6 Metrics to Dominate Your Local Car Market

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Every year, dozens of automotive companies and research firms publish national market reports. These reports identify large, long-term trends, but their usefulness only goes so far. What they fail to provide is insight into your local market, which is just as important – if not more – than national trends.

Local markets may act very differently than the national market. The problem is that, apart from the largest cities, no one is publishing local market reports. If you want to understand your market, you’ll have to do the research yourself.

Luckily, with a market intelligence tool like VinCue, conducting research is easy. Here are 6 ways data can help you dominate your local market.

1. Weekly sales trends

Your dealership had a slow couple of weeks in the middle of January. Was it just you or was it a problem for your entire market?

We’ll use our DealerCue’s local market as an example: Kansas City, Missouri. Looking at Kansas City’s weekly sales data, we can see the entire new car market was down in January. Knowing market trends will help you understand your own rising and falling sales.

vincue weekly sales data

For a more apples-to-apples comparison, look at sales trends for franchise dealers and non-franchise dealers separately.

2. Best stocked vehicles and shortages

Balancing supply and demand is crucial. This is where national market trends can vary considerably from local markets.

Today, for example, the best-stocked new vehicles in Kansas City are:

  1. Ford F-150
  2. Buick Encore
  3. Ford Escape
  4. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
  5. RAM 1500

But national trends look a little different:

  • Ford F-150
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • Ford Escape
  • RAM 1500
  • Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

It’s probably best to avoid the best-stocked vehicles unless you are one of the top sellers of that model in the market.

On the other hand, new Volkswagen Jettas have the largest shortage in Kansas City (over 50 vehicles!) This shortage doesn’t even register on the national level but presents a big opportunity for the fastest-moving dealership.

vincue market data

3. Look Beyond the Best Selling Vehicles

It’s no surprise that the Ford F-150 is the best selling vehicle in the US, and therefore, in most local markets. But what vehicles in the top 10? Top 20? By looking beyond the best sellers, you can find sizeable markets for vehicles that are in high demand but low supply.

For example, the best-selling Jeep in Kansas City is the Cherokee, even though the Wrangler Unlimited is one of the best-stocked vehicles in the city (as we saw in the previous section). This data tells us that the Jeep Cherokee might be a vehicle to target at the next auction.

vincue top selling car models

4. Look Inward

After studying your local market, dealerships should look inward and evaluate themselves. It’s critical to go beyond the vanity metrics like units sold and revenue. Identify your dealership’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and measure them regularly.

Popular KPIs include:

  • Price Age
  • Inventory Quality
  • Inventory Age
  • Missed Deals

inventory age vincue Dealers can see a breakdown of their inventory by age.

These KPIs tell you if you are moving towards your goals on a daily basis. The VinCue dealer dashboard gives you all of this information and more. By focusing on these metrics, your revenue and profit are sure to follow.

5. Go Head-to-Head with Competitors

No market is more important than the one between you and your direct competitors. If you are a Buick dealership, you should keep an eye on how the other Buick dealerships in the area are performing.

vincue competitor sales data

VinCue lets you track competitors and their KPIs, just as you watch your own. This can be the first signal that you are pulling ahead (or falling behind) in your market.

6. Study the top dealerships

Data can only tell us so much. Sometimes, we should use it as a signal to learn more.

One valuable use of data is to identify the top-selling dealerships, but not to know how many vehicles they sold (though you can find this information as well). It’s even more useful to study these dealerships to learn why they performed so well.

Currently, the top-selling franchise in Kansas City is a company called ABC Ford. Looking at their VinCue profile, we can see they are the number one used car dealer in the market. We also know that they earned an ‘A’ for used price age, which is an average of 3 days. This is a valuable KPI because new pricing keeps your listings relevant in searches.

We also see they scored a 4.7 out of 5 on Used Inventory Quality, meaning they stock vehicles in high demand. Because of this (in part), they only lose 16% of deals, or 1 in every 8 customers.

To dive deeper, we can study ABC’s reviews, which are stellar. Most positive reviews praise the fast, friendly, painless service they received at ABC. Many said they got a good deal and the sale person worked hard to find them the right car.

vincue dealer review

With over 2,300 reviews, it is clear that ABC Ford works hard to get feedback from customers. The review above shows they regularly use DealerRater. This might be a practice worth trying out at your own dealership.

Become a Master of Your Market

National sales trends are useful, but they can only tell you so much. The best dealerships combine national trends with local insights to find areas of opportunity and dominate their market.

OEMs, large dealer groups, and online retailers like Carvana all use local market data to serve their customers better. That means you should too. Using a market intelligence tool like VinCue will help you make smart decisions and sell more vehicles.

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