That chilly blast of weather that just hit the U.S. sets the tone for this week’s news roundup.
First, used car prices stay on ice for Feb. 2017, says Cox Automotive. Prices nudged down slightly from last month but up from last year, creating almost no net movement. Cox also says that wholesale auction lots are getting snowed under with inventory, causing them to look to simulcast mobile auctions that help move cars quicker.
Then, we have some advice for making your dealer site perform better: declutter. Just like shoveling the walk encourages foot traffic, clearing clutter brings more web traffic. Finally, a Jeep meets the fate of the Donner Party after getting buried in the Sierra Nevada.
February 2017 Wholesale Prices Stay Flat
This past February wasn’t good news, and it wasn’t bad news for use auto prices. It was no news.
Since January, average prices fell by 0.2%. But, considering Feb. 2016 was a bad month, prices ticked up 1.1% year-over-year, indicating a tepid if not cooling price forecast. Luxury cars and mid-sizers had the steepest losses, both just over 2%. Trucks, vans and SUVs actually had upticks of 6.5%, 4.9% and 2.0%, respectively, since Jan.
Get the full report here: http://www.autoremarketing.com/wholesale/february-wholesale-prices-remain-stable-path
Shrinking Lot Space Boosts Simulcast Auctions
With all the off-lease vehicles hitting the wholesale market these days, auction houses are running out of space. Companies like Cox Automotive’s Manheim have invested in asphalt just to keep up, but a decidedly more high-tech solution has been helping them out: mobile auctions.
Cox’s Tom Webb explains that “the pressure is on used-car auctions to keep moving vehicles quickly as more vehicles return to market. Otherwise, sellers run the risk of letting their vehicles depreciate[...].” This pressure encourages wholesalers to find efficiencies, such as bringing simulcast equipment to the backlot rather than transporting vehicles to the auction block.
You can learn how mobile auctions are transforming the industry and other trends here: http://www.autonews.com/article/20170227/RETAIL04/302279989/1132
Declutter Your Dealer Site to Boost Sale
Speaking of cluttered backlots, too many used auto dealers have clutter on their virtual lots. Research from conversion software company PERQ shows that cutting down on the visual noise and the amount of options a website visitor faces can improve CTR. Rather than having eight offers bombard visitors at once, messaging should be minimal, clear, targeted and at least somewhat personalized.
“Most dealership websites are jammed with a cacophony of offers, messages and static lead forms that, more often than not, lack relevance to the visitor,” says PERQ’s Russ Chandler. “It’s the equivalent of walking into a dealership and having multiple sales people yelling offers and information at you all at once without bothering to ask what your name is[...].”
You can see more information and advice on dealer site design here: http://www.autodealermonthly.com/news/story/2017/03/perq-decluttered-dealer-sites-perform-best.aspx
Jeep Remains Found Buried Under Snow in Donner Pass
171 years ago, members of the Donner Party engaged in what might be the most infamous potluck ever after getting blocked by snow in the Sierra Nevadas en route to California. Now, history somewhat repeats itself as a 4.0 Jeep was found buried under 20+ feet of snow in that same pass.
The Jeep was likely left on the shoulder after breaking down in the mountains. Snow plows buried it further until a snowblower cleared through the pass, chomping into the Jeep’s rear.
Hear some compelling fanfic about the Jeep’s journey here: http://truckyeah.jalopnik.com/this-jeep-cherokee-fell-victim-to-the-infamous-donner-p-1793166595
So, do you think that Jeep ate at least three others before it was uncovered? Have you seen dealer sites that are far too noisy? And what do you think of Cox’s take on both vehicle price trends and how auction lots are changing? Sound off your yodeling in the comments below!