By Mark Vickery, Senior Director of Performance Management, VinSolutions
While the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) is going to take a hit in 2020 compared to historic highs over the past few years, there’s still a healthy market out there, and there are cars to sell! Our 2020 full-year new car sales forecast is 13.9 million units. Through the end of September, we stand at 10.2 million new units sold, which means in Q4, there could be 3.7 million units up for grabs. For reference, there were roughly four-million new units sold in Q4 2019.
With OEM production levels returning to normal and the positive momentum from Q3, there’s reason to be optimistic that sales will stay healthy heading into Q4 and 2021. Of course, it won’t be without challenges as the economy slows and fiscal support wanes. At this point, every deal counts, and creating a customer experience and dealership workflow that helps close deals is essential— and that means leaning on technology.
Today, customers are expecting a more digital car-buying experience. 71% of shoppers want to do more of the purchase steps online than they used to. Two out of three customers are ready to buy a vehicle 100% online, and more than half are seeking alternatives to visiting the dealership in person. Dealerships must focus on two key areas to go further in 2021:
- Clean, consistent, real-time data about the customer and vehicle
- Having access to everything from shopping behavior and purchase history to finance terms will put any salesperson a step ahead. When the information about your customer and your inventory goes where you need it, when you need it with fewer errors and less data entry, it’s a win-win for all parties involved.
- Integration through digital workflow
- Virtual assistants, artificial intelligence (AI), and automation are powerful time and money-saving tools that can deliver even more on their promise when systems work together to create more value than ever before. This “integration innovation” is what helps your data do the heavy lifting for you from lead to close and across all dealership profit centers.
Dealerships across the country have done an incredibly impressive job weathering the worst part of the storm. Now is the time to keep moving forward to find more success than ever before.
To give dealers an extra edge, Cox Automotive Retail Solutions is holding a free inaugural virtual user summit that addresses the latest enhancements for all of a dealership’s operating systems – can help clients maintain success and tackle upcoming market challenges head-on. During Forward Focus, I will be having a conversation with NBA Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson about facing adversity and prevailing through teamwork, two topics increasingly relevant to dealers today.
About the Author
Mark Vickery serves as the Senior Director of Performance Management for VinSolutions.