Three Reports Car Dealers Should Pay Attention To In 2018


Throughout the year, dealers are likely capturing and analyzing data for their dealerships. Customer satisfaction surveys, units sold, service repair information, and a variety of many other metrics are typically obtained. Collecting this data is excellent and leads to the ability to make more informed decisions for the next month or year. However, what can dealers measure this information against? How can dealers know they are meeting industry averages? Fortunately, enough, there are many auto reports that dealers can use to their advantages when looking at their data. There are tons, but we are going to narrow it down to three that every dealer would benefit from taking a look at.

What Factors Influence the Car Buying Process?

The Cox Automotive 2017 Car Buyer Journey Survey gives dealers insight into how consumers shop for vehicles online. One of the highlights of the study is that it walks dealers through the whole consumer buying process such as consumer interaction with dealer websites, what drives potential buyers to leave the first dealership they came to, reactions to F&I, and the factors that contribute to customer satisfaction. According to the study, the top activity consumers use the internet for is to research car prices. It also revealed that F&I products were purchased at a much higher rate when consumers were already aware of the process.

Which Trends Should Dealers Pay Attention to in 2018?

The CDK Global Year-End Report looks at 2017 and summarizes trends that will likely impact dealers in the new year. It reveals information about overall industry margins, profitability, and amounts spent on advertising. The report doesn’t just focus on numerical details like profit; it also spotlights information on how consumers prefer their car buying experience to be, how they view the role of the salesperson, the impact of SEO and customer reviews on dealer website rankings. The survey also shows trends in vehicle ownership that dealers should pay attention to in 2018. One highlight of the study revealed that consumers would rather have salespeople play the role of consultant and provide information they do not already have. The study detailed that this position has a significant impact on how two key groups react to the dealership experience: women and millennials. Both distrust the industry and have negative views of the salespeople they interact with. The study reveals that dealers have a long way to go with these groups.

How Are Consumers Responding to This New Landscape of In-Car Technology?

It is no secret that many vehicles have technology capabilities that were not thought possible even five years ago. Cars are now able to sync to smartphones, provide backward viewing, and utilize autonomous driving technologies. However, how do consumers feel about these features? Is entertainment technology held to the same importance as safety features? What educational resources should dealers use when training consumers on how to use these new features? The 2017 AutoTrader Car Impact Tech Study, sponsored by Cox Automotive helps dealers understand which technology features consumers want in their cars. One of the most insightful statistics from the study was the amount of money car buyers are willing to pay for the technology features they want. Consumers will spend an average of $2,276 to have their preferred tech capabilities. Also, wireless device charging, telematics, advanced camera parking display, and automatic parking are all top wish list items for those surveyed.

The desires of car buyers are rapidly changing. Their response to changes in the industry is dynamic, and as a result, there are a lot of statistics, and metrics dealers now have to pay attention to. Therefore, it is worth it to take a look at reports like those above to stay current on industry trends.