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EFG Companies

What a New CFPB Director Means for Auto Dealers

On September 30, the U.S. Senate confirmed a new Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Rohit Chopra, formerly with the Federal Trade Commission, brings an enforcement mindset to his new role.

Chopra, 39, will serve a five-year term at the helm of the Bureau. He has a long history with the organization, which was created in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2007 to 2008. He worked closely with Senator Elizabeth Warren on establishing the Bureau, then joined it in 2011 to investigate industry abuses in the student lending market.

His appointment comes at an interesting time for automotive dealers and lenders. As FTC Commissioner, Chopra actively pursued auto dealers perceived of implementing discriminatory practices. He also was a vocal proponent for more protections for consumers, specifically regarding auto lending abuses of all minority demographics and military families.

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Dealership Training Economy Industry Trends

Preparing for a Different Kind of Sales Season

It’s officially fall which brings football, cooler temperatures, and 2022 vehicle models. We can predict that at least two of those things are happening this year. New vehicle production challenges continue to linger. Chip shortages, supply chain disruptions and factory shutdowns still plague our need for new inventory.

According to Cox Automotive, only 1.2 million new vehicles were ready to roll onto lots as of July 19th, compared with the average inventory of 3 million. In August, dealers reported just under 1 million new cars on lots, 72 percent lower than August 2019. The major manufacturers have projected production reductions well into the fall, making the new inventory forecast even gloomier.

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Economy

Mid-Year Economic Indicators Guide 2022 Planning

The midway point for 2021 is in the rearview mirror and many dealership owners and managers are knee-deep in planning for 2022. Now is the perfect time for a quick review of the mid-year economic indicators. While new model retail sales are trending up and used vehicle prices are hitting record highs, there are some broader market trends which should be considered.

Supply chain issues impact sales forecast

According to NADA, new light-vehicle sales are expected to reach 15.5 million units for 2021, representing a 7.2 percent year-over-year increase.  Fitch Ratings expects vehicle sales to return to 2019 levels in 2022/2023. However, IHS Markit and Wards Intelligence do not expect the U.S. to see 17 million light-vehicle registrations annually until 2025. This market skepticism is fueled by supply chain issues and a persistent semiconductor shortage. General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Ford have all felt the impact on production, and analysts believe the semiconductor chip shortage will reduce new vehicle production by 1.28 million.

While dealers have experienced the vehicle shortages first hand, one bright spot is the strong trend toward online sales which were bolstered during the 2020 shutdown. Consumers increasingly became more comfortable completing more of the vehicle purchase process online. This has allowed dealers to stay in the game even with the persistent production issues as the online sales model is perfect for a vehicle order rather than immediate delivery.