By Brandon Weaver
The first day of summer is here. For auto dealers this means three things: warm weather, holiday sales and finally being able to take that much needed, much deserved summer vacation.
Pump the brakes on that idea this year. With newer models possibly arriving sooner than later, your vacation plans should probably take a back seat.
1. Consumer Demand & Hiring Are Up
Historically, summer shutdowns let U.S. auto makers cut back on their inventories and encourage worker vacations during July. Not so much nowadays. Working longer hours is one of the common things we hear from the auto industry. Adding floor space and some much needed equipment to accommodate industry demand is a likely solution,
Auto sales continue to increase, as evidenced by Detroit’s Big Three living up to their names, posting their best monthly sales in five years. Plus, you have the traditional 4th of July and Labor Day sales to move cars off the lot. Adding extra people can help lighten your load. All of this being said, with demand picking up just in time for summer, a vacation is probably not in the cards.
2. Financing is Easier for Consumers Today
“No industry has benefited more from the unfreezing of credit markets than new and used vehicles,” says Businessweek. What does this mean? An even bigger incentive for consumers to buy or lease. Case in point: Experian Automotive says auto leasing reached record highs since they began collecting data.
With more consumers spending on autos this year, they’re still not going to be carrying wads of cash or putting a down payment on a vehicle using plastic. Programs allow you to guarantee and process check payments faster than depositing them at the bank. In a way, using this is like a mini vacation because it eliminates the time and hassle of going to the bank.
3. Airline Prices Keep Going Up
Sure, you can travel locally but if you’re going anywhere of real distance, chances are it’s going to require a plane ride. Checked baggage, in-flight services and other fees apply.
With auto sales numbers rebounding to pre-recession levels and the travel industry not really incentivizing you to leave, is a vacation really worth it this summer? If so, take it sooner rather than later. Or, make it a shorter vacation you can drive to and from. In the end though, postponing that trip of yours looks like the smarter decision.