Following the outbreak of the pandemic, car dealerships were forced to close their doors to protect their customers and employees. As businesses slowly reopened, new safety protocols and social distancing guidelines made many people put their dreams of owning a new car on hold.
The auto industry is on track for greater stability and healthier sales in 2021. Industry experts are forecasting that 15.5 million new cars will be sold in 2021, which marks an increase of 6.5 percent from last year, according to Edmunds, a consumer car shopping resource. Low interest rates and flush savings accounts are prompting Americans to take the plunge and purchase a new vehicle this year.
Proper Car Sanitization Can Drive Sales
Despite the rollout of the vaccine and dropping COVID-19 numbers, many Americans remain cautious and are making safety a top priority as they shop. In addition to turning to virtual car-buying options, your dealership can increase sales by communicating disinfection procedures to customers so they understand you are taking their concerns to heart. CCI, the nation’s leader in mobile leather and vinyl repair, offers a solution designed to sanitize the vehicles on your lot so they are as safe as possible for shoppers. Here's how car sanitization can help you drive sales.
Shortly after news of the first case of COVID-19 broke in the United States, CCI launched a new Sanitizer & Disinfectant to give its franchisees an additional service for their customers during this time. The disinfectant is a one-step, hospital-grade cleaner, deodorizer, and sanitizer designed for use on a variety of surfaces. It can be purchased in bulk, or CCI’s service technicians can come to your site and use spray guns to sanitize your vehicles.
The new cleaner is EPA-certified, environmentally friendly, and hypoallergenic, which appeals to customers when safety is top of mind. Prior to spraying on the disinfectant, technicians clean the surfaces of the car with a water-based antimicrobial cleaner. CCI technicians make sure to wipe down high-touch areas, such as steering wheels, door handles, seat belts, and electronic controls.
“Customers need reassurance that the vehicle they are considering is safe before they will take a test drive,” said Mark J. Bollman, President of Creative Colors. “After we sanitize each vehicle, we apply our ‘CCI Certified Clean’ cling to the driver’s side window to ensure your customers know the vehicle has been thoroughly cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected.”
In addition to making sure vehicles are sanitized for in-person customers, stay-at-home consumers are changing the landscape of the car-buying market. They are driving the advancement of digital platforms and shifting them from merely communications tools to selling tools. More than 70 percent of consumers want to conduct at least some parts of the purchase online, according to metrics from Cars.com. As more dealerships are forced to develop new technologies to enable virtual selling, having the cars on your lot in tip-top shape remains key. CCI’s service technicians can help prepare the vehicles for their photoshoot as online pictures may be the first way your customer sees their potential car purchase.
The new vehicle market will continue to grow more pricey and exclusive as the pandemic drives an income divide among Americans and may force many people to rely on used cars. In December 2020, the average transaction price for a new vehicle hit an all-time high of $40,573. Edmunds analysts expect this number to go up as affluent consumers benefiting from lower interest rates and healthy stock and housing markets continue buying bigger, more expensive new trucks and SUVs. The pandemic also prompted many automakers to shutter car lines, making the number of more affordable options in the new car market increasingly scarce. As a result, many Americans will be shopping for pre-owned inventory in your lot to find a vehicle in their price range.
In addition to offering sanitizing services, CCI can help dealerships capitalize on the used car trend by making their pre-owned inventory shine. CCI technicians use proprietary tools and methods to meticulously eliminate fading, tears, rips, scrapes, gouges, scratches, and scuffs. In many cases, we can even successfully restore items that have been damaged by fire or water to a like-new condition.
To find out more about how CCI’s technicians can help disinfect our fleet to reassure customers, visit us to request a quote.