Is the process of buying a car still difficult for consumers, despite the technology boosting digital retailing? Recently, CDK Global released its December Ease of Purchase Auto Dealership Summary, which had some surprising results. Dave Thomas, the Director of Content Marketing and Automotive Industry Analyst at CDK Global, discusses the findings on today’s edition of Inside Automotive.
Thomas notes that while inventory levels have rebounded, “last month’s consumer traffic was minimal. Specifically, fewer people were visiting dealerships”. He continues by saying that most consumers were successful in finding the desired vehicle with fewer stops. The percentage of customers visiting three or more dealerships during the car buying process decreased from 29% to 24%, which had an adverse impact on small suburban dealers.
According to the findings, the total customer satisfaction rate for buying a car dropped from 84% to 82%. Regarding the ongoing issues with warranties and insurance, Thomas found the deliveries and F&I offices were the worst headaches for consumers in November.
Comparing the summary results for November to those from October or earlier results revealed that inventory levels are returning, and the demand for in-stock vehicles is steadily rising. According to Thomas, 49% of customers found the car they wanted at dealerships, which is “the most we’ve seen since we started back in July.” Although that number has improved, it still falls short of what is required to satisfy buyers. Finding the vehicle that consumers want to buy continues to be the toughest challenge dealers face.
There is a huge storm coming, and high-interest rates may continue. So, according to Thomas, “there is no clear path to see what numbers lie ahead in January.” Currently, consumers may find the vehicles and deals they desire from dealers through the modern medium. But, the process may not be as simple as they would like, especially regarding trade-ins. In the end, the summary revealed what is simple to achieve and how to assess those scores on how realistically attainable they are.
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