Retail automotive dealers are gearing up to face a variety of challenges in 2023. From economic uncertainty, fluctuating profitability targets, changing sales models, and the persistent overhang of compliance regulations, the ‘good times’ for dealers could come to a screeching halt. While some dealers will manage the transition smoothly, others will be caught off-guard. Successful agents will need to be nimble, focusing their client service models on what each dealer needs. A one-size-fits-all model will not work as the industry evolves.
Need for Consumer confidence
Over the past few years, car buyers gravitated towards the vehicle they ‘wanted’, focusing on the features and benefits of the latest models. With a recession looming and inflation rising, car buyers in 2023 are expected to scale back those aspirations and focus on the features they ‘need’ because it’s likely their current vehicle is on its last leg. This transition from ‘want buyers’ to ‘need buyers’ involves a different sales mindset for the dealer. Agents can smooth this transition for dealer clients, by providing the tools and resources they need to tap into those need-based buyers.
For example, F&I managers will need to be prepared to present the value of consumer protection products in terms of saving consumers money throughout the life of the vehicle. By adding $25 to their monthly loan payment today, the educated consumer could save hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars tomorrow.