On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Shyann Malone is joined by Shawn Vaughan, owner and CEO of Vaughan Automotive and owner of Mike Calvert Toyota and Toyota of Boerne. As a high-profile dealer in one of the U.S.’s biggest markets (Texas), Vaughan has his finger on the pulse of the retail automotive sector and the changes impacting car buyer preferences. Now, he shares his insights into the 2024 auto market and beyond.
1. Toyota remains on the lower end of the inventory spectrum. Although dealers are nevertheless able to meet demand, the automaker is making progress to normal levels of production. Vaughan estimates a days’ supply of 30 to 45 days for Toyota vehicles, compared to the industry average of roughly 60 days.
2. Although the company lags behind others on electrification, Toyota is aggressively moving toward converting its lineup into a hybrid-only selection. This reflects a broader trend among the world’s leading automakers, who see hybrids as being more cost-efficient and accessible than electric vehicles. Vaughan notes that hydrogen is also seeing more interest from automakers.
3. Vaughan notes that used vehicles are a critical resource for both dealers and customers. Although the pre-owned market is more prone to shifts in consumer preference, it can provide an affordable and profitable supply of sales during times when the new car market is under pressure.
4. As new vehicle inventory returns over the course of 2024, Vaughan expects to see used car prices lighten on low-scarcity models. For the near future, he expects to see pre-owned car values stay high but forecasts a dip in 2025 or 2026 as supply and demand return to pre-pandemic levels.
5. Vaughan remains positive that 2024 will be a successful year for the Toyota brand and for Vaughan Automotive. However, he urges dealers to remember that their business is only as good as the talent they hire, meaning that acquiring and training the right candidates must be part of their growth strategy.
"As costs of manufacturing and the prices of cars go up, and then you have interest rates go up, people are going to look for relief somewhere, and that's going to be in the price of the car. And that's why having certified pre-owned...is such a critical factor to our sustainability as a company." — Shawn Vaughan