As vehicle availability continues to challenge both dealers and shoppers, CarGurus is happy to introduce a new monthly report from our Director of Industry Insights & Analytics, Kevin Roberts. The Vehicle Availability Index & Insights report will deliver his in-depth research and outlook for coming months.
The US auto industry continues to be buffeted by COVID-19, though not as directly as we witnessed last year. The lack of available semi-conductors is creating major hurdles for OEMs, suppliers, and dealers as Q2 production plans have been further impacted.
New inventory levels remain impacted not only by limited production, but also by a historically high level of consumer demand for new vehicles. This surge in private mobility appetite has increased sales, and coupled with production constraints, further reduced inventory availability. The CarGurus Vehicle Availability Index dropped to 36.8 for new vehicles, a decline of 51.9% compared to last year. However, we witnessed a promising sign with used inventory holding steady at 88.2, a slight increase of 4.3% year-over-year.
Whether you’re looking into restaurants for date night or booking hotels for your long-awaited overseas vacation, chances are you’ve factored Google reviews into your decision-making more often than not. And when your customers are trying to decide where to book their next oil change or whether the dealership across town will offer them a more pleasant purchase experience, there’s little doubt they’re doing the exact same thing.
Google reviews appear directly in search results and Maps listings. These ratings are therefore front and center when internet users search for your dealership or any local automotive-related service, meaning they play a crucial role in your dealership’s online reputation. Here’s a closer look at why such a simple process makes an enormous difference in how customers perceive your business and how to effectively manage these reviews to your advantage.
From budget to reliability to look and feel and more, a lot of decisions go into buying a car for today’s consumers. To get a pulse on what matters most to them, we surveyed a combination of new and used shoppers—over 500 in total—and analyzed the data in the recent CarGurus Reliability Survey.
In a recent blog post, we discussed some of the challenges expected to hinder new car supply in the coming months, from microchip shortages to reduced supply of rubber and foam. After more than a year of enduring the Covid pandemic, it looks as though there are still some rocky waters to come in the months ahead.
From a dealer’s perspective, that makes now a prime time to review the fixed ops side of the business and look for opportunities for growth. When the going gets tough on the sales floor, it’s the service and parts departments that can keep profits flowing and dealerships afloat. But thanks to the new service standards forced by Covid that have become part of everyday life, the post-pandemic customer is going to have an entirely new set of expectations.
Here’s a checklist to help ensure your dealership’s fixed ops systems and workflows are optimized to attract business and meet the demands of today’s customers.
One of the most recent trends that have come to light due to Covid is consumers’ increasing preference for online financing. More than half (52%) of shoppers now would prefer to handle this process online, compared to just over a third (36%) before the pandemic.* It’s become a crucial part of the buying journey, helping shoppers save time and feel more financially prepared. In fact, Pre-Qualified Leads on CarGurus increased 78% from January 2020 to September 2020.**
With vaccine rollout happening across the country and Covid restrictions easing in many states, car shoppers have continued to search for and research vehicles online through it all. To see which cars sat at the top of shoppers’ wish lists, we dug into our search data from the first quarter. In particular, we looked at which makes and models were the most searched on CarGurus in each US state.
3 Supply concerns plaguing the auto industry in the US — and how to keep them from impacting the shopping experience
The Covid pandemic remains top of mind for most Americans as infections continue to spread across the country. However, sales figures indicate that the auto industry is weathering the latest pandemic challenges reasonably well: total vehicle sales surged to 17.7 million in March – 5% higher than pre-pandemic sales numbers in January 2020.
Even with sales moving in the right direction, though, several issues threaten the stability of the new vehicle market in US in the coming months. Since it pays to be prepared, here’s a look at the supply concerns for the US auto industry that are currently making the news.
CarGurus has continued to build and improve products to support our dealer partners. Check out the key CarGurus product improvements you can expect now, and in the weeks to come.
We are excited to announce the launch of CarGurus Convert, our newest digital retail solution to help you jump-start the deal-making process by providing shoppers with the online experience they expect. More importantly, CarGurus Convert will help you connect with shoppers faster, unlock new low funnel leads, and strengthen your profit centers.
As electric vehicles (EVs) continue to gain popularity in the US, this topic has taken on a heightened focus throughout the auto industry. In February, CarGurus surveyed 1,097 automobile owners in the US to get a pulse on their sentiments towards EVs. Overall, 30% of respondents noted that they were probably or definitely likely to own an EV in the next five years – a number that has doubled since 2018. And while Tesla is the trusted leader in tech development, consumers are increasingly open to other brands when it comes time to go electric.
In this emerging space, buyers are excited by the possibilities and less brand loyal, so there are opportunities for more competitors to disrupt the market. For dealers, now is the time to get ahead of the demand curve and start having conversations about electric vehicles with prospective buyers.
Below we’ve highlighted four key dealer takeaways from the study. For a summary of the results, download the CarGurus 2021 Electric Vehicle Report here.