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Jasen Rice

Jasen Rice Owner, Dealer Management

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Why You Want Odd Cars On Your Lot and How You Need To Market Them

How many dealers are running to the auctions to buy 2011 Mitsubishi Endeavor LS's or 2009 Kia Borrego EX's or even 2013 Kia Rio EX's or other cars like these? 
Matter of fact, how many customers are running to the internet to do searches for these particular cars?
Well I am going to tell you why you might want to be hunting some of these and others like them down. 
This is going to go against most stats and stocking strategies that are being promoted in the industry right now but hear me out. The cars I listed above have little demand on the internet when looking at Autotader search stats, matter of fact the 2011 Mitsubishi Endeavor scores a D grade (on an A to F grading system) for market "Demand" in vAuto's Provision scoring tool. It gets a D grade because its in the 24 percentile when compared to other vehicles in the Kansas City market. That means on Autotrader there are 76% more cars been searched for than a 2011 Mitsubishi Endeavor so not many people at all are running to the internet looking for this year, make, model. The 2009 Kia Borrego also scores a D grade for Demand in vAuto because of its 24 percentile ranking and the 2013 Kia Rio gets a C- because it is in the 32 percentile of searches being done on Autotrader. 
So why would I tell you that you might want to stock some cars like these when no one is searching for these year, make and models? Because there are a lot of segment and price shoppers in the market and these cars do very well for those types of shoppers. 
How many times have you talked to a customer that says they are interested a particular vehicle on your lot, but once talking to them they are really just looking for a nice $15000-$18000 SUV, or what have you? These cars are for those shoppers, the ones hitting the internet doing searches for their perfect $15000-$18000 SUV, or sedan or .....(enter price point, segment). So they may have never of thought to do a search for a 2011 Mitsubishi Endeavor LS (hence the low demand score) but once that vehicle shows up in their SUV search, all of a sudden that is an attractive vehicle and they click on it (getting you that most sought after thing...the VDP). This particular vehicle in the Kansas City market has an average retail price of $15900 with and average of 42000 miles, that is a lot of SUV for the money. The reason I know this car gets VDP's is because it is converting SRP's to VDP's at a 5.12% which is about twice the rate of the average car on Autotrader. So how does it get the SRP, if no one is looking for that year, make, model? Its because it is showing up in SUV searches, once it shows up, it is getting clicked. Now you can say, "just because it is getting clicked doesn't mean it will sell" but I would argue that fact. Because again, in vAuto I can see that it gets a Days Supply grade of a B because this 2011 Mitsubishi Endeavor LS has a 62 days supply (which is about or a little above average) and it also scores a B- grade in Volume because 8 of them have sold in the last 45 days.
Just so you know, the 2009 Kia Borrego EX has a A- interest grade at 4.36% a A- for Days Supply at 45 days and a B- for volume because 7 sold in the last 45 days and the Rio is about the same. 
The next thing you would want to do with these type of cars is to check out their reviews, an odd car with a bad review will kill your inventory (not to many used car managers considering reviews of cars when they stock..more on that in another article). So guess what, that 2011 Endeavor and the 2009 Borrego both score 4.7 stars out of 5 on edmunds.com, the 2013 Rio has a 8.3 out of 10 rating on USNews and is ranked #6 out of 41 in affordable small cars. Use this information when marketing these cars but also make sure you flat price these cars, which means price them at a flat number like $15000 instead of $14999 so you show up in more SUV price point searches. If you price this Endeavor at $14999 and someone does a search for a $15000-$18000 SUV, you will miss that search by $1 and will defeat the purpose of buying this type of car. You can get more on the flat pricing strategy on one of my other postings, click HERE to read.
Some more vehicles that I would consider as "odd" type cars for example would be:
-Suzuki XL7's
-Lincoln MKT's
-Mercury Mountaineers
-Kia Forte Koup
-Subaru Tribeca
-Scion xA 
-Lincoln Aviator (in one market I seen this vehicle in a 2005 AWD model, show a low demand but 4% VDP, 57 days supply and 53 sell in 45 days) again, its a total price point car.
-there are a bunch of others but here is a few

One last note, like I said at the beginning, not too many used car managers or buyers are running to the auction with these vehicles in mind and on their HOT list so that should make it a little easier to acquire these types of vehicles for a good price. Every buyer is at the lane looking for those cars with HIGH demand scores or the ones at the top of Autotrader and Cars.com "searched for" list, but I would want to also be stocking some of the cars no one is thinking of looking for but end up clicking on and buying because of segment and price point. Thats how you gain market share and get a head of the game!!!

*I am not telling you to go buy a ton of these cars and replace your hot products, but I am encouraging you to take a deeper look at these "odd" cars and carry a half of dozen or so depending on the size of your lot. But only do it, if you are going to market them the right way!

Donnette Mains
Adding an odd car in your store collection can increase your business because not every store keeps an odd car in their lot. So if you’re having something which isn’t available at other places obviously your business will increase. And there is a huge demand for odd cars so by keeping an odd car you’ll be in profit only. Even I have a 2009 Kia Borrego EX and it’s an odd car. So there are people like me out there and nowadays you can even get vehicle maintenance tips from my personal favorite site http://www.iautobodyparts.com/guide_and_tips.html.

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