1/5/2018 5:00:00 AM | By GWC Warranty

5 Industry Trends To Watch In 2018

GWC Warranty Accelerate BlogIt’s a new year, which means a fresh start and new look at the automotive industry. We’ve read all the latest analysts’ reports and have a breakdown of where the industry is heading into what many believe is a promising year for the automotive industry.

Used Car Sales. Year-over-year statistics don’t tell the entire story when looking at December of 2017 – because December 2016 was an industry record – but looking at the year as a whole, the numbers look great. At year’s end, Edmunds estimate used car sales totaling 38.8 million, a number the entire industry can certainly live with.

Dealer Sentiment. Cox Automotive regularly releases its dealer sentiment index, which gauges how independent dealers are feeling about the current market. Independents scored 52 in the fourth quarter, which continues a trend of promising scores. Most encouraging is that fewer independents are now reporting “limited inventory” as a factor holding back their businesses.

Used Car Pricing. Year-over-year used car prices at the end of 2017 almost broke even with the previous year – a positive sign that economic, regulatory and environmental factors haven’t impacted the industry too much in either direction. In fact, about half of all used car segments saw gains at the end of the year, meaning that smart inventory selection will pay off in early 2018.

Late-Model Supply. Through November, J.D. Power Valuation Services reported a 4.4% year-over-year volume increase for late-model vehicles. Combine that with the fact that 22.9% of new vehicle sales were leases, and it shows an availability boom that can stick around through 2019.

CPO Sales. For the seventh straight year, Certified Pre-Owned sales set record marks. And while this figure only encompasses manufacturer CPO programs, that doesn’t mean independents can’t reap the rewards. Offering an after-market CPO program will help you level the playing field and cash in on the trust customers place in CPO vehicles.