Reliability is a factor that's often looked upon as a key market attribute, and one of the top features buyers look for when they're shopping for a car. So, how can your car dealership sell reliability? Let's take a look.

Finding a Dependable Vehicle Is Important to Consumers

Selling the Reliability Consumers Are Searching ForHaving a reliable vehicle is important, especially when it comes to buyers with poor credit. Since cars are one of those big-ticket items that people typically can’t afford to shop for too often, it's important to get a reliable one that lasts.

The shoppers that list reliability as their No. 1 priority are often subprime borrowers. These consumers are also some of the most loyal, and when your store is able to get them into the vehicle they're looking for, they remember. This means they'll come to you first when it's time to buy again.

If you're not catering to a subprime market, it might be time to start. This is especially true if you have a used car department and typically stock your lot with off-lease market-ready vehicles. In many cases, these off-lease models are just the ticket for prospects with less than perfect credit – more so if they're proven to be dependable cars.

Highlighting Vehicle Dependability

Many prospects turn to consumer reviews to see how reliable a vehicle is for people in similar situations to theirs. But, there's another way to find out which cars might be a reliable choice for you to promote to these consumers – J.D. Power's U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 31 years, you know that J.D. Power publishes a yearly survey of original owners of three-year-old cars, measuring the number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) during the previous 12 months of ownership.

According to Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive for J.D. Power, the latest survey shows that overall vehicle dependability is on the rise. "There's no question that three-year-old vehicles today are better built and more dependable than same-age vehicles were in previous years," he said.

If you missed it, some of the key takeaways from the 2020 Vehicle Dependability Study show:

  • Dependability is improving, though slowly. The 2020 study showed an average of 134 PP100, up just two points from last year's 136 PP100. The growth in dependability seems to be slowing, as the 2019 study showed a six-point improvement from 2018.
  • Cars are still more dependable than SUVs and crossovers. The difference between the two groups is apparent, but it's shrinking. This year, the average crossover/SUV owner experienced an average of 134 PP100, while car owners only experienced 127 PP100.
  • The biggest problem for consumers is in-vehicle technology. However, this category showed the biggest improvement in this year's study, dropping 2.3 PP100. According to Sargant, owners tend to complain about entertainment/audio/navigation/communication systems early on, and are still complaining about them after three years of ownership.
  • Overall, J.D. Power ranked the Lexus ES as the most dependable model. The luxury brand grabbed one of Toyota's six segment awards, while Chevrolet nabbed five spots. Also making an appearance for the first time, the Nissan LEAF won the compact car segment, making it the first all-electric vehicle to win a segment award.

What Does it Mean to Sell Reliable Vehicles?

What this study highlights is what most people search for in a car: something that's proven to have the least problems and be reliable on a day-to-day basis. But what does it all mean to you?

As a dealer, using these studies can be a big help when it comes to knowing the kind of vehicles your prospects are shopping for. When it comes to connecting prospects to the reliable cars you're selling, you can turn to Auto Credit Express for help.

Through our partnership with CarsDirect Connect, you can promote the vehicles in your inventory consumers are seeking. But that's just the beginning when it comes to what we can do for your store.

Here at ACE, we can help you bring in more prospects through our award-winning lead generation services, and our top-notch automotive BDC call center can help make sure those prospects are coming through your doors ready to buy.

To see what we can do to help your dealership, give us a call at 888-535-2277 or fill out our online contact form and someone will get in touch with you.