It is my hope that the rest of the industry, including automakers, heed the lessons already learned, and truly listen to what their own customers are telling them about the importance of convenience, flexibility, transparency and fairness in the vehicle sales process.
“I don’t think the desire for personal vehicle ownership ever really waned to begin with. And if no one shelved their desire to own their own cars and trucks in the first place, there’s not a lot of people to “win back,” even with changed attitudes brought on by the pandemic. Put another way, it’s hard to convert folks if they never lost religion in the first place.”
Mercer again delivered a thoroughly researched diagnosis, this time in the form of a report titled “The Dealership of Tomorrow 2.0: America’s Car Dealers Prepare for Change.” NADA and Mercer began to share the findings with NADA members at the Show in Las Vegas.
Franchised dealers have worked tirelessly to adapt to changing consumer preferences and to utilize new commerce tools. It’s what’s gotten them ready to handle the wave of delayed first-vehicle purchases, and it has them very well prepared to serve the needs and wants of generations to come.
Technology vendors can provide tremendous value for dealers, but some vendors have abused their access to dealership systems in an effort to obtain and leverage customer data for themselves.
While auto shows measurably ignite consumer excitement for a brand, perhaps their greatest impact is on vehicle purchase consideration and brand loyalty—the two metrics that just so happen to matter more than any other in today’s ultra-competitive market.
In today’s market, America’s new car and truck dealerships sell around 50,000 new cars and trucks a day. Consumer access to affordable credit at dealerships, and interest rate discounts that local dealerships can provide their customers, are keys to driving those sales.
As we wind-down another good year of new-vehicle sales and get ready for what could be tougher sledding, I have a request for some of our OEM business partners: Do the right thing by your dealers—it’s also smart business.