January retail sales are expected to rise by between one and one and a half percent according to various forecasts. So, 2018 will start out with at least a bit of growth. But sales growth is expected to slow going forward, which means 2018 may see sales decline on an annual basis.
Consumers are buying more expensive models, with higher profit margins, however, so dealerships will still be on solid ground. Used car sales, which also have healthy profit margins, are expected to be robust on the back of off-lease vehicles, another good sign for dealerships.
In this week’s issue, we profile a dealer who is a used car king – and has even branded his used car business as Used Car King. Todd Caputo’s used car dealerships are the backbone of his small group. He has gone that extra mile to make buying a pre-owned car a great experience, including building a facility that could easily be mistaken for a luxury new-car dealership.
When Scott Painter launched TrueCar, he incurred dealers’ wrath. After overhauling the TrueCar business model, the online company has won grudging acceptance from at least some dealers.
Painter stepped away from a leadership role at TrueCar in late 2015. Now, he’s back with a new online company, Fair. Seems Painter learned from the TrueCar experience – Fair works with dealers from the get-go. I sat down with Fair co-founder Georg Bauer to discuss how Fair works with dealers. Read about our conversation in this week’s issue.
And, of course, we have Transaction News.