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pulled from a blog by my coworker, Brandon Weaver
The winter holidays are fast approaching. For auto dealers this means three things: chilly weather, holiday sales and finally being able to take that much needed, much deserved vacation. Pump the brakes on that idea this year.
1. Consumer Demand & Hiring Are Up
Historically, holiday shutdowns let U.S. auto makers cut back on their inventories and encourage worker vacations. Not so much nowadays, as the AP reports "factories are operating at about 95 percent of capacity, and many are already running three shifts." Working longer hours is one of the common things we hear from the auto industry. Adding floor space and some much needed equipment to accommodate industry demand is a likely solution.
Auto sales continue to increase, as evidenced by Detroit's Big Three living up to their names, posting their best monthly sales in five years. Plus, you have the traditional Veterans' Day and Thanksgiving sales to move cars off the lot. Adding extra people can help lighten your load. All of this being said, with demand picking up just in time for cars under the Christmas trees, a vacation is probably not in the cards.
2. Financing is Easier for Consumers Today
"No industry has benefited more from the unfreezing of credit markets than new and used vehicles," says Businessweek. What does this mean? An even bigger incentive for consumers to buy or lease. Case in point: Experian Automotive says auto leasing reached record highs since they began collecting data.
With more consumers spending on autos this year, they're still not going to be carrying wads of cash or putting a down payment on a vehicle using plastic. A program such as C.A.R.S. allows you to guarantee and process check payments faster than depositing them at the bank. In a way, using this is like a mini vacation because it eliminates the time and hassle of going to the bank.
3. Airline Prices Keep Going Up
Sure, you can travel locally but if you're going anywhere of real distance, chances are it's going to require a plane ride. Plus, we're not only referring to ticket costs. Checked baggage, in-flight services and other fees apply. Recent airline mergers are not helping either because that only means fewer routes and seats. Add in family members and the costs grow exponentially.
With auto sales numbers rebounding to pre-recession levels and the travel industry not really incentivizing you to leave, is a vacation really worth it this winter? If so, we suggest you take it sooner rather than later. Or, make it a shorter vacation you can drive to and from. In the end though, postponing that trip of yours looks like the smarter decision. What else is a smart decision? Downloading a free eBook on scripts that combat those nasty car sales person stereotypes. Get 9 practiceable ways to beat a bad rep! http://bit.ly/1gK8Ywg