Consumers should get used to ordering and waiting for new vehicles as it is likely to become the new norm, even once the current supply shortage is resolved.
Nowadays, it is hard to walk into a dealership and buy a brand new vehicle from the lot. Car manufacturers have restructured their practices, reducing inventories at dealerships and pushing customers to order cars and then wait for them to be produced and delivered.
According to Bond Brand Loyalty automotive product strategist John Bardwell, this is the future of car purchasing.
“Get used to it,” he told Auto News Canada. “This is not going to go away. This is how Apple and Tesla have become so profitable. They are selling maybe a few less vehicles, but they’re making full margin on every one.”
Bardwell added that the order-and-wait process is new for the automotive industry but is common in other sectors.
“Think about what people do [when they buy] condominiums, what they do for sofas [when they choose fabrics and then wait],” he said. “The ordering becomes an event. The thing you want to do is to keep the excitement high.”
President of Absolute Results Productions, a training and marketing company in the automotive space, Jeff Williams, says that automakers should have a six-month backlog of orders at all times, noting that every order ensures a future sale.
“If you don’t have a pipeline of orders, you are failing for tomorrow,” Williams said.
Moreover, dealerships will benefit from smaller inventories by no longer needing such large showrooms and by reducing carrying costs.