Automotive Sales Archives | Outsell
Once again we approach a milestone in the year that many consider one of the best times to buy a car. Huffington Post and The New York Times called Labor Day the best time to buy a car – period – in 2010. Is the same true this season? After Labor Day many consumers hold off on purchasing a new vehicle until holiday and end of the year sales, making Labor Day weekend an important selling time for any dealer. The rapid recovery many have seen in automotive sales has slowed down for the summer despite sales having been higher in July than the previous year. Labor Day sales need to go above and beyond to make enough of a difference for many major brands. Last year, 0% financing and large amounts of cash back on remaining 2010 models were common. Check out Cars.com’s top 10 deals for Labor Day 2010 here. 0% financing is not as common this year, and many normal specials that will continue through Labor Day seem modest in comparison. Even specials like 0.9% financing that Honda is offering has consumers wary because of the requirements needed before that financing amount is even an option. US News reported that current August specials, many of which are valid past Labor Day, include such deals as “Low-interest financing or cash back on some models” for Buick, GMC, Cadillac, and Chevrolet models, which is not the type of wording for specials that sends consumers racing to showrooms. Credit is also still a huge issue for many consumers. My Carlady has come down hard on expected Labor Day specials and the lack of 2011 models still available for these model year end sales. “Honda, Nissan, and Toyota are still struggling to get some new inventory” after losses from the Japan earthquake, and availability of deals on new 2012 models at this stage will be slim to none. From the consumer perspective, more aggressive specials are necessary if dealers expect to make use of this coming Labor Day weekend.
Memorial Day approached with a warning of less consumer travel due to gas prices, and therefore less holiday spending across industries. 4th of July weekend was no exception to this holiday trend. While some are still worrying that summer automotive sales are declining, the season is far from lost according to Rhonda Wilson, Vice President and General Manager of AAA Texas.
“High gas prices this spring have started to impact travel, but the good news for consumers is that gas prices are continuing to drop and more vacation bargains are being offered this summer because travel providers have available space they need to fill.” READ MORE
Moreover, a recent article from the International Business Times went out of its way to call out Ford Motor Company as the one business truly embodying what freedom and the American way of life is about. Times are still tough for many industries recovering from economic troubles, especially for the automotive industry that has dealt with setback after setback, but ever since 2006 when Alan Mulally was hired as CEO of Ford, the automotive giant has made an impressive turnaround that many thought impossible. David Magee, author of the International Business Times article, “How Alan Mulally Saved Ford,” came to the following conclusion that can be an inspiration to all as we head off from this most recent Independence Day toward the rest of the summer and 2011:
“Focusing on key elements required for turning around a company including cost-cutting, product design, lean operations, and one synergistic vision, Mulally shed distractions like Volvo and Jaguar, and preached the passion of One Ford to everybody who would listen. Those inside the company that didn't listen found themselves another job. For, despite Mulally's affability, it was one way or the highway. Many believed, however, and they are now getting the job done for all to see and experience. Ford did not file bankruptcy, and the company did not take government bailout assistance. Ford Motor Company did it the old-fashioned way - the American way. By leveraging the company's future and working hard to get the job done, Ford gets the Freedom Award this Fourth of July holiday, representing lessons we can all learn and take into the future.” READ MORE
Photo By: Jessica Renaldi / Reuters-Corbis
May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Sales

Summer Begins!

Many consumers that did not take advantage of end of the year sales have been waiting to purchase that new or used vehicle Memorial Day. The holiday is one of the most popular weekends for potential car buyers, expecting to come across deal-breaking specials and incentives. Memorial Day is also important for gauging the state of the economy, as it marks the unofficial start of summer and begins a shift in priorities and activities in American day to day life.
Sellers of new and used vehicles have always thrown plenty of promotional muscle behind their Memorial Day sales. This year, however, the stakes are higher. “While many motorists will be hitting the road on vacation, this Memorial Day weekend, it’s also a great time to buy a new car,” according to Consumer Reports. “There are a number of discounts available, and dealers may be more willing to negotiate since it’s also the end of the month and they want to meet their quotas. ” J.D. Power expects nearly 13 million vehicles to be sold in the U.S. in 2011, up 7% from 2010. Read more: Six Reasons The American Economy Needs Memorial Day - 24/7 Wall St.
May was the first month of 2011 when automotive sales started to lose momentum. Fewer incentives and vehicle availability have been a factor. Most hope sales will take an upward turn again with the holiday, but there is some speculation that rising gas prices might deter some buyers, especially over this high-volume travel weekend. Make sure your specials are well-promoted and dynamic to bring in Memorial Day customers, and good luck with your holiday sales!
April 8, 2011

QR Code Revolution

An Automotive Industry Game Changer

There has been some unrest since Google dropped support of QR Codes last week and seems to be leaning toward another technology, near-field communication (NFC) chips. Google has said that previous businesses with QR Codes linking to their Google Places pages will continue to work. The company is merely investigating alternative options.

Despite Google’s recent move, don’t underestimate the current viability of QR Codes. They are easy to produce and use, and have been appearing more and more to the average consumer, whereas NFC chips are not as widely known. Waiting on this technology to see what comes out ahead could be disastrous.

Paul Potratz and his “Think Tank Tuesday” for automotive industry tips has had two short videos on the use and tracking of QR Codes, with a huge emphasis on the importance of getting involved now to stay ahead of the industry curve:

[Smartphones are] a game changer for automotive sales and for marketing and for the simple fact of how the QR Code comes into play.”

MORE FROM PAUL POTRATZ

He seems certain that dealerships not using QR Codes for advertising are missing out on dynamically reaching tens of thousands of smartphone savvy customers, and he is not alone.

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Go Further This Holiday Season

It is no secret that car sales have been steadily improving, most notably in the past few months. As we near the peak time for end of the year sales, many consumers are already anticipating the largest surge in specials thus far since dealerships will be looking to purge remaining previous year models, like 2009 and 2010, at prices buyers hope will be drastically lower than a new 2011.

 

“We have high expectations for December sales as year-end clearance events should drive the industry to its best unit sales total of the year,” said Jesse Toprak, vice president of Industry Insight for TrueCar.com.

-Car sales surging as year nears end

 

In the Outsell Live Chat Center, while Black Friday saw a surge of consumers, the week between Christmas and New Years is often the busiest time of the year. But there are still some hurdles ahead, according to the previous article.

 

“Even with a strong close to 2010, there remains a moderate level of risk with automotive sales in 2011. Thus, J.D. Power’s forecast for next year has been adjusted downward to 10.4 million units for retail sales and 12.8 million units for total sales.”

 

The other change in consumer habits is the tendency toward buying American, possibly due to the large amount of vehicle recalls in the past year that, while spanning most major car companies, began with Toyota’s high-profile accelerator recalls.

In this difficult economic time, consumers are also being much savvier as shoppers, researching online more vigorously than previous years.

SmartMoney posted an article in August for “7 Strategies for Model Year-End Car Shopping”. Dealerships can use SmartMoney’s tips for themselves to better tailor their specials:

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October Is A Great Month For Automotive Sales!

Outsell is committed to staying current with the trends and changes in the automotive industry as a leader in digital marketing services, and we are pleased to report a recent increase in sales.

Tim Higgins and David Welch of Bloomberg News reported that:

“U.S. automobile sales in September may have run at the fastest pace since March as consumers returned to showrooms, helping the industry’s recovery from the worst year in almost three decades.”

U.S. Auto Sales in September May Have Been Best Since March

With October being one of the more advantageous months to find a deal on remaining 2010 models, that trend may yet continue.

60 month financing for 0% is the hot button for consumers after a long stint of similar available deals over the Summer, and may be hard to beat for dealerships not offering competitive pricing. 0% financing is currently available on several Ford, Nissan, Chevrolet and Toyota models, while Honda is offering rates of 0.9% to 2.9%.

U.S. News & World Report listed these specials as the top deals that were available in September:

  1. Small Car—Toyota Yaris: 0% APR for up to 60 months in most regions
  2. Midsize Car—Chevrolet Malibu: 0% financing for up to 60 months or $3,000 cash back
  3. Large Car—Infiniti M: 1.9% APR for up to 60 months
  4. Compact SUV—Nissan Xterra: 0% APR for up to 60 months in most regions
  5. Midsize SUV (or rather crossover/wagon)—Honda Accord Crosstour: 0.9% financing for up to 60 months
  6. Large SUV—Chevrolet Tahoe: 0% APR for up to 60 months
  7. Dream Car—Chevrolet Corvette: Up to $5,000 cash back or 0% financing for up to 72 months

Anticipated 2011 models expected this Fall with some already arriving include the Chevrolet Cruze, Nissan Juke, several revamped versions of consumer favorites like the Honda Odyssey, and the Ford Fiesta and Mazda2 available now.

Despite consumer excitement over the new 2011 vehicles, the challenge for dealerships in October may be to continue or better previous deals to keep buyers interested until the always eagerly awaited end of the year sales.