Let’s pretend my name is Jeff Foxworthy, for just the next few moments – indulge me. Okay, here I go. Hey there! I’m talking to the car buying industry in America. You might be yesterday’s news if you think that buyers want to sit in your showroom for hours on end just to get a new set of wheels. Or how about, you might be doing things wrong, if shoppers prefer to buy their cars at Costco or from the Craigslist Killer, than from your dealership. Foxworthy, out (insert mic-drop gesture). These few small digs at the modern day car dealership may seem over the top, but the results from recent polls are in, and Americans would rather get a root canal than buy a new car at a dealership. Ouch.
The Polls Don’t Lie and I’m Starting to Feel They’re Right
How about that? Two outdated pop-culture references before hitting 200 words – someone had more than one cup of coffee this morning… As the caffeine-induced jitters wear off, and the exhaust fumes begin to clear, the fact remains the same – no one enjoys buying cars anymore. A legitimate study was recently conducted by The Harris Poll, and published on PR Newswire, which found more than half of car buyers were wildly dissatisfied with traditional car dealerships.
The first car dealer opened in the United States back in 1898, and modern day dealerships are still operating in the same basic way. It’s no wonder why buyers are sick of this archaic process, and you wouldn’t believe the extent they are going just to avoid it.
Costco: Satisfying the Needs of Doomsday Preppers and Disgruntled Car Buyers Since 1983
Well, folks – we can’t make this stuff up. Not only do car shoppers prefer waiting in line at the DMV or doing their taxes over buying a new car, they are resorting to big box stores to fill the hole in their broken car-buying hearts. Large families and end-of-the-world conspiracy theorists have been the bread and butter of Costco stores for over thirty years, but it’s time to pass the torch to a new group desperate for a great deal. Fed up with car dealerships and all the antics that accompany them, car shoppers have been turning to Costco at an alarming rate in recent years. In the past five years alone, the company has nearly doubled their number of automotive sales- and if you are sitting at home in the dark wondering when Costco started selling cars, not to mention more than 465,000 of them per year, you are not alone.
The Costco Auto Program partners with dealerships across the nation to sell vehicles to members, and their success has been duly noted by local dealerships across the country. When a Costco member goes to a store to buy a car, what they are essentially saying is that they would rather spend their day in a crowded big box warehouse full of screaming kids and runaway grocery carts, than step foot in another dealership ever again. If you are a car shopper, let this be your signal to explore the non-traditional car buying options available to you.
And if you are a car dealership? Take this as a sign to either change things up for your customers, or better yet – start planning for retirement.