers.

With VAN you go straight to the source, acquiring pre-owned vehicles directly from private sellers in your target market.

Vehicle Acquisition Network saves you time and money by automatically searching online listings to locate your most sought-after units from independent sellers in your area. Find the pre-owned vehicles you want faster than your competitors for hundreds less than you would pay at auction.

Get your free marketing analysis today!

Tom has been in the automotive industry over half his life. Having held all management positions in sales, Tom has an in-depth understanding of the business. His passion is pre-owned management and how it relates to marketing.

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