One of These Things Is Not Like the OtherThe automotive industry has made great strides to enhance the vehicle buying process for consumers in the areas of reducing transaction time, reducing consumer confusion, and delivering with transparency. Alongside these efforts, there are other factors adding fuel to the FTC’s proposal:
- The growth in online consumer research
- The migration of 63.3% of a given dealer’s advertising budget to digital resources(1)
- COVID’s impact on the supply chain
- A dealer’s entrepreneurial revenue-driven approach
Why The Sweeping Overhaul?The US Automotive sector saw a V-shaped recession recovery in 2020, followed by a supply chain challenge toward continued improvement in 2022, spring 2022 noted significant progress in supply chain pressures indicating a possible recovery on the horizon.
“Mixed statistic metaphors” should not deter the FTC’s intent to protect consumers, but dealers need to hold the FTC accountable for data alignment when presenting their case – particularly in forming the basis for the true impact of consumer complaints.
One of the FTC’s justifications is that automotive consumer complaints rank 8th in their complaint categories and number approximately 100,000 annually(3). 100,000 seems notable until measured against the cited 17.069 million vehicles sales number – equating to ~0.58% of total sales.
The FTC is presenting our overall industry in a bad light when only a small percentage of dealers are taking advantage of consumers.