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This is the last full business week before Christmas, and for many businesses it won’t even be a full week with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day falling on the weekend. Besides preparing for the holidays and their own family traditions, car dealers are gearing up for that magical week between Christmas and New Year’s that oftentimes brings in some of their best sales of the year.
This has been an interesting year for the automotive world. Coming off of a year of recalls in 2010, dealers were prepared to hit 2011 strong, but unforeseen events like the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan hurt production and vehicle availability in ways no one could have predicted.
Joel Weinberger, owner of Continental Mazda, Audi, and Acura of Naperville dealerships, said buyers should expect dealers “to be very aggressive once customers hit the sales floor the week after Christmas.”
“With our brands, there were some supply problems earlier in the year because of the tsunami in Japan and also some flooding in Thailand that effected supplies of electronic components. Manufacturers still have sales targets they want to hit, and they are throwing everything they’ve got to make those goals.”
As with most years, it is expected that many people are waiting for the year end sales to make vehicle purchases. In an article from Forbes, however, while the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is usually a strong time for deals on closeout models, Jesse Toprak, Vice-President of Industry Trends for TrueCar.com, cautions consumers that dealer inventory may be lacking if they wait too long.
To counter this, dealers need to do their best to promote what models they do have in stock and carefully consider their competitive offers. 2011 year end sales need to be attacked even more aggressively than previous years to come out ahead.
In Ward’s “2011 Year in Review” for North America, Mark Fields, Ford’s president (The Americas), said:
“We are seeing signs of growth in the U.S. market. It’s moderate growth, ramping up more slowly than any of us would like or, in fact, expected earlier this year, but it is growth, and it leads us to believe that the U.S. economy remains in recovery mode.”
Good luck with your year end sales, and Happy Holidays!
Photo by: Chris Jupin