The year 2020 is on the horizon, and along with it are huge changes for the automotive industry. In 1987 the rock group R.E.M. released a song with the main lyrics “It’s the End of the World as we know it.” That song will be the anthem for the automotive industry over the next three years.
The issues that will force the changes in the car business have been building for years; the continued resurgence of subprime financing, the reappearance of large factory incentives, increased vehicle leasing and the lengthening of finance terms.
With customers increasingly “upside down” this trade cycle may be the last that many customers can follow the normal two or three years between trades. With this in mind the year 2020 may become the year where the auto industry marks a low sales mark worse than 2009. How will dealerships stay relevant and more importantly open? The sad truth is that many will not.
Dealerships and employees must begin today training for 2020. That training must include modern networking methods, inventory planning for the new market, and rethinking how marketing ROI is viewed. An even more difficult question for dealerships is how to begin staffing now for 2020 because the unfortunate truth is that the employee roster in 2020 will only contain 10% of the same names as today.
Correctly hiring people over the next 24 months will be a water mark for dealerships; only those dealerships that choose employees wisely will be around to celebrate 2021.
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