Industry Trends Training

Max Out Productivity

We have had some much-needed good news for dealership productivity over the past few weeks. Parts of the United States are opening to nearly full capacity.  The number of unemployed workers declined a bit as businesses brought back furloughed staff or hired new team members. And, vehicle sales picked up in May, averaging 12.2 million vehicles on an annualized basis, according to Autodata. While no one is popping any celebratory champagne corks, the positive headlines are a balm to our bruised economy.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic remains a real threat. Hot spots continue to flare, sending record numbers of people to the hospital. A large percentage of Americans are still hesitant to visit businesses in person, instead relying on the online platforms that have sustained their lives since mid-March. As a retail auto dealer, how do you maximize your opportunities to sell vehicles?

Digital options pay off in productivity

Since we have all been forced to rely on our online tools during the shutdown, more sales are taking place on digital platforms. A recent Cox Automotive survey found that over half of consumers plan to complete at least some portion of their purchase online. Dealers are encouraging customers to use online shopping tools, including online chat, virtual test drives, trade-in valuation, and financing calculators. However, simply providing online tools is not enough to differentiate your dealership from the competition for today’s consumers.

Dealership Training Economy

A Glimmer of Hope

Contributing Author: Steve Roennau Vice President Compliance EFG Companies
Contributing Author:
Steve Roennau
Vice President
EFG Companies

There were a couple of surprising bright spots in April, as retail automotive dealers continued to deal with the impact of COVID-19.  According to Autodata Corp, sales of the highly lucrative pickup segment dominated cars in the U.S., for the first time, by more than 17,000 — 186,417 pickups vs. 169,234 cars. In addition, with sales for April and early May coming in stronger than expected, automakers are already starting to rehire people and open up operations. While these are only two data points, they do provide a bit of good news in the dismal daily drumbeat.

The fact remains, however, that we are in uncharted waters. The good news is that not all steps forward are countered by a step back. Consider these data points:

Step Forward: Affordability – Interest rates are at an all-time low, making financing a vehicle pretty attractive.

Step Backward: Job Market – In April, the unemployment rate skyrocketed to 14.7% with 23.1 million people unemployed, but some industries are experiencing tremendous demand.

EFG Companies

Market Today for Payday Tomorrow

Eric Fifield Chief Sales Officer EFG Companies
Contributing Author:
Eric Fifield
Chief Sales Officer
EFG Companies

Clearly, we are in the midst of challenging times. Due to shelter-in-place orders, many in the U.S. are working from home or furloughed, and millions have lost their jobs, with cars parked in the driveway. Others have picked up a delivery job and are putting many unexpected miles on their vehicles. And for those who perform essential functions that we rely on, it is business as usual with a whopping dose of added stress. Whatever the situation, everyone is burdened in some way.

In the retail automotive industry, we’ve been through hard times before. Most recently, the Great Recession taught the industry a lot about running a financially sound business through both economic ups and downs. Since then, the industry has drastically changed with the progression of online retailing. As dealers ramp up online retailing efforts to stay engaged with consumers stuck at home, EFG has once again brought to market its traffic-driving, market differentiator – WALKAWAY Vehicle Return Protection.

Provided complimentary on automotive financing, WALKAWAY allows consumers the option to return their vehicle in the event any of these unforeseen life events occur:

  • Involuntary unemployment
  • Physical disability
  • Loss of driver’s license due to medical impairment
  • Self-employment personal bankruptcy
  • Accidental death
  • International employment transfer