I shot an arrow up into the air, and it came down…yup, right where I said it would. This blog has stayed the course throughout the 1st Quarter saying March would be big and today’s headline from MSNBC tells the story: “Auto Sales on Target for Best Quarter since 2008”. Many analysts as well as manufacturers saw this push coming, but for a while I was like the Lone Ranger forecasting March as ‘one of the best retail sales months since the start of the Great Recession’.
For many of the automotive dealerships we work with on a day-to-day basis, sales came out of the gate big, hit kind of a lull around mid-month with spring break, but came back with a vengeance the last 7 days of the month. Increased sales coupled with service trends continuing to rise as many Americans choose to keep their cars longer and perform higher priced maintenance/higher mileage services to keep their vehicles on the road make March appear a win-win for sales and service.
As month-end numbers continue to come in, I dare say the trend here at the close of the first quarter is more shoppers are ripping up the sticker on new (and certified used) vehicles. Many of STRONG LLCs dealers are reporting the best sales volume month in quite some time; and dealership profitability by all accounts should far exceed the monthly average over the last 12 months. As we are now entering into the second quarter – one of the best quarters for historical retail car sales – it is time to get prepared and establish a volume mindset for new and used vehicle sales. I will shoot another arrow into the air, and come June my confidence is high that even better numbers will be reached by the dealers who ‘aim high’ right now.