Automotive Inventory Trends Affecting Today’s Dealer

The best content from industry veterans to inform dealers and solve their toughest challenges.

Customers Buying Preferences Continue to Evolve

For more than a decade, Cox Automotive has been tracking what consumers appreciate and expect from dealers when the time arrives to purchase a new or used vehicle. From this research, two clear trendlines emerge that hold significant implications for dealers who want to grow their sales volume and profitability of their new and used vehicle departments.

Online Resources and Research Drives Purchase Behavior

The first trendline is that consumers appreciate it when dealers embrace the way today’s consumers use online resources to research the vehicles they might purchase.

Consumers Expect an Accurate Online Valuation

For dealers, it’s become essential to offer vehicle valuation tools online, and to ensure that the expectations and experience that starts online extends consistently into your in-store appraisal process.

More Purchase Decisions are Based on the VDP Quality

“Increasingly, we’re finding that the VDP is the place where consumers either get more interested in a vehicle and the dealer who’s offering it or they lose interest, moving on to another vehicle and VDP that better tells the story they want to see,” Fox says.

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More Inventory Trend Articles

Read about other major inventory challenges dealerships across the country are facing along with vAuto’s point of view on the state of the industry.

There’s an old saying in the car business that you can’t sell a car you don’t have in hand.

The truth of this statement proved especially true for dealers in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through much of 2020 and 2021, the chief problem dealers faced wasn’t the perennial challenge of selling cars.

Why Dealers Should Adopt Variable-Based Used Car Management

Strong retail demand and limited used vehicle supplies effectively eliminated the perennial worry of aged inventory for dealers. But depreciation returned when the average days supply of vehicles in dealer inventories hovered near 50 days, meaning some dealers had inventory they’d acquired 45 or 60 days earlier at the top of the market.

Turn Challenging New Car Inventory Levels into Opportunities

The good news is that while dealers wish they had more new vehicles to sell, they’ve also gained in experience in optimizing the outcomes for their new vehicle departments. The following represent best practices we’ve gleaned to assist dealers to make every new vehicle count at the time of sale and beyond.

Other Inventory Trend Resources