March 13, 2006
Automobile dealers are the bridge between automobile manufacturers and consumers. Car dealers are primarily engaged in retailing new cars, sport utility vehicles, passenger cars and cargo vans. New car dealers employ 9 out of 10 workers in the automobile industry. Along with vehicle sales, car dealers provide and perform other activities such as repair services, selling used cars and selling replacement parts and accessories. Large dealers are a one-stop shop for customers who wish to buy, finance, and service their vehicle. Used car dealers specialize in used vehicle sales and account for 1 out of 10 jobs in the industry.
Sales of new cars, trucks, and vans tend to depend upon changing consumer tastes and the price of fuel. The popularity of the manufacturer’s vehicle model and the intensity of competition with other dealers play a vital role in the sale of a car. Consumers are also highly sensitive to the cost of financing. Automotive dealers are more likely to offer generous incentives, rebates, and financing deals during sluggish periods to maintain high sales volumes and to reduce stocks.
According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, new vehicle sales account for more than half of the total sales proceeds at contracted new car and new truck dealers. These sales generate additional revenue in other departments of the dealerships. By putting new vehicles on the road, dealers count on after-market additions, repairs, and service for added revenue.
Leasing a car or truck is one financing option for consumers. Leasing services have grown in recent years to accommodate changing consumer-purchasing behavior. As vehicles have become more expensive, growing numbers of consumers are unable or reluctant to make a long-term investment in a new car or truck purchase. Car dealers are a key resource for manufacturers who use them to establish brands and motivate customers to purchase their automobiles.
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