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According to ease of purchase research conducted by CDK Global, 85% of last month's car buyers thought the process was easy, the highest score since July and 3% higher than in January. Dave Thomas is an automotive industry analyst at CDK Global. On this episode of Inside automotive, Thomas and Jim Fitzpatrick talk about the study and how the car buying journey has become easier.
The number of customers who completed their purchases with ease in February was the highest since July. The steady recovery of original equipment manufacturing is attributed by Thomas. New vehicle supply increased despite the fact that inventory levels were still sub optimal. Customers have been able to find their preferred model quicker with more cars on the lot. The data shows that the number of customers who only needed to visit one storefront to find a compatible vehicle grew by 42% by the end of February.
Customers are spending less time at the dealership according to CDK. The average duration of store visits has declined due to retailer efforts to improve ease and efficiency In February, 34% of frustrated shoppers felt the process was too long.
The preferred purchase method last month went to retailers. Over half of all new vehicle sales in January were made for cars on factory lots or in transit, but only half of customers bought from dealers in February CDK began collecting ease of purchase data last summer and this number is the highest since then. Customers prefer to complete their purchases in-store rather than through store websites according to the numbers. Digital retail made up 3% of February's sales.
One of the most unpleasant parts of buying a car is the price negotiation. Some aspects are starting to change for the better. The majority of customers support completing negotiations online first. More than half of the people who completed price discussions in-store during February completed the process with ease. Retailers are taking measures to make these conversations less tense.
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