Automotive Market Trends for 2019
It’s safe to say that almost everyone wanting to purchase a car will initiate a search on the web before visiting a dealership. For this reason, the automotive market must adapt to keep up with this trend and everything that comes with web-based searches.
A study made by Autotrader determined that 88% of prospective car buyers use the internet for their vehicle search. Searching for content that will help them find a car that meets their needs is the priority. Searches go further to examine offers, specials, or discounts that help fit a budget. Customer opinions are typically the last thing in a vehicle search but are certainly not the least important.
Effective and successful dealers in this market will adapt to the web. Although the trends presented here correspond to the past year, it’s important to know them because last year’s data is not far off from what will happen this year.
Handheld devices are dominant
Traditional methods of advertising have been replaced by technology, and improvements in mobile devices have made access to web searches, and promotional material even easier.
A study conducted by Google showed that 71% of digital interactions were produce on handheld devices - a key component in sales.
Google also found that 58% of car buyers agreed that smart phones were the only mechanism that clients use to look for car information. What do people look for when they search? Good quality, and many detailed images of the vehicle that complement its appearance will get searchers to the next step.
Access to as much detailed information on the vehicle as possible such as mileage, condition, video content, and most importantly reviews on that type of vehicle by previous owners. Finally, easy interaction with sales staff via social networks make for a strong finish and encouragement to come to the dealership with the intent to purchase.
The desktop is still important
Web searches are the favored platform for car searches and purchases, but even mobile-first customers will expand their searches using desktop or laptop computers. While handheld devices are the most used method, desktops/laptops remain the most useful when it comes to examining details, side-by-side comparisons with other vehicles, consulting with other car owners through blogs, and examining videos.
Other important reasons why desktops are more feasible for expanded searches including examining warranty information that requires time and attention to detail, and searches for dealerships that will help a client personalize a car. According to the Gartner L2 index, web sites accessible via desktops have access to more substantial information, compared to only 68% of sites accessed by mobile devices.
Car trends for 2019
The current American administration’s imposing tariffs (same as tax) on the Chinese will cause American car prices to increase this year according to a September 18, 2018 article in the Detroit Free Press https://www.freep.com/story/. These tariffs, slumping sales in sedans, and expected increases in automobile prices have stressed the auto industry. Several plants in the U.S. are slated to close later this year.
Despite challenges, there is some light. Crossovers and SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles) continue to be the fastest growing portion of the automotive market. Acura will be presenting a redesigned RDX model and Subaru will retain its Outback design when it presents the ASV (Advance Safety Vehicle), an SUV with three-rows of seats.
Pickups are another growing area for the auto industry. Ford Ranger returns after an 8-year hiatus with a totally new design. New versions of the Dodge Ram 1500, GMC Sierra 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 will also be released.
The good news in the hybrid market is that innovative SUV versions will be introduced this year with the Lexus UX and the Honda Insight sedan being the frontrunners. Jaguar will also release I-PACE, a fully electronic SUV slated to compete with the Tesla X model.
An auto dealership or any auto-related organization with a strong sales team is just the beginning. Yes, you can overcome significant challenges with a good team and not as many tools, but a well-informed team with the right web-based tools is formidable. A proper web experience for users, and smooth transition to your sales team to close the deal will leave buyers with an impression they will share with others.
For more information on success strategies for your organization, contact the experts at Advertising Avenue. We’d love to help.