Navigating the New Normal: Key Insights for Car Dealerships from Edmunds’ Used Vehicle Market Report

Dear Industry Leaders, We’ve entered an exciting phase in the automotive industry, especially in the used car sector. The latest Edmunds Used Vehicle Report, as of November 2023, reveals a promising shift towards stability in the market. This transition is crucial for shaping dealership strategies in the coming months. Let’s dive into what these developments mean for your business.

Market Overview: The used car market, after facing unpredictable trends due to the pandemic, is now showing signs of returning to a more traditional state. According to Ivan Drury, Edmunds’ Director of Insights, this stability is a positive development, allowing for more predictable pricing strategies and reducing the risk associated with inventory valuation fluctuations.

Used Car Market Trends for Dealerships
Photo by Torsten Dettlaff on

Key Findings for Dealerships:

  1. Growing Price Gap Benefits Dealerships: The widening price difference between new and nearly new vehicles presents an opportunity for dealerships to attract customers seeking value. With used cars (3 years old or newer) priced significantly lower than new models, dealerships can capitalize on this trend to increase sales.
  2. EV Market Dynamics: The report highlights a substantial decrease in used EV prices, influenced by declining demand for new electric models. This trend opens up avenues for dealerships to expand their used EV inventory, catering to cost-conscious consumers.
  3. Vehicle Depreciation Trends: Understanding which models retain their value can guide inventory decisions. While EVs like the Tesla Model Y and Ford Mustang Mach-E are experiencing faster depreciation, models such as the Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Camaro maintain their value better due to limited supply.
  4. Older Vehicles Gaining Popularity: The shift towards older, higher-mileage used vehicles suggests a market opportunity. By diversifying inventory to include these vehicles, dealerships can meet the growing demand across various price points.

Strategic Recommendations:

  • Targeting Diverse Consumer Needs: Cater to both traditional and first-time used car buyers by offering a range of models from different years within the same generation.
  • Leveraging Seasonal Opportunities: Use new-car discounts and holiday season trends as indicators for adjusting used car pricing and promotions.
  • Focusing on the Used EV Segment: With used EVs becoming more affordable, consider enhancing your EV offerings, appealing to environmentally conscious and budget-aware customers.

Conclusion: The current trends indicate a more predictable and stable used car market, a favorable change from the recent volatility. This stability is key for dealerships to plan effectively, manage inventory, and cater to evolving consumer preferences. By adapting to these changes, your dealership can optimize operations and maximize profitability in this new landscape.

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