New car sales in March fell slightly compared to the same month in 2016. There were the predictable “the sky is falling” reactions from some media outlets, but the National Automobile Dealers Association today had a fairly sanguine outlook for the industry. It forecast full-year sales and leases of 17.1 million units, a tad under last year’s 17.5 million.
Rising consumer incentives will overcome any impact on sales that interest rate increases later in the year may produce, said NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly.
Though interest rate rises may not hit sales hard, they will boost costs for dealers, including higher flooring costs and the need for more incentives to move the metal.
The buy sell market will see some differences from last year, as well, as buyers become more realistic about price. But, with sales still strong, the buy sell pace will remain robust. And some good news for mass market dealerships, especially some domestics – they are looking better than many luxury dealerships this year.
A long-term trend which will surely impact dealership buy sell is the movement of car purchases online. This week, we look how that will impact dealerships in the area of IT compliance. Hint: It will cost them more money. Dealerships need to get serious about IT safety in an age when so much of the deal is done online, often in the cloud.
Sticking with the compliance theme, this week we have a column from Compli looking at the recent Supreme Court ruling on a Consumer Financial Protection bureau case regarding disparate impact. Though the Court’s ruling would seem to be good news for dealers, a closer reading shows that Judge Kennedy’s ruling was narrowly written and dealers still need to take care, writes Compli.
As always, we also have Transaction News.