Industry Trends: What You Can Expect from a New Breed of Car Dealerships

Prepare for a Whole New Experience the Next Time You Go Car Shopping

The last couple of years, shopping for a vehicle has become a whole new experience for some people.

With so many changes to new and used car dealerships, current car buyers have learned to manage their expectations accordingly – and often in all the best ways.

Check out these car dealership industry trends so you know what to expect the next time you shop for your next vehicle.

Custom-Ordered New Vehicles Fresh from the Factory

Due in part to a semiconductor chip shortage that has slowed automakers’ new vehicle production, it’s becoming more and more common for buyers to submit a custom order for a vehicle and have it delivered to their local car dealership.

Truthfully, placing a custom order is rewarding; you get the exact vehicle you want, right down to the paint color and features. It does, however, require that you pay a deposit – usually less than $1,000 – which is put toward the purchase price of the vehicle. You then complete your purchase at the dealership after taking it for a test drive to ensure you love it.

Used Car Prices Adjusted for Inflation and Demand
A combination of inflation and the semiconductor chip shortage has driven up the price of used cars for sale. Because fewer people are buying brand-new vehicles and many are opting for used ones, the demand for used cars also has increased.

A basic understanding of economics reveals that these factors mean you’ll end up paying more than usual for a used vehicle. But because they depreciate more slowly than a brand-new vehicle with zero miles on the odometer, a used car is still a smart purchase. Bear in mind that no daily driver is an investment, because vehicles are always depreciating assets (except for collector-quality cars)

High-Energy Environments with Customer Perks

The latest trend in car dealerships is to provide customers with an engaging, fun environment to shop for a vehicle. Music and complimentary refreshments go a long way to amp up the vibe.

Why do they do this? Because when the car dealership is a fun place to be, shoppers are more likely to stick around, and they feel valued. But it also means you have the conveniences of home – namely snacks and drinks – so you’re comfortable as you shop.

Non-Commissioned Sales Teams

One of the biggest changes in the car dealership industry is the elimination or deprioritization of commissions and a focus on paying salespeople a flat salary. This means car buyers don’t feel pressured to make a purchase. The result is a more satisfying car-buying experience.

And it’s great for the sales teams, too. They know they are earning a specific dollar amount each month, regardless of how much demand there is for new and used vehicles. Overall, it enables the dealership employees to enjoy financial stability.

No Haggling to Get the Best Possible Price

With such high demand for new and used vehicles, auto dealerships are finding that they no longer need to haggle. This means they’re listing their cars, trucks, and SUVs for sale at their best possible price to begin with. You won’t need to haggle them down to strike a deal and can instead walk in knowing that you’ll pay list price.

If you’re not convinced that your local dealership is pricing vehicles fairly, you can always compare their prices to the Kelley Blue Book price or similar valuation service.

High-Tech Features in Both New and Used Cars
Because the most recent automotive technology is now a few years old – with the exception of self-driving cars – the majority of new and used cars from later model years contain the latest tech, like lane-keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi hotspot, and tons of must-have safety features.

As such, you can save money by purchasing a used vehicle over a brand-new one and still get a gadget-filled interior and a quality infotainment system, complete with touchscreen.

Some Things Never Change
Although the car dealership industry is changing, there are a few elements of it that have stayed the same.

First is the used vehicle history report. You should never buy a used car without one. This report will tell you most everything in a car’s history, including certain maintenance records, whether it was wrecked, and how many owners it has had.

Second is that there are numerous ways to secure financing, including through your own bank or by visiting your dealership of choice to speak to their finance department.

And finally, you’ll still need to do your due diligence and shop around to get the vehicle of your dreams. But be sure to act fast; vehicles are in demand, and there’s a lot of competition with such low inventory in certain regions.

Happy car shopping!

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