2019 Automotive Industry Trends & What They Mean For Dealers
The automotive market will continue along its 2018 pace in the coming year according to many analysts in the industry. Used vehicle sales show potential for significant growth as average transaction prices continue to rise.
Some analysts remain wary and project a potential “flattening” in the market, but this in itself is good news in a sense.
For one, it now appears that 2018 sales are going to end up slightly ahead of sales in 2017 at about 17.2 or 17.3 million, out-performing forecasts across the board. A flattening at this rate could see 2019 automotive industry trends staying around the same number or dipping as low as 16.8 million.
While none of us like to see a dip in the industry, 16.8 million is still a very robust level of car sales and if these less than optimistic analysts are correct, it’s a pretty good option to have as a worst-case scenario.
But what does that mean for you as a dealer if there is a dip?
It is very easy to assume that if sales at the industry’s national level are down, then the sales at individual dealerships must be as well, but is that always the case?
Let’s put it another way: Is the automotive market the key determining factor for a dealership’s success year-to-year?
The obvious answer is no.
There are dealerships that fail when the market is booming, and conversely there are dealerships that hold steady, or even increase revenue while the market is down.
The question then, is what separates the dealers that thrive in down years from the rest of the pack.
The simple answer is that they actively focus on increasing their market share.
They know that the pie getting smaller doesn’t mean that they have to settle for a smaller slice.
So, how can you increase your market share in 2019?
Forecasts show that Used and Certified Pre-Owned programs are going to be big players in 2019 as average transactions reach the mid to high 30s. Focusing on Used and CPOs looks like a good strategy for attracting shoppers on a budget to your dealership.
The biggest thing you as a dealer can do though, is reaching shoppers in your market early in the buying process.
In 2018 shoppers spent less time in the market than ever before, and most of their shopping took place online.