The year of 2018 absolutely will provide challenges to many different industries. While many industries heavily involving the use of technology are in the stage of an absolute boom, the auto industry is in a bit of a strange place where it could face a decline for the first time in awhile, or enjoy a period of wildly profitable change. Here are some auto market trends that could occur during 2018, and issues that they pose within the auto dealer industry.
Auto Sales Slowdown?
Just a couple of years ago, sales of autos had skyrocketed to 20 million annually by 2018. As the numbers for 2017 come in, somewhere around 17.1 million vehicles sold is expected to be the running total. AutoTrader and KBB are predicting around 16.6 million vehicles sold for the coming year, which startles many experts. These downward number predictions are the first since the Great Recession, and dealers will have to brace themselves thoroughly for this period of potential low sales.
The only true way this trend will be combated successfully is with versatile adaptability. In the last ten years, there have been many disruptive forces at work in the auto industry than during the 50 years before it. Car dealerships in Surrey will absolutely need to be flexible in terms of what is happening, and be that much more flexible even more often. It is going to be more important than ever to listen to the customer, and see what trends are influencing their purchasing needs.
The Rise Of Ride Sharing
The slow death of the taxi has absolutely been one of the major trends affecting the auto industry this year. Uber has more drivers in New York than there are existing taxis, and Lyft combined with Uber has more market share than taxi cabs. As hard as it is for some to accept, the age of the taxi may not ever re-emerge, even though there have been lawsuits at bay to limit the growth of the ride-sharing explosion.
Driving a car in a city has always been expensive and seemingly difficult, but the rising expense of living in a city makes buying a car much less attractive for young professionals. Some of the problems boils right down to very high levels of student debt. The fact that young folks do owe hefty amounts paints a picture of economic uncertainty, and some dealers may have to prepare for a few years of mild drought as far as the bottom line. It will also be beneficial for dealers to reach out and connect with the drivers of ride-sharing companies and offer incentives as well as financing.
Customer Centricity Will Be All-Important
The age of the consumer has been developing at a rapid pace for quite some time now, but at the present, it has really peaked. Amazon and Google are in the process of breaking records every year, and customers are beginning to realize the amount of convenience that can take place with a well-created portal. One of Tesla’s most popular aspects is the way in which customers can buy a car without having to enter a dealership, and their streamlining in making the process easier overall. 87% of customers dislike some aspect regarding shopping at dealerships, and 61% still feel that they are taken advantage of during the purchase.
Shifting any dealer’s entire buying process to make for a better buying experience will be key during this climate when many feel as if online options allow them more versatility. As the tides continue to shift and technology begins to offer autonomous and driverless options, customers are going to have even more of a sense of urgency regarding this issue. Every time a customer is approached in a dealership, it is going to be more imperative than ever to make sure that they are entirely comfortable, and having all of their needs met quickly.
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