The Fourth of July auto sales are commonly seen as one of the four best times to buy a car during the year. Autotrader has written that holiday weekends tend to have success due to special incentives from both the manufacturer and the dealer themselves. This year, research shows that buying intent is high among car shoppers for the Fourth of July weekend.

A press release from Cars.com indicates that 44 percent of in-market car shoppers have plans to seal the deal this coming weekend on a vehicle purchase. Of those shoppers, the desire for a newer vehicle is the dominant reason (52 percent) for buying a car. In the same survey group, 42 percent believe the deals are too good to pass up.

While it might seem that way, it’s not all about a splurge purchase. Approximately 1 in 5 buyers is in the market because they want personal transportation that will take over for public transit or ride sharing, a trend that continues due to ongoing COVID-19 worries.

The expected influx into dealerships this coming Independence Day weekend is more than just about getting a deal. More than half of respondents (56 percent) indicated they plan to travel for the holiday and more than three in four plan to do so by car. 

American-Made Automobiles in Demandweekend

The data also exposes which brands customers intend to buy. A majority are cars made right here in the United States, according to the Cars.com survey.

Cars.com’s senior consumer affairs and vehicle evaluations editor, Kelsey Mays, said, “Our data continues to indicate that COVID-19 has sped up shoppers’ car purchasing timelines for a myriad of reasons, and now we’re learning that the majority of those planning to buy this weekend say they will buy a domestic-made vehicle.

“During times of crisis, it’s not surprising to see Americans want to make purchases that directly impact our country’s economy — either by buying American-made or by supporting local small businesses. And when shoppers visit their local dealership, that makes an impact on the community.”

Cars.com makes suggestions for some of the best deals on American-built vehicles for the coming weekend including the Ford Ranger, Jeep Cherokee, Honda Odyssey, Ridgeline and Passport, and Chevrolet Colorado. 

Related: Are three-day holiday weekends still impactful?(Opens in a new browser tab)

How Will It Go?

What’s clear is that incentives are currently still strong across the field but that could go either way. Strong sales could result in manufacturers pulling back on incentives as stock levels diminish. Conversely, spiking COVID-19 cases in some states could initiate shutdowns once again and suppress future sales, keeping excellent incentives in play.

Automotive sales are at a pivotal point and until the global pandemic has receded or a vaccine is developed, there will always be uncertainty about the future. For dealers, Independence Day weekend signals what they will need to continue to do going forward. That includes: 

  • Making the most out of every opportunity. Salespeople need to follow established processes to ensure shoppers are converted to sales as much as possible. 
  • Push hard during expected busy times. Common holiday sales can account for a surge in sales figures. Dealers should aggressively advertise on social media and by email to capture their market share. 
  • Continue to be sensitive. Each shopper has unique reasons for their purchase, whether for a deal or for personal confidence in transportation. Ensure that a customer’s reasons for buying are discovered early so the experience can be tailored to their needs. 

Whether it’s for a new car model or a pre-owned vehicle, shoppers are expected to flock to dealerships this weekend. How the holiday weekend factors into the sales figures will be intriguing to watch.


Did you enjoy this article from Jason Unrau? Read other articles from him here.

Car Biz Today, the official resource of the retail automotive industry.

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