Automotive Industry Q1 Recap: Supply Chain Issues Persist

Auto Industry Q1 Recap

Auto Industry Q1 Recap

In this installment of the fusionZONE blog, we’re covering the state of the automotive industry following Q1 of 2022.

What’s improved, and what’s stayed the same? Where are the areas of opportunity, and what’s the outlook for Q2 and beyond?

We’ll cover all of these questions and more, so stay with us as we recap Q1 and what to expect in the months ahead.  

The State of the Automotive Industry

 As we covered in our 2022 Automotive Industry Outlook, the auto industry is in a state of flux as suppliers and manufacturers continue to struggle with ongoing automotive supply chain issues.

In particular, the high cost of materials and components and low supply has forced many companies to raise prices on their vehicles. This has led to increased inflation throughout the automotive market, as consumers are increasingly unwilling to pay more for cars.

New vehicle sales in Q1 2022 came in at 3.3 million, according to Kelley Blue Book, down 15.7% year over year from 3.9 million in the first quarter of 2021.

However, Q1’s EV sales of 173,561 set a record for any quarter, representing an increase of 76% from Q1 2021.

Additionally, the industry is seeing some interesting used car market trends as consumers shift away from new cars in favor of cheaper alternatives. We’ll take a closer look at all of these issues in this article.

With the rise in vehicle prices, many consumers are turning to the used car market for cheaper alternatives. In fact, the used car market has seen a surge in popularity in recent months as buyers look to save money on their next purchase.

These used car trends are likely to continue as more and more people become aware of the benefits of buying used cars. Additionally, the increased availability of online resources has made it easier than ever to find quality used cars.

While it’s likely that automotive supply chain issues will continue at least in the short term, there are steps you can take to mitigate the effects on your business.

Opportunities: Overlooked Dealership Profit Centers

Despite the challenges faced in Q1 of 2022, there are some positive signs for the automotive industry.

One is that dealers are starting to focus on profit centers that have been overlooked in recent years. These include things like vehicle buybacks, service centers and parts departments.

By diversifying their revenue streams, dealers are becoming less reliant on new car sales and more resistant to market fluctuations.

Another positive sign is that automotive manufacturers are starting to focus more on electric vehicles. This is a good move for two reasons. First, it helps them meet stricter emissions standards that are being put in place worldwide. Second, electric vehicles are becoming more popular with consumers, so there’s a growing market for them when new vehicle supply improves.

While online car buying is still in its early stages, it’s growing at a rapid pace. More and more people are choosing to buy a car online. This is another area of opportunity for traditional car dealerships to improve and capture the attention of modern and next-generation car buyers.

Another area of opportunity for car dealerships is vehicle buybacks.

Dealers can buy back quality used cars or lease returns to add to their pre-owned inventory. Vehicle buybacks from lease returns or new or used car shoppers can help dealers replenish their inventory during this time of new vehicle scarcity on many lots.

Finally, service centers and parts departments are another potential source of revenue for car dealerships.

As motorists hold onto their vehicles for longer due to the higher prices of new and used cars, they’ll require routine maintenance and repairs. Dealerships that have a strong service center and parts department will be able to capitalize on this trend.

A well-run service center can generate repeat business and word-of-mouth marketing for the dealership. Dealerships that focus on their service center and parts department can create a competitive advantage over those that don’t.

See our 10 tips to increase service department profitability for ways to boost this area of your business!

Q2 Outlook

Despite these positive trends and areas of opportunity, the automotive industry is still facing some significant challenges going into Q2.

Supply chain issues continue to plague the industry, as parts shortages and production delays are becoming more common. Additionally, inflationary pressures are making it difficult for consumers to purchase new vehicles, as the cost of living continues to rise.

In the short term, these challenges are likely to persist, but the automotive industry is poised for a rebound in the long term.

The supply chain constraints will not resolve overnight, so expect more of the same heading into Q2 of 2022.

Some automotive industry experts don’t expect the automotive supply chains to return to some form of normalcy until sometime in 2023. But, of course, that all depends on things we cannot know or control, such as returns to overseas pandemic lockdowns and geopolitical events that could affect that outlook.

It is still too early to tell what the future holds for the automotive industry. However, dealerships will need to continue to be creative in order to adapt and thrive in this ever-changing landscape.

Digital Marketing Resources and Solutions for Q2 and Beyond

Are you looking for online marketing tools and resources to stay ahead of the competition in Q2 and beyond? The fusionZONE team has you covered, from SEO and Google Ads and social media, reputation management and lead conversion tools like our FastRing callback widget.

See our high-performing and competitively priced digital marketing packages for an all-in-one approach to enhancing your online marketing efforts.

You can reach out to the fusionZONE team if you’d like assistance creating a digital marketing playbook to help you thrive in Q2 and beyond!

Also, consider these budget-friendly digital marketing ideas to get you started on increasing leads and sales through the rest of 2022.

Do you run a construction equipment dealership? If so, it is vital for you to understand where the market is heading in 2022 and beyond. Fortunately, the fusionZONE team is here to provide you with an overview of some key industry trends. Let’s dive in!

Overall Equipment Market Growth

The worldwide construction equipment market shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. Analysts at Mordor Intelligence valued the industry at $161 billion in 2020. They expect it to reach $228 billion by 2026.

The increasing focus on infrastructure throughout the globe is the primary driver of this growth. However, the development of advanced automation in the manufacturing and construction processes will aid with the upward push.

Industrial Sector to Lead Growth

Analysts generally segment the construction equipment market into three categories. They are:

  1. Commercial
  2. Industrial
  3. Residential

Most observers expect the commercial and residential segments to enjoy slow but steady growth in the coming years. The industrial sector, on the other hand, is set to explode.

Experts believe foreign direct investments in international manufacturing plants and rising global industrialization will drive the progressive growth in the industrial sector.

Cranes Likely to be the Largest Segment

Analysts at Mordor Intelligence expect cranes to be the largest segment in the construction equipment market in 2022 and beyond. The demand will come from commercial and residential building developments across North America and massive infrastructure projects in Europe and Africa.

Observers believe the motor grader, loader and backhoe, and telescopic handler segments will also perform well in the medium-term.

Shift to Low-Emissions Equipment

Analysts expect just about every industry in the world to shift toward low-emissions vehicles and equipment in the coming years. The construction equipment market will follow this trend.

By 2030, most construction equipment manufacturers will have reduced or eliminated their traditional hydraulic and mechanical models. They will instead focus on producing electric and hybrid alternatives.

Smarter Heavy Equipment

The construction equipment market isn’t just becoming greener. It is also getting smarter. Manufacturers in the industry already produce vehicles that offer tons of high-tech features like:

  • Augmented reality screens
  • 3D grading control systems
  • Telematics, and
  • Remote control systems

Market analysts do not expect the high-tech movement to stop any time soon. Indeed, many think the growing demand for advanced construction equipment will incentivize manufacturers to produce even smarter tools in the coming years.

How an Experienced Equipment Marketing Company Can Help You Take Advantage of Industry Trends

Do you want to take advantage of these market trends? If so, all you need to do is hire a knowledgeable equipment marketing company to assist you with the following projects:

Build a High-Converting Equipment Dealer Website

The market is set to grow quickly in the next few years. If you want your business to expand along with it, you need to make it as easy as possible for interested customers to buy or rent your equipment.

Your marketing company can help you achieve this goal by building you a high-converting equipment dealer website with a real-time connection to your inventory.

When your new website is complete, customers will be able to buy or rent your equipment online with just a few clicks. They won’t need to call your office to check inventory or pricing.

Once clients experience the ease and convenience of doing business with your dealership, they’ll never go anywhere else!

Optimize Your New Website for Search

The demand for cranes and electric construction equipment is set to grow rapidly in the coming years. Many of the companies who need these tools will search for them online.

If you want your company to grow, it is vital that the people who conduct these searches find your new equipment dealer website. We can make this happen by optimizing your site for search using the following techniques:

  • Selecting keywords and posting relevant content
  • Ensuring the website works well on mobile devices
  • Adding title tags and meta descriptions to each page
  • Ensuring the site loads quickly and is easy to use

When done well, search engine optimization can drive thousands of new visitors to your website each month.

Create and Manage a Google Ads Campaign

If you want to ensure you take full advantage of the upcoming growth in the industry, your equipment marketing company can also help you create and manage a Google Ads campaign.

Your marketing team can target your PPC ads at trending segments, such as low-emissions vehicles and high-tech equipment. They can then pivot your campaigns in the future if market forces change.

A well-managed Google Ads campaign can generate results in as little as 48 hours.

fusionZONE: Your Trusted Equipment Marketing Company

Are you ready to expand your business with the help of an equipment marketing company? If so, please don’t hesitate to reach out to fusionZONE. We’ve been helping dealerships like yours drive sales and generate leads online for years!

Contact us to speak with one of our representatives. We look forward to hearing from you!

2022 Automotive Industry Outlook

The auto industry has experienced unprecedented uncertainty during the global pandemic and subsequent microchip shortage and supply chain issues. Unfortunately, it appears these supply challenges will continue well into 2022 and potentially beyond.

In this week’s edition of the fusionZONE blog, we’re focusing on the outlook for the automotive industry in 2022, including what carmakers and the auto sales industry may be facing over the coming months and year.

We’ll also cover some ways that dealerships can combat supply chain issues and outperform their competition in 2022!

A Look Back

If you look back to early 2021, things were looking up once again. The U.S. economy was surging, picking up steam as we looked to move past the pandemic.

Between low interest rates and stimulus checks, car shoppers were back and ready to buy. As a result, not only did new car and truck sales soar in early 2021, but pre-owned vehicles were becoming harder to find as more drivers jumped back into the market looking to buy.

Some automakers were anticipating a record sales year in 2021, and the industry as a whole forecasted to move 18 million-plus vehicles.

But that was before the microchip shortage and other automotive supply chain issues hit.

Now, the semiconductor shortage is expected to last into 2022. That means carmakers may have to wait another year or even longer to see a new sales record.

Ongoing Supply Chain Challenges

With the supply of new cars remaining constrained into 2022, the used car market will also continue to feel the effects.

Thanks to fewer options and record-high prices, used car buyers and dealerships will likely continue struggling to find ideal vehicles with favorable pricing.

In short, new and used car dealerships will need to continue thinking creatively to overcome inventory issues.

Innovation Helps

The car dealership inventory shortage has indeed forced dealers to think outside the box, and this type of thinking will continue to serve businesses well.

As we mentioned in our “Setting Yourself Up for Success in Q4” blog post, creating a plan to minimize the effects of inventory issues should be a top priority as we look to a new year.

It’s also critical to find better ways to understand your customer base. So dealers will want to consider the key takeaways from post-pandemic shopping patterns.

Want more insights into the car dealership environment for 2022? Then be sure to stay tuned to the fusionZONE blog for automotive industry updates!

This is a developing story. Tune back in for updates!

What is Google's MUM Search Technology

What is Google’s MUM, and How Will it Alter Search?

Google is developing a new artificial intelligence technology for search called Multitask Unified Model, or MUM for short. This innovative new tech from the search giant looks to revolutionize how users search for and find answers to complex questions that don’t have simple and direct answers.

But what exactly is MUM? And how does it work?

Like its other proprietary technologies, Google has kept mum on how its Multitask Unified Model works. Still, the company has released details about how this tech may help web users with more advanced search queries and questions.

Google says it developed MUM to help cut down on the number of searches a user will need to conduct to find a proper answer. So, instead of drilling down to find an answer by entering three or four consecutive searches, in the future, MUM may help you to find that answer with just one search.

MUM is built on the same system as Google’s BERT, released in 2019. MUM and BERT are Natural Language Processing (NLP) models that help Google understand language better to serve more relevant results. However, according to Google, MUM is 1000x more powerful than BERT!

What Else Do We Know About MUM?

Google classifies its Multitask Unified Model as AI technology. In this context, MUM is like a bigger, more powerful brain for the Google search engine.

What makes MUM so powerful? It’s Multilingual, Multitasking and Multimodal.

As its name implies, Google’s Multitask Unified Model is highly advanced at multitasking, which is why it could prove to be a game-changer in the world of search. It can understand and interpret multiple aspects of a question or search query, such as comparing two or more items and finding detailed answers.

At this time, it can understand 75 languages and accomplish many tasks at once, such as interpreting multiple inputs via text and images.

In the future, its multitasking capabilities will be expanded to audio and video as well, making MUM an all-in-one tool for understanding a multitude of complex inputs at once.

MUM’s multimodality means that it can absorb information from different sources and inputs. In other words, it can interpret how images and text relate to each other. For instance, this AI search technology could allow users to ask questions about photos or images and get detailed answers pulled from authoritative sources.

How Could MUM Affect SEO?

As with many Google products and updates, it’s too early to tell how its Multitask Unified Model will change the SEO landscape.

One possibility is that specific keywords will lose importance as more natural language and search queries take hold with the power of MUM.

If anything is for certain, it’s that digital marketers and businesses must continue to adapt their SEO strategy to Google’s search technologies, and MUM surely won’t be the last significant update.

Stay tuned to the fusionZONE blog for more industry insights and news. As always, feel free to reach out to our experts for assistance with optimizing your business’s digital presence.

fusionZONE CEO Ed Barton shares a story about the importance of safety inspections and the danger in not taking them seriously.

Two-Wheeler Comparison: Electric vs. Gas Motorcycles

Motorcyclists in the market for a new bike seemingly have more options than ever. Not only are new conventional, gas-powered motorcycle models being released to accommodate the lifestyle and tastes of every rider, but a new wave of electric motorcycles is arriving, too.

Both classic motorcycle manufacturers like Harley-Davidson and dedicated electric bike builders are joining the fray, seeking to attract a new generation of riders who want the latest technologies, zero emissions and a unique riding experience.

In this edition of the fusionZONE blog, we’re looking at electric motorcycles and how they compare to more traditional, gas-powered models. Perhaps this comparison review will help you narrow down your options if you’re on the hunt for a brand-new bike.

Key Differences Between Gas & Electric Bikes

While there are some definite advantages to gasoline and electric motorcycles, let’s first look at some key differences that may be considered pros or cons, depending on the rider.

The most glaring difference between these two forms of two-wheeled transportation is the powertrain and the different characteristics that come with each type. A gasoline-powered motorcycle provides plenty of feedback and emotion, from the engine’s rumble and changing exhaust note as you shift through the gears to the vibrations and heat that the machine generates.

In contrast, electric motorcycles are silent, vibration-free and don’t create the heat of gas-powered bikes. Some riders may enjoy the serenity of a silent ride, while for many bikers, the lack of engine noise of an electric motorcycle would be a deal-breaker.

When deciding between a gas and electric motorcycle, one has to make a choice: do they want an expensive yet quick refill or a cheap but slow recharge? Both powertrains have advantages and disadvantages in this regard, so it’s up to the consumer to determine which factors matter the most to them. We’ll delve deeper into this aspect as we look at the advantages of both types of modern motorcycles.

Advantages of Electric Motorcycles

Proponents of electric motorcycles like the Harley-Davidson Livewire and the Zero brand of bikes point to zero emissions, silence and simpler designs as reasons to make the switch to electric. It’s clear that electric motorcycles are here to stay, just like electric cars. But is this form of two-wheeled fun right for you?

Many modern riders are seeking a new riding experience, which electric bikes certainly provide. With zero emissions, zero noise and simpler operation, many riders who have made the switch likely won’t be going back — or at least not if they only have one motorcycle.

Regarding performance, electric motorcycles provide instant torque and power that a gas motorcycle can’t match. And fewer parts means far less maintenance. That’s certainly a win-win for some riders.

There is still the issue of range anxiety, however. If you’re seeking a touring bike or planning cross-country rides, then you’ll have to pick an electric motorcycle very carefully — or ride with others who have also made the switch to electric. Actor and avid motorcyclist Ewan McGregor recently rode Harley’s Livewire from Argentina to California, so long-distance riding an electric motorcycle is possible, albeit with plenty of planning.

Advantages of Gas Motorcycles

While electric motorcycles deliver instant torque from a standstill, don’t count out gas motorcycles when it comes to performance. After all, gas bikes have a decades-long headstart on electric bikes. Gas-powered motorcycles are still some of the fastest models around, reaching cruising speed at a brisk pace and topping out at higher speeds than electric models.

Many riders consider the noise and vibration of a motorcycle a quintessential aspect of the riding experience. While this may change over time, some bikers will always prefer this more raw form of riding that, until recently, has always been a part of the motorcycle experience.

Gas motorcycles still offer key advantages when it comes to cost and range. Gas bikes are not only significantly more affordable than your average electric motorcycle, but they provide a far greater riding range, too. While it’s true that filling up the gas tank can add up, the lower initial cost of the bike, greater range and quick fill-ups are enough to keep many riders on a gas motorcycle for the foreseeable future.

Now that you’ve learned more about the pros and cons of electric and gas motorcycles, which would you choose? Stay tuned for more articles like this from the fusionZONE team!

Join the Fight For The Cure This October

How can you join the fight for a cure this October? There are many ways to contribute to the ongoing battle with breast cancer, which affects millions of Americans every year.

We’ve compiled a list of ways you can join the cause and offer your support. Here, we’ll cover some of the top-rated breast cancer charities as vetted by charity watchdogs, Charity Watch and Charity Navigator. We’ll also tell you about ways you can get involved beyond donations.

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and National Breast Cancer Foundation are two highly-rated charities supporting the fight through promising research, education, support and early detection.

Breast Cancer Research Foundation

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) is on a mission to cure and prevent breast cancer by advancing the world’s most promising research. BCRF is currently the highest-rated breast cancer organization in the U.S. It’s also the world’s largest private funder of metastatic breast cancer research!

Supporting this non-profit organization’s promising work is one of the best ways to contribute to the research required to find a cure. You can make a difference by donating to or fundraising for BCRF. Check out BCRF’s website for more details on this highly regarded organization and its research efforts.

National Breast Cancer Foundation

If you’re looking to help women who are battling breast cancer now, consider supporting the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF). NBCF is committed to supporting women now by providing help and inspiring hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, support services and education.

Donations are always appreciated, but there are many great ways to get involved with NBCF. Individuals can also start a fundraiser, become a community ambassador, share their story or shop to support the cause. Organizations and businesses, big and small, can also partner with NBCF to make a difference in the lives of those currently affected by breast cancer.

Virtual Ways to Support the Cause

While Breast Cancer Awareness Month may look a bit different this year due to the ongoing coronavirus restrictions in place, there are still ways you can support the cause during October 2020.

The popular Susan G. Komen race and walk events have gone virtual this year. Local Komen branches throughout the country this year are holding online events, including the Virtual Race for the Cure and Virtual MORE THAN PINK Walk. Here, supporters can come together to share stories, support one another, and raise funds to help save lives.

Other Ways to Get Involved This October

We’ve touched on a few organizations and events that you can support this Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but wherever you are in the country, there are many more options right in your local community.

Many businesses, including car dealerships, join the fight against breast cancer every October with special events initiatives. Are you part of a business or organization that supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Then share the news with your community and customers to make the biggest difference possible this October!

If you’re reading this, you have an email address. And if you have email, you’ve undoubtedly received more messages from every company you have ever purchased an item from about their plans to address COVID-19.

Top automotive manufacturers from around the globe have also announced various offers struggling customers and strategic initiatives give back to the community. We’re going to save you the trouble of digging into each one yourself!

Below is a synopsis of what a few automotive manufacturer responses to the virus have been. Hopefully, the virus is on its way out, but as more information becomes available, we’ll be sure to have future blog posts detailing what you need to know.

 

Toyota

Toyota has suspended operations at all automobile factories in North America until at least May 1st. For service, Toyota has been following state guidelines for essential business and have made no announcements as to shutting their service centers down nationwide.

For owners of Toyota products, they have created several specials to help those in need. Some examples are the Payment Relief program, 90-day Payment Deferral, and Lease-End support. This directly helps those who have been let go from their position or furloughed.

For new and Certified Used sales, Toyota is offering a 90-day deferment pricing plan.  This plan also includes ToyotaCare, which is the no-cost maintenance plan that lasts for 2 years or 25,000 miles.

They have made a considerable donation to the United Way, a non-profit that provides food, water, and other essential items.

You can read more about Toyota’s official plan here.

 

Honda

Honda has also announced that they will be announcing a deferred payment or payment extension program. For most customers, all you need to do is contact Honda Financial Services to take advantage.

All Honda service stations are still open, but Honda directs its consumer base to check with state and local government’s declarations of essential needs.

While COVID-19 has dominated the news cycles, Honda still has their Honda Dream Garage Spring event, which includes offers for lease, financing, and other special programs. Specifically, to help during COVID-19, Honda is offering a 90-day deferred payment program and $500 new-vehicle credit to first responders and healthcare workers.

Shop Simple is Honda’s online purchasing option that is only available in Portland, OR and Nashville, TN. It currently is not available for the rest of the country, but Honda has made a commitment to an expanded roll-out as soon as possible.

And finally, Honda is also contributing $1 million to food banks and meal programs, donating personal protective equipment and creating protective face shields via 3-D printers.

If you would like to read more about Honda’s Coronavirus efforts, check out this link.

 

Kia 

Kia has suspended all service technician training, expanded their vehicle sanitization process, and are extending sanitation requirements to include any vehicle brought in for service.

For financing, Kia offers a 120-day payment deferment on 0% APR contracts with an under-75-month commitment.

Current customers also have the option of deferment as well. Kia owners can request a 30-day payment extension up to three times.

Customers who were under the Kia Promise warranty coverage program were granted an extension that lasts until June 30th, 2020.

For their workers around the country, Kia has delivered 15,000 face shields to their manufacturing plants. They have used their West Point, GA factory to assemble medical grade masks for healthcare workers in the US. Kia’s contributions also included a $1 million donation to several non-profit partners to combat homelessness, children, and families.

Their press release on the manner can be found here with several other helpful links on the page.

 

Nissan 

For qualified shoppers, Nissan has rolled out their payment plans to combat stagnant wages. They are offering a 3-month deferred payment plan with up to 2 months of payment relief for 11 of their 2020 models.

Current owners can use a similar program for payment extensions for purchases and leases. This program is currently flexible as it is dependent on your current situation.

Nissan is complying with local and state ordinances which includes their operations and corporate teams working remotely since March 16th. This stay-at-home mandate includes a total shutdown of US manufacturing facilities until mid-May.

Just like many of the other brands, Nissan is committed to using their vast manufacturing infrastructure to produce medical protective masks to help those on the front lines.

More information regarding Nissan’s COVID-19 response can be read here.

 

Acura

Acura offers several financial assistance options for those in need. They are offering a 90-day deferment plan on select new vehicles if financed by Acura Financial Services.

First responders and healthcare professionals receive $750 toward Cap Cost Reduction or Down Payment Assistance on any 2020 or newer Acura vehicle.

For customers looking to purchase, $500 bonus cash offers exist toward the lease or purchase of a 2020 Acura. Finally, there are select certified pre-owned specials for the TLX and RDX models, making Acura one of the few OEMs to extend their offers to pre-owned.

Acura is imploring all of their customers to make use of home delivery and pickup options for service.

More information on Acura’s COVID-19 response can be found on this page.

 

Hyundai

Hyundai is one of the few providers who are pushing an online purchasing tool through their Click To Buy program. This allows customers to run through the entire shopping experience online without the need of entering the store. Dealers must opt into this program.

For current customers, Hyundai is offering payment deferment plans for those who lost their jobs due to COVID-19. Those who need assistance are being directed to use Hyundai Motor Financing instead.

They have also expanded their warranty program. If your current warranty expires between March and June of 2020, it will automatically extend until June 30th, 2020.

Hyundai is one of the few OEMs that have also mentioned what they are doing to help the dealerships themselves. They created assistance programs aimed to keep locally owned stores open without laying off employees. Specialized sanitation equipment is being delivered to stores. Interestingly, Hyundai also has a deferred floorplan interest program to accommodate dealers who finance their inventory with Hyundai Motor Finance.

For Hyundai, the standout example of their commitment to giving back to their community is their $4 million donation to Hope on Wheels. This charity focuses on providing testing coverage for children’s hospitals around the US. To help medical professionals, they have expanded their existing offers for First Responders to include hospital employees and other healthcare workers.

All of this information and more can be found here for Hyundai.

 

We hope that you have found this summary guide useful! Please continue to stay safe and follow CDC and local recommendations for COVID-19. Don’t forget to check back often for more updates for all things digital and automotive.

In a quick review of dealership’s websites, I find that many are almost entirely sales focused and tend to neglect the one department that brings the most significant percentage of profit… service. Go ahead. Take a look at a few dealership websites. Service tends to be the red-headed stepchild; often neglected and forgotten. Yet it accounts for 50% or more of a dealership’s revenue.

 

In fact, just 10%, or even less of most dealer websites are dedicated to service, according to an article in Automotive News. Sounds like a bit of an imbalance, doesn’t it?

 

One dealer decided to change that. Feldman Automotive Group increased service-related content on almost all of its websites and, since late 2018, has seen visitor traffic increase by 60%. Perhaps more importantly, customer pay revenue increased by 32% in the first 3 months of 2019!

 

Service-related content is frequently searched for by consumers, yet many dealerships neglect to provide any information at all about this section of their business. In many cases, service coupons and specials are either outdated or non-existent. Keep in mind that any consumers who look at your dealership’s website for service information – and then find none – will simply continue to search and, in many cases, will find that information provided by an independent repair facility such as Jiffy Lube. And they are aggressive, transparent, and current in their pricing and services – which consumers seem to like.

 

In this highly competitive market, it makes sense to produce more service-related content for your website. Be sure to keep your service coupons current, be transparent, and provide information and pricing for your most popular service packages and what they include. Consider having a service director shoot a quick video about why customers should service at your dealership – what the benefits are of getting their vehicle serviced at a franchise dealer versus an independent, for example.

 

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a customer come in for routine maintenance and not just warranty service? If you fail to provide the reasons why a customer should choose you over an independent, the consumer may well choose price and convenience, even if your dealership is competitive.

 

Most dealerships share the reasons why a consumer should buy a car from them. That’s a no-brainer. But too few share why consumers should service their car there as well. In my opinion, the ultimate outcome of neglecting service content and information on your website is just one thing – lost revenue.

 

Hey, it has been proven to work. If Feldman can increase customer pay by 32%; surely it’s worth putting at least a little time and effort into creating that service content. Think about creating blogs (both written and video) with topics such as how to pair your iPhone to the in-vehicle entertainment system, as well as specific services you offer and why they are essential. It is also great to highlight your service personnel, their achievements and training, along with the same message of quality, customer service, professionalism, and convenience that you probably already market in your sales messages.

 

Now, while adding service content to your website is great, taking it one step further is even better. Personally, I recommend specialized service websites as they are a great way to bring more customers into your automotive service and maintenance facility. These sites should be optimized with unique content about all things vehicle maintenance, repair, and service. Let your potential and existing customers know that they can count on you to not only sell them a great vehicle but to keep it in excellent condition. If you drive traffic to your service website, it will also drive more traffic to your main website, meaning you’ll have more people viewing your inventory, so it’s a win-win!

If you up your digital footprint as far as vehicle service is concerned, you should see an increase in service revenue and customer pay ROs. These customers can quickly become loyal brand advocates who you can win over as lifetime customers and also capture future sales from referrals.

 

Make your service department easy to find by providing the type of content consumers are looking for. Become the resource they turn to for information and your efforts could soon result in precisely what your business wants… more profit and more customers.