Helping Dealerships in a New Industry Climate

The automotive industry is experiencing a decline in overall sales for the first time in a long time. Two of the factors contributing to this decline is the increase in auto finance rates and a higher number of consumers being underwater on their current auto loan. The previous several years gave us some of the most finance-friendly terms and interest rates. With 0% financing and terms of up to 6 years on new vehicles becoming the norm, buyers became accustomed to receiving low monthly payments. Add to that the tightening of bank and credit union financing terms for sub-prime borrowers, and you begin to stir up a whole new brew of challenges for dealerships nationwide.

Reaching Well-Qualified Buyers

One challenge American Solutions for Business has identified is the increasing difficulty of reaching financially-qualified buyers at the right time in their buying process. With new financing metrics to consider, it can be difficult to identify when the best time to reach out to a financed or leased consumer may be. ASB offers dealerships front-end direct mail analytics that can help you pinpoint these buyers and contact them at the right time with the right message. Front-end analytics such as details about the current vehicle (potential trade), remaining loan balance/term and interest rate can all be helpful for pre-qualifying buyers. With American’s assistance, you can reach out to prime buyers with a carefully targeted message that speaks to their position in the buying process. These targeted direct mail campaigns have a significantly higher ROI than traditional campaigns.

Increasing Vehicle Gross

With monthly payment amounts increasing due to higher interest rates, lower credit scores and loan carry-over, working ancillary F&I products into a customer’s budget can be a challenging prospect at a time when the sale of these products can be the difference between profit and loss. American Solutions for Business can help dealerships with a number of products in the F&I space, including an Appearance Protection Warranty program, which bears no up-front cost to the dealership and is priced at a significantly lower cost than competitors in the market. This Appearance Protection Warranty program also boasts one of the highest average sales penetration rates in the industry and is a non-refundable, no chargeback product, giving dealerships peace of mind when selling the product. We also offer dealerships lower-cost, high-perceived value F&I products such as Identity Theft Protection and Complimentary Maintenance programs. These programs not only help the dealerships generate additional revenue, but also assist in retaining customers long term, bringing additional revenue to the Service and Parts Departments.

Retaining Your Customers

In a time when brand loyalty is low, dealerships have a great opportunity to drive loyalty towards their location Service Department. ASB offers two excellent solutions for maintaining contact and relationship with your customers: Complimentary Maintenance programs and Service Reminder programs.

Our Complimentary Maintenance program provides typical vehicle maintenance services (oil changes, tire rotations and inspections), helping to ensure that the customer comes back to your dealership for those needs. Dealerships that have implemented Complimentary Maintenance programs see a marked increase in the sales of products and services outside the Complimentary Maintenance program such as tires, brake services and other mileage-interval services. Our Complimentary Maintenance program also features customer contact and marketing tools, both digital and traditional print, to help you keep in regular contact with your customer and get the most out of your implemented program.

Service Reminder programs are excellent for providing a second chance to capture the sale of recommended maintenance. ASB offers the tools to do just that, with digital contact tools, direct mail libraries and DMS integration to pull declined services codes for a more automated system. This provides customers who have declined recommended services such as new tires, a battery or other recommended maintenance with a valuable coupon. It gives your dealership a second chance to make the sale and keep in regular contact.

The automotive industry is a fast-paced and evolving industry and it can be challenging for dealerships to keep up with the changing environment of sales, customer service and the changing profile of consumers. American Solutions for Business is here to help dealerships navigate through this new territory with relevant and timely solutions. Contact your ASB Associate today for more information.

To learn more about American, visit http://www.americanbus.com.

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