Infiniti Q50, Social Media

Every year, car dealerships struggle to sell aging inventory. With the 2016 models arriving at your local dealer’s lots, 2014 and 2015 models will have to be sold to make room for current and new models. Buying a car during this time of year is great, especially if you’re looking to save some money by purchasing a 2014 or 2015 new vehicle. In my area alone, there’s over 400 cars from the 2014 model year that still haven’t been sold, which presents an opportunity for frugal shoppers.

For most car dealerships, they’re losing money every day these vehicles sit on their lots. Instead of waiting for the consumer to walk through your showroom’s doors, go on the offensive by promoting your cars through the use of social media and a blog if your dealership has one. You might ask, “Why”? By not sharing a photo of the vehicle and going into detail about the benefits of ownership, your customer is unaware that this car is on your lot.

At a local Ford dealership, there’s a 2014 Ford Fusion Titanium priced around $29,000 ($7,000 below MSRP). The Fusion comes with a power moonroof, power and heated front seats, leather interior, an LCD monitor in the dashboard, and gets good gas mileage (22 MPG in the city, 31 MPG on the highway). It’s fully loaded and is the premium trim for the Ford Fusion model. This sedan should have already had an owner by now.

Another vehicle I see at dealerships that remain in the new car inventory is the 2014 Hyundai Elantra GT. A hatchback that will meet the standards for a college student with decent sized cargo room, power seats and mirrors, good fuel economy (24 MPG in the city and 33 on the highway) and comes in at a fair price of $20,553, considering the amount of features the Elantra GT has.

It shouldn’t be difficult to move these cars off your inventory lot. Without giving consumers a reason to buy, they’ll overlook that model and search elsewhere, possibly at a rival dealership, and as a consequence, you miss out on a sale.

I believe that in the automotive industry, marketing and selling are two distinct divisions within an advertising department. Marketing through the use of social media takes on the role of attracting consumers, while your sales representatives push the customer into making a buying decision. Even in 2015 people are buying cars because they have to, but with Facebook and Instagram, a desire to purchase the vehicle, or at least test drive it, can be made possible.

Instagram photos are like commercials for Oreo cookies. A consumer doesn’t have a need to eat a cookie until they see it on their screen. Social media marketing creates an appetite, and one that might be strong enough to drive them to a purchase. Without Facebook, Instagram, and a blog, you’re not offering anything of value, and as a result, you’re still finding it challenging to get rid of 2014 and 2015 models off your lots.

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