Automotive

ATUC Ep 51 Preparing for the Hurricane Warning

Based on the last two years, we doubt even a literal hurricane could make retail automotive take a long weekend.
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ATUC Ep 51 Preparing for the Hurricane Warning

This week David Long invited special guest David Spisak to the "All Things Used Cars" community to discuss the shifting state of the industry and how to be sure that when the storm passes, we aren't swept out to sea. 

Looking at recent history in both sales and search, Spisak and other participants in the room were able to give a practical set of next steps for dealers to take heading into the next selling season. Here is a recap of some of the key elements that were discussed:

What do we see? 

  • Spring didn't bounce how we wanted, but we saw a steady sales rate.
  • Q2 is still on track to be the strongest quarter of the year.
  • Vehicle values are staying high.
  • Buying fixer uppers and spending a little on reconditioning can be profitable. 
  • April was a massive upswing for sales according to OEM vs. pandemic numbers.
  • Customers are cooling due to challenges like prolonged waits and higher prices. 

What should we do?

1. Study customers and respond. 

Data shows that lead generation does not stop when a car sells. Customers still look and even engage with inventory after it is gone. These customers cannot be ignored. 

2. Sales events

Historically Q2, 3, and 4 sales go up around sales events. The biggest of which is Memorial Day. Search data shows that Memorial Day weekend is the number one searched sales event regarding automotive retail. 

3. Pricing

If a car is not generating calls, the price is wrong. After seven days, you should adjust the price. After three weeks, you know it's the wrong car

4. Adjusting expectations

We cannot cling to $5K profits on cars that we were happy with $1K profits a few years ago. The market is adjusting, and prices need to adapt to it. If customers cannot find the vehicle and price they want with us, they will go to the competitors and eventually find what they are after. 

5. OEM pressure

Ending each month with as few cars as possible is the most crucial thing a dealer can do right now. It pressures the manufacturers and raises your dealership's profile, netting more vehicles from your competitors

Ultimately, a continuous commitment to serving customers will always lead to better and brighter days for the industry. Sharing experience, data, and processes in conversations like these ensure the impact of retail automotive dealers does not stop at a transaction but by banding together, carries on into the next phase of the market, and the next, and the next…

Listen to the full show on Clubhouse and follow All Things Used Cars to catch the room every week!

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