Topic: trends

Why 2020 is an automotive year unlike any other

Posted by George Augustaitis on May 8, 2020

New vehicle sales seasonality has always been rather predictable. The end of the fiscal year, the model year changeover, Labor Day, and the end of the year have always led to stronger months in March, May, August/September, and December.

YoY-new-vehicle-sales-seasonality-graph

However, during recessions, seasonality trends break from their normal patterns—and this year is no exception. While we know the patterns will be different due to COVID-19, the variation is difficult to predict. That’s because the prolonged impact of the pandemic, which has led to stay-at-home orders, record jobless claims, declining consumer confidence, delayed tax returns, usage of stimulus checks, and increased OEM incentive spend is still relatively unknown. This makes 2020 unlike any other.

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Topics: covid-19, seasonality, trends

One Voice Report: Auto dealers facing inventory challenges

Posted by Sarah Pekala on February 26, 2020

Acquiring inventory is fundamental to car selling, but it’s becoming a common challenge year after year. In our recent One Voice Report, 76.3% of used car dealers reported that they found it more difficult to source the inventory they wanted in 2019 compared to 2018. Almost a third (32.8%) rated it as very or extremely difficult. Built around a survey of nearly 1,000 independent and franchise car dealers and our annual Dealer Council meeting, the inaugural CarGurus One Voice Report examines the inventory challenge and how dealers are coping.

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Topics: best practices, CarGurus data, dealer insights, trends

2020 macroeconomic trends to watch: Navigate 2019

Posted by Sarah Pekala on December 19, 2019

2019 was a strong year for the US economy. There was record-low unemployment. Personal savings rates continued to climb. Small business optimism remained high. But 2019 was also full of economic challenges. Costs are rising faster than wages. 59% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Rumblings of a possible recession have ebbed and flowed this year. So what does this mean for car dealers in 2020? 

At this year’s Navigate conference, George Augustaitis—CarGurus Director of Industry Analytics and Economics—shared the four key macroeconomic trends that will shape 2020 and what dealers should do to prepare. In this video, you’ll learn:

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Topics: dealer insights, Navigate, trends

Navigate sneak peek: Luxury buyers are 2.6x more likely to be buying their first vehicle ever

Posted by Madison Gross on September 27, 2019

Our Director of Consumer Insights, Madison Gross, provides a sneak peek into her research on today’s car-buying audience, which she’ll be sharing in-depth at Navigate in October.

Luxury vehicle sales have been consistently posting strong growth, and it turns out much of that growth may be attributed to first-time buyers, according to findings from the 2019 CarGurus Buyer Insights Report. About three in ten luxury car buyers said that before their most recent purchase, they had never bought a car.

Remember the headlines a few years back that Millennials were delaying buying a car? It seems that now that they’re ready to buy, they don’t want just any car, but rather an aspirational one. Our research found that first-time buyers in luxury are, on average, 29 years old. Additionally, among first-time buyers in luxury:

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Topics: CarGurus events, data, industry insights, luxury, Navigate, trends

CPO buyers are especially pragmatic when it comes to car shopping, according to CarGurus research

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on September 13, 2019

When it comes to researching and buying a car, CPO buyers are all about being informed and getting their questions answered before making a decision, according to the 2019 CarGurus Buyer Insights Report. They spend hours researching and comparing their options, relying on online resources and experts to give them the confidence they need to purchase a vehicle.

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Topics: CPO, data, research, trends

Industry Pulse: Could forgiveness of student loans lead to a new peak in new and CPO vehicle sales?

Posted by George Augustaitis on July 29, 2019

Our Director of Automotive Industry and Economic Analysis, George Augustaitis, provides insight into how forgiveness of student loans could impact vehicle sales in the US.

Debt continues to increase while wages lag, and many Americans struggle to purchase a new car. In fact, affordability represents the most severe headwind causing the decline in vehicle sales, which are down 2.0% calendar year to date (CYTD) 2019.

A recent survey from Bankrate finds that 58% of Millennials and 56% of all Americans lose sleep over money troubles. Today, 40% of Millennials earn at least half their income from a side hustle. Millennials are the largest living adult generation as of 2019, and they represent a key demographic in the success of the new and certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle market. However, an increasing number of Millennials indicate that cost pushes them away from purchasing a new vehicle. Knowing this, increasing Millennial disposable income would lead to a rise in the new-vehicle market.

For Millennials, student loans represent the primary reason for their low disposable income. An estimated 44.7 million people in the US have student debt, which amounts to 1 in 4 Americans. With the estimated student debt at $1.49 trillion and the average monthly payment at $393, the increasing amount of student debt shapes affordability significantly more than wages, housing costs, and the rising price of vehicles.

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Topics: analysis, industry insights, industry news, trends

Automotive News on the impact of the dearth of recession-era vehicles

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on June 26, 2019

Because of the new-vehicle sales slowdown during the Great Recession, finding affordable used-vehicle inventory has been a challenge for today’s dealers. Automotive News dug into CarGurus analysis to offer insight into the impact on the current car-buying market. Check out the full article:

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Topics: CarGurus news, industry news, trends

Consumers still don’t know how to protect their data in connected cars

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on June 10, 2019

For many drivers, getting in the car follows a routine: use a key fob to unlock the car door, get into the driver’s seat, connect a smartphone to the car’s infotainment system, and then drive off. Yet, when tested on their knowledge of connected vehicle security, consumers were wrong on half the answers, scoring a failing average of 49%.

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Topics: CarGurus data, industry news, trends

Industry Pulse: it’s more than just tax cuts impacting the used vehicle market

Posted by George Augustaitis on June 3, 2019

At CarGurus, we’re always looking for ways to share more industry insights with our valued dealers. Today, our Director of Automotive Industry and Economic Analysis, George Augustaitis, takes a look at how tax cuts and dwindling inventory are affecting the used car market.

The IRS started to release information on tax returns in the first week of February. As the data from the IRS changed over time, the media released weekly headlines, whipping back and forth between negative and positive:

Tax Refunds down 8.7%…”

Here’s why the average tax refund check is down 16% from last year

After a slow start, tax refunds are ticking up…”

Tax refunds are up from last year…”

About 8 million individuals who received a refund last year may owe this time

To date, the IRS has reported filings through the week ending May 10, 2019, and at first glance, the average refund is down 1.7%.

While the key metrics—total number of refunds, amount of money issued, and average refund—show a negative story, refunds alone aren’t the factor driving change in used car sales in the US.

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Topics: CarGurus data, industry news, industry pulse, trends

Consumer excitement about self-driving cars is growing, according to CarGurus survey

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on April 26, 2019

For the second year in a row, CarGurus surveyed consumers to get a pulse on their feelings toward self-driving cars. While most aren’t ready for them to be the status quo, the survey found that consumer sentiment is changing fast, with enthusiasm rapidly replacing skepticism. Overall, the survey found:

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Topics: CarGurus data, industry news, trends