For Many Automobile Dealers, the New Normal is the Old Normal

The combination of the pandemic, microchip shortage and supply chain issues has created a significant change in the way automobile dealers have conducted business in recent years. In addition, this perfect storm of events has also temporarily reshaped consumer behavior. The end result has been a new normal being established that tilted the playing field in favor of car dealers, giving them unprecedented leverage in the negotiation process.

We all know what hot commodities new vehicles have become, as demand surged to the point where buyers have been willing to order and wait for their desired vehicles.

But as the months pass, it’s becoming apparent that we are witnessing a return to the “old normal” of pre-pandemic levels.

So … Now What?
The first and most important lesson that should be gleaned from any unconventional period in history is this: Dealerships that persisted in advertising during the highest economic peaks – and lowest valleys – are the ones that get the largest market and brand shares when things return to status quo.

Why? The answer is simple. Though the industry continues to ebb and flow, it’s certainly clear that the basic principles of automotive advertising haven’t changed. Being top of mind, possessing a hefty market (and brand) share and aggressively maintaining brand visibility should be among a dealer’s chief ongoing goals, irrespective of the current economic climate.

Things are Still Positive
Let’s be honest: It’s more difficult and takes more work to sell a car today than it did at this time last year – or even six months ago. Restocked inventory, rising interest rates and an uncertain economic forecast have many dealers less optimistic about the remainder of 2023 and 2024.

But most of those concerns were also present 3-4 years ago. And as things return to the pre-COVID “old normal” levels, stop a minute and remember that those days were generally regarded as pretty good ones.

It’s December. Use What the Manufacturer Gave You!
Make sure you’re taking full advantage of the co-op dollars available to you, especially as the year ends. And don’t forget that if yours is like most brands, it likely follows a use-it-or-lose-it policy.

Contact us today at (321) 397-0777 if you aren’t sure what funds you have available and we’ll be happy to walk you through the co-op process. Remember … you must do it soon to make full use of your 2023 allotment.

JKR Automotive Advertising: We Move Cars.