Suggestions for Automotive Sellers on Finest Methods to Get Pre-Owned Stock


Brief on new automobiles, automobile sellers are gobbling up used vehicles to inventory, say consultants providing recommendations on the very best methods to accumulate pre-owned stock.

“Sellers are shopping for as many used vehicles as they’ll get,” says Tom Kontos, chief economist for KAR International, an auto public sale firm.

The present new-car scarcity primarily stems from not sufficient microchips to go round for automakers to construct a enough variety of automobiles to satisfy a robust demand.

“The chip scarcity might restrict new-car gross sales, however it’s giving the used-car market a tailwind,” Kontos says throughout a web-based panel dialogue hosted by the American Worldwide Vehicle Sellers Assn.

Sellers purchase used-car stock in varied methods. Sources embody auto auctions and trade-ins in addition to off-lease and off-fleet automobiles.

Sellers get first crack at buying off-lease automobiles. In the event that they take a cross, the automobiles go to public sale. However that’s occurring much less as of late.

“Sellers are taking all off-lease vehicles they’ll,” Kontos says. Present excessive charges of so-called “upstream” purchases have diminished public sale motion. Brick-and-mortar public sale volumes had been off 20% in 2020 and stay down this 12 months.

The used-car market is robust throughout all fashions, however the demand for pickup vans is “wonderful,” Kontos (pictured, beneath left) says.

tom kontos (2) (002).jpgHe notes the U.S. financial system on the whole and the auto market specifically stay comparatively sturdy regardless of COVID’s fallout. Furthermore, authorities stimulus checks have helped prop up the financial system throughout the pandemic. “There’s a lot cash on the market” for automobile purchases, Kontos says.

Citing varied causes, he factors to a “drought” of used-vehicle stock. That’s partially as a result of rental and industrial fleet turnovers had been off final 12 months, placing fewer automobiles available on the market. It contributes to the vendor scramble to search out pre-owned automobiles to replenish their inventories to match demand.

“With out query, stock provide is the No.1 challenge (in auto retailing) as of late,” says panelist Bob Grill, Carfax’s senior partner-development supervisor.

He recommends sellers good their trade-in course of to boost used-car operations which are as sizzling as ever.

On common, trade-ins flip 10 days sooner and make $1,000 extra revenue than auction-sourced automobiles that account for 80% of getting older wholesale losses, Grill (pictured beneath, left) says.

bob grill (002).png

Not each trade-in is effective sufficient for a franchised vendor’s used-car lot, particularly beaters with six-digit odometer readings. However excessive mileage is much less of a problem as of late, says panelist Mike Rossman, an automotive marketing consultant. “A variety of (customers) are OK with excessive mileage.” That speaks to the standard and sturdiness of immediately’s automobiles.

Element and alter the oil of trade-ins placed on the lot, he says, however cautions the service division shouldn’t soak the used-car division in getting a used automobile lot-ready. (It’s not extraordinary for one dealership to price-gouge one other for companies rendered.)

“Service ought to be truthful to you,” Rossman (pictured beneath, left) says, addressing used-car managers. “If they’re operating a $50 oil-change particular to clients, they shouldn’t be charging you $70.”

mike rossman (002).pngHe cites an egregious case involving an inside order that ran $70 to interchange windshield wipers. “You wouldn’t try this to a retail buyer. All people ought to be truthful with one another.”

Grill recommends {that a} dealership invite a shopper probably buying and selling in a automobile to attend the appraisal course of. “Have the shopper a part of it. It removes the thriller and wins extra trades. They prefer to be concerned.”

He additionally advises appraisers to “ask the best questions” of such clients. These embody whether or not they purchased the automobile new (being the one proprietor is a constructive) and whether or not it has ever been in an accident (a unfavorable).

Such components have an effect on automobile worth. An instance Grill provides is the value distinction for a similar automobile: a 2017 Infiniti QX60 with a premium trim, front-wheel drive and 34,000 miles (54,400 km) on the odometer.

A mannequin that, amongst different issues, had one proprietor and no accident historical past would retail for $25,750. The identical mannequin that had been in an accident, got here from a every day rental fleet and was in poor situation would go for considerably much less: $22,500.

One other option to get hold of used-car stock is to ask clients who’re in for service work if the dealership might purchase their automobile, Rossman says. Use the best strategy. “Concentrate on shopping for their automobile, not promoting one among yours. Assume retail acquisition, not gross sales. That’s basic.”

His ideas for enhancing such automobile acquisitions embody providing a free appraisal; displaying within the service division and its ready room a listing of automobiles the dealership wish to purchase; and spiffing service division workers with a finder’s payment.

“If you happen to can decide up seven to 10 automobiles per week that approach, it dramatically will increase your used-car stock,” Rossman says.

Separate from the AIADA webinar, Jonathan Banks, J.D. Energy’s vice president-valuation companies, provides his tackle the vibrancy of immediately’s pre-owned automobile market.

He says it “continues to be pink sizzling, and costs stay at report ranges. This isn’t going to alter within the foreseeable future.

“12 months up to now, wholesale costs have elevated an enormous 32% whereas used retail costs are 10% above the place they had been on the finish of 2020.”

Steve Finlay is a retired WardsAuto senior editor. He could be reached at [email protected].

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