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With gas prices well above their average this time last year, we can’t expect the summer to bring any relief at the pump. Drivers are changing their habits to cope – driving less often, carpooling, walking, or even buying more fuel efficient vehicles. But do you have the right inventory for this response?
As a car dealership, are you prepared for this shift in demand to more fuel efficient vehicles? Did you buy these higher MPG models three months ago to have in your inventory for today? It is difficult to predict gas prices, so your fleet of fuel-efficient or hybrid vehicles may be lower than public demand. If this is the case, do you then have enough pre-owned high MPG vehicles instead?
Another solution to cope with the low stock of high MPG vehicles is to offer gas incentives. All dealerships have the same rebates to offer, but not all are offering a gas incentive. If you don’t have the 40 MPG model to offer, offer a gas promotion instead. With the purchase of a new vehicle, you could give a $500 gas card. Such automotive marketing techniques can offset the slight difference in MPGs if you are lacking inventory in more fuel efficient vehicles.
Lastly, are your sales people trained to talk about the benefits of purchasing a more fuel-efficient vehicle? With gas prices potentially verging on $5 a gallon, a car with higher MPG could pay for itself when considering the gas savings it will produce. The true cost of driving includes more than just the monthly payment on a car – it includes the cost for service, oil changes, new tires, gas, and all the other miscellaneous work that goes into a car‘s upkeep. In the end, the fuel-efficient hybrid could be the cheaper option when we look at the true cost of driving