Industry Trends

2023 – Focus on the Need

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.

Economy Industry Trends

2023 – Firing On All Cylinders

2023 will require dealer principals and their teams to fire on all cylinders to successfully weather the numerous challenges on the horizon. Economic uncertainty, evolving dealership sales models, fluctuating profitability targets, persistent staffing challenges, and continued growth in electric vehicles (EVs) are just a few of the issues which will impact retail automotive dealers.

There is plenty room for optimism for those dealers who put strategic plans in place, implement focused training protocols, bolster pricing models and fixed operations, and keep an eye on compliance. Let’s break down some of the opportunities for dealers to succeed in 2023.

EVs, sales models and customer connections

Growth in EVs and the hybrid instore and online sales model has highlighted the issue of strengthening and maintaining customer connections at the dealership. As more EV manufacturers sell direct to consumers, and consumers become increasingly comfortable buying a vehicle online, dealerships face challenges communicating with customers before, during and after the sale. Dealers who invest in implementing targeted sales processes and training will exit 2023 with more profitable businesses, greater employee retention, and stronger customer relationships.

Electric Vehicles Industry Trends

Finding Value In The Electrified Infrastructure

According to analyst firm BloombergNEF,  just over half of the passenger cars sold in the US will be electric vehicles by 2030. This growth is spurred by actions taken by the White House and Congress through the newly enacted infrastructure law. Legislative steps in California to adopt clean air standards will likely be supported by several additional states within the next five years. And finally, every major automotive manufacturer in the US have announced plans to accelerate production of battery electric vehicles (BEV), with many planning to eliminate the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles by 2050.

Clearly, BEVs are coming and more quickly than anticipated. Many dealers already have a smattering of these vehicles on their lots or are taking orders through their digital platforms. But, preparing to broadly support these new vehicles requires more than simply installing a charging station and creating some sales tools. Understanding the complete BEV infrastructure, means taking a deep dive into its impact on the physical lot, the service department and overhead expense.

Rather than being overwhelmed by the breadth and depth of these changes, savvy dealers will find the opportunities to derive more value – and revenue – by taking a strategic approach to implementing a BEV infrastructure. Upgrading the dealership in a planned, deliberate manner will deliver a competitive edge and a satisfied customer. Let’s break down the opportunities to generate revenue through purposeful infrastructure improvements.