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.
It’s no secret that today’s shoppers use the internet to inform their purchases. With so many resources available, digital makes it easy to research makes and models and compare prices. But it’s not just about price: almost two-thirds (61%) of shoppers won’t contact a dealer before checking their reviews, according to a CarGurus consumer poll. That’s because reviews help validate the dealership experience and build a shopper’s trust with a dealer before ever setting foot on the lot.
Not only do reviews give shoppers the transparency they crave, helping them choose one dealership over another, but they also benefit you, the dealer. CarGurus dealers with a 5-star average rating receive over 2x more connections per vehicle than dealers with a 1-star average rating. Plus, a stellar reputation will help you earn the prestigious CarGurus Top Rated Dealer Award, which helps you bolster a cycle of trust and transparency between your dealership, existing customers, and in-market car shoppers.
Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to grow your reputation online. Here are some simple tips for managing your reputation and building trust in your dealership.
CarGurus CEO Jason Trevisan recently discussed with Automotive News where he sees CarGurus headed and the company’s plans for CarOffer and expanding beyond listings. In particular, he shared his views on the three pillars – listings, retail, and wholesale – that will move CarGurus from a lead-gen-oriented company to a platform for consumers and dealers to buy and sell a car.
Tax season is here, stimulus checks are being issued, and people are itching for an excuse to leave their house as the weather warms up. If you’re like many dealers in America, you’re hoping to see the current circumstances result in a spike in sales. Though overall sales were down slightly in February compared to this time last year (15.7M compared to 16.6M last year), there’s still room for optimism.
A recent survey conducted by the National Retail Federation (NRF) backs this up. It found that 10% percent of Americans plan to put their refund toward a major purchase, such as a vehicle. Overall, more people are planning to put their refund into savings this year (54%), but it’s encouraging to note that the percentage of people who plan to spend it on a major purchase has held steady from last year.
But that doesn’t mean you can sit back and wait for shoppers to roll onto your lot (or through your virtual showroom). Here are three tips for bringing in more sales this season.