Used Car Dealer Magazine

FEB 2018

Used Car Dealer Magazine, the official monthly trade magazine of NIADA, offers readers the most current news and info on such topics as industry trends,technology,financing,marketing and dealership operations designed to increase profitability.

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Page 8 of 78

/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 / W W W . N I A D A . C O M 6 Another Year, Another CPO Sales Record It wasn't by much, but certified pre-owned vehicle sales set yet another record in 2017. CPO sales hit 2.646 million units last year, according to Autodata Corp., setting an all-time record for the seventh consecutive year. That total was a mere 0.1 percent more than the previous record of 2.642 million in 2016. CPO sales slowed late in the year – the 221,126 units sold in December was 4.8 percent less than in December 2016 and fourth quarter sales were down 2.7 percent year-over-year. Still, Comerica Bank chief economist Robert Dye was encouraged. "Vehicle sales surged in September after the hurricanes damaged vehicles from Texas to Florida," he said. "We expected sales to fall off from the September surge quicker than they have. Strong consumer confidence, buoyed by sustained economic momentum and tax reform, might have extended the rally in auto sales." Study Shows Dealers Still Essential to Car Buying While the majority of car buyers today would like to be able to complete some steps of the purchase process online, the dealership is still a vital part of that process, according to the latest research by Cox Automotive. Cox's Future of Digital Retail Study found 80 percent of the 2,550 in-market shoppers surveyed said they would not buy a car without a test drive, while 70 percent would never purchase a car without physically seeing it first, even if a condition report is offered. Almost 90 percent said they prefer to finish the deal in person. In addition, 62 percent said they want help from the dealership's staff as valuable consultants, helping them learn about products, features and vehicle capabilities. That said, digital retailing is gaining ground – 83 percent of the respondents said they want to be able to do one or more steps of the purchase process online in order to reduce the time spent in the dealership, 85 percent said they are more likely to buy from a dealership that allows them to start or complete the process online and 65 percent said they don't want to be forced to follow set sales process. "The results of our study show the most successful dealers are the ones who offer a connected in-store and online experience, where consumers start car-buying activities online and seamlessly finish them at the dealership," Cox Automotive vice president of digital retailing Mike Burgiss said. "Importantly, a more efficient process is not only better for consumers, it's better for dealers as well." Sales of used cars rose over the previous year in 2017 while new car sales fell – and industry analysts predict that trend will continue in 2018. Cox Automotive reported 39 million used vehicles were sold last year, up 1 percent from its 2016 tally, while NADA said the 2017 total was 41.38 million, up about 2 percent from the previous year's total of 40.56 million. Cox said it projects 2018 used car sales to climb again, to 39.5 million. Meanwhile, new vehicle sales fell 2.3 percent to 17.2 million units after reaching a record 17.6 million in 2016. That's the first decline since 2009. Edmunds said it projects 2018 sales to drop again, to 16.8 million, dipping below 17 million after three consecutive years above that mark. Analysts said new car sales have been hit by rising interest rates, reduced access to easy credit and the millions of nearly new vehicles – many of them coming off leases – entering the used car market. Ring of Honor Member Stanton Back With NADA NIADA Ring of Honor member Mike Stanton, a longtime executive with what is now known as J.D. Power Valuation Services, has returned to the National Automobile Dealers Association as senior vice president and chief operating officer. Stanton was vice president and COO of NADA Used Car Guide before it was purchased in 2015 by J.D. Power, which named him VP and general manager of its vehicle valuation practice. Stanton had previously served as NADA Used Car Guide's national sales manager and NADA's executive director of industry affairs. He was inducted into the NIADA Ring of Honor – NIADA's highest award to a non-dealer, recognizing allied industry leaders who have contributed to the professionalism and growth of the automobile industry – in 2014. "I am excited to be back at NADA and have the opportunity to enhance existing relationships and develop new ones to support franchised new car and truck dealerships and our industry," Stanton said. NADA said Stanton will be responsible for strategic and operational issues, new business development, NADA's affinity programs and its information technology and economics and data analytics departments. Used Car Sales Up, New Car Sales Down in 2017 Frontline F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 Sir Paul McCartney might be singing "Baby You Can Drive My Car" to an unnamed bidder who purchased the rock star's former vehicle at Bonham's Auction in London for 1.35 million pounds – the equivalent of $1.82 million U.S. The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 – the same model driven by James Bond in the 1964 film Goldfinger – was bought by the singer just before the Beatles' world tour that year, at the peak of Beatlemania. Unlike Bond's, McCartney's car came with a built-in Philips record player, and it still bears his personalized license plate: 64 MAC. The car was restored before the auction, getting a new silver paint job, a fresh red leather interior and a more powerful 4.2-liter engine that gives it a top speed of more than 150 mph. McCartney drove the Aston Martin for six years, selling it as the Beatles were breaking up in 1970. Paul's Aston Martin Fetches $1.82 Million at Auction

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