7 Ways to Maximize Profit Margins During High Used Car Demand

A great customer experience is everything.

Creating brand loyalty in today's computerized world requires excellence and speed at every step of the automotive customer lifecycle, from first contact to repurchasing. If your dealership can't keep pace, we can guide you through a digital transformation to streamline your operations.

We provide a comprehensive and tailored solutions suite that converts manual tasks and face-to-face interactions to the digital applications you need to create a fantastic customer journey.

Get Started Today

Because current demand for quality used cars is high, dealerships have a clear opportunity to increase profit margins while also growing—and constantly refreshing—used car inventory. Many of your customers are shopping new-to-them vehicles, so now’s the ideal time to send targeted communications their way, direct them to pre-owned models on your lot, and encourage them to trade in their current vehicle.

Make it all happen with these seven strategies to help your store increase profitability while closing more used car sales and capturing more satisfied customers.

How to Increase Profit While Used Car Demand Is High 

1. Select the Most Appropriate Vehicles for Your Market 

Not all vehicles sell equally in any given area, and successful dealers use market-driven data to decide which vehicles to add to their inventory. The factors they consider include which makes and models: 

  • Have a low supply vs. demand ratio 
  • Have performed well historically at that dealership 
  • Are most popular in the surrounding metro area 

2. Have a Proactive Online Presence

The internet has given your potential customers considerable power over used car sales because they can quickly and easily find the best deals by comparing your (and your competitors’) inventory online. This digital shift puts customers in a prime negotiating spot.

Rather than reacting to this position, your store should become more proactive as you navigate used car pricing and demand by understanding your buyers’ needs and wants. For example:

  • Inspect competitor websites daily for used car pricing trends and exclusive offers
  • Review competitor inventory for make and model shortages that your inventory might fill
  • Leverage these data points to choose which pre-owned vehicles to highlight on your website

3. Design a Clean, Customer-First Website 

In today’s digital world, many of your customers will visit your dealership online first, making a user-friendly, informative, and accurate website essential. This online showroom and service department should attract, rather than repel, your potential customers.

Top-performing dealership websites include three critical components, each addressing a particular issue:

  1. A well-stated value proposition that addresses customer pain points
  2. Customer testimonials and reviews that demonstrate you can solve customer problems
  3. A call-to-action that encourages customers to schedule an appointment or make a purchase

4. Gain Used Car Inventory from Current Customers 

When you buy cars at auction, you might pay near-retail rates for a vehicle that still requires costly repairs before introducing it on your lot. Instead, consider using equity mining to gather quality used vehicles from your current customers—bonus points if you are familiar with the vehicle through the initial sale and ongoing service.

Plus, you don’t need to battle your competitors for the business. You can help boost customer satisfaction in addition to their continued loyalty by presenting them with a guaranteed offer that features the most current (and best) trade-in values.

5. Keep the Used Cars Moving with an Experienced Manager 

Your dealership’s CPO program is an investment, and that includes staffing well. An experienced and motivated pre-owned vehicle manager can help your store move used car inventory by combining relevant statistics with expertise. Some of the critical areas for your manager to oversee include:

  • Inventory management
  • Accurate and fast evaluations
  • Profitable trade-in negotiations

6. Nurture Your Used Car Leads 

Although the pre-owned sales cycle is often shorter than that of a new vehicle, it is still essential to follow up on leads. With the right technology at hand, your staff can simplify examination of your CRM’s daily sales activities, such as:

  • Outbound calls, connecting calls, and call lengths
  • Emails and texts
  • Appointments

7. Reduce Used Vehicle Input Times 

Repairs, reconditioning, and storage charges all add to the overall cost of a vehicle. Keeping these costs low means a higher used car dealer profit margin, so getting inventory through repair and clean-up quickly is crucial. As you assess areas of improvement throughout the process, consider these points:

  • Identify steps that you could skip or shorten
  • Explore innovative tech that helps you complete tasks more efficiently
  • Determine whether expensive repairs will pay off

Make the Most of Today’s Used Car Demand

Although the used vehicle market continues to be competitive, there are opportunities to increase the profit margin by understanding demand and implementing the proper marketing and sales methods. With Affinitiv Trade-In Valet, you can drive used car sales, capture more trade-ins, and gain more lifelong customers. To find out more, contact us today for your live demo.

Return to All

Related Content