From supply chain disruptions to increased consumer demand for electric vehicles—the automotive industry has seen its share of challenges and change since the start of the pandemic. As the inventory shortage ends, it’s time to maximize sales. Understanding the latest trends will give you an edge when sourcing inventory.
- Simplifying appraisals
Building profitable used inventory is critical to your bottom line. From live events to new technology, dealerships are simplifying the automotive appraisal process to improve the customer experience.
Live appraisal events: Car owners like to know the actual value of their vehicles, which can only be obtained during an appraisal. Hosting live events is a way for dealerships to attract customers not actively engaged in a sale or trade-in transaction. These events create an opportunity to open meaningful conversations with potential buyers.
Appraisal technology: As more appraisal technology becomes widely available, fewer dealerships will rely on paper to complete the process. Many are already turning to vehicle inspection software for fast and accurate appraisals.
- Certifying older vehicles
The pandemic brought fewer off-lease vehicles to the market, causing dealers to rethink their Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) programs. To be eligible for CPO, dealers consider a vehicle’s total mileage, warranties, service history, and age, typically five years or less. Some manufacturers are now allowing vehicles as old as 10 years to be eligible for certification.
- Increasing auction buys
Higher demand for CPOs increases the need to quickly get used vehicles to their lots. With more virtual auctions entering the automotive world, dealers are finding in-demand vehicles outside their local markets. Auction platforms like EDGE Pipeline allow dealers to buy and ship vehicles from one site. In addition, inventory management systems like Montway Automation Portal (M.A.P.) provide real-time quotes so dealers can see the cost of the shipment and determine whether the purchase makes sense for their business.
- Planning for EV adoption
As electric vehicles increasingly enter the new and used car markets, dealerships are preparing for continued EV adoption. When surveyed by Consumer Reports, more than one-third of Americans would strongly consider purchasing an EV when they shop for a new car.
Knowing what your customers want: According to Experian’s Auto Finance Year in Review, more than 91,0000 used EVs were financed in 2022, a 45% increase from the previous year. As a result, dealerships are taking steps to understand EV buyers as sales ramp up.
Understanding consumer incentives: Consumers are always looking for ways to save money on their EV purchases, making it essential that car sales reps are familiar with incentives in their states. These resources can help you find them:
U.S. Department of Energy
Plug In America
You can also refer to your unique state laws and incentives on the U.S. Department of Energy’s website.
- Increasing dealer-to-dealer trading
More dealers are conducting dealer-to-dealer swaps when searching for particular vehicles (and coming up short). This strategy is an efficient solution to diversify inventory and give customers the type of vehicle they are shopping for.
- Sourcing cars from customers
Dealerships continue to get creative as they search for vehicles. Some are turning to current car owners to meet optimal inventory levels through direct buys. This emerging trend even includes building a team whose sole responsibility is to reach out to customers. Email campaigns, phone calls and direct mail tactics are being deployed to solicit cars from consumers who are not in the market to buy or trade in their current vehicle.
- Leveraging automation
Technology solutions continue to help dealerships streamline vehicle inventory management using software like M.A.P. Such software helps dealers automate manual processes and gain real-time visibility on all their inbound and outbound vehicle moves.
Keep your inventory profitable
To maximize sales and stay competitive, dealerships must continually adapt and evolve. Simplifying appraisals, planning for EV adoption and leveraging technology are just a few inventory management trends to watch this year.
About Montway Auto Transport
Montway Auto Transport is a leading nationwide logistics company, arranging shipments for more than 200,000 vehicles annually. Focusing on innovation and technology, we partner with dealerships nationwide. Visit Montway.com/Auto-Dealers or call 888-998-4161 to learn more about our services.