While Waiting for the Delivery of New Vehicles

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Charles Drouin is Chief Executive Officer of Mobilis Corporation, which includes some 145 dealerships in the greater Quebec City area. Photo Mobilis Corporation

I believe that by the end of the year, the supply of new vehicles will return to a normal pace, however, in the meantime, the customer must be kept waiting.

A combination of factors beyond our control has completely disrupted the new vehicle supply chain. The consumer who is purchasing a new car is faced with a situation that is very different from what they expected.

Overflowing inventories allowing the delivery of the desired vehicle within a few days are a thing of the past. That being said, if the consumer comes to you after his inevitable online browsing, it is because he expects you to provide solutions.

Create a buzz of expectation

The customer has a crush on a model that is not available for a few months. I recommend openness and transparency. “Here’s the estimated delivery date and we’ll keep you updated on the progress.”

What the dealers in our network understand is the importance of keeping the customer excited about their purchase by maintaining regular communication with them.

The customer will smile when we tell him that the car he wants, with all the options and accessories he wants, is being assembled at the factory. Then, that it is now sailing across the ocean to our continent, if need be. And finally, that it’s on a train heading to its final destination. It’s like the countdown to Christmas.

Alleviating concerns

The waiting consumer may also have some concerns about financing their vehicle or, if they do, the trade-in value of the car they are offering after months of unintended use.

What I am hearing from the field is that it is often possible to lock in the interest rate up to the time of delivery and sometimes even pass on any rate reduction in the interim to the customer.

As for the value of the trade-in car, the dealer can make a realistic estimate taking into account devaluation, in normal use, even several months in advance. Again, transparency is required to avoid disappointment.

In this context where economic uncertainty and impatience could make the customer hesitate or push him towards another supplier, several manufacturers are now reintroducing interesting discount offers, whether it is for the purchase or lease interest rate or directly on the sale price. These are elements that weigh into the equation.

Creating a winning environment where the customer has the right information about the entire transaction, from delivery to financing, is the foundation on which to build the relationship. Then, I rely on the creativity of our dealers to make this an exciting time, where the customer feels that we are building a custom vehicle for them.



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