- February 25, 2019
- Posted by: Kari Jones
- Category: Automotive Industry, Tips For Dealers
2018 was an interesting year for vehicle dealers, bringing a surge in demand for used cars and reduced interest in new motors, but what does the year ahead have in store?
A recent report by CarGurus investigates the biggest issues identified by dealers and what action they are planning to take in response.
What will the Pressure Points of 2019 be?
The majority of vehicle dealers felt that obtaining stock in good condition was more of a challenge in 2018 than it had previously been, according to a report by CarGurus which examines the key trends that may impact the market in 2019.
With new car sales declining and fewer coming into the used market, there is concern among retailers about the availability of quality used vehicles, with many anticipating sourcing difficulties to worsen.
Uncertainty surrounding the impact of Brexit on things like stocking loan interest rates was also identified as a concern for retailers.
Of the dealers surveyed, just over half are expecting their profit margins to remain the same as last year, while 26.1% are expecting a decline.
What are Dealers Doing to Maintain and Improve Performance?
The research conducted by CarGurus shows a huge uptake of digital practices by used vehicle dealers, with 73.2% saying that they have adopted methods such as the following:
Online finance completion
Online finance is being widely offered by vehicle dealers. This makes the process more efficient for customers, which can improve satisfaction, and it also makes it unnecessary for customers to organise finance elsewhere, reducing the chances of them becoming influenced by other retailers and switching.
Online trade-in valuations
Around 60% of dealers are already offering part-exchange valuations online and a further 30% plan to provide this service by the end of 2019.
45.5% of dealers have started using search engine marketing (SEM) as part of their strategy. With many buyers researching vehicles to gain a specific idea of what they want and then searching for this online, SEM is an obvious choice of tactic for generating business and staving off competition, so it is unsurprising that it is so popular.
Another marketing tool which dealers see potential in is video. This allows retailers to provide a high degree of transparency before the customer steps foot into the dealership.
The increase in these tactics suggests dealers are recognising that a growing number of buyers want to spend as little time as possible within a physical showroom, preferring to view vehicles and organise part-exchanges and finance options before arriving at a dealership. As a result, there is also likely to be an increase in dealers adopting online vehicle retailing systems.