It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind of the workday at your dealership. Each day brings new opportunities to improve your operations, attract new customers, and set yourself apart from competitors. However, have you ever wondered how other dealers are managing their operations? Have you been curious about consumer trends or buying habits? Statistics allow you to establish benchmarks and gauge the ever-changing patterns of consumer tastes.
So, it is crucial to know recent statistics related to all functional areas in your dealership. However, we also understand that it can be a challenge to find the time to do this. So, we are here to help! Below are a collection of vital stats and information you should be aware of. We have divided them by category, so you can quickly locate the information you need.
Vehicle Sales and Pricing
- Over 16,500 franchised dealerships sold 17.22 million vehicles in 2018. (Source)
- The sales of total new vehicles topped $1 trillion. (Source)
- Dealerships sold an average of 1,000 light vehicles from 2012 to 2016. (Source)
- Ford sold the most cars in 2018, with almost 2.5 million units sold. (Source)
- As of February, the average price of a new vehicle is $36,590, a nearly $1,000 increase from the same time last year. (Source)
Takeaway: Vehicle prices are rising, but consumers are still making purchases on par with previous years.
- Last year, dealerships wrote more than 310 million repair orders, with services and parts totaling more than $116 billion. (Source)
- The service and parts department at U.S. franchised dealerships averaged a little over 12 percent of new vehicle dealership sales. Overall this accounted for $6.79 million of revenue in 2017. (Source)
- From 1996 to 2016, the average age of passenger cars that were in operation in the U.S. was 11.6 years. (Source)
Takeaway: Consumers are driving vehicles for more extended periods; this seems to be providing an expansive opportunity for dealerships to capitalize on service repairs.
Car Buying Process
- Forty-percent of buyers feels that the total price of the vehicle is more important than the monthly payment. (Source)
- In general, those are leasing a car, female shoppers, younger consumers, and lower-income buyers are more concerned about the monthly price. (Source)
- For car buyers, 60 percent of the process occurs online (typically as research). (Source)
- The top two sites for online car buying were third-party sites (78 percent) and dealer’s pages (53 percent). (Source)
- The most common initial point of contact with dealers is through walk-ins at 49 percent with phone calls coming in second at 26 percent. (Source)
- Only 46 percent of car buyers are satisfied with the length of the purchasing process. (Source)
- Fifty-four percent of consumers would buy from a dealership that offers their preferred experience even if it did not have the lowest price. (Source)
Takeaway: Even though more customers are shopping online than ever, phone and in-person interactions are still vital to the car buying process. However, consumers are looking for more efficiency while visiting dealerships.
- The average cost of an automotive lead is a little more than $200. (Source)
- It’s all about search! Seventy-six percent of new and used vehicle shoppers run a search before buying a car. (Source)
- Callers convert 30 percent faster than web leads. (Source)
- Twenty-two percent of automotive shoppers used social media as a source while shopping for new vehicles. The two most popular mainstream social networking sites were YouTube (13 percent) and Facebook (five percent). (Source)
- Regarding marketing, dealerships are most concerned with increasing lead volume and conversions. (Source)
- Fifty-seven percent of incoming calls to dealerships are true prospects. (Source)
- If staff follows-up after a mishandled call, 25 percent of those contacted will convert. (Source)
Takeaway: If you are looking to upgrade your marketing strategy, SEO, video marketing, and phone responses are where you should target your efforts.
The automotive industry is—and likely always will be—a titan for the American economy. For the foreseeable future, there will always be a need for cars (whether new or used). This situation puts dealers in the position of consistently being in demand. However, the challenge is finding the right audience, and creating processes that put information about your dealership in front of those that need it.
These statistics can help you see what is going on across the country, and what buyers are looking for in their next car buying experience. In addition to the data above, here are some additional data resources to check into. Knowing this information will allow you to create strategies that set you apart from the competition, and create a unique experience for customers.