What do you think: Do car dealers earn more money from new car sales, used car sales or parts and service? (Answer below!)
This year looks to be good if you drive a car. Gas prices are way down and look like they’re going to stay there. Cars are lasting longer. In fact, the average age of a car on the road these days is 11 years! (When I grew up, most cars didn’t last longer than about five or six years!) And most importantly, buying a car has gotten much easier now that there’s so much information on the Internet.
So what are some top car buying trends in 2015?
First, let’s look at what consumers are clamoring for:
• Subcompact SUVs like the Jeep Renegade and Honda HR-V, especially for young, urban explorers.
• Pickup trucks.
• In-car technology that makes things safer and easier.
• Fast, high-performance cars because of the low gas prices.
• Cars with improved fuel economy and fuel cell vehicles.
What’s going on in the auto industry itself?
• Technology is big. Consumers want more sophisticated, less expensive infotainment systems. On top of that, they’d like these and other high-end features to be standard.
• Dealerships are changing. Because so many of us are doing research online before we even get to the dealership, dealers have to be more transparent about their pricing. Gone are the days when we just had to take the dealer’s word for it about what a car costs. Dealers also have to be more upfront and honest with their advertising and service because people are rating, reviewing and commenting about them on social media. One bad transaction can lead to lots of negative publicity.
• Google is entering the auto lead business by partnering with and . The leader in online search + the leader in car historical data = happy consumers. Searching for a car will be even easier and consumers will have access to local prices without having to enter their contact information.
• Online car buying. Yes we can do lots of research, but what we’d really like is to be able to just click a button to buy the car we want so we can avoid the high-pressure sales pitch at the dealership. Dealerships will need new technology to meet this demand, while finding a way to encourage buyers to come in for a test drive so they can sell money-makers like options, financing and extended warranties.
It’s all good news for consumers — more transparency, more options and fair pricing. This could be your year for a new car!
Answer: According to this Edmunds article: New car sales - 30%; Used car sales - 26%; Parts and Service - 44%.