According to the Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index from third quarter of 2019, independent dealerships are less positive on current market conditions and a myriad of other factors than franchised car dealers.

Franchised Dealers More Optimistic Than Independent Dealers

How to Improve Your Car Dealership’s Performance in Today’s Automotive MarketCox Automotive surveys dealers around the country to measure where they stand on market conditions, current new and used car sales, expectations for the future, and more.

In Q3 2019, the survey found that franchised dealerships are more optimistic on most factors compared to independent dealers, but the overall sentiment on the current market is viewed as negative.

The Q3 2019 Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index for the current market checked in at 48. Any score below 50 is considered negative and indicates that more dealers view conditions as weak rather than strong. Last quarter, the number for this category was 49, so it’s not as if sentiment has suddenly decreased significantly.

However, the type of dealership you operate might be influencing how you feel. The survey found that franchised auto dealers rate the current market as strong with a rating of 56, compared to a score of 46 from independents. In fact, franchised dealerships index rating actually increased two points over Q2 2019.

New and Used Car Sales

Franchised dealers were also asked to describe current new vehicle sales conditions, which they rated at 55. While that indicates a favorable market, it pales in comparison to how they view used car sales.

The used vehicle sales environment scored a 73 with franchised dealerships, which was the highest ranking for any of the 16 survey questions. However, independent dealers were once again less optimistic – this time much more so.

Independent dealerships rated the current used car sales market at 49, which brought overall sentiment down to 55. Reasons for the pessimistic view cited by respondents included an economy thought to be weakening, increased customer caution when it comes to buying, consumers’ lack of interest in buying, and a lack of inventory.

Considering the record-breaking volume of off-lease vehicles over the past couple of years, it’s surprising to see inventory levels cited as a concern. However, the sentiment on inventory checked in at 54 for franchised and 44 for independent dealers.

Improve Your Market Outlook with Our Help

The Q3 2019 Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index also asked dealerships to rate customer traffic to their stores. Scores stayed in the negative territory across the board, with sentiment at 47 for franchised dealers, 37 for independent dealers, and 40 overall.

Auto Credit Express wants to help turn that perception on its head at your store. With our massive network of automotive websites, we can drive new car leads, used car leads, and subprime leads to your dealership.

We are teamed up with CarsDirect Connect to offer new and used vehicle leads to dealers all across the country. Our reach is extensive, with over 130 automotive websites under the umbrella of our parent company Internet Brands.

We deliver comprehensive leads, with over 30 pieces of information, and down-funnel car buyers to your store, as well as work to increase traffic to your website with our easy-to-navigate listings.

At the same time, Auto Credit Express has been helping dealerships with their special finance operations for over 20 years. Our subprime lead fulfillment programs can help franchised dealers’ used car departments and independent dealerships alike. Hundreds of thousands of motivated consumers visit our websites each month, and your store can target its ideal customer type with our in-house data filters.

Improve the sentiment at your store with our award-winning leads. Get in touch with us to learn more by calling us at 888-535-2277 or filling out our contact form online.