Thursday, September 23, 2021

Production cuts continue for major automakers

To the Editor:

Thanks for the information.

At this point, it’s getting difficult to take customer deposits on new models, like the Audi e-Tron or any car, for instance, because there’s no firm guidance on when the vehicles will ever come in. So, in many cases, customers are walking away with the hope of finding something from a competitor.

We can keep them warm and continue to send communications to them, but the customer will ignore those since we don’t have the models. And yes, trying to get customers to trade in and upgrade is a good thought, but not many will move from a sports sedan to an SUV.

And if Toyota is any indication of where the rest of the industry is going, it’s going to take a lot of used car sales for dealers to make up a loss of 40 percent.

What can dealers do to increase margins to cover that? First, of course, it helps to do recalls and push for service, but eventually, the smaller independent service guys will become hungrier and get more of our business. Increasing service features like pickup and drop-off are currently helping – although an additional cost – but it’s what can be offered to set dealers apart.

Any suggestions or actionable ideas on how to plan in the coming quarters?

Michael Morrison
Greenville, SC


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