There are roughly 60 million vehicles sold each year, 17 million new and 43 million used. Used cars generate a greater average profit per copy than new cars, the term copy meaning unit sold. However, the U.S. is preoccupied with new car sales figures, due to the mass media. I understand the strong emphasis on these figures, due to the economics surrounding manufacturer production output. But it appears if manufacturers are solely concerned with the new car market. However, the used car market arguably has a greater impact on the overall auto industry.
There are more than 34.8 million used car retail transactions performed each year. But who really cares? Do auto dealerships care? Do auto manufacturers care? Yes! However, they have made an oversight or an assumption regarding their used car consumers. Remember, actions speak louder than words. They conduct customer service satisfaction surveys on their 17 million new car purchasers, but ignore the bulk of their auto retail consumers, used car purchasers.
Franchise dealerships bend over backwards to receive a good CSI score, Customer Satisfaction Index. It is great that the industry has tried to make dealerships accountable. However, the industry currently can not gauge the temperature of the used car consumers satisfaction level. What about the accountability for the treatment of the these consumers? Better, yet what about the accountability for all the independent dealerships? Who is looking out for the 34.8 million forgotten consumers?
I consider the used car consumer, the backbone upon which the auto industry stands. Car auctions, warranty companies, service and repair centers, insurance companies and banks would be negatively affected without the used car market. Franchise auto dealerships receive 58% of their profit from service, parts and repairs. There are nearly 238 million vehicles in operation in the United States with the median age being 6 -9 years. What affect do you think this has on the independent auto service and repair industry? I would think significant.
I feel this big oversight has cause a furry depiction of the auto industry’s customer satisfaction results. You can not complete a puzzle without all the pieces. And in this case a large number of pieces. The auto industry and the media must start considering the forgotten auto consumers. Our industry’s survival depends upon it.
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