As more and more franchise dealerships step into the used-car sector, independent used-car dealers are finding themselves with greater competition than ever before. Not only are they competing with the dozens of other independent dealerships within a five mile radius, but also the colossal franchise dealerships with a greater inventory selection and a seemingless endless stream of cash flow. With 40 million used cars sold in 2015, both franchise and independent dealers are fighting for a piece of the pre-owned industry’s profit. By examining DealerSocket’s Independent Dealership Action Report, we can determine the greatest challenges independent, used-car dealers encountered last year and more importantly, how to solve those challenges.
When asked what was the most important problem plaguing their dealerships in the year 2015, independent dealers responded that their top two greatest challenges included:
1. Inventory Acquisition (31%)
2. Capital to Finance Inventory (21%)
Coincidentally, return on investment and revenue growth ranked as the number one goal of independent dealers polled in the report. With inventory and capital proving to be the biggest challenges along with ROI and revenue growth serving as the top priority, it is evident that, “There is a direct correlation between independent dealers’ top challenge — inventory acquisition — and their No. 1 initiative — ROI/revenue growth,” the report notes. “In a circular fashion, acquiring more inventory will increase revenue and cash capital to finance more cars.”
The DealerSocket report concludes with suggestions for increasing both inventory and capital as well as advice for growing dealership revenue.
INCREASING INVENTORY & CAPITAL
- Expanding inventory search online and attracting individual sellers
- Understanding car buyers and purchasing inventory based on their needs
- Utilizing tools like a lender portal to offer more financing options to your customers
GROWING DEALERSHIP REVENUE
- Leveraging technology, like CRM, that is cost-effective and yields high returns
- Improving selling skills, like phone handling, to raise closing rates by source
- Decreasing spend of traditional advertising
- Creating a digital shopping experience that drives consumer engagement
Looking for a technological tool to reduce your dealership's pain points and increase your dealership's competitiveness? MyDealerOnline offers a unique solution for independent, used-car dealers. With our technology, you can place auction inventory on your website or create your own custom website pre-loaded with auction inventory. Better yet, our services come with a low monthly subscription so you do not even have to finance this inventory to display on your website. Add auction inventory to your online listings, increase your digital presence and provide a greater selection of vehicles with MyDealerOnline's technology.
1 week, 1 month, 2 months, uh oh, don't say it; 3 months you've had a car sitting unsold on your lot. Once you've hit that three month threshold with a car you thought was going to be the next quick sell, you know it's time to start looking at other options for getting that vehicle off your lot. The unit starts aging, the return on investment begins declining and your stuck with a car that nobody seems to want.
Trends show that sales in the used-car market have, in fact, increased over the years and will continue to do so with 38.3 million used-vehicle sales industry wide in 2015, the best annual tally in eight years, according to Edmund's 2015 Used Vehicle Market Report. Even so, are used-car dealers turning vehicles quickly enough to reduce profit loss? According to Dale Pollack, founder of vAuto, "The average market days' supply for many dealers’ used vehicle inventories is creeping toward or past 100 days. Typically, this critical metric, which indicates how quickly a dealer’s used vehicles are likely to sell in a local market, hovers near 80 days." So, what's causing cars to sit longer on used car dealers lots? Well, first of all, the supply side is flooded with inventory given the reintroduction of fleet and off-lease vehicles into the market. With a higher supply of inventory, demand lowers, and inventory turn rates decline.
Pollack offers three recommendations for helping dealers increase their inventory turn rates:
1. Minimize acquisition mistakes- Appraise auction and trade-in vehicles with a clear view of their market potential. Looking for a guaranteed way to reduce acquisition mistakes? MyDealerOnline's auction inventory aggregation tool allows customers to browse off-side auction inventory from your website, where they can express interest and even place a deposit on a car ready for bid or buy at an auction. Imagine going to the auction already knowing which vehicles your customers want buy!?
2. Match pricing to market conditions- With a high influx of vehicles on the supply side, you must match your inventory with competitive pricing models. With MyDealerOnline, you can set your own profit margins and dealer fees, buy cars at wholesale value and sell them to the eager customer at a reduced retail value because you did not have to finance the vehicle or wait for it to sell on your lot.
3. Reduce average inventory age- Reduce each vehicles's days to sale in order to increase used vehicle performance and profitability. If you already know which auction vehicles consumers are interested in via MyDealerOnline's lead generation tool, then you have the opportunity purchase and sell a vehicle all in the same day.
"Sell Before You Buy" can truly become a reality with MyDealerOnline. Turn inventory faster than you can flip a pancake and keep your profit margins high in a supply heavy market.