Move cars off the lot faster than you can drive them
It’s been a long time coming. The electric car market is finally here, but the cars won’t sell themselves.
After years of waiting, the electric car market has started to make its mark on the world. Most recently, the United States set a goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050—something that would require the complete end of gasoline-powered vehicles by approximately 2035, which seems ambitious at best. To achieve net-zero emissions would require not just a halt to the sale of gasoline-powered cars, but it would also mean that people need to stop driving them.
Here’s where used car sales come into play. No matter how much new inventory goes out of the new electric car market, if gasoline-based cars keep funneling through used car dealerships, it’s going to be tough for the US to reach its goal.
So what can used car dealers do to prepare for the electric car market? Here are some of the essential steps to take.
Making profits in the used electric car market
Stock more inventory
Used car dealers understandably only want to stock cars that they’re going to be able to sell. But there’s also something to be said for the inability to sell something you don’t have. If dealerships put more focus on the electric car market when targeting inventory, it follows that—eventually—they’d sell more electric cars. Of course, it’s not quite that simple, which we’ll get to in a moment, but the reality is that the demand is there and increasing rapidly as electric vehicle (EV) technology continues to improve. Still, people want to know what they’re getting, and if there aren’t EVs on the lot for people to test drive, it’s unlikely that they’re going to throw in for something that still hasn’t convinced people it’s worth their money.
Anyone who’s spent anytime with marketing knows that there’s much more science to it than some may think. Failure to advertise the used electric car market means that many people won’t realize that it exists. If you have EVs for sale, be sure to let the public know that it’s an area of specialty for your dealership. Even if you’re just thinking about bringing EV inventory in, start getting the word out now. It’s a perfect time to do so since the competition is slim at the moment. If you have good vehicles for reasonable prices, you can become an industry leader overnight.
Most people are loosely aware that electric cars are better for the environment because they lack carbon emissions. However, not everybody is sold on that elevator pitch. They need to know precisely how electric cars work. How far can they go? How long do they hold a charge? Where can someone charge their EV? These are some burning questions that people may have, and they’ll expect your salespeople to be able to answer them. Invest some time and perhaps a little money in getting your teams trained and educated on the benefits of the electric car market as well as the features they offer that don’t come with traditional vehicles. Your expertise will go a long way in helping people make informed decisions that they’re happy with while also demonstrating that your dealership is up to speed on the industry’s change.
Selling used cars always involves a little art to go with the science of pricing. Vehicles with more mileage tend to go for less, as will cars that have had substantial work done to them before being resold. The same is true for the electric car market. Most notably, electric vehicles can, over time, lose the range of their charge just as most rechargeable batteries slowly lose some of their life over time. Until people become used to EVs, this is a detail they might not consider at the time of sale, but which they’ll surely notice later on. Be able to show people how well a car holds a charge and price it accordingly. The same thing goes for vehicles that can go further distances on single charges.
Believe in the change
A salesperson has to be convinced that the product they’re selling is a good product or they risk coming across as either uncertain or insincere, both of which will hurt sales. Believe in the electric car market and the value it can bring to used dealerships, then sell your customers on that. Though the shift may be glacial, the reality is that electric cars are coming, and they will one day replace gas-powered vehicles. Be prepared by embracing that change now and being a champion of it so people will place their confidence in you before someone else.
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