Sales in March of new light vehicles surged to a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate of 17.4 million units. That’s a number that brought a smile to most dealers’ faces, I’ll wager. The average new vehicle transaction price was up, too, by two percent, helped by American’s appetite for SUVs.
There is a pothole in the road ahead, however – rising interest rates. That is already reflected in auto loan rates, which in March were the highest they have been since 2009, according to Edmunds.
Add to this economic and political uncertainty because of the brewing trade war and the future does have some dark clouds. But, that hasn’t necessarily hurt the buy sell market.
In this issue, regular contributor Ken Rosenfield looks at how the additional uncertainty of future changes in the dealership business model are impacting dealership values now.
I talked this week with a new acquaintance, Michael Szemansco of Synthesis Architects, whom I met at NADA. Dealers won’t be surprised that he sees standardization i.e. image programs as the biggest change he has seen in the dealership facility world.
Manufacturers are still pretty committed to their nice big stores, he says. Read more in this issue.
And, Transaction News.