Tariffs Are Still The Biggest Threat To New Car Dealerships In 2019

With the agreement between the United States, Mexico, and Canada (USMCA), some of the previous tariffs’ impact has been erased. However, according to NADA News, Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 will still have negative effects with tariffs on automobiles and vehicle parts. A report by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) says vehicle prices will go up– trickling down from the manufacturers to new/used car dealerships, and then to the consumers.

Back in July 2018, CAR’s research concluded that the tariffs would lead to a considerable increase in vehicle prices. It also showed manufacturers and dealerships would see a decline in annual new-vehicle sales and industry jobs. In CAR’s latest report, they created a total of ten different scenarios using U.S trade policies, Section 232 autos, auto parts tariffs (steel/aluminum as well), the USMCA agreement, and Section 301 tariffs involving Chinese imports.

According to NADA News, if the USMCA agreement is launched in its current state, CAR anticipates that:

  • Up to 366,900 U.S (77,000 of which are franchised dealerships) will be lost.
  • The average price of U.S. light-duty vehicle prices will go up by up to $2,750.
  • New U.S. light-vehicle sales will see a decline of up to 1.3 million units per year.
  • Consumers will be forced into the used car market.
  • Vehicle repair and maintenance costs will drastically increase for consumers.

CAR estimates that Section 232’s tariffs on automobiles and vehicle parts will be responsible for roughly 90% of the total economic problems that result from collective trade policies. In its conclusion, the most recent CAR report notes, “While the trade restrictions adopted or under consideration are intended to assist U.S. workers, these policies are likely to be extremely disruptive to and negative for the U.S. economy.”

NADA CEO, Peter Welch, says: “This analysis confirms that broad Section 232 tariffs on autos and auto parts still present the biggest trade-policy threat to consumers and the U.S. economy. NADA understands and appreciates the Administration’s attempts to level the trade playing field and eliminate unfair trade practices, but expensive Section 232 auto tariffs are the wrong tool for the job because they will lead to dramatic price increases, depressed vehicle sales, and job losses.”

In July, Welch spoke before the Department of Commerce and requested the Administration abstain from applying the broad-based tariffs on automobiles and vehicle parts.

“We should continue to work together to address genuine trade concerns, but without hurting American consumers, and small businesses in the process.”

PDR Estimate and Invoicing Software on different devices

3 Best Perks of PDR Software in Your Back-Office Operations

hand holding mobile device displaying the same charts page as the laptop behind itEven in 2019, there are still quite a few PDR businesses out there that rely on out-of-date processes in their back-office. It may be because they’re skeptical of change, or simply because they feel like things work well enough as-is. However, with the PDR business developing as rapidly as it is, you’ll need a way to keep up with the competition and make your life easier.

For many of you in the PDR business, you may not even realize how much faster and easier your back-office operations could be. Anyone who’s familiar with running a PDR operation knows just how much time they spend on things like invoicing, commissions, customer accounts, and more. It’s a lot of work, and you’ve probably spent hours on a daily basis stuck with a pile of paperwork.

Fortunately, each year, technology becomes better, faster, and more efficient– which means the PDR software of today can take all of that time stuck with back-office work, and turn it into just a few minutes of attention each day.

While there are plenty of benefits to a software solution for your PDR business, here are 3 of the best perks of PDR software on your back-office operations:

Increase Operational Efficiency, Enhance Customer Service, and Save You Time (and Money)

Since most everything related to your operation can be put into PDR software in real-time and in just a few minutes, everyone from the front-end to the back-office can keep things moving. Having a quick and efficient back-office means that your front-end work won’t need to sit around and wait for things like information or approvals to continue working.

Your PDR technicians can process customer estimates, transactions, and more all at the click of a few buttons– keeping your back-office constantly updated with all of the relevant information already filled out and accessible. With PDR software solutions, your back-office tasks can go from hours of your time to minutes– impacting your entire operation’s speed and efficiency for the better.

With the ability to track every bit of your PDR business in real-time, you’ll be able to focus more on the part of the business that makes you the money.

You Can Review All Operational Details Privately, Anywhere, and Anytime

PDR software stores all of your operational information in one spot. This means that as the owner or operational executive, you can keep track of your business from anywhere at any time, privately. No matter what business you’re in, there’s sensitive data that you may not want other employees or customers to access. So with a PDR software solution, you can keep track of the essentials comfortably and without worry.

PDR Software Can Be Used Anywhere, Even Without Internet

Because the information is collected through a native mobile application and synched to your back-office, all the information is available to you on your desktop, and any information stored on a mobile device can be accessed with or without internet access. This provides you with quite a bit of flexibility and the comfort of knowing that you can monitor your PDR business wherever you are. It allows you to better manage your PDR business, track sales information, check accounts, review job statuses, and be alerted of any delays or problems in real-time. So if you have a team of technicians out on the road, you can see exactly what they’re doing and any issues there may be, all on your mobile device.

AutoMobile Technologies Can Help

AMT offers software solutions designed to make your PDR business more efficient, provide you with better visibility, and give you peace of mind knowing that your back-office is always up-to-date. Let us show you how we can help.

ReconPro is the industry’s most versatile and powerful software solution built for auto recon professionals. With essential tools for performing PDR estimates, hail and insurance matrixes, parts management, paint code lookups, integrations with body shop crash systems and accounting systems, too. ReconPro manages the details of running your business so you can focus on growing your business.

CLICK HERE to get in touch.

ReconPro Back Office 2.8.2.0

Configure repair order phases so that a technician who starts a phase or its service in the mobile app can be automatically assigned to this phase or service

New Features

  • Turn on technician auto-assignment to started phases or services

See the details of the new feature here.

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ReconMonitor Back Office 3.4.6

Apply dashboard filters to show repair orders with parts in the appropriate status and search for repair orders by phase in a particular status.

Improvements

  • Use dashboard counters to filter repair order parts
  • Better layout for part details
  • Showing available part statuses only
  • Filter repair orders by phase status
  • Showing the current phase of repair orders
  • Searching repair orders by active phase

See the details of the improvements here.

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Auto Dealerships Will Be Just Fine In 2019

New & Pre-Owned Sales signAccording to NADA News, Senior Economist for NADA, Patrick Manzi, said trends are looking good for both new and used vehicles in 2019.

He continued on and said in a recent speech in San Francisco: “The current posture of the U.S. economy is strong. A tight labor market continues to put upward pressure on wages, which are rising. Consumer spending, a significant contributor to GDP, remains solid. It’s a positive sign that consumers are spending money.”

In 2019, NADA expects there to be roughly 16.8 million sales in light trucks and new cars– a 3% decrease from 2018’s fourth straight year of 17 million units.

However, Manzi warned that the rising interest rates for auto loans will impact the affordability of vehicles for consumers in the coming year. With rates and monthly payments expected to rise, he says younger consumers will shift to the used car market. “This is a great opportunity for dealers to get these customers into nearly new certified-pre-owned vehicles.”

With the used car market’s expected increase, software companies have developed software to make the reconditioning process as efficient as possible to maximize profits. Products like ReconMonitor can help you track each vendor or employee task and identify what order those tasks are being performed. This helps you execute auto remarketing at maximum speed, and ensure you have the stock available to meet consumer demands.

ReconPro Starter mobile app 3.4.9

Add multiple contacts to customers, make service price read-only or even hide service price from mobile app users, prevent changing invoice date, and more

New Features

  • Add contacts to wholesale customers
  • Set up access to service price
  • Allow or prevent changing invoice date
  • Choose invoice date mode
  • Change invoice customer
  • Answer questions in work order services
  • Specify service expenses
  • Select inspection print templates
  • Technician auto-assignment to started phases or services

Improvements

  • Showing VIN validation messages

See the details of the new features and improvements here.

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Repair360 mobile app 3.4.9

See the VIN validation messages that explain how to enter a correct VIN when you tap the VIN field or enter an invalid VIN on the Vehicle Info screen

Improvements

  • Showing VIN validation messages

See the details of the improvement here.

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ReconPro mobile app 2.17.9 for iOS devices

Specify a particular part for the part service included in the conventional repair bundle when you use conventional repair pricing information for a price matrix panel

New Features

  • Technician auto-assignment to started phases or services

Improvements

  • Select a part for conventional repair
  • Improvement in Part & Labor bundle

See the details of the improvements here.

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Best Software For PDR Commissions

Running PDR business, you understand how much time it can take to track and calculate commissions. Your back-office has to put in a lot of time and effort to record complete and accurate data. Beyond that, if you’re running your back office manually, you’re probably still using paper documents, dry-erase boards, spreadsheets, and maybe even sticky notes to record information. It demands a lot of time and attention and can even take away from focusing on growing your business.

Management software has become a standard in the auto industry to record information and improve workflow. And the best software for managing commissions?

ReconPro

ReconPro is one of the best management software solutions for PDR businesses. You can create invoices, estimates, approvals, and even track vehicles statuses at the click of a button. The software can also automatically calculate and track commissions from simple splits to complex multi-tiered and team commissions. ReconPro is feature-rich, including access to a number of hail and insurance matrixes, conventional repair costs, parts management, and a host of other useful functionality. It has fully customizable templates for print and email documents, so your business and brand are well supported.

ReconPro is a native software app that allows PDR businesses to keep their back-office running smoothly while also making it easier to access information on the fly, and keep technicians up-to-date on everything they need to know.

Beyond that, ReconPro provides you with visibility and control, eliminates manual and duplicate data entry, automates commissions and vendor payments, offers the most detailed reports on the market, can easily integrate with QuickBooks and crash management systems, and eliminates any need for IT staff to install or maintain– all on your mobile devices and back-office computer.

To speak with a specialist and arrange for a demo of ReconPro, click here.

Why Your Dealership Should Prioritize Convenience And Transparency

Why Your Dealership Should Prioritize Convenience And TransparencyAccording to Dealership News, research from a Cox Automotive Service Industry Study showed dealerships are losing out on roughly $266 billion dollars a year in service revenue. Beyond that, the biggest contributing factor to it all is customer trust and inconvenience. Unfortunately, many dealerships aren’t doing enough for customers to feel completely comfortable with their purchasing process.

Released back in January, the study also showed that 70% of all customers who bought or leased a vehicle from a franchised dealership did not return for continued vehicle service. The reason behind this? Well, they’d rather take their chances with established body shops and independent repair shops. In fact, the study showed customer service satisfaction with dealerships was about on par with the small body shop you may see down the street.

With the average age of vehicles out on the road sitting at around 11.5 years old, it isn’t too surprising that dealership services see a reduction in visits as a car ages. However, on the plus side, dealerships still lead the way against third-party businesses for overall customer visits– but lag in customer service, convenience, and transparency.

Dealership News suggests a few simple fixes for this would be:

  • Providing customers a way to pay online.
  • Schedule appointments with customers via their mobile devices.
  • Picking up and delivering serviced vehicles to and from customer locations.
  • Provide simple repairs to their vehicles outside of the shop setting.
  • Providing customers with information, such as trade-in value, services, price ranges, estimates, and competitive ranges.
  • Give customers a way to monitor their vehicle’s service remotely.

Jim Roche, Vice President of Marketing and Managed Services with Xtime told Fixed Ops Journal: “Dealers have to figure out how to get your vehicle to the service, or the service to your vehicle.” Which is in line with the study that also suggests customers are willing to pay more or travel longer distances if the customer service is great.

 

AutoMobile Technologies

AMT offers software solutions designed to make your dealership more efficient, provide your customers with the information they need, offer you better visibility, and give you peace of mind knowing that your back-office is always up-to-date and you’re building a positive relationship with customers.

ReconMonitor is a state of the art workflow automation software for auto recon, dealerships, and auto marketing companies. ReconMonitor dealership software decreases reconditioning cycle time and increases your control and profitability.