Now that Cash for Clunkers has been in play for six weeks, we see definitive tremors spreading throughout the auto market. There is no doubt however that CARS has stimulated new and used auto sales beyond everyone’s wildest expectations.
But dealers are nervously sitting on more than $2 billion in expected government reimbursements and still don’t know just how much they are going to collect – or when.
In addition, burgeoning inventories of fuel efficient vehicles have been rapidly depleted and now dealers cannot rid themselves of yesterday’s hot sellers. It seems to some we have merely moved the chairs around on the decks of the Titanic.
However, if you are one of the roughly 1 million consumers looking for a new car in the next four weeks, you are in great shape. Especially if you are one of the 750,000 looking to do something besides a clunker deal.
I spoke with a colleague at a Ford store in north Texas yesterday and he had some surprising news. “We just cannot get enough Ford Rangers,” said Heath Shields, Sales Manager for Holiday Ford in Whitesboro, Texas. “If you had told me that, 6 months or a year ago, I would have called you crazy.”
Ford factories are now working 24/7 to produce enough new Rangers, Focuses and Escapes to keep up with the sudden CARS demand. Toyota and GM are reporting similar activity.
The result? Dealers like Shields are sitting on a larger than normal supply of ¾ ton pick ups and SUV’s that would have normally sold prior to CARS.
If you need to pull a boat or a horse trailer, are in the farming or construction business or just really want to get your hands on a new truck, the CARS craze is your new best friend. These are historic times to make a great deal on a Ford F-250, Chevy Silverado or Dodge Durango.
But if you want to take it to another level, look at the new online car buying site that is quickly garnering widespread acclaim.
New car buyers are using AutoBidsOnline.com to place buy bids on the exact vehicle they want and let dealers compete to meet their price. They never set foot on a dealership lot until a dealer accepts their anonymous buy bid.
It’s a great way to buy a new car says a recent AutoBids user in Colorado. “The anonymity of it all was so appealing to me,” says James Stirling from Castle Rock. “With the other sites, you get so many emails and phone calls from dealers trying to engage you in the typical sale. With your site, I picked my car and set my price and let dealers compete to match it.”
So if you’ve been putting off buying a new truck or SUV, don’t wait much longer. The increased supply and uncertainty of CARS reimbursements have dealers on edge. They need new sales to sustain momentum from the last few weeks and also need sales bridge the inevitable government CARS gap.
More than ever, dealers are ready to deal.