At times, 2017 was looking like a less-than-epic year for auto sales. Economic uncertainties, multiple hurricanes, and many other factors combined to create disappointing sales numbers, month after month. Coming after record-setting sales in 2015 and 2016, 2017 was shaping up to be a twelve-month disappointment. But just when it was feeling nearly impossible to feel merry, November numbers brought some renewed reasons for a bit of holiday cheer.
A November to be thankful for.
According to DrivingSales, November sales were robust – even record-setting. The numbers outpaced most forecasts, hitting a record 1,399,640 units. And, the uptick was primarily seen in light-vehicle sales.
The reasons are many. Economic growth, combined with increases in employment and wages, have brought consumer confidence to a high. Additional factors included lower interest rates and gas prices, and greater discounts.
The numbers varied from brand to brand, with Nissan leading the pack, followed by Honda and Ford.
New Year’s cheer.
What’s more, the November spike may not be an isolated incident. The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) recently released its forecast for 2018, which predicts a stable, healthy market for new vehicles. The organization forecasts dealerships will retail 16.7 million new cars next year, along with 15.3 million used vehicles.
While there are areas of concern – rising interest rates, and higher prices among them – NADA predicts a slower but strong sales pace for 2018.
Get the balance right.
NADA senior economist Patrick Manzi predicts light trucks will make up over 65 percent of sales in 2018, underlining the importance of maintaining the right mix of inventory to ensure you have what shoppers will be looking for.
In light of this potential very good news for dealers, and this insight into future inventory demands, now is the time to implement the marketing strategies that will ensure you’re ready to meet demand, and to make the most of what could be a very profitable year. Enacting VIN-specific campaigns that move individual cars and achieve the right inventory balance has never been more vital.