Tis Always The Season For Used Car Sales
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” The famous words from Herodotus, which are attributed to the Postal Service, are like a noble badge of honor. Those words, along with the badge of honor, can easily be transferred to workers in the retail automotive segment; not much can stop the industry from carrying out their mission to move metal and keep America rolling .
Neither flood, nor storm, nor global pandemic has thwarted the duties of this mighty U.S. industry, driving our national economy to the tune of $82.6 billion, affording us the luxury to get where we need to go, in style.
Ever since I can remember, people have been asking me ‘what’s the best time to buy a car’. And, the answer has always rolled off my tongue ‘the end of the month, and the end of the year’. Now, there may be some differing opinions over that, but this is one car guy’s perspective. Given the evolution of the industry, does that long-standing notion still hold true?
Yep, we found in our research that indeed, dealers and their sales professionals operate on a monthly quota, ever striving to achieve goals and YOY increase in sales volume. While this remains true, there is also a seasonal factor that plays into the best time to buy a vehicle. If you consider the profound wisdom in the statement; ‘Nothing happens until a new car is sold’, then the seasonal theory holds some weight.
When a new car is sold, it breathes life into the entire automotive cycle; a customer buys a new car, trades their existing car, provides inventory for the used car department, which drives repair orders (revenue) for the service department, and so on. You get the idea. Or heck, you may have been the one that first uttered those wise words.
Given that premise, October traditionally kicks off the new model year, making autumn, October - December, a primary season for automotive sales, with a mad rush to meet the annual sales quotas by December 31st. This year, due to supply and demand, the used cars will win some of the business that is typically reserved for new car sales for those customers seeking specific models which may be delayed this year..
The second peak season for car sales is in the spring, March through early May. But don’t discount the hot, hot deals of summer, when new car manufacturers and their finance arms offer customer incentives to encourage car sales from May through August. Beginning just before Memorial Day and running through Labor Day, the 3-day holiday weekends have always been an important time of year for the industry. The summer selling season holds high stakes for manufacturers, new car dealers, and independents alike, with hefty quotas on those holiday weekends in particular.
This year, we are seeing a new dilemma, shockingly, another result of the pandemic and chip shortage; as many new models are delayed, the used car industry continues to enjoy an increased sales volume, with a growing shortage of late model used cars.
That’s the beauty of a used car, ‘tis always the season to buy a used car since no two are exactly alike. Consumers have definitely woken up to that fact as popular models become more scarce with each passing day. If you see a model you like and can afford it, pull the trigger. Or, you may be left out in the cold . . . literally.
Now that fall selling season is upon us, we can see Q4 as another one for the record books, a very merry holiday season indeed!
Automatic is a leading automotive fintech platform serving independent dealers by providing fast, automated, secure and transparent finance solutions, enabling your customers to enjoy their vehicle more quickly with a seamless customer journey. Learn more at https://www.automaticusa.com/