By nearly all accounts, the auto industry’s seven-year winning streak is fizzling. And the May sales data seem to bear that out. As this report from DrivingSales details, while some manufacturers did see some upside, many more saw their numbers slide downhill.
Brands that did see increasing sales included Ford and Nissan. But GM’s numbers dropped 1.3 percent. And Toyota sales sank .5 percent, with Lexus dropping 4.8 percent.
Any positive numbers seem to be mostly due to high incentives, which went up 33 percent, year over year, in May. Overall, the industry saw a 28 percent climb in lease incentives and 18 percent boost in cash incentives last month. According to the article, incentives now average a record $3,583 per vehicle, up $241 from last year.
Additionally, according to J.D. Power, average inventory increased in May, and “more than 27 percent of new vehicles sold in early May sat on dealer lots for more than 90 days,” a 25 percent increase from May of last year.
So, with sales predicted to continue to underwhelm in 2017, automotive marketers are under mounting pressure to do more, while spending less.
While there may not be much dealers can do to actually prevent an industry-wide sales slowdown, you can take steps now to minimize the eventual impact.
Pinpointing the cars in your inventory that have spent too much time on the lot, and implementing VIN-specific marketing strategies to put them in front of purchase-ready shoppers, is an effective way to get them moving, and push back against an impending slump.