Scorecard provides monthly consumer sentiment.  -  IMAGE: CDK

Scorecard provides monthly consumer sentiment.

IMAGE: CDK

As consumers continue to buy cars and trucks at dealerships, they’re finding the process increasingly easier to navigate, according to an October Vehicle Ease of Purchase Scorecard survey by automotive retail software provider CDK Global.

The scorecard shows that 84% of those polled found the customer-buying journey to be easier – a 2% improvement over September results.

The smoother process can be attributed in part to replenished vehicle inventory, as 68% of consumers found their tried-and-true choices to buy in October, slightly besting September’s results of 67%. Visiting dealerships on site is proving fruitful for shoppers looking to secure their purchases efficiently. Survey data from the October Ease of Purchase Scorecard included:

  • Consumer-preferred in-stock vehicle availability jumped 20% in October, compared to 37% in September. Last month, 44% of customers found cars and trucks they were looking for at dealerships. October’s change shows a modest improvement in in-stock vehicle availability as fewer customers had to wait for in-transit or factory-order deliveries.
  • Time spent at dealerships is improving, with the biggest shift showing a 20% relative dip compared to September results of those who found the shopping and purchasing process took longer than expected.
  • Price negotiation and trade-in processes fluctuated, with a slight increase in polled consumers finding it easier to agree on a final price (59%), while securing a favorable trade-in value dropped slightly to 52%, versus 53% in September.

“Despite the below-normal level of vehicle inventory consumers are used to, our October data is showing that shoppers are still finding their top choices at auto retailer locations,” said David Thomas, CDK Global director of content marketing and automotive industry analyst. “This positive shift is an indicator that the customer purchase journey may continue to become easier in the months ahead.”  

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