As a new year approaches, it’s only appropriate to take stock of the last several months—and to assess how the auto industry has fared throughout 2017. The last few years have seen new sales records set time and time again; will 2017 go down as another milestone year, or as a disappointment?
Assessing 2017: Was it a Good Year for Dealerships?
The National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) recently released its midyear report. Though we won’t know 2017’s final sales statistics for quite some time now, these preliminary numbers provide useful benchmarks.
Based on this data, it seems clear that 2017 will not be another record-breaking year for auto dealerships. That may be disappointing, but the news is ultimately very positive. While auto sales didn’t break records this year, they remained very robust. The overall health of the auto industry is quite strong, and many independent auto dealerships are reporting sustained growth.
Specific Findings from the NADA Report
Here are a few specific data points, as well as general observations and trends, from the NADA report.
– Last year’s sales numbers were so high, topping them was always going to be a challenge. This year’s sales numbers seem to be hovering right around last year’s, both for new and lightly-used vehicles.
– Light trucks and SUVs continue to surge in popularity—and for these categories, sales may actually top last year’s, by a little bit.
– Dealership employment and payroll numbers both rose in 2017—great signs for overall growth, and certainly positive developments for dealership employees!
– Dealerships have also benefited from an uptick in service and parts business; most dealership service centers reported some profit growth in 2017.
The report also lists some noteworthy trends that are state-specific; you can consult the full report to see if any of these trends impact your state.
Where Dealerships are Headed
While this news isn’t exactly earth-shattering, it is certainly very positive. The question is, what’s next for independent auto dealerships?
There’s obviously demand, but that alone won’t propel dealerships to new heights. In order to maintain these positive trends, dealerships will need to optimize their marketing efforts, ensuring that they’re both targeting new customers while also staying connected with previous buyers.
In the new year, we recommend dealerships take stock of their current marketing efforts—and consider making upgrades/additions in the following categories:
– Dealer website
– Local SEO
– PPC ads
– Targeted Facebook Ads placement
– Craigslist posting
– Video content
These represent just a few of the opportunities dealerships have for building on 2017’s strong numbers. To learn more about any of these marketing avenues, or to discuss specific ways your dealership can grow, consider reaching out to the Get My Auto team. Contact one of our marketing professionals now!